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What's your opinion? The best field type/setup for....

  • 1.  What's your opinion? The best field type/setup for....

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 15 days ago
    In Account records, we have a "Technology Footprint" section. We need to identify certain software in use and record it. Right now we have dropdown picklists and that doesn't work anymore.

    I have yet to do anything with the multi-select picklists since they came out, but it does make me question the plan I have to create a field for every single type of software we need to identify (a lot!) with a yes/no radio button.

    The end game is to run reports, advanced finds, and filter based on the selections. We'll also map that data to Word templates. I worry that the limitations of the multi-select picklist could cause issue with these goals.

    Has anyone done something similar they'd like to share?

    Thanks!

    (I'm online, using the new UI)

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    Brooke Browne
    Marketing Director
    Smartbridge
    Houston TX
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    Conference-CRMUG_200x200


  • 2.  RE: What's your opinion? The best field type/setup for....

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 14 days ago
    Brooke,

    What I am thinking if there are many software types would be to set up a new entity for them and set up an N:N relationship between them and accounts.  Too many option set values get unwieldy.  Also, I haven't done any testing with multi-valued option sets but from what I understand they are stored as a comma delimited list of values.  That could be very slow in searching or parsing for reporting.

    Wayne.

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    Wayne Wittman
    CRM Administrator
    MiTek Industries Inc.
    Clifton NJ
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    Conference-CRMUG_200x200


  • 3.  RE: What's your opinion? The best field type/setup for....

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 14 days ago
    Brooke,

    If there really is a huge list of different types of software, another potential option is using Filtered Lookups.  That would allow you to setup different categories of software in one lookup field, and have a filtered list of software to pick from in another.

    For example, you might setup one filed to be the software provider name (i.e. Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, SAP) and then the filtered lookup would just display the software options for that provider.

    I saw an article online by Carl De Souza that provides a no-code step-by-step example of how this can be done in Dynamics. https://carldesouza.com/filtering-lookup-fields-in-dynamics-365/  There are other examples readily available online as well.


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    Patrick O'Donnell | VP - Business Development, the Americas
    mscrm-addons.com
    Patrick.ODonnell@mscrm-addons.com
    Atlanta GA
    770 781 8260 Cell
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    Conference-CRMUG_200x200


  • 4.  RE: What's your opinion? The best field type/setup for....

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 14 days ago
    Hi Brooke,

    I agree with Wayne on creating a new entity and using an N:N relationship to the Accounts. You can still do reporting on it; it gives you the ability to deactivate the software record so that it doesn't show up when searching but still keep history (not possible without script on option sets); it allows you to collect extra data on the intersecting record such as date software installed, product key, or number of licensed users.

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    Scott Florance
    Business Applications Consultant
    KTL Solutions, Inc, Frederick MD
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    Conference-CRMUG_200x200


  • 5.  RE: What's your opinion? The best field type/setup for....

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 14 days ago

    You may want to consider a many to many relationship instead.  This would be a new custom entity to hold all your possible technology/software products (a master list for lookup purposes).  Then you create the many to many relationship between an account and the lookup list.  In this manner you can have any number of relationships between the two. This offers more flexibility than a multi-select option-set as you can always add more software products to the master list and those then become immediately available for use in the many to many relationship.  We use this concept for many similar situations and in doing so we prevent the situation where a sys admin has to update an option-set – they can simply add a new record to the custom entity and that makes it available for selection on the account record in the related list.

     

     

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  • 6.  RE: What's your opinion? The best field type/setup for....

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 14 days ago
    Brooke,
        We have found that the multi-select option sets come with too many issues, such as the inability to use business rules and workflows with them. Many-to-many (N:N) relations have their issues too, for example you cannot associate any metadata with the relationship. For example, you have a customer that has software product X. If you have a N:N relation, then you cannot add a "software version" field or a "license" field to that relationship.

    I think @William Suycott has a good approach, where you create your own many-to-many _entity_ that has a lookups for both the customer and the software entities. To make your users experience easier, I propose you also employ @Patrick O'Donnell's suggestion with one minor change: put the lookup field(s) on the customer record, and when the user hits the Save, a synchronous workflow will create the new record in the many-to-many entity and clear out the lookup fields (to show the user it is ready to add the next one).

    ​​

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    Thanks.
    Nelson Johnson, Solution Architect
    BroadPoint, Inc., Bethesda MD
    Link with me! https://www.linkedin.com/in/nelsonjohnson/
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  • 7.  RE: What's your opinion? The best field type/setup for....

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 14 days ago
    Wow thanks all!

    It sounds like I've got a plan and something new to learn how to do! (And to stay away from multi-select picklists)


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    Brooke Browne
    Marketing Director
    Smartbridge
    Houston TX
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    Conference-CRMUG_200x200


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