Add Custom Controls in CRM Online

System Administrators can add Custom Controls in MS Dynamics CRM Online with Update 1 for 2016. There a 15 new controls available to use for the CRM Phone and Tablet App.

In my previous post I talked briefly about the ability to add Custom Controls for use with the MS Dynamics CRM Phone and Tablet app’. In this post I will quickly show you how to locate and use these controls.

Before we get started, if you are working in solutions, you may want to create a new one, if so navigate to; Settings > Solutions > and click “New” to add a solution in CRM. Then add the Lead entity as used in this example (or the entity you wish to work with).

Please Note: With CRM 2016 you will need to select the assets to include in your solution, you can choose to “include all assets” if you wish to.

To add a custom control for an option set in the Lead form, please use the following navigation steps;

  1. Navigate to the lead entity in your solution (see above).
  2. Open the main “Lead” form, or alternatively navigate to the field list associated to the entity.
  3. Double-click the field or list you want to add the controls to; in this example we have used the “Preferred” field (preferredcontactmethodcode).

    Leadform1

  4. Click the Controls tab, then Add Control.

    leadfiedlproperties.jpg

  5. Select the control you want to use, (in this example – option set) and then click Add.

    leadoscontrols.jpg

    Please Note: Different controls are available depending on the field or list type. For example, slider controls might only be available for numerical or money fields.

  6. Select the devices you want the control to appear on (i.e. phone, tablet or both), then click “OK”. Alternatively you can choose to “Cancel” the configuration changes.

    leadaddcontrols.jpg

    Please Note: Controls are not available for the phone header at this time. There may be additional steps to configure values based on the type of control.

  7. Save the form and click Publish.
  8. You should now be able to check your changes in the CRM Mobile App.  Sign in to the app on your device , there should be a notification when you connect to your organisation, (like the one below). Then click Download.

    synccontrols

Navigate to a lead record and you should see the field displayed using the new custom control selected as per the example from the mobile app’ below.

leadcontrolsmob

Mobile Custom Controls in CRM Online

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.

crmapp

Custom Controls as viewed in the Opportunity form

  • This current set of custom controls includes;

Linear Slider
Liner Gauge
Number Input
Radial Knob
Arc Knob
Flip Switch
Option Set
Star Rating
Website Preview

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 Controls

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. Slider

Flip Switch: Displays as a traditional two-option field.
flipswitch

Numerical Input

Linear Slider: Used for numeric entry, with the exception that the numeric entry from a mobile keyboard is not possible here.

Slider

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.

gauge.jpg

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.

radial.jpg

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.

arc.jpg

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.

rating.jpg

Calendar Control

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.

Control Compatibility

At the time of writing the custom controls available are compatible with the following field types:

customcontrolstable

Client Side Reference for Custom Controls

You access controls using the following collections:

  • Xrm.Page.ui.controls
  • 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. 🙂

 

In-form Analytics in Dynamics CRM 2015

Due to the updates included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 it is even easier to provide contextual data insights from within records, such as accounts and contacts based on their related records. Through some simple, yet effective configuration you can provide users with an up-to-date tailored overview of your organisations’ interactions with clients or potential customers .

In this example I will configure the Account form in CRM to display Sales Pipeline and Order data using the following functionality:

  • Roll-up Fields
  • Sub-grids
  • Charts

Prior to customising your entity form you will need to identify what content you are looking to deliver within the form and makes sure the entity relationships are in place.

Please Note: The amount of calculated data which is rendered on load for your CRM records can affect performance in the application, you will want to test the load time for your customisations to be sure it won’t impact on the overall user experience.

Step 1 – Create Roll-up fields in CRM

Roll-up fields in CRM are a new feature introduced in 2015, they enable administrators to add calculated data fields to forms without the need for development. We can use this functionality to obtain data from Opportunities associated with an Account.

Firstly, navigate to Settings > Solutions in CRM and select your solution, navigate to the Account entity and open the Account form you are going to be working with.

Once in the account form select the Insert tab at the top of the page and click to add a new Tab. Give your new tab a name, (in this case I have called mine “Sales Data” and formatted as two columns) and click OK. There are some additional fields that have been added to CRM 2015 out of the box; “Open Revenue” and “Open Deals” which you will find in  the field explorer. For this example I am going to add both to my newly created tab in a section.

