If you’ve recently upgraded to CRM 2013 and haven’t merged your existing forms with the new forms, you might be wondering how to create activities with the ‘Regarding’ field already populated with your Accounts, Contacts, Leads, etc.

In CRM 2013 it is easy to find the Quick Create button at the top of the form and by clicking it you can quickly create Tasks, Calls, Emails, etc.

Dynamics CRM Online 2013

However, when the form opens you will have to manually select who the activity is for (e.g. fill in the ‘Call to’ and ‘Regarding’ fields”):

Dynamics CRM Create Activity

Nowhere else on the form does there seem to be a place to create an activity, and you may ask yourself “Where is the equivalent of my ‘Add’ tab or related entity?”

The reason you may be having difficulties is that you may be looking at your old customized form and not seeing the new form in CRM 2013 which comes with the Social Pane that includes Posts, Activities and Notes:

Dynamics CRM Activities

With the Social Pane you can easily add activities for your entities, and the ‘Regarding’ entity is automatically populated.

Dynamics CRM Social Pane

So, why is it that this control is not available? Well, when the organization is upgraded to CRM 2013 all of the existing forms are added to the list of CRM 2013 default forms. For the most part, the CRM 2013 default forms have the same name as the entity they are related to in the entity customization window, and the existing forms have the old ‘Information’ name.

Dynamics CRM Entity Customization Window

The order of and access to the forms are modified from the Customizations form accessed from Settings.

Customization form Dynamics CRM

Access to the forms is granted using ‘Enable Security Roles’, and the order of the forms will be displayed (if granted access to multiple forms) and set from ‘Form Order’.

Dynamics CRM Form Order

On the entity form you can change between the various forms like you were able to do in previous versions. For those with security access, a dropdown will be available in the upper left under the command bar:

Dynamics CRM Contact

An example of the top portion of a CRM 2011 form converted to CRM 2013 might look like:

Dynamics CRM 2011 Converted Form

The top of the new CRM 2013 default form would look like the following:

Dynamics CRM 2013 Default Form

It is unlikely that CRM users will want to switch between the forms in order to take advantage of the new layout and features while keeping their old form structure. So, what do we do?

If you have no customizations for an entity then you can move everyone to the new form and get rid of the old one. To do this you simply make sure that all users have access to the new form and not to the old form. For the ‘Information’ form No users are selected:

Dynamics CRM Information Form

Everyone is given access to the default form:

Dynamics CRM 2013 Assign Access

You can then deactivate the Information form and no one can use that form.

If you’ve spent a great deal of time getting your form customized, you will want to add the Social Pane to your customized form. This can’t be done on upgraded forms, so you will either need to create a new form based on the upgraded form or merge your existing form with the CRM 2013 form and subsequently remove the fields you no longer want.

How to merge your custom form with the CRM 2013 form

Keep in mind that when merging forms, the new features such as the address control (it displays the address in a single text box and then when clicked on expands for more detail and editing) may be lost if you keep all of your existing customizations and don’t use the new features from the merged form.

Dynamics CRM 2013 Address Control

To merge the customized forms with the CRM 2013 default forms you must first open the CRM 2013 default form and select ‘Merge Forms’. This won’t be available from the upgraded ‘Information’ forms.

Dynamics CRM 2013 Merge Forms

You will be asked which form you want to merge into the entity form.

Dynamics CRM 2013 Look Up Form

Select the ‘Information’ form and click ‘Add’.

Dynamics CRM 2013 Merging Forms

Once you tell the system it is OK to proceed you will have an updated CRM 2013 default form with the old customized tabs and sections appended to the bottom. Keep what you like of the new form (DO NOT remove the Social Pane, it is not easy to get back), rearrange as necessary, save and publish. You can then change security for the forms and deactivate the old form as you like.

CRM 2013 has a lot of new features that you will want to take advantage of while maintaining the work you’ve already put into the system. With a little rearranging the Merge feature can be the answer to having the ‘old’ alongside the ‘new’.

Feel free to contact FMT should you have questions or need additional information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

Written by:
Dave Nash, CRM Practice Manager, FMT

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