Editing Multiple Records in CRM Online with Excel Online

Editing multiple records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM at once hasn’t always been the easiest of tasks. It’s a common request of our developers at xRM (www.xrm.com) to find ways to update existing data without third-party solutions. Bulk editing has always been supported, but every included record had to take the same new value. If you wanted to make non-uniform changes, this required exporting records to an Excel spreadsheet that was capable of being reimported back into the system using a template. Previously, the template was often finicky, making the process frustrating at times. Fortunately, CRM Online Update 1 introduced a welcome new feature: Open in Excel Online.

This feature is often billed as a means of performing ad-hoc analysis—take a look at this Microsoft Dynamics CRM Help & Training page—rather than an editable grid. Clients of ours at xRM oftentimes don’t even notice the feature, let alone know it can be used an import tool. However, Open in Excel Online can be a tremendous timesaver. The key is to know how to use it. Please note that this task requires an Office 365 license.

Let’s use an example of updating Account records in CRM Online. We have a set of Accounts that have the state in their address entered inconsistently or incorrectly. This can lead to inaccurate reporting and unreliable search results, among other issues.

Editing Multiple Records in CRM Online with Excel Online

If we want to update these we can click the Export to Excel button in the command bar, and then click Open in Excel Online. However, if we want to make other modifications to the data we need to make sure that all of the fields that need to be modified are represented as column headings in the view. For example, if we want to edit the cities and change ownership of these accounts we need to add Address 1: City and Owner as columns before exporting to Excel Online. This can be easily done by using the Advanced Find feature, found in the upper, right-hand corner of the browser.

Editing Multiple Records in CRM Online with Excel Online

In the Advanced Find window, we click Edit Columns in the ribbon. In the Edit Columns window that opens, we click Add Columns, select the fields we want to update, and then click the OK button. We should see a preview of the columns you have selected and click OK once again. Back at the Advanced Find window, we must be sure to save our changes before closing the window.

We should now be back at our view with the newly added columns. If they aren’t visible, we can always refresh the web browser and the changes should take effect. We are now ready to click Export to Excel, and then select Open in Excel Online. The browser will refresh, and the CRM records will be rendered as rows in an Excel spreadsheet. We can now update the data inline as if we were updating any normal Excel data, by clicking a cell and typing. We can even use Find and Replace, Copy and Paste, or other Excel editing functions as needed. As we update records, we want to be sure that we are following the data type of the respective fields. For example, we don’t want to enter “Fifty Dollars” into a field that tracks currency. The correct entry in that example would be “$50.00”.

Editing Multiple Records in CRM Online with Excel Online

As you can see in the image above, we’ve updated our records and even assigned some accounts a new owner. For the reassignment to be successful, it’s important for the name in the Owner column to match the exact spelling as the name of the User record in CRM Online. I know that Liz’s name is spelled correctly, but if I enter “Elizabeth Smith,” the reassignment will not be successful. The same goes for any lookup reference when using Excel Online to update records.

The data is ready, so we can click the Save Changes to CRM button. We should see a notification like the image below:

Editing Multiple Records in CRM Online with Excel Online

We can click the Close button and return to the CRM Online interface. The changes will not happen immediately. They are brought in as an import, so it will take a minute or two depending on the size of the update.

Editing Multiple Records in CRM Online with Excel Online

After we give it a moment, and then refresh the View, we see that the data was successfully updated.

You can learn more tips, tricks, and tutorials for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please check out our xRM blog and our Success Portal. If you would like to receive training from our team of experts, please inquire about our QuickStart Training.

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CRM Minute – Outlook Filters

We at xRM (www.xrm.com) want to remind our customers of a feature that is easy to overlook in the CRM for Outlook plugin—user filters. Filters allow users to control what exactly gets synchronized between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Outlook. Below is a “CRM Minute” video to show you where you can control these filters.


Here are some written instructions. Note that these settings can be configured from Outlook or the web client:

Outlook

    1. Click File > CRM.

    2. Click the Synchronize button. Two options should appear. Select “Review Synchronization Settings”.

    3. The Synchronization Settings for Outlook or Exchange window opens.

    4. Click the User Filters tab to manage your own filters.

      Web Client

        1. Click the Settings icon in the upper-right corner (looks like a gear).

        2. Select Options.

        3. Select the Synchronization tab.

        4. Click the Filters link.

        5. The Synchronization Settings for Outlook or Exchange window opens.

        6. Click the User Filters tab to manage your own filters.

          If you like this bite-size lesson, you can find plenty more at our Microsoft Dynamics CRM by xRM YouTube channel. We post tutorials, xRM updates, and more videos for our CRM Minute series. We’ve even bundled these up in a playlist for your enjoyment!

