Maximize Productivity and Enhance the User Experience with Flexible Role-Based Forms in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

One of the great new features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is form-level security in which entity forms can be customized by specific user security roles. For example, an Account form for customer service personnel may contain billing and shipping data, while an Account form for sales reps may not.  Multiple forms per entity can be quickly created and customized to show the most pertinent fields for specific security roles based on their core tasks and data needs. Fields on the original main entity form can be repositioned, inserted, or removed and actually tailored to a security role’s underlying responsibilities. Such customization capabilities result in only the most significant data getting displayed, thus enhancing the user navigation experience and increasing productivity levels. After all, there may be confidential financial or personal data on forms that users within a certain security role are not authorized to view. Plus, some data fields may not be relevant or critical to normal duties for other particular users. In these cases, the unauthorized fields or those not adding value can be removed from the users’ custom form so they can find information more quickly and easily.  As appropriate, the newly created custom forms can then be displayed to all the users with the unique security roles assigned to the form.

To create a role-based offshoot form, just go to Settings – Customization – Customizations – Customize the System (if you’re on the Account ribbon and you click on the Customize tab and then Customize entity, you’ll get to the same place).

form 1

Then, select the applicable entity and create a new custom form.

form 2

After making your customization adjustments, click save to label the name of the new form. 

form 3

Next, you will see the new form show up in the form list for the entity along with the Main form and Mobile form.  Then, you can click on Assign Security Roles from the grid or directly on the form to designate the roles for which the new form will be displayed.  In my example below, I created a “Sales Intensive Form” for the Account entity so I made it only available to Sales and Marketing roles. 

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For users with multiple security roles connected to a wide array of Account form layouts, you can go to Form Order and use the arrow buttons to change the default option and the order of your form visibility and usability preference.  Lastly, you can publish the Account entity, and the additional custom Sales Intensive Account Form will be available only to those with the Marketing Manager, Marketing Professional, Sales Manager, and Salesperson security roles.

form 1

Offering CRM users flexibility via role-based forms boosts their productivity and enables them to access mission-critical data more quickly.  Firms will still have tight control over their data, as changes made to records can certainly be tracked via the auditing capabilities in CRM 2011.