In a past post we covered the mechanics of customizing forms within Dynamics 365 CRM. Today I want to share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned as I have created forms.
1. Charts help spot trends.
It can be easier to spot trends or overall usage through charts versus reading the data. In our example we have added a chart showing total cases active and resolved by month they were created. This helps spot trends in how many cases each account has and how many are still being worked on.
To add a chart to a form choose to add a sub-grid and then within the formatting options select to show chart only. This will allow you to select from published charts for the entity.
2. Avoid using too many sub-grids
Although you can add in sub-grids of related entities into a form these can take up a lot of room and add a cluttered feel to your form. Related records can still be accessed by selecting the down arrow next to the entity name that appears in the top black toolbar. In our example below you can see quite a few related entities to choose from; however, this list can be customized so less entities appear.
Use sub-grids only when necessary and train end-users to view related records as described above. This will keep forms looking cleaner. A common sub-grid I’ve seen used on forms is the contact sub-grid within an account so contacts can be added easily through the account form.
3. Quick view forms can be beneficial
I like to use quick view forms when some pieces of information from a related entity would be beneficial. Here is an example of a quick view form for the account added into an opportunity form.
Necessary data, such as phone numbers or primary contacts allow end users to quickly find what they need to work on a record without having to access another record type.
4. Use tabs for navigation
When laying out the design for a form remember that tabs provide a navigation point within a form where a section is added within a tab.
In our example we have five different tabs on our opportunity form and you can navigate directly to that area versus having to scroll down through the whole form.
Use tabs when you have a lot of data to enter, shorter forms with limited fields most likely will not need separate tabs.
5. Use headers
Up to four fields can be placed within the header of a form and these fields remain visible when scrolling. Here is an example of the fields we have visible on an opportunity form.
Headers are not required, but if you have important pieces of information you want to be easily accessible no matter where you are within a form this is a great option.
When customizing forms always think about the overall function of the form. Fields should be placed in the order they are needed or the order they will be entered. Data should be grouped together in ways that are easy to find, read or enter. There is no one right way to set-up a form so take some time and experiment with different placements to see what will work best for your end users and if you need help or run into problems achieving what you want reach out for assistance.
-Jerica Coleman, CRM and Power BI Consultant