          You can learn more tips, tricks, and tutorials for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please check out our xRM blog and our Success Portal. If you would like to receive training from our team of experts, please inquire about our QuickStart Training.

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          CRM Minute – Additional Languages

          Is your Microsoft Dynamics CRM user base multi-lingual? Our team at xRM (www.xrm.com) certainly falls into this group. At the time of this posting, CRM Online supports 44 languages, all of which can be downloaded and enabled for individual users. This is not a global setting, which means some users can have an interface in English while others have one in Spanish. Watch the brief video below to learn how to download and set a language. Note that you must have administrative privileges to download the language pack, but any end user can then set their own language setting.

          If you like this bite-size lesson, you can find plenty more at our Microsoft Dynamics CRM by xRM YouTube channel. We post tutorials, xRM updates, and more videos for our CRM Minute series. We’ve even bundled these up in a playlist for your enjoyment!

          You can learn more tips, tricks, and tutorials for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please check out our xRM blog and our Success Portal. If you would like to receive training from our team of experts, please inquire about our QuickStart Training.

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          More CRM Online 2015 Update 1 Videos

          Microsoft regularly posts videos pertaining to its Dynamics solutions on the Microsoft Dynamics YouTube channel. Back in March, xRM (www.xrm.com) published a post that bundled some CRM Online Update 1 videos from Microsoft on YouTube since there was no such playlist on the channel. Since then, Microsoft has released 11 new videos that cover Update 1 specifically. Once again, we’ve bundled them together for your convenience. Enjoy!

          Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – Customizations New Features – Four key topics are covered: UI changes (including theming), the new DateTime attribute behaviors, calculated  and rollup field enhancements, and new query operators.

          Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – Application New Features – You don’t need to be a developer to greatly configure CRM Online. In this video, learn about process action from a workflow, honoring required steps at the platform level, new features for business process flows, and a new capability that allows business rules to clear field values.

          Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – CRM Office Integrations New Features – CRM Online integration with Excel has seen some significant improvements. This video highlights points of pain in the integration between Excel and prior versions of CRM Online, it discusses new improvements, and explains how CRM data is translated into Excel.

          Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – Folder Based Email Tracking New Features – Folder based email tracking opens the door to a number tracking possibilities. The primary goals of this video are to teach you the following: how folder-level tracking works, how to use the feature to track emails quickly, and requirements as well as best practices.

          Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 CRM for Phones New Features – This video focuses on changes made to the CRM for Phones app as part of the CRM Online Update 1 release.

          Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – SharePoint Integration New Features – Server-based SharePoint integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM was introduced for CRM Online 2013. This feature has now been expanded to on-premises deployments as well. Learn about the benefits of server-based SharePoint integration, plan on how best to move away from the list component (how SharePoint previously integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM), and learn what is required to successfully set up a hybrid integration.

          Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – Yammer Integration New Features – Microsoft is introducing some Yammer integration enhancements with this update.

          Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – CRM Online Administration New Features – As an administrator, learn how to schedule your CRM Online update and how to prepare for it.

          Installation and Configuration for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM – This lesson is not exclusive to CRM Online Update 1 deployments, but it is an important lesson with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing becoming an ever more important solution in the Dynamics family. This comprehensive video covers the process of installing and configuring the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

          Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – CRM SDK New Features – This one is for you developers out there. You can review enhancements made to the CRM Online API.

          CRM Online Update 1 is now available only for CRM Online 2015. It will be made available for on-premises deployments later.

          You can learn more tips, tricks, and tutorials for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please check out our xRM blog and our Success Portal. If you would like to receive training from our team of experts, please inquire about our QuickStart Training.

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          Power BI Dynamics CRM Online Connector

          In February, Microsoft released a new version of the Power BI Designer Preview. If you haven’t heard of Power BI, it’s a business intelligence platform that helps make sense of your data through robust querying and reporting features. If implemented correctly—xRM (www.xrm.com) can help with implementation—your team can make effective decisions more quickly than ever before. The idea is to host these reports on a SharePoint site where members of your team can interact with the data.

          The Power BI Designer Preview is a client that you can download for free and try yourself. This is the tool that allows you to connect to your database, query the relevant data, and design the reports. Up until now, connecting to a CRM Online database was a little tricky. With the latest update, it’s easier than ever.

