One of the basic rules when deciding between using Dynamics CRM features out of box (OOB) versus creating a custom address entity is to verify that the OOB solution works with your business model and expectations. Often times there are trade-offs, so it is important to understand what they are in order to decide the best course to take.
Custom Address Entity
One example is the custom Address entity in CRM, also known as More Addresses on the CRM record. The main purpose of this Address entity is to create one or multiple addresses for Accounts and Contacts. For example:
- Multiple shipping addresses for one billing address
- Multiple billing and shipping addresses for one franchise with many different locations
OOB Address entity displays in the Sales entity and allows for easier maintenance. It is stored in the same tables as address1 and address2 fields on Accounts and Contacts which makes reporting on the OOB Addresses entity much easier. OOB Address entity will also work in situations where there is a need for API for address validation. However, we cannot create any other relationships to the OOB Address Entity other than what is OOB, unless we use a work around, such as custom coding.
One of the main reasons for creating a custom entity is for situations when we want to create N:1 relationships to the Address Entity. This includes, for example, lookups to the Address Entity which you cannot do with the OOB Entity, such as:
However, we have to understand that by opting for a Custom Address entity we are losing some of the OOB built in functionalities described above. Therefore it is always important to weigh pros and cons of each option before deciding on one.
See below a table summarizing the benefits of both options:
OOB Address Entity
Custom Address Entity
|Easier reporting on addresses|
|API for address validation|
|Create N:1 relationships|
Adding OOB Address Entity to the Command bar
The OOB Address Entity does not appear on the command bar by default.
To add it to the Command Bar, open the Account Form.
Click the “Navigation” button on the top.
Drag the Addresses from the Relationship explorer on the right to the Navigation on the left. Save and Publish.
Your Command Bar will now display the Addresses.
Proceed with adding New Addresses, if OOB Address Entity is what you have decided to use.
The decision to go with the OOB Address entity versus a Custom Address entity should be always made after carefully considering the business requirements. Our first recommended option is to make the OOB entities work with what we need, as they come with a lot of built-in functionalities that will need to be mapped, recreated and managed for any added custom entities.
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