Microsoft CRM V3 was released in East Asia, namely in Japan and People’s Republic of China (PRC) in September and May of this year respectively. However, the actual product availability date in these markets may vary. In this blog, I would talk about the East Asia release and the features and functionalities that were added to this release in order to address the market specific requirements for these countries.
This is third blog in the forthcoming series of blogs designated to highlight the features that were added to Microsoft CRM V3 East Asia release. This blog will discuss the features that were designed and implemented for supporting Phonetic Guide Support and how the sorting and the searching algorithm has been updated to provide Phonetic Guide Support.
What is Phonetic Guide?
To not complicate further with the usage of the term Phonetic Guide Support, let’s start with defining what Phonetic Guide is for the East Asian markets.
In Japan, Phonetic Guide (aka reading text, Furigana, Yomi) is often used for person names and company names. The pretext is that there are various ways of reading Kanji names and its reading cannot be detected from the Kanji name itself. Let’s say, we have a friend whose last name is Komeda (in Kanji). However, there can be various Phonetic versions of his name which can be Komeda, Kometa, Maida, Maita, Yaneda, et. al. If we see his name as Komeda, it is impossible to detect what is the Yomi equivalent of his name, is it Komeda, or Kometa, or Maida or Maita or Yaneda. Since, there is one to n relationship between a person’s Kanji name and its phonetic equivalent, every name whether it is person or company now needs to store the phonetic equivalent.
Phonetic Guide Support in CRM
In Microsoft CRM East Asia release, we’ve added phonetic guide fields for person and company names. We call it Yomifirstname from the phonetic guide equivalent for the first name, Yomimiddlename (wherever applicable) and Yomilastname for capturing the phonetic guide equivalent for the middle name and the last name respectively.
The entities that were affected with this were
- System User
- Campaign Response
Microsoft CRM 3.0 East Asia Release also generates full name from YomiFirst, YomiMiddleName and YomiLastName.
Phonetic Guide & Customization
Phonetic Guide support was also extended to customization, so that a System Customizer can add phonetic guide fields to any system entities or custom entities. Let’s say, a custom entity called Patient Information captures the First Name of the patient as well as the Phonetic equivalent of the first name. In Microsoft CRM 3.0 East Asia release, there is are additional attribute properties “Is Yomi” and “YomiOf” which help identifying which of the two nvarchar fields are related, one being the phonetic guide representation of the other. The System Customizer can define a patient name field as well as a patient Yomi Name field and map the Patient Yomi Name field to the Patient Name field by defining the “Is Yomi” and “Yomi Of” fields.
Phonetic Guide & Search
Continuing from the earlier example, when the user wants to search on say Patient Name, then both the Patient Name and the Patient Yomi Name fields are searched for the given user defined criteria.
Phonetic Guide & Sorting
The records if sorted on name, gets sorted on Phonetic name in the East Asia release. Going with our earlier example, if we’ve Komeda in the name field with Komeda, Kometa, Maida, Maita and Yaneda as the phonetic equivalent, then Komeda can appear along with K, M, Y depending upon what the phonetic equivalent is.