The Quick View was introduced in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and addresses design issues that had existed regarding related entities and field copying, although there are still scenarios where the correct design approach involves duplicate fields and data copying. Before Dynamics CRM 2013, if there was a need to display the same set of fields when viewing different entities, there was no real alternative to creating a duplicate set of fields on each entity involved. By defining appropriate relationships and mapping the fields in the relationship, these values would automatically be copied from entity to entity as new records were created.
This approach, however, adds complexity to the solution when the fields had to be kept synchronized after creation. Some degree of customization (whether plugin or custom workflow activity) is needed to propagate changes to all related records. In addition, this repetition of data fields violates good design principles, particularly if the fields can be updated from more than one entity type. The Quick View addresses the design issues and, in doing so, eliminates the data synchronization concerns. When a Quick View is added to an associated entity, the desired fields are made readily accessible, but in a read-only mode. Any changes to the fields still have to be performed by navigating to the primary entity.
There are still valid cases for which duplicated fields and data copying are still valid and proper design choices with Dynamics CRM. One of the key factors relates to when and where the field data is permitted or expected to change. When a related record needs to retain information about the field values at a point in time, then it is necessary to break that link between the values on the source record and the related record. For example, a record of a service provided to a client may include the standard service rate. Since that rate may change over time, it would be appropriate to copy the value to the new record rather than including the rate within a Quick View representing the service.
Entity design in Dynamics CRM requires the same level of care that would be employed if explicitly designing the underlying database schema. A thorough understanding of the business use of the fields, entities and associated processes will help ensure that the correct decisions are made and the Dynamics CRM platform is as clean and efficient as possible.
If you are considering any customizations to your Dynamics CRM system, we can help. Our Dynamics CRM specialists have implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions from the basic “out of the box” model to a complex architecture featuring automation, dashboards, system integration and custom development. Our Certified Microsoft Professionals average fifteen years of experience. To learn more about how we can help you, contact our professionals at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 855.437.7202.
By: Tim Resch – Great Lakes Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner