CRM MVP Joel Lindstrom, a Solutions Consultant for CustomerEffective, blogs about Mobile Express solutions.
I have found myself using Dynamics CRM Mobile Express fairly frequently lately. I’ve been away from the office and had to address cases or look up company addresses, and it has come in really handy. If you are not familiar with Mobile Express, it is the free mobile-friendly interface for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. If you have Microsoft CRM (post update rollup 5), you have Mobile Express.
I’ve been impressed with how simple the interface is, yet how much functionality is there. You can do most of the things that you can do through the full CRM interface through Mobile Express—look up records, create records, edit records, or delete records, if your permissions allow.
There are some limitations—screen size naturally limits the number of fields you can realistically display in a user-friendly way, and some functionality, such as reassigning records is not available. You can see who the owner is, but you cannot edit the record owner field. In most cases, I don’t think this is an issue, as you would probably want to manage assignments through the full interface anyway.
However, we recently had a use case that made reassignment of records via Mobile Express necessary. We use CRM to manage our support cases. We also travel around frequently so Mobile Express is a great tool to help us view/update support tickets while not in front of a computer.
In managing cases, it is sometimes necessary to escalate the case or reassign it to another user. Since assignment of records is not available in Mobile Express, you can’t do this with the default configuration, but you can with the help of some workflow.
1. Create a new N:1 relationship between the Case and User entities. I called the field “Reassign Case Owner” and set the Navigation Item Icon to not display.
2. Do not add the new User lookup to the form, but add it to the Mobile Express form.
3. Create a workflow that fires upon update of the Reassign Case Owner field. Have the workflow check to verify that the Reassign Case Owner field contains data, and if so, assign the case record to the user referenced in the Reassign Case Owner field. I also had my workflow update the case and clear the Reassign Case Owner field after the case is reassigned.
The result is that we can now reassign/escalate Cases while on the go via Mobile Express. Since the Reassign Case Owner field is not on the Case form, CRM users won’t see or be confused with that field, but Mobile Express users will see it when they edit the record in Mobile Express. Mobile Express only displays fields that contain data when you view a record, so since we are clearing the field out after reassigning the record, Mobile Express users won’t be confused by that field when they read the record, but it will be available to them when they edit the record.
CRM MVP Joel Lindstrom