In CRM 2016 Online Update 1 there have been a number of enhancements to the Dynamics CRM App, some of the most notable for their impact on user experience are Custom Controls.
So what is the idea? Well that’s simple enough;
- Custom controls can expedite the entry of data using the mobile interface
- Further aligns the user experience with the use of touch devices
- Provide immediate visual references for CRM data
- Reduce the need for custom development
What does that mean? Basically the enhancements help to make the native CRM Tablet and Phone app’ more appealing to the user. Along with offline synchronisation, the additional functions can further help your organisation to ‘configure once and deploy anywhere’ with Dynamics CRM for Phones and Tablets.
There are 15 custom controls available in this release, though currently the controls are for the Mobile/Tablet client only but are surfaced as regular Xrm.Page.ui control objects and are configurable in the compatible form fields of an entity.
Different controls are available depending on the field or list type. For example, slider controls might only be available for numerical or money fields, and the calendar control is only available for lists. Controls are configured via the form editor.
- This current set of custom controls includes;
There is additionally a control for video embedding, and a nifty calendar control that you can add to give users a view of their activities in a calendar format instead of the more traditional CRM list.
So let’s have a quick look for a high level at some of what is available:
Option Set: Used for visual representations of relatively short option sets. Clearly view selected and other options without entering the field’s edit mode. To change, simply tap on the new value.
Flip Switch: Displays as a traditional two-option field.
Linear Slider: Used for numeric entry, with the exception that the numeric entry from a mobile keyboard is not possible here.
Linear Gauge: Drag values across a preset range or tap ahead to jump to a preconfigured step. Users can also enter data using their mobile keyboard when using this control.
Radial Knob: This is an excellent control for showing numeric values within a circular presentation. Data entry is completed by turning the knob to dial in a value. The range is fully configurable. An excellent addition to a touch interface.
Arc Knob: The arc knob is another great way to track progress visually in the application, this could be applied to the probability of an opportunity or a percentage.
Star Rating: Used to replace the entry of a whole number on a scale of 0 to 5. Simple yet effective way to view a rating. Could be easily applied to lead/opportunity rating and feedback reviews etc.
This control can be used on dashboard, entity list view, or as a sub-grid within another form to enable users to view their appointments or tasks in a familiar format. It could be used to replace the traditional activity list. It is only available for tablet and phone users and can be enabled in the Activities area.
At the time of writing the custom controls available are compatible with the following field types:
Client Side Reference for Custom Controls
You access controls using the following collections:
- Xrm.Page.ui Section.controls
- Xrm.Page.data.entity Attribute.controls
When a form displays a business process flow control in the header, additional controls will be added for each attribute that is displayed in the business process flow. These controls have a unique name similar to the following example: header_process_<attribute name>. For more information on client side references refer to the following MSDN post; https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg334266.aspx
If you don’t currently have the latest version of CRM Online you can get access to all 15 custom controls using a trial instance.
Remember; these Custom Controls are not supported in the CRM web application.
For a full list of enhancements in CRM 2016 Update 1, you can refer to the following TechNet post: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn531078.aspx
Happy CRM’ing. 🙂