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. This time I will cover Word templates.
You can see below an extract from the skills measured statement that references documents and templates. Document templates implies the sue of Word templates.
As with Excel we can use Microsoft Word templates with Dynamics 365. Templates allow us to create documents containing Dynamics 365 data that follow a consistent format. It will be a common requirement to use Word templates to deliver standard business documents, such as quotes, orders and invoices.
Out Of The Box Templates
One thing that is worth knowing is that Dynamics 365 ships with several Word templates of the box. These include;
- Opportunity Summary
- Campaign Summary
- Case Summary
- Account Summary
You can view the available templates by navigating to Settings and then Templates. You will also find several Excel templates.
You can see below that I have opened one of these system templates, notice that I can enable it for specific roles as required. It is therefore possible to grant / restrict access to word templates based on role.
Using these out of the box templates is simple. Just navigate to the required entity, select (or open) a record and select the word template option. Below you can see that I have navigated to invoices, selected an invoice and then I have access to the invoice template in the “Word Templates” option.
Above I selected a word template from a view of invoices. It is also possible to find the same option from within the invoice form. (As shown below.)
As part of your revision I suggest running some of these out of the box templates. You may decide the formatting on them isn’t fantastic! And when you do you’ll want to create your own templates.
Before you think about creating Word templates there are some settings you need to check within Word.
On a blank document in word, you will first want to enable the Word developer tools. So that they show in your command ribbon in Word. To do this in you document right click on the existing ribbon. (Maybe within a blank area of your ribbon!)
You can see below that I can now access an option to customize the ribbon.
To enable the developer tools simply tick the developer option and then click OK.
You will now have this developer ribbon within Word.
You are now ready to create Word templates within Dynamics 365.
Creating Personal Word Templates
To create a Word template you click on Excel templates option in a command bar in Dynamics 365 and then select the create option. (Yes I said Excel!). When the create Excel template option loads you will have an option to create a Word template. You can see this below.
Also notice that I can select the primary entity for my Word template, this will default to the entity currently being views. (In my example quote.) You can change this as required.
When creating a template we now click on “SELECT ENTITY”. In the next screen we can define what related data we require. For example on a quotation template I might want to show product information and other related data. In my example below you can see that I have selected additional related data for each of the relationship types. Those being 1 to many (1:n), many to 1 (n:1) and many to many (n:n).
To explain my example, each quote can have many quote lines (1:n), each quote can have one account (n:1) and each contact can have many quotes and each quote can have many contacts (n:n).
You can now open the template in Word. But before you can edit the template you will need ti click, the “Enable Editing” button.
You can now start to build your document. Obviously the formatting could take sometime and involves your Word skills. I am not trying to teach you Word in this post! So I will focus on explaining how to add the data from Dynamics 365 into your Word template. You add fields from the XML Mapping Pane within developer tools.
When you have opened the XNL Mapping Pane you will need to select the correct custom XML part. Using the dropdown you will find the name of the template you have opened. (Clue, it will have “crm” in the name!)
From here I can now open my quote entity to view all of the fields on the quotation.
Additionally scrolling down to the bottom will enable me to see and open the related data I included in my template. Here I can access further details from the account, quote lines and contacts.
To insert fields into your template, simply click on the area of your document that needs to contact the field. Then right click on the required field name. Select “Insert Content Control”. Finally you need to pick the content type, which is typically going to be “Plan Text”.
You may want “repeating” content such as product lines on a quote. To achieve this you first insert the fields required on your quote. (Typically in a row within a table). Next highlight those details fields and navigate to the entity relationship name in the XML content pane. In this example that would be “Quote Lines”. The right click and select “Insert Content Control” and select the “Repeating” option.
Once you have completed all your formatting save the Word document ready to be imported back into Dynamics 365. In Dynamics 365 select the “Excel Templates” option again. Then select “Word Template” and use the Upload option to import your file.
Once successfully uploaded you should see a screen something like the one below.
Tip: If required you could edit the name at this point. Additionally you could share this personal template with other users.
Now back in my quotation I have a new personal template. (I will discuss a concept of system templates in a second)
On first attempt my quotation looked like the one shown below.
My quotation isn’t perfect, for example I added the product name in the product ID field by accident. I also wouldn’t expect your first attempt to be perfect!
Which leads me to a top tip …. You may want to delete this personal template, alter your word document and import a new version. To do that we can use “Advanced Find”. Simply use advanced find to list all records in an entity called “Personal Document Templates”. You can then delete any which are no longer needed.
Creating System Word Templates
System administrators and system customizers can create system Word templates. (So far I have only mentioned personal templates which could be created by users with the required permissions.)
In the settings, templates options developers can select the document templates option.
Here the developer can use the “UPLOAD TEMPLATE” option in a very similar manner to that we’ve already seen with personal templates.
The resulting template will be enabled for all security roles. So at this point the developer may need to amend the enabled roles.
Having uploaded my template you can now see that my “Example Quote” template is available as a Word Template. Notice that I had also previously uploaded it as a personal template and is therefore showing twice. This is actually something I commonly do! As a developer I create a personal template and only once I am happy do I upload it as a system template. If I follow this approach I would now use advanced find to delete my personal template as it is no longer needed.
Solution management is beyond the scope of the MB2-717 exam. As MB2-717 will focus on the functionality around sales. But I would like you to appreciate that document templates are not solution aware. They cannot be added to a solution. Therefore, if you have multiple instances of Dynamics 365 the templates would need to be manually imported into each.
I hope this post has given you a good overview of Word Templates and covered the key information you’ll need to revise for the MB2-717 exam.
Additionally when I have previously created a video showing a demo of creating Word Templates. The video was created for Dynamics CRM 2016 but the process hasn’t changed. Therefore you may also find viewing this useful.