Dynamics 365 Outlook App – Control which entities that can be set regarding

I recently got asked a simple question but one I didn’t immediately know the answer for! As I had to research the answer I thought a blog post might help anyone who is presented with a similar question. That being …. “In the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook we can track emails as being regarding a standard set of entities. What if we want to remove entities from this list or add custom ones?”.

I ‘d never really considered before that when I’m tracking emails in the Outlook App I am not presented with all entities … I can only set an email regarding a subset of entities. Those being things like contact, account, lead, case and opportunity. For most purposes maybe this is prefect. But what if you want to remove the ability to track emails against cases, as maybe you don’t use them. Or what if you have a custom entity that would be really useful to include in the Outlook App.

To give context to this problem I have shown my Dynamics 365 Outlook App below and you can see the set regarding field. Searching in this field will typically return results from the standard set of entities I have mentioned above.

Clicking into your set regarding field and selecting the “New Record” option might helped easily show all of the entity types enabled in my instance.

It turns out that changing this list is really simple! I only had one minor challenge which seems to be a small “feature” in the App Designer. (I will mention that in a second.)

It might be important to understand that we might not be seeing all of the entities enabled  within your Outlook App here. The list is all entities included in your Outlook App which are capable of having activities tracked against them. Meaning an entity must be enabled for activities to show in the set regarding lookup.

To demonstrate this change I created a custom entity and enabled it for activities. You can see that below.

Next I simply needed to add my custom entity into a model driven app. I say simple …. I foolishly hadn’t realised (initially) that the Outlook App is “just” another model driven app. One that just happens to be one that shows within Outlook. You can see below that I have located the “Dynamics 365 App for Outlook” model driven app in my solution.

You can see below that my model driven app already includes a number of entities. The entities listed here (that can have activities) are the ones that will show in my “set regarding” field. So I can use the “Entities” option under the “ARTIFACTS” heading to add an remove entities.

At this point I did encounter a small issue. (One you might not face but I will mention it anyway …. just in case.) You can see below that I have located my entity and added it into my app.

Adding new entities worked fine for me. But removing an entity was slightly more clunky! As the existing entities didn’t seem to be pre-selected. So to remove an entity …. I had to select the entity and then immediately unselect it.

Once you have completed your changes. Simply save the app and publish it. You can see that the next time I viewed a record in Outlook my custom entity has been added and also the other entities that I didn’t need have been removed. (For example, I don’t use cases so they no longer show.)

This is a very easy change but hopefully one that will help some people tailor how their Dynamics 365 App for Outlook operates. Obviously you have seen that as the App for Outlook is “just” a model driven app other useful customizations are no doubt possible! Enjoy.

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