CRM 2013 has introduced three new controls that users can work with on an entity form that has been “refreshed” (i.e. a form that is displayed in the new UX offered by CRM 2013). In this blog post I shall focus on these three controls, namely, inline lookup control, inline subgrid controls and composite controls.
Inline Lookup Controls
Note: CRM 2013 is not due to be released until October 2013. The information provided in this blog might different from the final product.
With an inline lookup control, users can now create a new record from within the lookup (magnifying class icon to the right of the field). When a user clicks on “New”, the “quick create” form for contacts will drop down from the top menu
Clicking SAVE to create the new contact will now add a new contact record and associate this record to the account form.
But don’t be fooled that all lookups have this “Quick Create” functionality. It seems the “Owner” lookup record doesn’t have this “Quick Create” when you click on the lookup (at least, not with this CRM 2013 beta release).
This lookup control is very nice? Can the data columns shown be customised?
Well, you can’t do this in the December 2012 service update for CRM 2011. But you can certainly do this now! Under the hood, the lookup is set to show a particular view for the related entity, and the system will use the first three columns of that view for displaying information in the lookup control result list.
For example, on the account form there is a “Contacts” subgrid where you can click on the lookup icon and the following information for “Mary Smithson” shows up: Full name, Email, Phone number. This is because the contact lookup is set to use a system view called “Contact Lookup View”, with these three attributes as the first three columns. If you rearrange the columns in this view, you can display other information in the lookup control instead.
E.g. changing the column order to “Full Name”, “Parent Customer”, “Email” and “Business Phone” means that the Contact lookup on the account form now shows “Full Name”, “Parent Customer” and “Email” with no “Business Phone” anymore.
Inline Subgrid Controls
One common request from customers working with CRM 2011 is: can I do in-line editing if I placed a subgrid (e.g. Order Lines) showing related entity “Order Product” information on my main entity form? Sorry – this is not possible out of the box from CRM 2011. Customers often have to rely on third party vendors to provide this extra functionality.
With CRM 2013, the Product subgrid on Opportunity, Quote, Order and Invoice are now inline editable. What’s even better is that as you add or delete products from this inline subgrid, the financial totals below will be automatically recalculated.
Composite Controls for Names and Addresses
In CRM 2013, a “Composite Control” is a flyout that displays editable fields on an entity record. As the user enters the information field-by-field in the flyout, validation (if any) kicks in for each field separately. When finished, the user clicks “Done” in the flyout and information is displayed in a single collapsed field that is the composite control showing only the fields containing data. It is a nice way to optimise space that used to be required in CRM 2011 when each field has to be on the form as separate controls if you wish to display e.g. all the lines of a single address.
Currently composite controls are only available for Names (e.g. fullname) and Addresses (e.g. address1_composite). You cannot customise composite controls to create new controls with custom fields. Perhaps Microsoft intends for this to be available in later releases of CRM 2013?