Dynamics CRM Features to be Thankful For

Dear Friends, Family & Blog Readers,

As Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) is on our doorsteps ushering in the season full of holiday spirit, gratitude and cheer, we have the opportunity to reflect on what we are thankful for (of course this is amidst the rampant consumerism that ALSO follows directly on the heels of Thanksgiving).

As I have used Microsoft Dynamics CRM in recent days a tear has oft’ come to my eye as I see how much CRM has grown and improved over the past year and I wanted to share my gratitude and warm fuzzy feelings with you.

I have listed some of my most cherished features from this past year to share with you all. Some features you may already know and love as well, others may be new tidings of great joy to you.

Features I am thankful for:

  • Global Search – At first favoring traditional navigation techniques I tried to omit this from training, but users gravitate to a search, and Search
    eventually the global search found comfort in my heart as well. Just like the overpriced smartphone you will be coerced to buy your teen this Holiday season, we don’t know how we lived before having the Global Search. Record location and retrieval will be changed forever.
  • Recently Viewed Items – Like gravy to mashed potatoes, this was a feature that was so desperately needed in CRM but before we tried it, weQuick Find
    didn’t know what we were missing. Always one click away at the top of the screen we have easy access to all view and records we have recently visited. Navigation this year has been gravy since getting this gift from Microsoft.
  • Business Rules – An oldie but goodie introduced in CRM 2013 this steady and faithful feature gets little recognition as it consistently fires in the background every time a record is opened. Available without limit on every entity a non-technical resource can easily build logic into a page to hide/show, update and clear fields (among other things). There are some Scrooges still out there that have not gotten used to the idea of anyone having access to build what were once only functions of JavaScript, but I choose the bubbly glass half full remembering all of the issues that have been solved using Business rules.
  • Calculated Field (Formulas) – On the surface calculated fields seem pretty straight forward, but my mind exploded with gratitude recently when I realized that there are several formulas that can be used with Calculated fields to not only total sums of money but also create counters based on the difference between two date fields, or even one date field and now. Things that once could only be done with plugins or JavaScript now can be built by turkey’s like me! I have only torn off the wrapping in terms of what these fields can be used for.

Here are a few of the formulas (think Excel formulas) that I have been grateful for:

    • CONCAT- Used to concatenate single line of text fields
    • TRIMLEFT (or RIGHT)- Used to trim fields from left (or right)
    • ADDDAYS*- Used to add to a time/date field
    • SUBTRACKDAYS*- Used to subtract from a time/date field
    • DIFFINDAYS*- Used to find the difference between two date fields

(*All time features can be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years)

  • New Navigation Bar- Nothing has had me sing louder praises of joy over the past year than the new layout of the navigation bar, no more NAVscrolling to the right only to move your mouse slightly off of the tile and then the navigation going away and having to start all over again (I know you have been there). Now you can get to the CRM area you want as fast and with as little anxiety as buying your gift list on amazon. It is often the simple things in life, isn’t it?


There is so much to be grateful for in CRM, so as you eat your turkey, ham or Tofurky this Thanksgiving be thankful to CRM for all it has done for you this year and the exciting year we have ahead of us.

Best Holiday Wishes,

Matthew Case
PS. Please share in the comments the features you are most thankful for!