          From the open Power BI Designer Preview client, click the New Source button in the ribbon.

          Power BI Dynamics CRM Online Connector

          The Get Data window opens. Select Other > Dynamics CRM Online, and then click Connect.

          Power BI Dynamics CRM Online Connector

          You are then prompted to provide the URL for the Dynamics CRM OData service.

          Power BI Dynamics CRM Online Connector

          Where can you find that URL? It’s actually not difficult, and you do not need administrative privileges in CRM Online to find it. In CRM Online, navigate to Settings > Customization > Customizations and click Developer Resources. You are taken to a page that has your organization information. At the bottom is the Organization Data Service section. In it is a link, which is your OData service. You can copy the link, or click it, which opens a new tab. The URL in the address bar of the new tab is your OData link as well. Copy and paste it into the Power BI Designer and then click OK.

          The Power BI Designer will then connect to your database and detect the tables of data in it. You can then select the tables you wish to work with, define your queries, and build your report.

          Power BI Dynamics CRM Online Connector

          If you would like to learn more tips, tricks, and tutorials such as this one, please check out our xRM blog and our Success Portal. If you would like to receive training from our team of experts, please inquire about our QuickStart Training.

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          CRM Online 2015 Update 1 Videos

          Microsoft recently released some new YouTube videos on its Microsoft Dynamics channel in anticipation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1. Unfortunately, the videos aren’t collected in a playlist specific only to Update 1 differences. Don’t worry! xRM (www.xrm.com) has organized a subset for you below. Note: Update 1 will be made available only for CRM Online 2015 first and will be made available for on-premises deployments later.

          CRM Online 2015 Update 1 Videos

          New navigation for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online – Hooray! Navigation is easy again in Update 1. (Readers who used to use version 2011 know what that means.)

          Theming with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – Have you ever wanted to change the colors of CRM Online or add your own company logo? Now you can.

          Overview of Mobile Application for Smart Phones for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – Access records on the go.

          Extend Dynamics CRM to your Smart Phone with CRM Online 2015 Update 1 – Customize what you can do with CRM Online on your mobile device.

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          Update Rollup 2 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

          xRM (www.xrm.com) hosts many versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to meet its customers’ various needs, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 with Service Pack 1 (SP1). We will soon be applying Update Rollup 2 to those instances.

          Update Rollup 2 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1) was originally announced in a pre-release article in November, 2014. It’s finally available in February 2015, and it was worth the wait. It fixes many issues; the Microsoft knowledge base article lists 153 (see link below).

          If you have CRM Online, and have not opted in to upgrade to the 2015 version, you will effectively remain in the 2013 (SP1) version and should automatically get the equivalent code to Update Rollup 2 when Microsoft deploys it to the CRM Online servers. Note that CRM Online has its own code update stream with updates that are similar to, but not necessarily exactly matching the ones described in the knowledge base articles for on-premises and partner-hosted servers. Microsoft typically does not announce its CRM Online updates unless there’s a major version change, such as 2015.

          Links

          If you like CRM tips, tricks, and tutorials, please check out our xRM blog and our Success Portal. If you would like to receive training from our team of experts, please inquire about our QuickStart Training.

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          How to Format Field Labels

          The Form Editor in Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers a plethora of configuration options to administrators. One of the easier configurations to achieve is creating a custom field. A common question clients of ours at xRM (www.xrm.com) ask us is, “How do I get the whole label to display?” Take a look at this screenshot Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 to see an example:

          How to Format Field Labels

          The custom field’s label, “Total Number of Members,” is cut off. Not only is it not aesthetically pleasing, but it can lead to confusion when filling out the form. Luckily, there are three solutions for this problem.

          Solution One: Reword the Labels

          An important part of good interface configuration is choosing label text that is short, sensible, and easy for users to read. For example, “Total Number of Members” could be, “Members,” or “Member Total.” However, sometimes the label simply cannot be reduced. In those situations, Solution Two or Solution Three can help.

          Solution Two: Adjust Field Label Position

          The first solution is to format the field labels so that they appear above the fields. This is done from the Form Editor. To get there, click the More Commands button (it looks like an ellipsis) in the command bar, and then select Form. Please note that you’ll need a Security Role of System Customizer or equivalent privileges to see that in the menu.

          How to Format Field Labels

          When the Form Editor opens, double-click the section of the form containing the field whose label was cut off. The entire section should be highlighted in a blue line when you double-click it.

          How to Format Field Labels

          The Selection Properties window opens. Click the Formatting tab and scroll to the bottom. In the Field Label Position section, select Top. Then click the OK button to accept the changes and close the window.

