Lately, I’ve found it increasingly rare that I take the time to read the instruction manual before jumping into something technical. However, being that I am a CRM Consultant who tries to be on the bleeding edge of customizations and configurations I felt it was high time that I sit down and read some of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 user guide. What I found is that Microsoft has added several features that I used to have to code for when clients asked for these functions. Specifically, I feel the need to highlight two of these features: access teams and customizable tooltips.
As per Microsoft’s definition an access team “doesn’t own records and doesn’t have security roles assigned to the team. The team members have privileges defined by their individual security roles and by roles from the teams in which they are members. The records are shared with an access team and the team is granted access rights on the records, such as Read, Write, or Append.” The main reason I’ve found that clients want this type of team is to have a more temporary or loose connection between a record and a team. In Dynamics CRM 2011, I had to leverage the SDK and Visual Studio to provide the team access to the record using the principalobjectaccess table. This involved around 200 lines of code, some of which can be chalked up to personal tailoring. Seeing that this is now out of the box I should be able to implement this type of functionality far quicker without adding extra complexity, which is a definite plus!
Customizable tooltips have been an item that I’ve provided to a few clients since the Dynamics CRM 4.0 days. When clients asked why the description block of the field wasn’t used for the tooltip text out of the box I didn’t have a good answer for them. The solution would involve either accessing the metadata to get the description text using custom code or storing the tooltip values in an xml resource added to the form. Either of these solutions would involve around a half day’s work to implement. Now that Microsoft has implemented this functionality in Dynamics CRM 2013, these tooltips can be edited on the fly without the need of a consultant within minutes.
To conclude, Microsoft has definitely stepped up their game with Dynamics CRM 2013. In addition to the obvious user-interface (UI) improvements, they have shown an impressive attention to detail by knocking out these little issues that users have nagged about since Dynamics CRM 4.0. One could look at Microsoft’s progress and say developers will soon be a thing of the past. I like to think of it that Microsoft is freeing developers up so that they can come up with exciting new custom solutions for clients. If you have any questions regarding the customization framework of Dynamics CRM 2013, feel free to leave a response on the blog or email me at Brendon.email@example.com.
By: Brendon Colburn – Virginia Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner