Category Archives for "CRM 4.0"

Refreshing a CRM View

In case you didn’t know, there is a refresh button built into the display of each and every View within CRM.

If you look in the upper-right corner of the View, you’ll see two circular-green arrows:


Clicking this button will refresh the contents of the grid.

There is one caveat, however: If you have altered the layout of the grid using the Grid Designer, the changes will not be reflected in the active View layout.

For that to take effect, you must refresh your page using F5.

Using Advanced Find to quickly navigate to a specific entity

As you may know, when you create an entity within CRM you specify which areas the entity is display in, using the following settings on the Entity Information screen:


One of the final CRM customization tasks that needs to be performed is user-interface verification. This requires you open the data entry form for each of Entity and verify the field placement, navigation, and other items that have been customized as specified by your requirements.

This can be a very time consuming process, especially if you have many interrelated Entities that do not appear on the main CRM SiteMap.

For example: You add a custom Entity related to Contact called Payroll. It also has a related Entity called Payroll items. So, to view the Payroll Items form live, you would need to open a Contact, add or edit a Payroll record, then add a Payroll Item record.

As you can see, this can be a very time consuming process. So instead of trying to find the entity visually, just open the Advanced FInd dialog and select your entity from the Look for list:


Use a basic criteria such as Status Equals Active then click the Results button:


This will bring up a list of records for that Entity. If no records were returned, just click the New button to create one.

I learned this little trick from Frank Grimberg at Prosoft System Intl while working on project together and it’s so simple, I wonder why it didn’t occur to me before.

2 Using CRM workflow to detect company email addresses within contacts


In case you didn’t know, it is a very bad practice to allow users to create contacts for employees of your company, using their company email address.

It causes resolution issues when CRM attempts to automatically associate an inbound email with a person within CRM.

If you have a CRM User with and a contact with, which one should it assign email ownership to?

The answer is: neither.

It also doesn’t inform you that an issue exists unless you happen to open, where you will find something that looks like this:


The “big red question mark” as I call it, indicates that CRM can’t determine what record to associate the email with.

So, to prevent this process, we’re going to create a workflow within CRM to notify the owner of the Contact as well as the system administrator that such a record has been created.

Here’s how:


Step by Step

1) Select Settings, Processes.

2) Click the New button.

3) Enter the Process name, Entity, and Category, as shown below:


Tip: I always preface the names of my workflows with the subject or process area that the workflows fit into. When the process list is sorted by Process Name, it groups similar processes together.

4) Click the OK button.

5) Change your Scope to Organization.

6) Set the Start when to Record is created and Record fields change.

7) Click the Select button to select the fields you wish to monitor for changes.

8) Select the E-mail field:


9) Click the Add Step button, then select Check Condition


10) Click the link: <condition> (click to configure)

11) Enter the following criteria:


In the edit box, enter the domain name you wish to check against.

12) Click the Save and Close button to return to the main workflow dialog.

13) Click the rows that states: select this row and click Add Step.

14) Click the Add Step button.

15) Click the Send Email step

16) Click the Set Properties button

17) Complete the email properties so that the email looks something like this:


Note: The fields in yellow are dynamic values which will be replaced with values from the Contact entity when the workflow is actually executed.

18) Press the Save and Close button.

19) Assuming no further changes need to be made, we can now activate our workflow process by clicking the Activate button.

Note: CRM 4.0 uses the term Publish for exactly the same procedure.

20)  Click OK when prompted with the following dialog:


Your workflow is now active.


Test the Workflow

To test the workflow, you will need to do the following:


1) Create a new Contact and insert a real or fake email address that ends with your company’s domain name.  Like this:


2) You may monitor the progress of your workflow by clicking the Workflows navigation link:


3) Wait for the workflow displays a status of completed:


Tip: If you didn’t know, at the top-right-corner of every CRM view is a small icon with two green arrows:


Clicking this icon will cause the view to refresh.


4) Once the Status Reason field changes to Succeeded, we can go and check our work.

5) Click on the Closed Activities navigation link and you should see our email:


6) Open the email and you will see our Dynamic Data fields have been replaced by values associated with the Contact in question:




So that is about it. Today I’ve shown you one method that can be implemented to prevent company email addresses from being entered as contacts.

Ideally, you would want a process that would prompt the user when they are creating or updating the record, but that would require creating a “plugin” that is installed to watch the Contact email addresses. That is really a lot of work and something that requires a developer.