Some Useful Enhancements in Microsoft CRM 2015

With the latest update to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM application (first seen in the latest release for CRM Online) there are some useful enhancements that can be utilised out of the box. Some of the highlights noted whilst attending the Partner Boot-camp event are listed below:

Field Level Security is now available for OOB fields with the CRM 2015 update, there are a few fields that are still not available, however this should not affect the bulk of requirements. Previously there was a hack at the database level which could allow administrators to field level security to OOB fields, however this wasn’t available to those deploying online. Thanks to the update however this can be configured in a supported method via the customisations area of CRM.

Business Rules – can now be executed server side in CRM 2015 and there is additional functionality embedded to allow for the use of ‘if’ and ‘else’ conditions. To execute server side you need to add the business rule to run against the ‘entity’ rather than the form. The new functionality allows them to run on the CRM Apps as well as via the Outlook client. Additionally you can set default values and behaviours. Executing a business rule server-side means that imported data or offline sync’d data will be subjected to the rule. Unfortunately you still cannot hide form sections or tabs from a business rule, so you will still need JavaScript to execute these functions.

Business Process Flows – now include rule-based branching and can be used programmatically. This means that you can add up to 30 stages per BPF spanning up to 5 entities (including unrelated entities, for example the floe could move the user from a Case to an Opportunity). You can still have just one active BPF per record but you can switch processes, each stage can include up to 30 steps, there is no functionality for parallel waiting at this point.

Case Routing – Routing Rules and Case Creation Rules can be used to automatically create cases from incoming emails OOB. Conditions are used (as per the advanced find interface) to filter on particular attributes or subject strings. Workflow can still be created to route cases to queues via queue items. This functionality can be found by navigating to; Settings > Service Management.

Calculated & Roll-Up Fields – have been introduced into this version of CRM, this enables the configuration of calculated values and roll-ups without the need for development. Previously roll-ups would have been added via JavaScript or for more complex requirements via a Plug-in. A quick breakdown of what is available is as follows –

Calculated Fields

  • Read Only Fields in the UI
  • Real Time values
  • Can reference other calculated attributes but cannot be not self-referential
  • Not available currently offline
  • Calculated using system account
  • Cannot trigger workflows or be used in SLA calculations

Roll-Up Fields

  • Modified By and Modified on are not updated when a roll-up field changes
  • Formula cannot include records from a N:N relationship
  • Formula can’t reference complex calculated attributes
  • Formula cannot reference another roll-up attribute
  • Can be recalculated manually
  • Is calculated asynchronously
  • Account – Open Revenue and Account – Open Deals supplied OOB
  • Current Max. 10 per entity and 100 per org (Online) and this can be changed per Org, this allocation does not include the two OOB fields.
  • The use of Hierarchies is supported with these fields
  • Cannot trigger workflows or be used in SLA calculations

For more information on what is new in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and getting ready for the release check out the Customer Centre: