This is the second part of a 3 part series. We are discussing some tips and best practices when it comes to configuring Microsoft Dynamics CRM. I would suggest not getting started in Dynamics CRM configuration without being armed with general knowledge of the information discussed in this posting.
First, I would strongly urge you to try to keep much of the Out of the Box components intact. It is always good to have the original forms in place should you ever want to look back or revert to the Out of the Box settings. This being said, I would suggest that you always take a copy of the “Main” form for the entity you are looking to configure. This can easily be done by opening it and clicking “Save As” and give it a new name. Then you can Deactivate the Out of the Box form so it does not appear in the normal view.
When it comes to naming forms, this is usually pretty simple. Name your forms based on a Security Role – who is going to utilize them…or perhaps a specific Business Unit that will make use of it. Or you can also give it a name that makes sense to the end-user of what they might be seeing when looking at said form. There is one little detail to be conscious of, for aesthetics mostly, if you will have one and only one Main form for an Entity, it is wise to name the form to the exact name of the entity. This will actually remove the name of the form from the UI and only display the entity name. It makes for a nice, clean appearance.
Speaking of clean appearance…..making sure fields are lined up on a form is very important for the user perspective. It is not always easy determining when to use multi-column Tabs vs multi-column Sections. One thing to consider is the use of Labels. Whenever you need to have a label above a group of fields, it is wise to use a Section since you can show/hide the label for a Section. In cases where you want fields to line up horizontally across 2 sections, be sure to hide the label on the rightmost section and add a Spacer at the very top. Also, always keep in mind that a 2 column tab and 2 separate sections on a form will not align the fields the same way, so plan accordingly.
One small detail about workflows that many people forget to do is to “Stop” them when relevant. Within the configuration of a workflow, one of the Step options is to “Stop” workflow. You can choose the options of Succeeded or Cancelled. Both values are important and should be utilized when relevant. However, sometimes a workflow can get pinned in an Open state and hold up processing power, based on the way it was designed, if it does not have the Stop clause defined. This can degrade performance over time. Be sure to get in the habit of stopping workflows appropriately.
I would also highly recommend setting your workflows to Delete the job when completed successfully.
You would be surprised at how quickly you can grow your System Jobs table if these are not cleaned out. Keep this is mind as it may also be wise to setup a bulk delete job on old records that have not run successfully.
When making the choice between “Real Time” and “Background” workflows, you should think about the user experience. Real-Time workflows are going to use up resources instantly, thereby causing the user to wait for the workflow to run completely before refreshing the screen and resolving back to normal use. Background processes will utilize an entirely separate set of resources on the Asynchronous server and they will run from a queue, when resources become available. Therefore, if you want something to happen instantly to be presented the user, say for example the population of a field upon creation of a record, this would be a good time to use a Real Time workflow. However, sending an email notification to someone based on a Status Change would not be a good use of the Real Time workflow, as it will take time to do so, causing the user to sit and wait. Make use of the Background Process for these type of purposes.
Stay tuned for part three of this series. If you would like more tips on how to get the most out of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution, contact our experts at RSM.
by RSM, www.dynamicscrmpros.com