Advanced Find in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 is a strong and flexible tool that functions similar to a magnifying glass, allowing you to focus on specific data in your database. Not only can you zoom in on particular data for examination, you can also filter out unnecessary data. An Advanced Find can also be used to prepare data for export to Microsoft Office Excel. Advanced Find is also completely flexible with any custom entities or fields created during Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customization and configuration. Learning how to use the Advanced Find tool can make combing through the large database of CRM Online 2011 a much more pleasant experience.
In Part 1 of this three-part Advanced Find series, we’ll break down all the basics with you and then walk you through a quick real-world example.
No special permissions are necessary to use Advanced Find in Microsoft CRM Online, although you will only be able to view data that you have permission to read.
Advanced Find works using fairly simple formulas; you tell it what to look for, and then you tell it how to filter what it finds. Let’s say you have a service representative from your company taking a trip to Los Angeles, and you want to give him or her a list of all your Los Angeles based customers to check in on. We can use Advanced Find to generate that list.
Let’s get started. Click Advanced Find in the Dashboards ribbon (see below). Regardless of where you navigate in CRM Online 2011, the Advanced Find tool is usually available in the default tab of the ribbon at that location.
The Advanced Find window opens (see below). Open the Look For: drop-down menu and click Accounts. Currently, the Advanced Find query displayed below (without any filters) would result in all Accounts in your database, and we only want some of them. So how can we begin filtering the Accounts?
Now that we have specified which entity we want to look for, let’s move forward with filtering. Each filter has three parts: a Field, an Operator, and a Value. Depending on the Field you are using in your filter, the possible Operators and Values can differ.
Move down to the filter-criteria area (in the rectangle below) and click Select to begin selecting the Field.
Select the “Address 1: City” Field in the Fields drop-down menu (see below).
After you select the Field, the Operator appears. The default Operator is “Equals” (see below). Clicking the “Equals” Operator allows you to change it to various other Operators including “Does not Equal”, “Contains”, “Does not Contain”, and others depending on the type of Field we have selected. Let’s leave that as is though, as we do want to specify an exact location.
After deciding on the Operator, we set the Value. Enter “Los Angeles” as the Value to the right of the Operator (also circled below).
Now that we have set the Field, Operator, and Value for the filter, let’s see what our query produces. Click Results in the ribbon (see below) to view your filtered data.
Advanced Find loads your custom-tailored results, a list of all Accounts located in Los Angeles (see below).
You can now print or share this list with your sales representative. Really, at this point, it’s up to you. Before we wrap this up though, let’s save this view so we can use it again later. Click the Advanced Find tab in the ribbon and click Save.
The Query Properties dialog opens (see below). Name your saved view “Los Angeles”. Fill in a Description, such as “Accounts located in Los Angeles”, and then click the OK button to save it.
Just like that, the Advanced Find you created is saved permanently as a View for later use. You may have figured this one out by now, but essentially any single View in CRM Online 2011 is the result of an Advanced Find.
That covers it for Part 1 of the series. We’ll see you soon with discussions on sharing these saved views and preparing data for export, helping you get one step closer to becoming a CRM Online 2011 wizard. Would you like to learn more? Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 Video Training provided by xRM.com will definitely put some magic tricks up your sleeve. While we aren’t exactly a wizarding school, we are a Microsoft Partner with competencies in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Hosting.