How to Customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Each organization works in a unique manner and must customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM to suit their business. While some organizations have instituted clearly defined business processes applied through Microsoft Dynamics CRM, many others are unhappy with their existing business processes and are now using CRM to help them apply new data and processes to improve their business. Regardless of the situation, CRM offers many customization capabilities to suit your organization.

How to Customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Required Privileges for Customization

While people can customize the system and even share their personalization with others, only users with the right privileges are able to apply changes for others using Dynamics CRM 2013 and Dynamics CRM online.
For instance, nearly every individual who customizes Dynamics CRM has the System Customizer and System Administrator security role associated with his or her respective CRM account.

You need the security roles to get the permissions necessary to customize CRM deployment. Every organization will have a default solution with unique properties and this can be accessed via Settings >> Customizations>>Customize the System. In the default solution, you will find all your organization’s solution components.

1. Creating and Editing Metadata

Dynamics CRM 2013 and Dynamics CRM Online application is metadata driven. Metadata is simply “data about data.” Dynamics CRM provides you with a flexible platform to help you carry out your CRM deployment, as it has become relatively easy to edit data definitions for use in the deployment. The metadata in Dynamics CRM is simply a collection of entities, which describe the types of data kept in the database.

In addition, each entity corresponds to a specific database table and each attribute or field within an entity is representing a column in that particular table. Entity metadata controls what records you may create, as well as actions performed on them. A developer can use only the entity metadata and the CRM web services to write code that will perform actions with data on the CRM organization. You can edit this metadata using customization tools to effectively create and edit fields, entities, and entity relationships.

2. Creating New Metadata or Using Existing Metadata

Dynamics CRM comes equipped with numerous system entities to support core CRM functionalities or capabilities. For instance, data about your potential or existing customers should be kept using the Account/ Contact entities. But information about potential sales opportunities (prospects) should be stored in the Lead entity. The Opportunity entity, on the other hand, should be used for tracking potential revenues generating activities.

3. Customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM for tablets

Dynamics CRM for tables is built on a number of principles, and one such principle is “design once, deploy everywhere.” Customize the application to suit your requirements and you will find them in any client you choose to use when accessing relevant data. In fact, you will realize there is no specific place where you can customize only the CRM for tablets clients, as the CRM for tablets client can adapt to the various changes you effect on other customizable sections of the application

4. Creating and Editing Processes

One of the main reasons anyone would use Dynamics CRM is to define and enforce consistent business processes, which are simply a group of features used in defining and enforcing business processes for an organization. Consistent processes ensure that users of the system focus on their work rather than trying to remember when to perform a given set of manual steps. These processes vary in simplicity or complexity and may change over time.

These processes are specially designed for those who are not developers, as the rules defined in the processes have similar logic that a systems developer can apply using code. However, there’s no need to get a developer every time you wish to change the rules as long as you have a good understanding of the logic that apply in the rules and the capabilities of each kind of process.

5. Creating and Editing Business Rules

Dynamics CRM 2013 and CRM online allows you to apply form logic without necessarily writing JavaScript code. With business rules’ simple declarative interface, you can implement and even maintain rapidly changing, regularly used business rules applied to Main and Quick Create forms.

5.1 Why business rules?

Since not every organization will have a developer readily available to effect changes when the organization changes its rules, workflows will enable a non-developer to easily apply logic (only on the server after creating or updating a record). Client-side logic is rather instant, as it can be performed while someone is creating or editing a record.

5.2 What business rules can do

They allow for the capabilities offered by form scripts. You can:

  • Set field values
  • Show/ hide fields
  • Set field requirement levels
  • Validate data and display error messages
  • Enable/ disable fields

5.3 How to configure business rules

To begin with, you must have the right privileges (System Customizer or System Administrator security role) to navigate to Settings >> Customization

6. Creating and Editing Web Resources

Developers use web resources to extend the web app through files used in web development. So, as a customizer, you may want to manage web resources that are provided by a designer or developer. Web resources are ideally virtual files kept in the Dynamics CRM database, with each resource having a unique name that is usable in a URL when retrieving the file. They allow you to upload files to the Dynamics CRM database and reference them by name as if you copied them as files to the server.

To Create and edit web resources, do the following:

  • On the navigation bar, tap or click Microsoft Dynamics CRM >> Settings
  • In the Nav Pane, tap or click Settings >> Customization >> Customizations>> Customize the System
  • Under Components, tap or click Web Resources
  • Click New to create a new web resource or double click to edit a web resource. The web resource has a number of fields and capabilities
  • Once you’ve added your changes, Save and Publish

Conclusion

Each organization is unique and has to customize CRM to work well with their business. But the person doing the customizations must have the right privileges. If you are new to Dynamics CRM customization, the above named steps can help you customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM to suit the needs of your organization.

dynamics new

Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of DynaMe. DynaMe is a blog focused on cloud based Microsoft Dynamics.
Michael Taylor on sabtwitterMichael Taylor on sablinkedinMichael Taylor on sabgoogleMichael Taylor on sabfacebook