Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Strange behaviour of the two options(Boolean) field in CRM2013

Last week, I came across a strange behaviour of the two options field in CRM2013. I am not sure if it is a bug or it is by design.


I have a boolean field on an entity. This field is not added to the form. The default value of the field is set to false. When a new record is created in CRM, the integration process copies the record into the external system and updates the boolean field to true in the CRM. This boolean field indicates if the record is copied to the external system or not.

It works perfectly expect in the following scenario.

If the user updates the  record immediately after creating the record without closing the form, CRM will reset the value of the boolean field back to false. According to me, it is a bug. CRM should not pass the un modified fields to the save method.

The following screen shot displays the audit history of the field.



Add the field to the form.

Monday, November 24, 2014

InitializeFromRequest in CRM2013

InitializeFromRequest may be the least used request in the Dynamics CRM. It is available since CRM 4.0. I was talking to some of the guys in my team and most of them have never used this request. It initiates an instance of an entity from an existing entity.

It can be used when there is a 1:N relationship between the entities. It is equivalent of creating a child record from the parent form.

For example there is a 1:N relationship between account and contact. if you create a contact from the contact subgrid from the account form, it will prefill the parentcustomer field and all the fields defined in the relationship mappings.

The following screen shot displays the mappings of 1:N relationship between account and contact.
The same functionality can be achieved using InitializeFromRequest. This request returns a InitializeFromResponse. The request does not create a new record but the response can be used to create a new record.
Here is the code.
    // Create the request object
     InitializeFromRequest initialize = new InitializeFromRequest();

     // Set the properties of the request object
     initialize.TargetEntityName = "contact";

     // Create the EntityMoniker
     initialize.EntityMoniker = new EntityReference("account", new Guid("8A5D8108-DE3B-E311-9401-00155D1B7B00"));
     // fields to initialised from parent entity
     initialize.TargetFieldType = TargetFieldType.All;

     // Execute the request
     InitializeFromResponse initialized =

     if (initialized.Entity != null)
         //get entity from the response
         Entity entity = initialized.Entity;

         // set the name for the contact
         entity.Attributes.Add("firstname", "John");
         entity.Attributes.Add("lastname", "Smith");

         //create a new contact

Happy coding..

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Setup and Deployment guide for ‘Performance Toolkit’ for Dynamics CRM 2011

Performance Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is available on ‘Microsoft Pinpoint’. But the hyperlink for ‘setup and deployment’ guide is not working. It always displays the following message.
service unavailable 

I have found an old copy of the guide. You can download the guide from here.


Friday, December 6, 2013

“Run Report” button on custom entities forms

In CRM2013 the “Run Report” button is missing on custom entities. The button is not available even if you have selected display in the “Forms of the related record types”. The problem is the “Display Rule” named “Mscrm.HideOnCommandBar” associated with the “Run Report” button. It is a default behaviour for custom entities.

There are 2 different ways to display the “Run Report” button on the custom entities.

By adding the "CommandDefinition” to the ribbon definition of the entity.

  1. Create a new solution in CRM, add contact entity to the solution and export the solution.
  2. Open the customization file from the exported solution and look for <RibbonDiffXML> . It will look like the following XML.
  3. <RibbonDiffXml>
      <CustomActions />
        <RibbonTemplates Id="Mscrm.Templates"></RibbonTemplates>
      <CommandDefinitions />
        <TabDisplayRules />
        <DisplayRules />
        <EnableRules />
      <LocLabels />
  4. Replace the highlighted line yellow with the following XML
  5. <CommandDefinition Id="Mscrm.ReportMenu.Form">
          <EnableRule Id="Mscrm.FormStateNotNew" />
          <DisplayRule Id="Mscrm.ReadReport" />
        <Actions />
  6. Save the file and overwrite the Customization file in your exported solution zip file with this file.
  7. Import the solution zip file and publish it. It’s done.

By using  Ribbon Work Bench 2013

Report button can be easily restored using “Ribbon Work Bench 2013”. Check for the step by step instructions.
Note: Make sure in the step 4 of the instructions,  “Form” is selected in the upper right corner as shown in the following screen shot.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Behaviour of the “Add New” button on sub grids in CRM2013

CRM2013 displays the subgrids slightly differently than CRM2011.  The “Add New” button on subgrids behaves in two different ways.


Scenario 1

The following screen shot displays the contact grid on the account form.


The “+” icon represents the “Add New Contact” button. When you click on the button, it pops up the search box as shown in the following screen shot.


On click of the image  button, the system displays the following pop up. You need to click on “+ New” button at the bottom right corner to open a new contact form.


Scenario 2

The following screen display the opportunities grid on the account entity.


On click of the “+” button. the system displays the new opportunity form.


Reason for the behaviour

The difference in the behaviour is  because of “Field Requirement“ property of the lookup field.

In I:N relationship, if the “Field Requirement” property of the look field is “Business Required” then “Add New” button will display a new record form. The following screen shot displays “Field Requirement” of “Business Required” for the “Potential Customer” field in opportunity entity.



And if the “Field Requirement” property of the look field is not “Business Required” then “Add New” button will display search box as discussed in scenario 1. The following screen shot displays “Field Requirement” of “Optional” for the “Company Name” field in contact entity.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

addCustomFilter method for lookup control in CRM2013

In CRM2011, Microsoft introduced a new method “addCustomView” to filter the lookup dialogs.  The process was a bit complicated. You have to create a unique guid, fetchxml, layoutxml and few other things.
In the new release, Dynamics team has introduce a new method addCustomFilter. It makes it very easy to apply filters to the lookup dialog. But there is one gotcha.This method can only be called from a “PreSearch” event handler of the lookup control. This event get triggered as the user is about to view results for the lookup.
We can add and remove the event handler to the PreSearch event using addPreSearch(handler) and removePreSearch(handler) methods.
In this blog, I am going to filter the parent customer lookup on the contact entity based on the city of the contact. Here is the code.


function addEventHandler() {
    // add the event handler for PreSearch Event


function addFilter() {
    //check if the city is not empty
    if (Xrm.Page.getAttribute("address1_city").getValue() != null) {
        var city = Xrm.Page.getAttribute("address1_city").getValue();
        //create a filter xml
        var filter ="<filter type='and'>" +
                     "<condition attribute='address1_city' operator='eq' value='" + city + "'/>" +
        //add filter


I am calling the addEventHandler function on the form load event.
The addEventHandler() function is used to attach the event handler to the PreSearch event of the “parentcustomerid” lookup of contact entity.
The addFilter() function will be called when the PreSearch event is triggered.

Screen Shot

In the screen shot above, the lookup is displaying accounts and  contacts where city is equal to ‘Renton’

Things to remember

addCustomFilter method takes two parameters ‘filter’ and the ‘entityLogicalName’. The entityLogicalName is optional and if this parameter is provided, the filter will only apply to that entity type. Otherwise it will apply to all types of entities returned.

For e.g. customer lookup control display account and contact records. If we don’t provide entityLogicalName  parameter, the filter will apply to both account and contact records and if we provide “account” as a  parameter then filter will only be applied to account records not to contact records.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Client side notifications in CRM2013- Part 2

This is second part of my last blog Client side notifications in CRM2013- Part 1. This blog will explain how to display notifications on form level.

Important points regarding form level notifications

  • You can display multiple notifications on form.
  • The height of the notification area is limited so If you have too many notification then user may have to scroll down to see the rest of notifications.
  • The new notification is added at the top of notification area.
The following 2 methods are available to display and clear the notification on form.
  1. setFormNotification  - Xrm.Page.ui.setFormNotification(message, level, uniqueId);
  2. There are 3 parameters for this method
    • message- The text of the notification
    • level- it decides the icon infront of the message. It can be an “ERROR” or a “WARNING” or a “INFO”
    • unique- It can be any unique text string. it has to be unique as we use this uniqueId to clear the notification
  3. clearFormNotification  - Xrm.Page.ui.clearFormNotification(uniqueId);
  4. There is only one parameter for this method
    • uniqueId – it is same that is used to set the form notification

For this blog I have created two functions. 
  • formNotification1 – This function displays an error notification if the value of  “noofemplyees” attribute is less than 5.
  • formNotification2– This function displays an warning notification if the value of  “address1_postalcode” attribute is not 2150.


function formNotification1()
     //check if the value is greater than 5
    if (Xrm.Page.getAttribute("numberofemployees").getValue() <= 5) {

         //set the notification with an error icon
         Xrm.Page.ui.setFormNotification("Employees number should be more than 5", "ERROR", "noofemployees");
       //clear the notification

function formNotification2()
     //check if the postal code is not 2150
    if (Xrm.Page.getAttribute("address1_postalcode").getValue() != "2150") {

         //set the notification with a warning icon
         Xrm.Page.ui.setFormNotification("Account is not located in Parramatta", "WARNING", "postcode");
       //clear the notification



setNotication VS setFormNotification

setNotification setFormNotification
set notification on the control set notification on the form
can create just one notification per control can create multiple notification on the form
only supports error notifications supports error, warning and info notifcations
can’t save the form without clearing the notification can save the form with the notifications

If you are interested in creating a similar functionality in CRM2011, check one of my old blog How to display a warning message on the CRM form. It looks like Microsoft has copied our idea.