          How to Format Field Labels

          Back at the Form Editor, click the Save button. Then click the Publish button. The Form Editor can be closed once publishing is complete. Before the changes can take effect, the browser must be refreshed.

          Once the window refreshes, notice that the field label appears in its entirety:

          How to Format Field Labels

          Solution Three: Field Label Width

          This solution gives more space for the label to appear and keeps it on the same line as the field. Open the Form Editor once again by clicking the More Commands button and selecting Form.

          How to Format Field Labels

          When the Form Editor opens, double-click the section of the form containing the field whose label was cut off. The entire section should be highlighted in a blue line when you double-click it.

          How to Format Field Labels

          This time, when the Section Properties window opens, stay in the Display tab. In the Field Label Width section, increase the pixels to widen the allotted space for the field labels in this section. This might take some trial and error to get it to the ideal width for the form in question. To preview the changes without publishing them, click the Preview button in the ribbon and select Create Form.

          How to Format Field Labels

          After the pixels are set, save and publish the changes. Once the Form Editor is closed, refresh the browser to see the changes.

          How to Format Field Labels

          This particular example required 150 pixels to make all of the field labels fully visible. This number will vary depending on the number of characters in the longest field label and the width of the column in question.

          All solutions covered in this post are perfectly valid options for making field labels fully visible, though one is preferable over the other in certain situations. Solution Two is better if the goal is to make better use of horizontal space. Placing the labels above the fields does not eat into the fixed width in pixels for the columns on the form. However, this solution will extend the vertical space occupied by the section, thus requiring users to scroll vertically slightly more. Solution Three conversely is ideal for conserving vertical space. However, extending the field labels in width eats into the space allowed for the data in the fields. This can lead to the data itself being visually cut off rather than the label. If the tab on the form containing the modified section is one or two columns in width, this may not be an issue. But in three to four column tabs, horizontal space becomes more limited. In summary, there is no perfect solution. It depends on the form and the interface experience you as an admin are trying to create for your users.

          If you would like to learn more tips, tricks, and tutorials such as this one, please check out our xRM blog and our Success Portal. If you would like to receive training from our team of experts, please inquire about our QuickStart Training.

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          The Ultimate CRM for Outlook Guide – Introduction

          Welcome to the first post from the “Ultimate CRM for Outlook Guide” series. In this post, we explain what Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office  is and discuss the benefits of using the add-in with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

          What is Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office Outlook?

          Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office Outlook (CRM for Outlook) is an add-in that allows CRM 2013 and CRM Online users to access records in their CRM database directly from Outlook. The add-in is a free software component that adds functionality to Microsoft Office Outlook, and it must be installed locally on each computer.

          The CRM for Outlook add-in is a true differentiator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. While many other CRM applications provide some level of email tracking through Outlook, CRM for Outlook provides a high level of integration between your CRM Online or CRM 2013 database and Outlook. If you currently use Outlook for email, calendar, and contact management, and are looking for a CRM solution, Microsoft Dynamics CRM should be on your shortlist of potential CRM systems.

          Key Benefits of CRM for Outlook

          CRM for Outlook provides a number of benefits for Microsoft Dynamics CRM users:

          1. It allows users to access CRM records directly in Outlook without having to open up their web browsers and log into the CRM organization.
          2. It makes it very easy to track incoming and outgoing emails from your Outlook inbox.
          3. It allows users to create new CRM records, including Tasks, Faxes, Appointments, Service Activities, and Campaign Responses directly from the CRM tab in Outlook.
          4. It allows users to track Outlook appointments in CRM.
          5. It provides a shortcut for converting emails into Opportunity, Case, or Lead records.
          6. It can improve user adoption because the plugin allows users to a familiar user interface for Outlook users.
          7. It can provide offline access to records in the CRM database.
          8. It provides the ability to refresh data in Microsoft Office Excel directly from CRM.

          Cost of the CRM for Outlook Plugin

          The CRM for Outlook add-in is free for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscribers and CRM 2013 license holders.

          Compatibility

          The CRM for Outlook add-in is compatible with Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2013 on computers running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1.

          It is not compatible with Microsoft Office Outlook for Mac OS X.

          Downloading Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Outlook

          CRM for Outlook is available to download from the Microsoft Download Center. Click the following link to

          http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40344

          The “Ultimate CRM for Outlook Guide” series

          Part I – Introduction to the Ultimate CRM for Outlook Guide
          Part II – Installing the CRM for Outlook Add-In

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