Basics of Dynamics CRM form customization

Need of Customization

Microsoft Dynamics CRM  is a complete ready to use package which can be used as it is , but mostly all organization believe that if they are using a system then it should be familiar to the existing process and it should increase team’s productivity keeping the well-known process.

It is good that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not limited to programmers only. A normal user can also customize the system by learning the basics, that is not tricky at all. my experience so far taught me understanding the requirement and customer’s wish list is more complex that’s why we all spend our time more in requirement gathering and analysis.

Customization includes creating new fields, workflows , business rules GUI touch ups and few other things.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows you to edit the existing entities component or create a new one. However there are some limitation as well, there are few components and areas where the customization is not available I’ll share them in some other article.

There is a very good course material available from Microsoft available here , which can teach you both side of yin and yang.

Let’s Starts with the basic form customization

In this article, we’ll be doing following very basic customization activity.

  • Create a New field
  • Customize the form
  • Rename existing field
  • Hide and show fields
  • Create a section and tabs

To do above mentioned activity first we need to open form editor window of an entity. open an entity record ex: contact .

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Open Form Editor using Form Button
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This is how a form editor window looks like

Create New Field

Before creating a new filed ask yourself first is it really require to create a new filed ? there are already lots off field available which left un used by default. Check if you can reuse them.

To create a new field simply Click on New Field button at the right bottom of the page

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The new filed form has multiple option such as Display Name , Name , Field Requirement , Data Type and other,fill the information as required.

Labels marked with red star are mandatory information to be filled

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This is new filed window

Here is information about what these labels means

  • Display name: will be displayed on your form , views and reports.
  • Name: is a logical name (just like a variable name) which is used in custom code development using Dynamics 365 SDK or JavaScript. It includes the solution publisher customization prefix. You can change the Display Name later, but the Name can’t be changed after the field is saved.
  • Field Requirement : There are three options:
    • Optional – This field doesn’t require data to save the record.
    •  Business Recommended  – This field doesn’t require data to save the record. However a blue asterisk appears near the field to indicate it is important.
    • Business Required –  The record can’t be saved without data in this field. Be careful when you make fields business required. People will resist using the application if they can’t save records because they lack the correct information to enter into a required field. People may enter incorrect data simply to save the record and get on with their work.
  • Field Security : For custom fields, enable this to allow this field to participate in field level security. This comes in handy when you need to hide a sensitive information such as phone number revenue details from specific user or you don’t want to allow other user to edit the information. I’ll share an article focused on this.
  • Data Type:Select the type of record. Depending on the type you select, you’ll have different options. It is like giving a data type to a variable. (See my article on Types of Field )

These are the basic information about fields now to save your field click on the legendary floppy.

Customize The Form

To customize a form means add or remove new filed on form , create new Section tabs , reorder fields and sections locations , changing visibility of any component and the list goes on. Try adding new fields by simply drag and drop from the Field Explorer.  double-click on any field section or tab to access its available option.

Rename Existing Field

You can rename the field by selecting a field and click on change properties (or double-click on filed ). There are two ways of renaming a filed

  1. Rename Label
  2. Rename Display Name

Label Name Can be anything suitable on form to see the difference, open contact form and see the Account Name field, this field has been labeled on form as Account Name but it’s Display Name is Company Name.

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To change the name try this

Rename the label on form

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This will only change the name on form you are editing it wont change the name on view or report

change Display Name

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Go to Details on click on edit it will open the Field Form

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This is  not the only way you can also go into solution to change the name just navigate to solution than entity expand fields and then double-click to open the property window.

Hide and Show Fields

To set the visibility of a field toggle the Visible By Default option on field property window.  It will hide or show particular filed based on requirement

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you can also use business rules and java scripts to set this property. which will be explained in some other article.

 

Create Sections and Tabs

Section get placed inside tabs , Tabs are basically a navigation link within the form by using that you can directly navigate to different groups (Sections to be exact) of field.

To insert section or tab go to toolbar of form editor select insert tab then chose the available option.

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You can insert one ,two or three columns tab and similarly you can add up to four columns tab

Your fields will be added on section not on tab

 

Thats it for this article play around you’ll find many other options as well.

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