General Interest

[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0]

Tricks and tips from people who use Microsoft Dynamics CRM

This place is for the community to share best practices and tips about using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The information on this page is provided from users to users. If you are looking for help and don't find what you need here, see Related Links for links to other helpful resources, such as the Community and Team Blog.

The solutions suggested here have not been tested or verified by Microsoft, and may be unsupported. For more information, see Terms of Use.

On This Page

Adding tooltips to fields on forms

More Than 8 Tabs on a Microsoft CRM Form

Create Scenarios

Sorting on more than 1 column in a view

Choose the Entity, then Create the Activity

Creating Attribute Best Practice

LINQ to Dynamics CRM

Dynamics CRM instant messaging

Running CRM from a Web browser

Microsoft CRM 4.0 SSRS 2008 Integration

CRM Desktop Shortcuts

Use Read-Only Fields on Workflows

Debugging Plug-ins

Set an Alarm for a Scheduled Activity

Store your Scripts in Visual Studio

Use a Dashboard

OnLoad Script DueDate_DurationNull

Activate Language Pack

Using Outlook Favorites for Fast Access to CRM (video demo)

Improve Outlook Experience with CRM

Error occurred during Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality

Keyboard shortcut to Form Assistant

Count your leads and other records

Change the Regarding on a history e-mail

Tricks and tips from people who use Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Save as Completed � quicker than closing activities categories

Multiple windows

Adding tooltips to fields on forms

From: Marcello Tonarelli in Florence, Italy

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Deploy

Tooltips are little help messages explaning a field or label (if you hover over a label you will notice a tooltip), I had a requirenment for adding a tooltip to a custom field with some custom help text. After some digging through i found out the correct JScript property and method: crmForm.all.my_custom_attribute_c.title = "Add a value here and it should get automatically populated..";

More Than 8 Tabs on a Microsoft CRM Form

From: Marcrello Tonarelli in Florence, Italy

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Categories: Customize

In: C:\Program Files\Microsoft CRM Server\CRMWeb\Tools\FormEditor find your formeditor.aspx and select edit. Find the JavaScript variable _iMaxTabs and notice that it is set to 8. Change the value to your desired limitation, save and close, reset IIS and you should then be able to create the additional tabs needed from within the forms customization area.

Create Scenarios

From: The CRM Lady in Norwich, CT

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Deploy

Learning Dynamics CRM? Mastering how it fits to your organization? Create small 1 paragraph scenarios based on staff roles and then use these to work through the system or to prepare training exercises.

Sorting on more than 1 column in a view

From: Nelson in Toronto

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Other

Just hold down the SHIFT key and click the column heading and you can sort on multiple columns.

Choose the Entity, then Create the Activity

From: The CRM Lady in Norwich, CT

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Sales

Choose the entity, then create the activity. For Example: When you select a contact and then create a phone call activity the phone number from the contact will auto-populate in the activity.

Creating Attribute Best Practice

From: The CRM Lady in Norwich, CT

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Customize

When creating attributes that might map to other attributes within Dynamics CRM make sure that the type and length are the same. This also applies to importing data - Matching Field types and length makes the entire process more efficient.

LINQ to Dynamics CRM

From: Amanda Mattson in Lexington, MA

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Developer Documentation

XrmLinq - LINQ to Dynamics CRM A lightweight library allowing you to query data in crm using linq. There is an entity mapper that generate c# and vb.net code. Take a look http://www.xrmlinq.com

Dynamics CRM instant messaging

From: edwardsdna in Wilmington

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Other

Are you having trouble contacting a customer to arrange a meeting, respond to a service request, or obtain some critical information to move forward on a request? You've probably tried Phone Calls, and E-mail with little to no success. Here is another trick that you can pull from your hat if you have Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 installed. Of course, whenever using this or other methods of communication with your Customer and Vendor base, you will always want to follow your company's communication guidelines and business protocol. Read more about CRM Instant Messaging http://edwardsdnadynamicscrm.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!D5F22FDCDD6519D5!483.entry

Running CRM from a Web browser

From: Chris - Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Self-Help and Troubleshooting

Complaint: If you have run MS CRM ver 4.0 from a web browser, you may have noticed that CRM will open in the first of any existing web sessions you have already running. For example, it could be anything from a page in an intranet or something from Google. Solution: Open Internet Explorer. Select Tools from the menu bar. Click Internet Options. Click the Advanced tab. Uncheck Reuse Windows For Launching Shortcuts (under Browsing). Click OK. http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-22_11-5222050.html

Microsoft CRM 4.0 SSRS 2008 Integration

From: Brenden in San Diego

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Configure, Customize, Deploy, Reporting, Developer Documentation

I have created a blog posting on Microsoft CRM 4.0 SSRS 2008 Integration. Get the full scoop here http://extremecrm.net/2009/03/17/microsoft-crm-40-ssrs-2008-integration/

CRM Desktop Shortcuts

From: Peledie in Bristol

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Configure

A recent request prompted a quick solution. To create a shortcut to a CRM entity like New Case or New Lead: This example will create a new Case Form Shortcut 1. Navigate to Services then Cases and choose 'New' 2. If the URL is not visible, click Ctrl+N and the following screen will pop up: Copy the URL 3. Right click on your desktop and choose New then Shortcut. 4. Paste the URL into the box click next and give the shortcut a meaningful name. You can do this for any entity and is useful if you have an entity you regularly need to get to in a hurry.

