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Dear JoeCRM,

customizing

I want to track the different phases/statuses of an opportunity, and I also need to be able to report on those changes. The auditing feature is very useful for many things, but it can’t be easily displayed in an advanced find or a dashboard.

Have any suggestions to track status changes in CRM 2011?

Status Auditor

Dear Status Auditor,

I have very simple solution for you. With a custom entity and a workflow, you will have your reporting capabilities and advanced find with a snap of your finger!

Since you mentioned opportunities above, we will focus on that entity and the status reason field.

1. First, we need to build a new custom entity to store these values. Within this custom entity, we will create a couple of fields that will give use some further query capabilities, in addition to using some of the out of the box fields such as owner and created on date fields.

  1. We will use the primary field to store the status
  2. A lookup to the Opportunity Entity
  3. A lookup to the Account Entity

2. Now that we have the relationship between the Opportunity and this custom entity, we can now build a workflow to create these records.

3. When setting up the workflow, we are going to check off three things: the “As an on demand process” (which allows us to run the workflow on existing records), when the “record is created,” and when the “record field changes” (select status reason).

create workflow to track status changes in CRM 2011

4. Now we will create a step. We will create a new record in the custom entity we built in step 1. We can set the Opportunity, Account, Status and the owner (modified by field) from the Opportunity record.

Using a Custom Entity to Track Status Changes in CRM 2011

5. With this workflow activated, the records will be created automatically for us as the record statuses change.

Now when we review this custom entity, we can see what the status reason was changed to, the person who changed the value, and when it was changed. With this data, you can create reports and advanced finds. You also will have the capability to review the status changes by selecting the custom entity in the left navigation of the Opportunity.

Using a Custom Entity to Track Status Changes in CRM 2011

Using a Custom Entity to Track Status Changes in CRM 2011

So there you go! This just one of the many examples of using custom entities to store additional information in CRM.

Happy CRM’ing!

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JoeCRM

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.