Friday, March 22, 2013

Searchable Property Updater

I may be a little late to the party but I've recently discovered the "Searchable Property Updater" tool and I have to say that this rates as one of my all time favorite CRM utilities.

Because it addresses a pretty much inevitable need. That is, if improving usability is a major concern in a CRM installation... Out of the box pretty much all fields are searchable. Most are irrelevant in a given implementation e.g. latitude and longitude on the account and contact record. In fact, I'd venture to say that most of the highlighted fields below are going to be irrelevant in most CRM implementations. And that's just a small snippet...

In this case, "usability" means "simplicity". And weeding out the irrelevant values really helps with keeping the UI clean and simple. Confusion being the enemy of a successful implementation, I personally consider this to be a very important tweak.

Of course in CRM you are able to weed these out albeit very ... t e d i o u s l y ... by updating the searchable property. And of course tedium often leads to the lack of execution - important or otherwise.

That's why this tool is so valuable. It removes the tedium and makes it what it should be - a quick and virtually painless effort.

I especially love the "Check Attr. on Forms" option. That is pure genius and really contributes to the painlessness of this task. In most cases, the fields that you have on your user form are the fields that you are going to want to query via Advanced Find. Or at the very least - it's a good starting point. And you can just click that to automatically select all the form fields and deselect everything else. Publish and you're done.

Brilliant! Better late than never but big kudos to the creator of this utility.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Views and Filters Toolkit for CRM Online

While on the subject of CRM Online compatibility - below is a link to the CRM Online compatible version for the "Views and Filters Toolkit" workflow plugin - another exceedingly useful utility. The one currently uploaded in CodePlex fails import into the CRM online environment.

Though there are many conceivable uses for this utility, I find that the ability to update the Offline and Outlook Filters without having to resort to programmatic techniques is perhaps the most useful. A simple way to centralize the maintenance of these download rules has long been a feature missing in the Dynamics CRM product and this utility surmounts this oversight.

Another shout out to Wayne Wittman for his conversion efforts (not to mention the efforts of Alberto Gemin who first published this utility).

As a related aside... another useful utility - namely the CRM 2011 Workflow Utilities - has also recently been updated in its CodePlex location with a CRM 2011 Online compatible version.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Distribute Workflow for CRM 2011 Online

I have spoken previously quite extensively about the virtues of the Distribute Workflow utility. The problem I encountered was that the version that is currently uploaded in CodePlex cannot be imported into CRM Online.Whenever I tried the import would fail as shown below:

But thanks to the efforts of the talented Wayne Wittman this very useful utility has now been made compatible with CRM Online. This utility can be downloaded using the link below.