MB2-716 (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customization and Configuration) – Hierarchical Relationships

As I prepare for my MB2-716 exam I’m producing a series of blog posts that collectively should help others revising for the MB2-716 Certification. (Microsoft Dynamics 365 customization and Configuration.) This time I will look at hierarchical relationships.

You will see in the skills measured statement, under “Implement entity relationships” that we need to understand how to work with hierarchical data.

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, ONLY 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.


Quick Tip: You will find that you cannot amend existing system relationships, meaning you will need to create fresh custom relationships. This came up recently for me! As the case entity has an out of the box concept of parent case. But this relationship is not marked as hierarchical and cannot be changed. Therefore to show a case hierarchy you’d need to create a new custom relationship.

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 MB2-716 exam. But as always I would like to stress that you need to get as much hands on time as possible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s