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Dynamics Auto-Save

   Words by Paul McQuillan

   on 28/12/2018 14:00:00

imageModern Systems often remove the need to click SAVE before confirming the changes we have made to a Record.

Dynamics 365 defaults to this option and this means when viewing a Form for a Record we can observe the following:

  • Saves any Changes automatically when we navigate away from the screen.
  • Saves any Changes automatically every 30 seconds.
  • Fields are only included in the Auto-Save after the User has moved Focus away from the Field. (and so the Field is no longer highlighted as being edited)
  • No SAVE or SAVE & CLOSE Buttons in the Form Command Bar.
  • To manually Save, we need to click a small SAVE icon in the very bottom right of the screen.

Determining whether to keep or remove the Auto-Save really depends on the context of how Dynamics is used within a Business and the IT Culture of that Business – in our experience, this can depend on the following.


To SAVE & CLOSE, or not to SAVE & CLOSE

Why Disable the Auto-Save?

  1. Business Logic - Dynamics Systems that involve significant amounts of Workflow and Plugins that trigger on Save of a Record will trigger on each of the Auto-Saves made for the Record – and so a Save that is significant in terms of being a Business Logic Event, then we may want the User to be party to that Save Event and choose to click Save rather than have this happen invisibility behind the scenes.
  2. Compliance - Similarly, certain Mission Critical Systems may need a User to consider their Updates before committing them into CRM, and so want the User to have a SAVE Button as a Confirm / Compliance step rather than have this automatic.
  3. Audit – Each time the Save operation is processed (either automatically or manually) this will add an entry to the Audit Log for that Record – and we may want these grouped rather than staggered. (this will likely depend on the same reasoning as the Compliance point above)


Does your User regarding changing this Field as an Event?  Or do they regarding clicking SAVE as the Event?

Why Keep the Auto-Save?

  1. Modern Thinking - Increasingly modern systems are removing the need to click SAVE, instead acclimatising Users to their changes saving in real-time.  Users familiar with Phone Apps or other Auto-Saving systems may find the click-to-save against their expectations.
  2. Ad-hoc Changes vs Workflow Events – We can avoid some of the problems from Business Logic and Compliance by separating the event of changing fields from the event of a Record changing Status or making a Workflow significant Transition.  In this way we can use Business Process Flows and Actions to make a clear distinction between an Event in the system, and a User simply changing some Fields.  The Fields being accommodated by the Auto-Save, the Event being triggered from the User clicking NEXT in the Business Process.  This can help define a clearer system to the End User.
  3. Less Clicks – the most obvious, removing the SAVE button removes an excess click from the User.


Why do I need to click a Floppy Disk?  Hang on, what even is a Floppy Disk?

Disabling the Auto-Save

We can control the Auto-Save within Dynamics by the following:

  • Navigate to Settings and then into Administration.
  • From there, click into System Settings.
  • Within the pop-up window, the top immediate option is for ‘Select the Default Save Option for Forms’ which we can set to NO instead of YES to disable Auto Save within Dynamics 365.


Further Reading

PowerObjects have a great article on the Auto Save that also highlights and summarises these points – and includes some handy Javascript if you need to disable Auto-Save for specific entities:

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