CRM 2016 – Configuring Search Options

I recently answered a question in the Microsoft Dynamics Community forum someone had asked about configuring search system settings in CRM 2016. Assuming others might ask similar questions I have created this blog post.

You can access the multi-entity search from the search box in the navigation bar of CRM.

Using the multi-entity search option is CRM is useful as it looks at multiple entities. For example, my search for “Neil” returns results from “Accounts”, “Contacts” and “Users”

But how do we control which entities are searched and how the search functions. For example, out of the box a search for “Service” would not return results including “Servicing” but you can enable full text search capability to support this.

Entities for Search

Within system settings we can change which entities are searched. Simply go into system settings and then in the general tab find the “Set up Quick Find” section. Here you have an option to select entities.

Clicking select will present the following screen, on which you can add and remove entities to be searched. You can also change the order of the entities as required.

Enable Quick Find Record Limits

Without quick find record limits enabled the limit is set to 50,000. Meaning if you conduct a search that yields more than 50,000 results an error will be given. Enabling the record limits changes tis limit to 10,000. Still a high number but low enough to reduce the impact of large queries.

I suggest you enable this option and only revert if user often report issues with wanting to return more than 10,000 rows.

Full Text Search
(CRM on premise only)

As already mentioned out of the box CRM uses a literal search method. But enabling full text searching can give improved results by returning linguistic matches. Below you can see that I have searched for service and it has returned cases including the word “Service” and “Servicing”. (Something the standard literal search would not do.)

To enable full text search, you go into settings and select the full-text search.

Changing the Enable full-text search for Quick Find option to “Yes” will generate a warning. As it can take 24 hours to become active.

There are some things you should be aware of with full-text search;

  • When you enable full-text search indexes need to be maintained. A maintenance job runs to create these indexes; this job runs once per day. Hence 24 hours to enable (or disable) full-text search.
  • If you add or remove a find column, again it can take 24 hours for the required index to be created.
  • When a new column is added as a find column the “traditional” literal match will apply until the index maintenance job has completed.
  • The full-text search option does not take effect in advanced finds.
  • Full-text searching can return unexpected results for words like “on”, “or”, “for” and “like”, if this happens contact your SQL Server database administrator who can create “stoplists”.

Quick Find Views

Beyond the system settings you can control which columns are searched and returned in results by amending the quick find view on entities. Below you can see I have gone into customizations and highlighted the location of the quick find view for accounts.

Within the quick find view you use the add find columns option to add or remove columns to be used for searching.

it might be tempting to make large numbers of columns find columns! But be aware that doing so would eventually have a negative impact on performance, so keep the searchable fields to a minimum whenever possible.

The quick find view can contain many columns and all are reported when searching from lists. But in the multi-entity search the columns returned are always the first three from this view. You might want to keep this in mind when deciding the column order for your results.

Hopefully this post has covered all of the options connected with search settings.

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