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Starter Guide to Navigation in Dynamics

   Words by Paul McQuillan

   on 17/10/2018 08:30:00

Dynamics has a great User Interface to navigate the various lists and dashboards in CRM, however the Interface needs to straddles both being easy to use and giving access to a quite a wide range of functionality.

This guide is aimed at outlining the core features as a starter guide for getting around and being aware of the more powerful features.

Home

Whenever we start CRM we will find ourselves in our Home Dashboard Page.

This gives us quick stats and useful information that forms our To-Do List or areas on Cases or Client Accounts that need our attention.

This is our launching point into CRM – and when navigating around the system we can always jump back to this Home by clicking the Top-Left HOME Button in Dynamics:

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Top Left Bar

Clicking the Downwards Arrow Icon will drop-down the main Navigation Menu to present the major areas or Groups in CRM.

This is entirely customisable to your solution, but typically contains the bigger divisions such as Sales, Service and System Settings:

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Selecting a Major Area and then a Minor Area within Dynamics 365 – in this example, Service as the Major Area, and then Contacts as the Minor Area

Drill-down

When we have navigated into a sub-area, this will show us the List of Records or Dashboard that we are interested in.

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Within this View of an Area in CRM, we have the View Selector.  This allows us to select the View for how we want to see the Records for this Area of CRM.

In the above example, this is showing as ‘Open Service Calls’, but we can change this over to a different View to either see these Records differently, or see different Records in the system for a different Filter.

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We can then drill down into a particular record by double-clicking in the List, and this will then take us into the Form for that Record in CRM.

When in this Form, we can Go Back to our List at any time by clicking the relevant ‘Breadcrumb’ in the Navigation Bar:

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Back in our View, CRM remembers which records we have opened to give us a Recently Opened Items option – this can be handy when navigating between records.

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From the drill-down view of a Record, we can click BACK or the ‘Service Calls’ button in the Navigation Menu to take us back to the List of Records we were in before drilling down.

When we are back in the List, we can also Sort by any of the Columns displayed by clicking on that Column:

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Sorting by Case Title

This gives the ability to view the List the way we want to, drill into the record we are looking for, and then jump back into the list.

You will notice that when going back to the List, our Sort or Filter we have applied is remembered by CRM so we are not forced to re-sort the records.

Data Filter

If we click on the Right-hand Filter Icon, we can also perform Excel-like Data Filter operations on the List of Records:

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Filtering the list of Service Calls by the Contact

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Picking our Filter for the Contact Column

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The resulting list of Service Calls with the Filter applied

Global Search

No matter where we are in Dynamics, the Top-Bar always presents a Search Box that can be used to quickly find the Record we might be interested in.

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We can type our search into this Box to produce the list of potential records we want to drill down into:

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Searching for 'print' will then find all the Customers, Contacts or Service Calls that reference that Search Term

Advanced Find

The Advanced Find in Dynamics is a powerful tool for querying sets of records and building reports – particularly as the output of any Advanced Find can be sent to Excel for further analysis.

We can access the Advanced Find from the main Top-Bar:

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This then opens the Advanced Tool:

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Building a New Advanced Find to produce our list of records or report

The Advanced Find in Dynamics is a powerful tool with a range of handy functionality – and so can easily be the subject of an entire separate guide: http://www.crmcs.co.uk/content/how-to-use-the-advanced-find-in-dynamics.aspx

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