This post is part of a series I am creating aimed at helping anyone who is preparing for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Customization and Configuration exam. (MB2-712). This time I am going to look at the concepts connected with Hierarchical Relationships.
What is a Hierarchical Relationship?
A hierarchical relationship is used to reflect how one record in an entity relates to another. A good out of the box example of this might be how accounts can have parent accounts. Allowing us to create an account structure of head office, regional offices and branch offices. You can also create custom hierarchical relationships.
Hierarchical relationships are self-referential one-to-many relationships. (Self-referential as the account has a parent account.)
When a record in CRM is part of a hierarchy you can see this in the list views. As a “hierarchy icon” is displayed next to the record.
Also on the forms for the entity an option will appear to view hierarchy and the “hierarchy icon” will also be present.
Selecting any of these options will give a graphical representation of the hierarchy. An example is shown below. Notice that the hierarchy can have multiple levels as a parent account can in turn have a parent account.
How to Create / Edit a Hierarchical Relationship?
Firstly, one relationship can be defined as being hierarchical on an entity. It also needs to be a relationship with the primary entity and related entity as the same entity.
For example, parent account on an account. As shown below.
Next we can use the hierarchy settings to define how this relationship will behave. Note, each entity has one entry for hierarchy defined. By way of an example the hierarchy setting on account is shown below.
Notice that I only have an edit option. If a hierarchy setting didn’t yet exist a New button would also display.
On the hierarchy setting we can see that the default quick view form is defined. It is this that decides how the “cards” in the organisation view should appear. Whilst the hierarchy can’t be changed you can amend the hierarchy form or create a new form as required.
I haven’t covered the concepts associated with forms. (yet!) So I will not discuss the form in detail! At this point it should be enough to know that in the hierarchy settings we define which quick view
form will be used to display the tiles in the hierarchy. And that the fields shown on that form can be customized as required.
I hope this post will have been an aid to anyone preparing for the MB2-712 exam. But as always I would like to stress that you need to get as much hands on time as possible.
In my next post I will continue this series by looking at how we can also use connections to relate entities.