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Form Social Panes and Posts in Dynamics CRM: Part 1
Over a three part series, I will be discussion one of the more overlooked and underappreciated features in CRM, in my humble opinion: the ‘Posts’ feature in the social pane.
One of the reasons that this feature seems to be overlooked is that people don’t completely understand how to utilize them. “Other than users manually adding a post, what is the benefit here?” seems to be a question that pops up more often than not. This is where I intend to step in with a) an overview of how they work out of the box, b) how to configure posts for custom entities, and c) a neat idea on how to further extend the tool.
So lets get started!
HOW POSTS WORK:
There are two main entities involved when it comes to posts: Post Configurations and Post Rule Configurations.
First we will discuss Post Configuration records. There is a ‘Post Configuration’ record for each entity within the system. By default all of the out of the box entities already have a record, and each time a new entity is created in the system, a corresponding ‘Post Configuration’ record is also created.
What these records allow us to do is to toggle on or off the ability to have a Post feed available in the social pane on the form. The advantage here is that, if you as an organization have decided you do not care to utilize the post portion of the social pane, you can turn this option off completely and the only options users will see are ‘Activities’ and ‘Notes’ in their social pane.
Enabling or disabling the post configuration record for an entity is as simple as setting the ‘Wall Enabled’ field to Yes/No on the Post Configuration record:
Note: When enabling or disabling the Post Configuration record for an entity, you must publish that entity before you will see the change.
Below is an example of the Post Configuration record being enabled for the Account entity:
And now disabled:
Post Configuration Rules are simply child records to the Post Configuration records. These child records are only available for out of the box entities, and are simply descriptions for what kind of posts will be automatically generated by the system for their related entity.
As an example we will look at the Post Configuration Rules for the ‘Appointment’ entity.
Each of these rules defines where a post will be created each time a specific action occurs for an appointment record. Out of the box you can have a post generated to the ‘Posts’ section of the social pane each time an appoint is created or closed for an associated Account, Contact, Lead or Case.
Like Post Configurations, they can also be toggled on and off using the ‘Activate’ or ‘Deactivate’ buttons within the ribbon.
Note: As with the Post Configuration records, when enabling or disabling the Post Configuration Rules record for an entity, you must publish that entity before you will see the change.
It is important to note that all of these records, Post Configurations and Post Configuration Rules, are predefined by Microsoft, and the only functionality we have as system administrators is to toggle these records on and off. We cannot create additional Post Configuration Rules, we can only turn the ones that are system generated on and off. Part 2 of this series will discuss how we can create custom posts.