CRM 2011 Features -Part II

From developer’s perspective, CRM 2011 has a lot of new features to offer. In this post we take a peep into the below listed concepts,
– Customization of forms
– Filtered lookup
– Field level security

Customizations can be done in the Settings area. And as stated in earlier post, a form of an entity can be customized right within the entity itself.
One of the exciting new features in CRM 2011 is the ability of having different forms for different user roles. There are two forms (named as Information) by default one for main form and one for mobile.

Attributes are renamed to Fields. Lookup is added as a type of field. In earlier version, we needed to create a relationship first for a lookup to be created. But now we can just select the type of the field as Lookup’ and the system creates the relationship between the target entity and respective entity.

Option Set (picklist) types of fields now can be used globally at the organization level. Fields are declared at entity level. But sometimes we may need fields where the picklist items should be same in two different entities. CRM 2011 provides this feature ,we can simply select Use Existing Option Set’ and select from the existing list.

Sub-Grid Feature:
The other exciting feature is the addition of Sub-Grid’ directly to the form. This provides the user, the ability to view or create or modify the related entity directly from this form.

When sub-grid is selected in a form, ribbon adds another menu List Tools’, which gives an option of adding/modifying the related entity right inside the form. Indexing feature too can be used in the sub-grids along with search option. Charts of related entity too can be shown in the sub-grid or to be simple, we can just show a related entity view in other entity.

Filtered Lookup:
The most sought after feature, for which CRM developers were awaiting — the filtered lookup. CRM 2011 gives an option of choosing if we want a filtered lookup or not.
For example the account entity has Primary Contact’ lookup field which displays all the active contacts existing in the organization. If we were to show just the contact records of the current account in the lookup, we were to write custom code or use a third party tool. But now, this option is inbuilt in CRM 2011. In the Account form customization, we can set filtering criterion for the records in the below image, we chose to show the Contact records only if their parent customer is a current account.
Along with filtering, views too are now shown which can be used to filter the records based on requirement.

There is also an option”Allow users to turn off filter” which turns of the filter and shows all the records irrespective of any filter condition for that user.

Field level security:
CRM 2011 provides a facility of deciding if a user can modify/add a value to a field. This feature is limited to the custom fields only.
While creating a field, we come across an option Field Security’ enabling this option gives a facility for us to set permissions for this field.

In customizations section, under Field Security Profiles’ we can find all the fields that can be set to have security based on roles/users.

When a user does not have the required permissions to see certain fields, fields are disabled, and the field values are encrypted as shown in the following image.

CRM 2011 has a lot more to offer to developer community in terms of processes, solutions etc…, we will look further deep into these in next posts.

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