MB2-717 Certification: (Microsoft Dynamics for Sales) – Editable Grids

As I prepare for my Dynamics 365 certification in sales (MB2-717), I am creating blog posts based on my revision. I hope that collectively these posts may prove useful to anyone also preparing for the MB2-717 exam. In this post I will focus on editable grids.

You can see below that editable grids are referenced in the skills measured statement under the heading of “manage sales by using sales analysis tools”.


Editable grids provide “rich” editing capability directly inline whilst viewing a grid of data. Both on main grids and on the sub-grids found on entity forms. Data is saved as you navigate around the grid or at regular intervals. (As would normally happen with the auto-save feature in Dynamics 365!) Additionally, users can click the save icon on the grid as required.

Editable grids can be used on system and custom entities. Although often you will find that a system administrator / customizer will need to enable an entity to use editable grids. (Note:
Editable grids are not enabled by default!)

Field security applies on editable grids, as it does on “CRM” forms. The use of editable grids therefore honours the Dynamics 365 security model.

Editable grids can be used in the full web client for Dynamics 365 and within the mobile application.


Using Editable Grids 

Editable grids support many features! Some of the features you might need to be aware of include;

  • In-line editing
  • Sorting
  • Grouping
  • Filtering
  • Show As
  • Runtime move and resize of columns

In-line editing

In-line editing allows us to edit data right in the grid! In-line editing supports rich editing of text fields, values, lookup fields, pick lists etc. Below you can see below how we can edit a pick list field directly in the grid.

Also notice the locked symbol on my email field. This field is locked / read-only as it comes from a related entity. You cannot edit a related entity directly in the grid.


You cannot edit a records owner directly in the grid. This is done by using the assign button in the command bar.

It is also not possible to edit a records status directly in the grid. To do this you need to use the options in the command bar not change the status in the grid.

Sorting

I can sort columns by clicking on the column heading. Users can click on any column heading to sort by that column, an arrow shows in the tab heading to say if it being sorted in ascending or descending order.

You can only sort by one column! Unless you are using the group open. As the column used for the grouping and one other column can then be used. (As shown below as I am grouping by rating and additionally sorting by estimated revenue.


Grouping

Grouping is an option that allows me to group the data being viewed by any column in the view.


Filtering

Filter results to view a subset as required. The format of the filter will differ slightly depending on the field type. For example, with a pick list we get the ability to “tick” which options to show. And (as shown below) with number fields we can use logic like “is greater than” etc. Notice below that my filter can have up to two parts and I can apply an “And” or “Or” condition to the second part of the filter.


Show As

We also have a show as option which allows users to turn th editable feature off / on.


Runtime move and resize of columns

User can move and resize columns at runtime. This is done by simply dragging the fields as required.

Enable Editable Grids

As already mentioned editable grids are not enabled by default. An administrator or customizer must enable them. This is a simple process but “probably” beyond the scope of the MB2-717 exam.

However, if you’d like to research how to do this you can see information able enabling edit grids in this post.

You might not be expected to understand the detail on customizing editable grids, but I would expect that we will need to understand the concept of enabling them. Additionally, as editable grids aren’t enabled by default you might need to enable at least one to gain some hands on practice!

Editable grids are a custom control, you therefore enable them in a similar way as you would for other custom controls.

In customizations navigate to the required entity. Then select the “Controls” tab and the “Add Control…” link.


Next select “Editable Grid” and click Add.


Now you’ll need to select which clients you wish to enable editable grids on. Below you can see that I have selected the web client and the tablet client.

Tip: There are some additional properties on editable grids that you may wish to edit. But just adding the grid like this is enough to get it working!


Limitations / Considerations 

Some things to consider with editable grids, include;

  • Read-only fields on the form aren’t read-only! Making a field read-only on a form, only applies to that form. Often a better approach is to use a field level security. (Or use JavaScript!)
  • Editable Grid version of a sub grid takes up more space than the read only grid (especially if you enable the Group By feature).  Allow for a larger sub grid to make sure your users see the same amount of data they used to.
  • Enabling editable grids on a home grid is a global setting!
  • Enabling editing on a sub grid is a per sub grid basis meaning that every sub grid on every form and dashboard must have their editable setting enabled individually.
  • Some fields are not editable in the editable grid:
    • Fields from related entities
    • State, StateCode
    • Customer fields (e.g., on an Opportunity or Case)
    • Composite fields (e.g. composite address or name fields)
    • Party List fields (e.g., the To field on an Email)
    • Field Level Secure fields (if your field security profile prevents you from editing the field)
  • Nested editable grids only apply to the mobile client.
  • Editable Grids support JavaScript for home grid and sub-grids, for OnRecordSelect, OnSave, OnChange events.
  • Editable Grids support entity level business rules for ….
    • Show error message
    • Set field value
    • Set business required
    • Set default value
    • Lock or unlock field
  • JavaScript, Xrm.Page is used to reference objects on the CRM forms this approach doesn’t work with editable grids. (My next post will explain how to construct your JavaScript!)

Understanding how to make good use of editable grids is really important for the MB2-717 exam your best approach to understanding them will be some hands on practice. Enjoy.

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