Use Read-Only Fields on Workflows

From: Gibran in DR

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Customize

Sometimes you may want to automatically update a field through a workflow, but don't want this field to be modified by the user. If a field is read-only you will find it is not possible to assign values to it on a workflow. To work around it, follow these steps: 1-Uncheck the "field is read only" option on Settings>Customization>(Entity)>Attributes 2-Access the workflow and add the properties you need on the field. 3- Go back and set the field to read-only once again.

Debugging Plug-ins

From: Anonymous in Vadodara

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Developer Documentation

If you want to debug a plug-in (callout untill Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4), or a custom workflow designed in Workflow Foundation of .NET 3, on the Visual Studio Debug menu, click Attach to Process, and then IExplore Process. After you have done this, you can debug the assemblies you have written for plug-ins or custom workflows.

Set an Alarm for a Scheduled Activity

From: Crystal in Redmond

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Marketing

If you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook and synchronize with tasks, phone calls, letters, and faxes you can get pop-up reminders from Outlook for "free!" When these activities are synced with CRM, you get 15 minute reminders. The reminder can't be changed, but you get them. There's an article in the Resource Center that explains in more detail. Manage your time and activities with help from reminders

Store your Scripts in Visual Studio

From: Paul McQ in London

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Customize

Make sure you have a copy of all your onLoad or onChange scripts in Microsoft Visual Studio in a 'Form Scripting' project. This allows you to have all your scripts in a single place for Backup, Version Control and Future Reference.

Use a Dashboard

From: Paul McQuillan in London

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Customize

Often users will want to avoid screen-clicking through multiple screens to reach the data they require. A one-stop-shop dashboard that lists all the crucial day to day data in a 'home' page format can be incredibly useful in boasting User Adoption, which is crucial to the success of a CRM project. Make sure your dashboard can be built quickly and simply without code, and you can keep this flexible enough to respond to your users' needs - consider using SharePoint 2007 and Dundas Visualization Web Parts.

OnLoad Script DueDate_DurationNull

From: CRM Neal & Associates Business Consultants, Inc. in Phoenix

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Configure, Customize, Other

Use the following script shell when wanting to have the due date be set for current date. Found this helpful for logging phone calls, and tasks that were completed right away. When you open activity is populates today's date/time and then you can just fill in notes and select save and complete. info@nealabc.com var

CRM_FORM_TYPE_CREATE = 1; var CRM_FORM_TYPE_UPDATE = 2; switch (crmForm.FormType) { case CRM_FORM_TYPE_CREATE:

crmForm.all.actualdurationminutes.DataValue = null;

crmForm.all.scheduledend.DataValue = new Date(); break; case

CRM_FORM_TYPE_UPDATE: // do nothing break; }

Activate Language Pack

From: Erik in Best, Netherlands

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Configure, Deploy

After installing the language pack, you need to activate the language for the environment you want to use them in. This can be done via System Settings -> Languages.

Using Outlook Favorites for Fast Access to CRM (video demo)

From: Doctor Noe, Raleigh

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook

Category: Sales

In my top 10 blog for CRM improvements, one of the tips is to use the Outlook shortcuts to get to all of your CRM folders quickly. Here's a quick video demo that shows you how to do it. View article... http://www.bizitpro.com/Samples/MSCRM-Outlook-Shortcuts/MSCRM-Outlook-Shortcuts.html

Improve Outlook Experience with CRM

From: Tom Frankenfield in National

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook

Categories: Self-Help and Troubleshooting

Change the Synchronization Settings on the Client in Outlook http://blogs.msdn.com/crm/archive/2007/08/08/improve-outlook-experience-with-crm.aspx

Error occurred during Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality

From: Michael in Stuttgart, Germany

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook

Categories: Self-Help and Troubleshooting

Outlook add-in problems after 3.0 upgrade to CRM 4.0: After wasting a lot of time i have tried the solution from SonomaPartners. http://blog.sonomapartners.com/2008/01/outlook-add-in.html It was very simple, only renaming the file "outcmd.dat" to "outcmd.datold" eliminated the problem.

Keyboard shortcut to Form Assistant

From: Byron and Warren in Johannesburg, South Africa

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Categories: Self-Help and Troubleshooting

When you've opened up an Activity/Opportunity, for example, and you need to quickly open up the Form Assistant pane on the right-hand side of the window pane, press the following keys to activate it: Ctrl + Shift + F. That's sure to save you a split second or two.

Count your leads and other records

From: Irene in Redmond

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Sales

Need an easy way to count your leads or other type of records?

  1. In any view, click Export Data to Excel, select Static worksheet with records from all pages in the current view, and then click Export.
  2. In the File Download dialog box, click Open.
  3. Look at the line number of the last line that contains data in the Excel file.

Change the Regarding on a history e-mail

From: Adrian in Sydney, Australia

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Categories: Self-Help and Troubleshooting

Tricks and tips from people who use Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  1. Go into the Opportunity (case, whatever) and delete the email from the history within CRM.
  2. Go back to Outlook, highlight the email (do not open) and then press Track in CRM. CRM will say that the email is already being tracked in CRM and would you like to make another copy. Select Yes.
  3. When you double-click the email you will notice that the regarding field is cleared and you can now re-associate it to the correct Opportunity etc.

Save as Completed � quicker than closing activities categories

From: MSCRM User in Bristol, UK

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Categories: Self-Help and Troubleshooting

Especially useful for creating an activity that you've already completed - like a phone call you didn't plan for: There is no need to create, save, close, and then save an activity again. Just start a new one, and then go to the file menu and select Save as Completed.

Multiple windows

From: The CRM Lady in Norwich, UK

Version: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Category: Sales

Did you know you can open multiple windows running different parts of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, all at the same time? This multi-tasking feature is not often found in other CRM systems.

Related Links