My Favorite Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 – SmartNav


The breadth of new features in the product is mind blowing to me. I am looking forward to seeing some of the creative uses that partners and customers come up with for the larger items like Workflow, Multi Currency, etc.

However, I am most appreciative of the small little usability features that Program Managers and Software Development Engineers managed to sneak into the product. Probably one of my favorite would be a feature coined “SmartNav” by the Marketing Team. The long name would be Associated Menu Labeling on custom relationships. (Say that 10 times fast.)

What does it do? Let’s use a real life example. One of my customers tracks doctors and the hospitals that they practice medicine at and some additional details about the doctor’s work at that hospital.

Under 3.0, we would create a “linker” entity and call it profile. Then from both doctors and hospitals, the word profiles would appear. This could be more than a little confusing for the end users if we also had profile information on the main form. J

So SmartNav fixes this. We still create the linker entity but we can now call it Doctor Profiles on the Account Entity and Hospital Profiles on the Contact Entity.

Here are a few screen shots of this.

Here is how it would appear in 3.0.

Account View

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Contact View

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To access SmartNav, when you setup the relationship you can select a custom label. Here it is on the account relationship setup.

From the Account Relationship Setup

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From the Contact Relationship Setup

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The finished product in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 using the example we used above. So here it is on the account view.

Account Profile in 4.0

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Contact Profile in 4.0

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So with SmartNav you can improve the user experience for the end users with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.  The next couple of features will be posted on my blog, which is located at: http://blogs.msdn.com/MidAtlanticCRM

Ben Vollmer

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Comments (8)

  1. Jim Glass was nice enough to post my latest favorite feature on the CRM Team’s blog. I will be working

  2. Jim Glass was nice enough to post my latest favorite feature on the CRM Team's blog. I will be working

  3. Ralf says:

    Hi Ben

    Would this also work for the exisiting labels? One of my customers would like to rename Sub-Accounts to Sub-Offices in the Account screen.

    Regards, Ralf

  4. Ben Vollmer says:

    Ralf,

    I just played with it in a demo system and it appears not to like doing it for System Entities. So I would say No for now. 🙂

    Thanks!

    Ben

  5. PeterC says:

    Interested in what the display order refers to.

  6. Ben Vollmer says:

    Peter,

    You can change the order that custom entities appear in. So 10000 is the first one to appear, 10001 would be #2, etc…

    Just don’t number too close to each other. 🙂

    Ben

  7. Dating says:

    The breadth of new features in the product is mind blowing to me. I am looking forward to seeing some of the creative uses that partners and customers come up with for the larger items like Workflow, Multi Currency, etc. However, I am most appreciativ

  8. Weddings says:

    The breadth of new features in the product is mind blowing to me. I am looking forward to seeing some of the creative uses that partners and customers come up with for the larger items like Workflow, Multi Currency, etc. However, I am most appreciativ

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