Add_Opp_Fields

You can open the field properties to view the roll-up calculation applied to each of these fields. In the field details you can see that the field type is set to “Rollup”, by clicking edit you will see the current aggregation and filters in use, those for the “Open Revenue” field are in the image below. The “Open Deals” field is a rollup that uses a count of open opportunities.

Rollup_Opp_Filter

Further to these fields I am going to add one for the “Closed Revenue Sum” and “Lost Revenue Sum” using the following steps; New Field > Currency Field > Field Type = “Rollup” > Edit.

For the Sum of Closed Revenue or Closed Revenue (Sum) field I have used the following rollup query;

Source: Account
Use Hierarchy: Yes
Relationship: account_parent_account
Related Entity: Opportunities (Potential Customer)
Filters: If Status Reason equals “Won”
Aggregation: SUM of Actual Revenue

For the Lost Revenue (Sum) field I have used the following rollup query;

Source: Account
Use Hierarchy: Yes
Relationship: account_parent_account
Related Entity: Opportunities (Potential Customer)
Filters: If Status Reason equals “Cancelled, Out-Sold”
Aggregation: SUM of Est.Revenue

Place your new fields on the form in the desired order and save your changes.

Step 2 – Add Charts to the Form

Next I am going to use the sub-grid functionality to add charts to the account form. This is a useful trick that can deliver some great results with very little fuss. The key is to make sure you are using the right view for the Chart for the sub-grid.

Insert a new section in the tab created in step one and then click to insert a new “Sub-Grid”, in the Set Properties window select “Only Related Records”, the entity to “Opportunities (Potential Customer)” and the default view to as required, for this example I am going to use “Open Opportunities”. Then scroll to “Chart Options” at the bottom of the window and select the “Default Chart”, (I have used the “Sales Pipeline” chart), then select “Show Chart Only”. Finally click “Set”.

Chart_Opp_Filter

Repeat the steps for the charts that you require, I created a custom view called “All Opportunities” and used this as a filter criteria for the “Deals Won vs. Deals Lost” chart. Adjust your chart formatting until you are happy with the layout and click save.

Step 3 – Add Sub-Grids

For this example I have moved the “Recent Opportunities” sub-grid to my newly created tab in its own section. If you are surfacing related data be sure to check the box for “Only Related Records”, you can also create specific views to use for your sub-grids.

Step 4 – Complete Your Configuration & Test

Finally, choose the appropriate formatting and layout to maximise the number of components added to your tab and set if the tab should be expanded by default or not, (collapsing the tab by default means that the data will only load when it is expanded rather than each time the form loads). Once you are happy hit “Save” and “Publish” your form.

Account_Opp_Tab

And there you go – easy, no fuss analytics that are filtered to the current record. The results for my example are displayed above, the key to this configuration is data – the more you have the better the results. You can also use JavaScript to hide or show the tab depending on parameters, such as customer type etc.

This is just a quick example of what can be done and hopefully has given you food for thought. Happy CRM’ing folks.

Add some style to your CRM Solution with icons from Metro Studio

If, like me you are borderline OCD with your CRM solutions (not just the functionality but the user experience) then you probably pay an unhealthy amount of attention to the icons you include, well fear not fellow obsessives – Metro Studio by the guys at SyncFusion can help reduce the anxiety. 🙂

If you haven’t already used Metro Studio, it is a great free tool that allows you to access a collection of over 4,000  icon templates that can be easily customised within a nifty UX and exported for use in your CRM solutions or App’s. You can download the latest version (Metro Studio v3) here: http://www.syncfusion.com/downloads/metrostudio

The simple drag and drop interface allows you to quickly navigate or search through the icon library and add selected items to a project folder. The icons fit perfectly within the Dynamics CRM or Windows 8/8.1 application look an feel.

Metro_1

Once you have opened or created your project then you can manipulate the size, colour, padding and background to you icon then export to a folder directory in the format of your choice. You can then add the icons as a Web Resource in your CRM solution, (for more information on web resources see this MSDN article: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg309473.aspx). Enjoy!

Metro_3