Monday, May 9, 2016

Show hierarchically related activities in subgrid

In this article I will demonstrate how to implement a plugin to extend the possibilities for showing activities that are related through account hierarchy in a subgrid on a Microsoft Dynamics CRM form.

In my previous article I showed how to create a simple plugin to show all directly related activities in a subgrid, and not just activities related through the Regarding field.


The goal is to be able to display all activities (yellow boxes) anywhere below any account (blue box) that is opened in CRM.

Some of you may recognize this model – it is respectfully borrowed from MVP Jukka Niiranen's blog post on this problem: CRM 2011 subgrids ain't what associated views used to be. As this article indicates, this has been a problem ever since we left CRM 4.0 behind.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Show ALL related activities in a subgrid

Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers great capabilities for activity entities, both out of the box and custom activities.
This post will describe a way to extend those capabilities even more, using a quite simple plugin.

During eXtremeCRM in Warsaw last week, a fellow CRMian and frequent user of FetchXML Builder approached me to ask if I knew a way to create "dynamic" queries with some contextual awareness. He had used unsupported methods to inject FetchXML to subgrids, to be able to show all activities related to current record, not just those where the record is related through the Regarding field.

As I will show in this post, this can be accomplished with a simple plugin and a custom view.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Solution Segmentation for entity ribbons

The new feature for segmenting solutions in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is absolutely awesome.
It finally allows you to only include the parts you actually want your solution to change.

For us as an ISV this is a huge improvement. We can now deliver solutions that are completely "plug and play" and still leave a minimal footprint on the whole customer system.

RibbonDiffXml segmentation

There is however one thing that is still not possible to separate with enough granularity. To include the ribbon definition of an entity, you need to check the Include entity metadata checkbox.


Unfortunately this also includes the entity display name, plural name, and all other "entity wide" settings such as Notes, Connections, Mail merge etc.

The result of this is that if we include the Contact entity just to be able to add a solution specific button to the command bar, we must also include the entity settings.


When a customer has developed their own solutions, or got solutions from other third parties, we quite often face the situation where they have changed the name of an entity, e.g. Contact is renamed to Person.

Now importing our solution to add this button to the contact command bar, will also change the name of the contact entity back to default, or rather to whatever it is called in our solution.


This could be solved by allowing a separate option for the RibbonDiff part of the entity definition when selecting components for the solution.


If you agree with this proposal, you can contribute by voting up this item on Microsoft Connect.

Read more

MVP Jukka Niiranen recently wrote an excellent article describing Solution Segmentation in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Windows app for Microsoft Dynamics CRM in 5 minutes


Thanks to open source components for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can develop a WinForm application for CRM in 5 minutes.


In this blog article, I will go through a few simple steps to get up to speed developing a client that connects to and shows information from Microsoft Dynamics CRM by using two open source spinoff components: ConnectionManager from XrmToolBox and CRMGridView from FetchXML Builder.


These four simple steps are all that is required:

  1. Create project and add NuGet packages
  2. Make VS aware of the imported user control
  3. Configure a form with CRMGridView
  4. Add a few lines of code

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Open Source projects and Microsoft Dynamics CRM

How, when and why can we benefit from open source project strategies in Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

I have collected my thoughts and experiences on the subject in article:

The Benefits of Open Source Projects in the World of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

published on
Open source is not all unconditional hallelujahs

Create advanced views with FetchXML Builder

My first article published on gives a detailed instruction on how to use FetchXML Builder to create advanced views in Microsoft Dynamics CRM – so advanced they are not possible to create using the CRM UI.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Reflections from eXtremeCRM Madrid 2015

A few days ago on the flight down to Madrid, I wrote about
   my Expectations for eXtremeCRM.

Now the conference is over, I am back in the flight seat heading home to Sweden.

Twitter The Social Buzz

If you want to follow a sort of backwards timeline from the conference, I did post a few tweets of things I found interesting. See here: @rappen.
The most popular of these was the hint from Bob Stutz that inline editing in grids might actually see the day of light in a not too far future:

Another quote that was delivered in the closing key note was this message: