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Working With Subgrids In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
When you upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, you will notice a big change in subgrids on forms.
CRM 2011 introduced subgrids in forms as an convenient way to work with related records.
When a user clicked on the subgrid the ribbon menu would change to the ribbon for the entity in the subgrid. This provided the full menu for the related entity in context of the parent entity form, which was great for power users when they needed those options.
However, it also meant that there were many buttons on the ribbon, and depending on where you clicked, the ribbon would change. Some users were confused by the changing ribbon and clicked buttons for a subgrid ribbon when they meant to select the button on the form ribbon.
In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, the subgrid evolves following the simplified design themes you see elsewhere in the application. Like command bars and sitemaps, the subgrid menus are designed to be there when you need them but get out of the way when you don’t.
In CRM 2013, the subgrid menu is minimized, with only the add new button displayed, along with a button that looks like a spreadsheet. This provides a simple interface for users that just need to view the records in the subgrid.
For power users, all of the options that you are used to are still there. Simply click the second button to open the full grid.
You now have the options to export the grid to Excel, view a chart, or run a report. In the same amount of clicks as clicking on the subgrid and then clicking the ribbon button in CRM 2011 you can pop the grid out and select the button from the command bar in CRM 2013. You can then click the “back” button (or your keyboard backspace key) to go back to the form.
This design will simplify your forms while still providing power users what they need for managing related records. So if someone asks you “where did my (insert name of button) button go?” The answer is, “It is still there.”
Bonus tip: You may notice that when you click the “+” button on the subgrid that you get a search window. This is because the “+” button defaults to the “Add existing” option on subgrids.
For instructions on how to make the “+” button add a new record rather than reassociating an existing one, see my tip from CRM Tip Of The Day.