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Configuration is one of the most fun and essential aspects of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Creating entities, fields, relationships, labels and what have you are as fun as playing online games and winning against a nine year old kid from Korea, if not more (at least that’s what we think!). However, what makes the CRM experience worthwhile for everyone (from system administrators to the end users) is consistency in design of the CRM architecture. What we need is a set of best practices for configuring Dynamics CRM.


The idea is to present the right information the right way, hide/disable whatever is not required to avoid clutter, and use some of our amazing PowerPack add-ons to create CRM magic and ultimately create a “wow!” experience for everyone. It’s amazing how easy it is to spot a cog in the left navigation bar (custom entity without an icon), which, to be honest, is a definite eyesore. We don’t want eyesores in our CRM now, do we?

We’ve made a checklist of sorts that you can use when you are configuring Dynamics CRM 2011 on your own. Think of this checklist as a recipe to create magical unicorn dust that you can sprinkle on your CRM. It should help you incorporate consistency in your CRM configuration and eliminate frustration! Keep these items in mind when you’re customizing Dynamics CRM and enthralling your users with CRM abracadabra!

  1. Don’t forget to create icons for custom entities!
  2. Clean up forms. It is a good idea to remove fields from the forms that may not be used. (Accounts/Contacts/Leads/Marketing).
  3. Test your forms and make sure fields are arranged in the correct tab order.
  4. Make unused out-of-the-box fields hidden so they don’t appear in Advanced Fields. Two posts that can help you out with this are updating attributes that aren’t being used, and bulk editing field attributes.
  5. Clean up navigation area on each recordto remove items not being used right now. Take a look at our post on modifying the left navigation for individual records for more info.
  6.  Enhance specific uses of Dynamics CRM, from marketing to sales to productivity, with PowerObjects’ PowerPack add-ons.
  7. Remove areas and sub-areas from the sitemap that would not be used. Here’s a good reference on sitemap editing.
  8. Know when to turn OFF auditing! Here’s more info on Dynamics CRM auditing.
  9. Create consistent views for each entity–use view replicator! Also, don’t forget to rename views for renamed entities! Here’s a good resource.
  10. Make search better–install PowerGlobalSearch and/or PowerOneview; add fields to ‘QuickFind’ view.

Got all that? Good! 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.