Microsoft Dynamics CRM defines an Activity as an action to be performed such as email, phone call, and so on. Out-of-the-box Dynamics CRM provides various activity types such as Phone Calls, Tasks, Appointments, and more. and you can also create your own custom activity types as required by the business need.
There are many business scenarios where users don’t use some of the activity types such as Fax or Letter. This may not be because they don’t want to use them, or these activity types are not relevant in their business processes. There is also a good chance that curious end users may log activities against these types which might skew reporting.
In out-of-the-box Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there is no ability to hide or remove or disable these unwanted activities. You can’t restrict access by security roles as those only applicable to the Activity master entity—you have access to all or none.
This blog provided various options (not step-by-step directions) to you as a system administrator or system customizer to hide or remove or disable these unwanted activity types. Even if you choose to not do anything on the front end because you think you will have to rollback those changes, the list below also covers some options if business users would want to use these activities in the future.
Use your judgment in terms of which option will best meet your end user expectations without impacting their day-to-day usage of CRM.
Option 1: Edit the Site Map and Ribbon Bar
You can edit the site map and ribbon bar for each activity-enabled entity. In this way, these options don’t appear in the navigation views. You can customize RibbonDiffXml or use the Ribbon Workbench tool to hide or remove unwanted activity type buttons. This may be a lot of work, and this still will not prevent the user from creating those activities in some areas of the application.
Option 3: Rename Unwanted Activity Types
You can rename unwanted activity types to something else. For example, you can rename Fax to Do not use. This may not look pretty from a user experience perspective, but should give users enough hint to not use it.
Option 4: Plug-in
You can develop a plug-in with built-in logic so that when triggered (for example on create of a new activity record of specific type), it will delete the unwanted activity type record right away. This may take away some admin overhead of cleaning up unwanted records. However, users who are unaware about the plug-in may keep wondering what happened to their activities.
Option 5: Workflow
You can develop a workflow to email users on create saying “don’t do use this activity type”. In this case, whenever an unwanted activity record is created, this workflow will trigger and send an email to the user creating it and will mention not to use this activity type and other details. As a system admin, you can then run a bulk delete job to delete these records on a regular basis (nightly, weekly etc.).
Option 6: Alert Message
Option 7: Another form
You can create a custom form that lacks required fields. In this way, the record cannot ever be saved. Also, users won’t be able to modify the existing ones to hide most of the fields. This may not great user experience but it servers the purpose.
Option 8: HTML web resource
You can develop a simple html web resource that says “This isn’t used”. You can then place it on the form of the unwanted activity type. Whenever users navigate to this form, this information should be good enough for them to not use this activity type.
Hope you like this post and that it helps you to drive Microsoft Dynamics CRM user adoption. Stay tuned and we will bring to you more tips and tricks from Microsoft Dynamics CRM world.