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CRM 2011 has embraced the web application! Unlike CRM 4.0 which presented as a desktop application, the CRM 2011 look and feel is much more modern and leverages common webisms (new word for the day) like a home page, recently visited pages (similar to favorites) and an updated layout with the standard navigation pane on the left with various frames of information on the right. It’s even given users the power to control much more of their individual CRM experience.


CRM 2011 Look and Feel: Forms

MS CRM can now present different forms to the logged in user based on security roles, which provides different presentations of the data to highlight what is most important to the user. (There is a previous PowerObjects blog post on how to create role based forms here.) If the user has multiple forms available to them, they can switch between them by clicking on the information bar over the tabs.

CRM 2011 look and feel for forms


CRM Online users have had the ability to create personalized dashboards, but the feature is new to on premises customers. Users can choose from 6 predefined dashboard templates or add charts and lists without a pre-defined template.

All charts and lists that the user has the authority to see are available to be added to their personal dashboards.

Users can switch between dashboards easily and choose any dashboard for the default. However, CRM will remember what the last dashboard the user visited and will be returned to it when the user clicks on the Dashboard tab during the same session.


Users can create personal views and the system will remember the most recently used view when the user returns to the page during the same session. Users can also set any view (system or custom) as the default view – a little thing but great improvement over previous version! To create a new view, simply select the down arrow and choose “Create Personal View” from the list to launch Advanced Find.

Users can also “pin” a chart to their view so that it comes up every time they look at that view.

Views in Outlook

Another great new personal feature in Outlook is that multiple views can be opened at once and views can be pinned so that they stay open when the user returns the folder……personalization is starting to sound like a huge time saver 😉

Conditional Formatting

Users can create filters for views and then modify the display of the records that fit specific criteria. For example, show a list of all of a user’s open leads, but highlight the “hot” leads red so that they jump out from the page.

To create conditional formatting, the user navigates to an existing saved view, right click on a column and select “View Settings”. In the resulting dialog, select conditional formatting.

To create a new set of rules, press Add. Click the font button to set the font, color and size. Click on the Condition… button and then the advanced tab select “User-Defined Fields” (aka: CRM fields).

Click “Field” and select “User -Defined Fields Folder” to expand the list and then choose “Rating”. Set the condition to “is (exactly) and the Value to “Hot”. Press OK until you are returned to Outlook. The leads with a rating of hot will be marked in red.

Auto Create

Another fantastic personal option in the Outlook Client is the ability to automatically create either Contacts or Leads from the sender of an email or the organizer of a tracked meeting. To turn on this feature, click on the CRM tab in the navigation bar…

Then click File, select CRM, and choose Set Personal Options.

In the dialog box, navigate to the E-mail tab, check the Create option and select Contacts or Leads. Press the OK button when you are done selecting personal options.

The changes in the CRM 2011 look and feel change the landscape of the application. It was always configurable, but now there is power in the hands of the average user. With CRM 2011, the application truly works the way you do.

As always PowerObjects is here to help – we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – this is all we do and our people don’t just implement this technology we live it!

Happy CRM’ing

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Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.