As I create my revision guide for the MB2-712 certification (Customization and Configuration in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016) I have already mentioned how to customize forms, in this post I will expand on those concepts by looking at mobile forms.
The mobile client offers a very different look to forms, which is optimized for a mobile / touch interface. But the form displayed is using the same form factor as the standard web client. To illustrate this point I have shown the “normal” web client form for an account and below that I have shown the same form on a tablet and then on a phone. At first glance you will see that these forms look completely different. But if you look closer you should notice that the same tabs, sections and fields are common to all presentations of the data.
For example: notice the position of annual revenue, number of employees and owner in the header on the web form. You can see that these fields are still shown grouped together in the mobile client. It is just that the header is in a different position on the form.
Web Client Account Form (From my laptop)
Mobile Form on a Tablet (Actually from my Surface 3 Tablet)
Mobile Form on a Phone (From my Microsoft Lumia 650 phone but I could have used my iPhone 5C or an android device!)
The small form factor of a phone means all of the columns can’t be displayed at once. They are all present and mirror what is displayed on the tablet form. You simply swipe left / right to move between the columns.
These forms are all similar BUT there are some important differences;
- Only the first 5 tabs or first 75 fields are shown on the mobile form
- Subgrids in the mobile form show in columns
- No more than 10 sub grids (lists) are included on the mobile form
- Entity images are visible in list views and context cards
This means that if you have more than 5 tabs or more than 75 fields the most important ones need to come first so that they show on both the mobile and web clients.
Back in my mobile app notice that I can’t navigate to all of the CRM entities. This is because only entities are shown when they are enabled for the mobile app.
To enable an entity for the mobile application you can simply do this in the properties section of the entity. Under Outlook & Mobile.
We can now not only enable an entity for the mobile application but also enable offline data. I don’t believe this option was available when the MB2-712 exam was launched so it is unlikely to be covered. But this is an important option that you should research anyway! (I only “think” it won’t be covered I can’t guarantee it!!)
Customizing Field Mobile Controls.
The experience of using a mobile form is different to using a desk based form. We often might want to use different controls to enter data, ones that are more suited to a mobile touch interface. When I access the properties of each field on the CRM form I have a controls tab. In here we can decide what type of control is used on the field in both the phone and tablet versions of the mobile application.
As an example, below, I have shown a star rating system to enter the probability field and an arc knob control …..
I have picked these two controls for a reason! The probability field can be used in several different ways. A common use is to score the opportunity as being percentage. In that situation the arc knob is ideal for entering a percentage in a mobile environment.
Another way to view probability is a likelihood score. Say “n” out of 10 or 5. (or whatever) In that scenario the star rating control on a mobile device would be better. Therefore, you need to carefully consider what controls are used on your mobile forms to mirror how your fields are actually being used.
The best thing to do in your preparation is play around with changing some controls just to see what happens. After you change a control in the customizations sections you will need to publish your changes and reload the mobile app. Plus when the mobile app reloads you will be promoted to download the latest changes.
Global Mobile Controls
So far I have described setting controls on a field by field basis. There are some controls such as the calendar control that can be set at an entity level.
You will see the calendar control when you view activities. As instead of viewing them as a list, as you would with accounts or contacts they can be viewed on a calendar.
If, however I disabled the calendar control on activities they would change to look like this.
I have completed a post before including a video on changing mobile controls. You can view this here.
I really like playing around with the controls on mobile forms! I hope you enjoy experimenting with controls as part of your preparation for the MB2-712 exam. J