Formatting of Activities Tab/ Social Pane

Formatting of Activities Tab/ Social Pane

Activities Tab/Social Tab (Record Wall) is a great feature and many users appreciate it (While some also talk about having this more flexible).

When using this feature in Out of the box entities Contact, Cases, etc, the fields and the length of Activities Tab is aligned almost perfectly, however, there are certain scenarios where the fields requirement is less and thus there is a need to align the length of Activities Tab accordingly.

Blank space on form

A quick glance at it and looks like an admin user can go format this under the Activities Tab properties, but once you open the form properties, this is not available.

Activity Tab Properties with no Formatting

Unfortunately, this is not available directly in the Out of the box forms which already has Activity tab already. To change the length there are two ways

  • Keeping existing form – Remove the Activity Tab from the form and read the “Notes” back to form. Now open the properties of the activity tab, and you will find, you are able to set the number of rows/length for the tab.
Activity Tab Properties with Formatting
  • Create a new form – Open the open the properties of the activity tab in the new form, and you will find, you are able to set the number of rows/length for the tab.

Easy, isn’t it!! 😊

How to Manage Queue Items (Delete Queue Items)?

Option 1: Managing of queue items looks a very easy job. Users can click on the “Remove” button on the Queue grid. This would unlink the reference of the queue item from the queue (which functionally delete the queue item) but not the actual record itself.

Option 2: The other option, users can use Navigate to a specific Queue and view the Queue items Sub grid or use Advanced Find and find the queue items (using one of many filter criteria’s). Using this, when the users delete (Bulk Delete) the queue items, the actual record itself also gets deleted.

Now, both the above options can be used based on the Organization’s requirements.

Option 1 is quite simple and works Out Of The Box for all users and mostly all scenarios and organization. Now consider, you need to provide the Option 2 for your users. Is that simple enough? Yeah looks simple, it’s just delete privilege which I need to give to specific user role. Right? Nah. Its not that simple.

Why its not simple:

  1. Do you see Queue Item as an entity in the security role?
  2. How the Security works for Queue Item?
  3. How to make sure that users can “delete” the queue item for specific queues only?

Let’s answer the above topics of discussion:

  1. Do you see Queue Item as an entity in the security role?

No, Queue Item is not available anywhere in the security role. Neither its available in “Core Records” tab or “customization” or “Service management”.

  • How the Security works for Queue Item?

Queue item is tightly coupled with the Queue Entity and as Queue Item entity is not available in the security role, thus there are no separate privileges which can be given to the security roles for this. So, the “Delete” button is also based on privilege of the Queue Entity itself.

This would mean, user who are given this access will be able to “Delete” the Queue itself, which we may never want.

Note: We can’t define which users (User roles) can pick or release or remove the queue items. For which there shouldn’t be much of a challenge as these are required functionalities (in most cases).

  • How to make sure that users can “delete” the queue item for specific queues only?

There is no such option available Out of the box.

So how to make Option 2 works?

A simple solution: Add a custom button using Ribbon Editor (Thanks to XRMToolBox and Ribbon Workbench) and once the users add the emails (records/queue items) to the specific Queue for which the queue items are to be deleted or if the button is visible across all queues, then users will be able to use the custom delete button.

Like this :

And how do you specify which role can view and action on the delete button – Refer to my blog article below and follow similar steps: “Restrict Advanced Find Functionality for End Business Users

Quick Tip – A parent Case can have maximum of 100 child cases

A review of some basics always help.

Do you know a parent case (Parent – Child case relationship – OOTB) can have maximum of 100 child cases

1. If you try to create the 101st case from CRM front end, you will get an error

2. If you try to import the cases, you will get error

3. If you try to create using plugin / Custom code, you will get error

SLA – Change SLA due time as End of day (or End of Business Hours)

In general, when the SLA is defined and incorporated in CRM, we take care of working business hours and holiday calendar and define the Failure and the warning duration for the SLA KPI instance. Let’s assume the SLA is based on the Resolve by KPI instance.

The timer / clock will start and will be adjusted based on the Failure time of the related SLA KPI instance (calculated automatically). Based on this the SLA Due date can be set, programmatically.

Because the system calculates the failure due date and time, at times it maybe be the close to start of business hours and so is the SLA Due time.  

This is common scenarios, but it may lead to working issues for the team on the floor.

To avoid this, we can write a plugin on the SLA KPI instance entity, which will be executed on create or updates (if there is SLA updates on the parent record), and the failure time can be set as 11:59 PM of that day.

Changing the failure time would mean the timer/ clock will show the extended days and hours (as compared to original) and the SLA due date can be extended.

Global search doesn’t show field values

Recently a user pointed out an issue in the Test Environment that they are unable to see the data values when they use Global Search, however, when they search in the List view they are able to see the data against the fields.

Global Search View:









List View:





We checked on the settings and everything seemed normal. Tried removing the Custom fields and displayed only the OOTB fields, still it was not working as expected.

Then realised that, No field is selected as Find Columns in the Quick Find View















Selected all the columns which are required for the Search.

















and it worked !!!









This now becomes part of checklist 🙂

Setup / Refreshing CRM Sandbox Environment

Setup / Refreshing CRM Sandbox Environment is pretty easy enough. Often at time, we miss out basic steps.

Below article will show how to setup or refresh CRM Sandbox Environment.

1. Log into with a CRM system administrator account.












2. Go to “Admin Centers” and click on Dynamics 365, this would open the Administration











3. Once logged into Administration Center, you will see the instances which are under the logged in user. The Sandbox environment state would be “Instance to configure”.














4. Click on “Configure” and this will open page where users can enter information to configure the sandbox. Users can select the correct Target version.












Note: The target version should ideally be same as the target version of the Production.

Note: Microsoft allows you to select the target version and does not freeze it same as the production environment, as there can be multiple Sandbox environment. This is also required, if the users are upgrading their CRM version and want to test the solution with the CRM version, it is easy to do in the same box.

5. Once the user enters the Information and click on “Configure” button, the configuration will be initiated.






















6. The next step is to copy the existing environment solution and add to the sandbox. For the same, users can select the main environment (or this can be any environment) which need to be copied over and click on











7. Select the target instance and provide the details.











That’s it! It’s easy to configure sandbox environment, however, for safer side this is recommended to be done by System Admin and it’s always good to take backup.



Which Platform to choose ?

Microsoft CRM has the ability to run on various platforms, be in Windows, iOS, Android, etc. At times, it becomes little difficult and technical to understand what is the right platform for a particular business function.

We need a matrix and a decision tree to understand and take a call.

Below is the list of functions (not limited) to help understand which platform can be used.

Function Matrix