TUTORIAL: Creating Fields

In this tutorial I will take you through the process of creating new fields and adding them to your main form for your entity. Adding new fields is fundamental to CRM and it is a pretty simple procedure. By adding fields to your entity you can start to capture data around the “thing” your entity is based on. Mark my words, over time the procedure of adding fields to entities will become laborious when you have a lot of them to create!

To start this procedure go to the entity you wish to configure. This should be in your solution or base customisations.

  • In the solution tree expand the targeted entity.
  • Select fields. Now you should see a list of fields. Select New.

Field Listings

By default every entity has a set of base fields. These fields are fundamental to the inner working of Microsoft Dynamics. These field are identifable as system fields which cannot be removed. You can easily tell system fields apart from custom fields as system fields do not have the prefix appended to the start of the schema name. eg new_

  • In the window that pops up you first need to populate the schema section.
  • Add a display name and schema name.

Schema Section

  • Display Name – The name that will be displayed against the field when it is placed on to a form or view.
  • Name – The unique schema name of the field. This is very import when further extending this fields capabilities.
  • Field Security – A new feature for MSCRM 2011. Determines whether the field is enabled for field level security.
  • Auditing – A new feature for MSCRM 2011. Determines whether audit data is captured for this field. Audit data is only captured if auditing is turned on.
  • Requirement Level – The requirement level of the field. If set to “Required” the record must be filled in by the user. Other options are “Recommended” and No “Constraint”
  • Searchable – Determines where searches can be performed on this field in advanced find.
  • Description – A description on what the field is about.
  • In the type section you can select what field type you require. This section allows you to create a field specific to the type of data you want to capture. For this tutorial we will capture text. So leave the type as Single Line of Text

Field Types

  • Single Line of Text – Allows for a small amount of text to be captured.
  • Option Set – Allows for a selectable drop down list of options to be presented to the user.
  • Two Options – Displays a true or false field.
  • Whole Number – Allows a whole number to be captured.
  • Floating Point Number – A floating number with 5 precision points.
  • Decimal – a decimal number with 10 precision points.
  • Currency – Allows currency to be captured. A currency lookup must exist on the form to inform MSCRM what currency it is dealing with.
  • Multiple Lines of Text – Allows for a large amount of text to be captured.
  • Date Time – Allows for the date and time to be captured.
  • Lookup – Allows a reference to a parent entity. These are created during the setup of your entity relationships. Don’t set them up here.
Quick Tip

Quick Tip

Think about your data types before creating them. If you have exported / imported a data type for a field and later on change the field type by deleting and re-adding, you may experience importing errors if your new field has the same schema name as the old.

  • Click Save and Close.
  • In the solution tree for your entity select forms.
  • Open up your main form. (Not the one for mobile applications).
  • Drag your field from the field explorer and drop it on the form. Dragging and Dropping is a nice new feature to MSCRM 2011 which speeds up the process of placing fields on to a form.
  • Click Save and then Publish.
Creating Fields Drag Drop
Dragging and Dropping a field on to a form.
Quick Tip

Quick Tip

A red line indicates the drop point when dragging and dropping a field. Don’t drop until the red line is in the correct place!

Quick Tip

Quick Tip

Once your field is on the form you can add additional formating to it through its properties. Some formating is specific to the type of field you have placed on to the form. For example within the properties for a field I can set it to read only.

The field is now on your entities main form! That concludes this tutorial.

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