One of the most frequently requested customizations we receive from our clients is to add new views to default set of system views that come out-of-the-box from Microsoft. It seems as though most users are hesistant to play around with the system’s ability to add new views out of fear that it may be too difficult or complex. This could not be further from the truth. The customization abilities packed into MSCRM are easy to use and almost easier to learn HOW to use them.
Below are some simple steps to get you started in creating and customizing views. Using the below instructions as a framework, you should be able to come up with some pretty exciting combinations to fufill your business needs!
1. In CRM, navigate to Settings > Customization > Customize Entities
2. In the list of customizable entities that is displayed, Double click on whichever entity you want to add a view to.
3. A form will now be displayed that will give and overview of the Project entity. On the left nav column of this form, please click ‘Forms and Views’
4. The main display area of the form will now list the Forms and Views that are available for this entity…You will see that we currently only have the default views: Lookup, Advanced Find, Associated, Quick Find, Active and Inactive. Whichever view is tagged with “Default Public View” will be the view that is automatically displayed when you navigate to the entity from within CRM. To change the Default View, highlight the view you wish to make the default, then select “Set Default” from the More Actions pull down menu.
As you can see, enabling certain views to be the default view for a given entity is not difficult at all. It is perhaps more challenging to decide which view to use!
Microsoft Dynamics CRM also provides a very easy to use interface for creating and editing existing views as well. All of the customization options are available on the same menu from which we set the default view…
1. To create a new view, simply click the ‘New’ button on the main action bar.
2. After click the ‘New’ Button you will receive a screen prompting you to name your new View. I called this one ‘My Projects’ but you could call it Nancy if you want!
3. After assigning the name you will now see a screen where we will do all the creation of our new view. Right now, only 1 column (name) is included. To add aditional columns, simply click the “Add Columns” button on the right hand side of the form.
4. Now we can choose what kind of information we want to include in the view. Since we are going to create a view of “My” projects we should include Owner so we can determine if the sort criteria we are going to add next apply properly. Choose whichever information and fields would be the most beneficial to you; simply mark the check boxes of attributes you want to include, and when that is completed, simply hit ok.
5. After we select the column to include, they will now appear in our “preview” view when we hit ‘Ok’. Keep in mind, we can change the order of columns by clicking the green left and right arrows.
6. Microsoft Dynamics CRM also provides an easy way to configure (seemingly) complex sorting of the newly created views. For instance, if we wanted to configure this new view to display only Projects owned by the current CRM user, we can add that type of functionality by clicking on “Edit Filter Criteria”
7. You should now see a GUI that is very similar to the one that is used to create custom reports and advanced finds. Using the drop down boxes, we can create any combination of filtering options that we can think of. Need to see a list that is sorted by Owner = Active Users from Ohio? A list that does NOT include Active Users from Ohio? All of these combinations are possible using the drop down menus (including some combinations I did not mention).
8. Our new view should be ready to be used. Before we can go test it out in the system we must make sure to click ‘PUBLISH’! (The easiest step is often the one most frequently forgotten!) �
That’s it! No coding, algorithims or If/Then trees required to create some fairly complex views! Using the few methods listed above, a discerning CRM user will be able to create any view to fit the needs of a business. That is the hallmark of MSCRM: it’s ability to seamlessly match the technology with a business’ need.