In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update, we provided a glimpse of the new user interface. Inline lookup was also part of this new user experience. Earlier, it was constrained to only contact, opportunity, lead, account, and contact entities.
Now in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13, we are extending this Inline lookup capability to most other forms and on the dialogs, such as Assign, Convert to Case, Opportunity). There’d be no more unnecessary pop-us.
Going one more step ahead, now multi-party lookup (To/CC/BCC field on Activities form) is also supported and this provides awesome capabilities of entering multiple items in a single lookup field.
I hope you’ll find this interesting.
In this blog, we will talk about inline single lookup and inline lookup menu.
We will use the Regarding lookup field of the Appointment activity to demonstrate the inline single lookup and inline lookup menu.
In the end of the blog, we will talk about different notifications related to the lookup, feature availability/unavailability and deprecated field properties for lookup.
STEP BY STEP WALKTHROUGH:
- Navigate to Activities’ home page gird and create a new Appointment. Click on the “Regarding” field. This shows you the familiar single lookup with search icon. It is highlighted in below snapshot.
- Now type your search string in this lookup and press Enter or click on the Search icon.This will show you a list of results matching your string.No more popup to show search results like the old lookup.
- This quick search honors entities defined for lookup and shows all types of records in search results based on these defined entities.
If you notice in the above screenshot, the inline menu is displaying both Account (highlighted in green color) and contact (highlighted in Red color) records in the search results.
- This Inline menu also shows some additional information about a record. For example, if you notice in above screenshot, it displays email ID and phone number of the Account/Contact record.
This additional information is based on the columns defined in the default view of the lookup.
- Inline menu also shows the count of matching records in the menu (highlighted with yellow color box).
- This Inline menu displays 10 records at max. What if you want to search and look for more records?Scroll down in the Inline menu and you will find the “Look up More Records” link.
On clicking this link, it will take you to your old friend, lookup search dialog.
But notice the key differences. This is not a popup any more. This is an inline dialog. So no more hassles of navigating to a new dialog on clicking the Lookup search icon.
- Also check carefully the blue colored boxes in the above screen capture. Yes, you got it right. On clicking “Look up More Records” link, we keep track of your search string, and by default, show search results with same string in the opened Inline dialog.
This way we save your little efforts and try to step forward in delighting your experience.
- What if I want to create a new record because I know that the desired account/contact does not exist in my organization? Do I have to always click search icon first, then wait for the inline dialog to open, and then create new record using “New” button (check highlighted Green box)?
No, never… The inline menu has everything to help you right there.
- If you see the inline menu carefully, you’ll see a “+New” button at bottom of the menu. This will help you create a new record instantly using a quick form.
This will be huge time saver.
As this is not available in every lookup, I have put a snapshot of the “Customer” lookup in the Case form.
This was an overview of the new inline single lookup and inline lookup menu. In addition to this, we’ve also introduced some new notification icons and tooltips to help end users in case of errors. Let’s talk about them.
Notification Icon and message: Help is just beside your lookup field
When you type a search string in a lookup field and tab out or click outside of lookup control, it looks for record.
If only a single result is found matching with search string, the field is auto-populated with the matched item. All is well till now.
But what if multiple search results are found?
You’ll be informed about the same with a proper notification and message.
Let’s say, you are looking for “Abby” and there are multiple contacts with the name “Abby”.
A notification icon (see the green color arrow) will be displayed beside the lookup field and on hovering over this icon, a message stating “We found more than one match.” will be displayed.
What if no matching results are found for the search string?
No worries, we will show a notification and message for this also.
A notification icon (see the green color arrow) will be displayed beside lookup control and on hovering over this icon, a message stating “No records found. Create a new record.” will be displayed.
Here “+New” button in lookup inline menu is readily available for your help. Go ahead & use it.
- Inline Lookup is available on all forms for entities that were updated with the new user interface (updated entities).
- Inline lookup is now available for most forms for entities that were not updated.
- Inline lookup is available on inline dialogs like Assign dialog or Convert to Case dialog.
- Inline lookup is not available on Advanced Find.
- “+New” option is not available for lookup present on forms for entities that were not updated.
Deprecate Field Properties for Lookup
You must have noticed, I haven’t talked about MRU until now, which used to show the most recently used items.
Although it is sad, but I have to mention that MRU is not available in the Inline lookup on forms for the updated entities.
Another functionality that is not honored by the new Inline lookup on forms for the updated entities is “Turn off automatic resolutions in the field”. Irrespective of whether you select this option or not, automatic resolution will always happen on tabbing out or clicking outside of field.
This option is still available in the “Lookup Field Properties” (check Red color arrow in the above snapshot)
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