Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 – Activity Sub-grids only display regarded records

By - October 21, 2011

As promised, we will continue to post articles of known issues with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and this is a good one. This is provided by one of my talented colleagues out of our Minneapolis Microsoft Dynamics CRM office, though we continue to run into this with many of our Dynamics CRM implementations.

For any entity that utilizes activities (i.e. Contact, Account, and Lead records) if the user clicks on the Activities link in the left nav pane, the views are filtered to include activity records that have been Regarded to the Contact/Account/Lead, OR where the Contact/Account/Lead is an activity party (e.g. Sender or Recipient of a fax/letter, Required or Optional in an appointment, etc.). However, the filtered/associated view isn’t available using a sub-grid. Activity sub-grids will only display activities that have been Regarded to the Contact/Account/Lead. Examples include:

  • If a Phone Call activity lists the Contact in the Recipient field, but the Regarding field is blank or the activity has been regarded to some other record, you will not see that activity in the Contact’s activity sub-grid.
  • “Related ‘Regarding’ Records” filtering isn’t functional in the Activities sub-grid. For example, a Contact has an Opportunity, and a Task is added/regarded to that Opportunity. That Task rolls up to be displayed in the Contact’s Activities (left navigational pane), as long as the filter is set to include Related ‘Regarding’ Records. However, the sub-grid doesn’t have this Related ‘Regarding’ Records capability, so those activities won’t be seen in the sub-grid.
  • This sort of neuters the ability for users to just being able to click “track” from Outlook and having the e-mails automatically associate with the records (without having to click set regarding). This really hurts when sending e-mails to multiple recipients using Outlook.
  • When you distribute Campaign Activities, these will not show up because the campaign activity is regarding the campaign. The contact, account, etc. is just an activity party on a Campaign Activity.

This can be very confusing to users, who may see a dozen activities by clicking on the Activities link in the left navigational pane, but only see the 3 Regarded records when they look at the Activities sub-grid.

Resolution: Microsoft is aware of this issue, and provided this response:

  • This is a key understood limitation of subgrids. The way that rollup is done makes it difficult implement generically and we were not able to get it working for CRM 2011. But fully understand the functional gap this leaves.
  • We are considering this functionality for a future release of CRM.

Until Microsoft adds the functionality to Activity sub-grids, you may want to consider removing the sub-grids, or doing extensive training for end users if they insist on keeping the sub-grid, so that they’re aware of what they will/won’t be seeing in the sub-grid.

Decent Workaround: We have modified CRM 4 Javascript for displaying associated views to be compatible with CRM 2011. You can find a description of this customization and the javascript in a companion post Dynamics CRM 2011 Javascript to display associated activity views.

By: Bill Caldwell – National Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

Follow Bill on Google+

Bill Caldwell is a director and lead Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultant in the Denver, Colorado practice.  Bill is a certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultant and specializes in customizations, reports, customized queries and integrations.  Bill is an active member of the Dynamics community since joining RSM in 2007.  Bill is also experienced with the Microsoft development suites, which includes SQL Server, Visual Studio.Net and SQL Server Reporting Services.  Prior to this, Bill spent five years working in industry as an accountant and financial analyst. Contact Information: Email: Phone: 303.298.6465 Follow Bill on Google+

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