Making Sense of How to Set Up Product Attributes in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

By - September 27, 2019

Overview

I do a great deal of training in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and nothing seems to confuse people more than assigning product attributes to products. Usually, I will go into released products and then click on one and then on the Product tab. Then I will go the Set Up group and click on Product attributes. From there, I point out that there is no “New” button, and proceed to tell everyone that in order to assign an attribute to a product; you have to do it through a category. I then warn everyone to pay close attention to the demonstration. In the end, they will understand how it is done, but not necessarily, why it is done that way.
In this blog, we will make it clear as to what you have to do to assign attributes to products. (Let us be clear, we are not talking about batch attributes at all, just product attributes.)

First, we will start with an explanation of what product attributes are. Attributes provide a way to add details about a product through user-defined fields. These are totally independent from product variants that we could set up on a Product master. For example, if you want to store the nutrition information on a food product, you could set up calories, fat, sodium, etc. as attributes. Those attributes can be free text fields, numbers, fractions, or a simple yes/no when defining the field. Another example is a laptop computer where you may want to list all the specifications, such as hard disk size, memory, video card details, etc.

Creating attributes is a relatively is relatively simple. From the screen shot below you can see a few of them, which are called Attribute types. You can see we are adding details of a cabinet finish, which is a text type and it is one of the choices as indicated by the “Fixed list” selection.

Product information management > Setup > Categories and attributes > Attribute types

Next, we have an “attribute,” which is often named the same as the type. These are used to define metadata.

Product information management > Setup > Categories and attributes > Attributes

Finally, we have attribute groups, which will assign one or more attributes to a group. This is usually when you have the same type of item repeated often and all would have the same group of attributes. For example, clothing. For men’s shirts, all could have material, collar style, style collection, fit type, etc. In the screen shot below, you can see an attribute of casual shirts.

Product information management > Setup > Categories and attributes > Attributes

Once we have the attributes set up, we have two ways in which we can assign them to a product. The first way is through the Procurement category. But, you do not go through the Category hierarchy page where it looks like you are assigning the product and the attribute, as shown below. This, does not add the attribute to the released product.

Product information management > Setup > Categories and attributes > Category hierarchies

Here you can see the screen shot immediately after adding the attribute to the category hierarchy from that screen, which results in a blank screen.

Product information management > Products > Released products

In order to add the attribute to the product, you need to go to the category hierarchy itself found in Procurement and sourcing:

Procurement and sourcing > Procurement categories

Now, when you go to the released product, the attribute can be selected:

Product information management > Products > Released products

The other way to assign attributes to a product is through the Retail product hierarchy. Once again, though, you do not go to the category hierarchy setup in Product information management. Instead, you go to the Retail module and select the Retail product category page. However, you cannot add individual attributes because you must first add an attribute group.

Retail > Products and categories > Retail product category

Now, when you open the Released product, you will see all the individual attributes in the group able to be selected.

Product information management > Products > Released products

The Bluetooth attribute was added to the Procurement category, and the group of Laptop included all the others.

The adding of attributes to a product is not intuitive. Hopefully, I have made the process very clear in this article.

Want to learn more about Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations? Visit academy.rsmus.com for eLearning courses and information about our hosted training classes in Denver! Or contact our Microsoft Dynamics experts at RSM (855) 437-7201.

Howard LeCover

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