In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update, we provided a glimpse of the new user interface. Inline lookup was also part of this new user experience. Earlier, it was constrained to only contact, opportunity, lead, account, and contact entities.
Now in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall '13, we are extending this Inline lookup capability to most other forms and on the dialogs, such as Assign, Convert to Case, Opportunity). There’d be no more unnecessary pop-us.
Going one more step ahead, now multi-party lookup (To/CC/BCC field on Activities form) is also supported and this provides awesome capabilities of entering multiple items in a single lookup field.
I hope you’ll find this interesting.
In this blog, we will talk about inline single lookup and inline lookup menu.
To read about Inline multi-party lookup, please see the Inline Multi Party Lookup blog.
We will use the Regarding lookup field of the Appointment activity to demonstrate the inline single lookup and inline lookup menu.
In the end of the blog, we will talk about different notifications related to the lookup, feature availability/unavailability and deprecated field properties for lookup.
This was an overview of the new inline single lookup and inline lookup menu. In addition to this, we’ve also introduced some new notification icons and tooltips to help end users in case of errors. Let’s talk about them.
When you type a search string in a lookup field and tab out or click outside of lookup control, it looks for record.
If only a single result is found matching with search string, the field is auto-populated with the matched item. All is well till now.
But what if multiple search results are found?
You’ll be informed about the same with a proper notification and message.
Let’s say, you are looking for “Abby” and there are multiple contacts with the name “Abby”.
After tabbing out from the inline lookup field, you’ll see the following:
A notification icon (see the green color arrow) will be displayed beside the lookup field and on hovering over this icon, a message stating “We found more than one match.” will be displayed.What if no matching results are found for the search string?No worries, we will show a notification and message for this also.
A notification icon (see the green color arrow) will be displayed beside lookup control and on hovering over this icon, a message stating “No records found. Create a new record.” will be displayed.Here “+New” button in lookup inline menu is readily available for your help. Go ahead & use it.
You must have noticed, I haven’t talked about MRU until now, which used to show the most recently used items.
Although it is sad, but I have to mention that MRU is not available in the Inline lookup on forms for the updated entities.
This option is still available in the “Lookup Field Properties” (check the Blue color arrow in the below snapshot) but it won’t be honored for the inline Lookup.
Another functionality that is not honored by the new Inline lookup on forms for the updated entities is “Turn off automatic resolutions in the field”. Irrespective of whether you select this option or not, automatic resolution will always happen on tabbing out or clicking outside of field.
This option is still available in the “Lookup Field Properties” (check Red color arrow in the above snapshot)
Customer Center: How inline lookup works
I hope you will like this new experience of inline lookup and inline lookup menu.
Cheers! Mohit AgrawalMicrosoft Dynamics CRM
The new single inline lookups are a big improvement but they create an awful lot on unnecessary problems:
- In certain situations you have to click on the search icon twice to get before it works.
- They look almost identical to the new quick find control and the two are really easily confused on the new inline sub-grids
- In sub-grids the inline lookups and menus obscure the sub-grid records.
- The controls loose focus (triggering auto-save) preventing you undoing a change by pressing ESC (every other field allows this).
- The inline menu works well if the field was previously empty but if you want to select a new value it just shows the existing value of the control.
- There's nothing to tell the user they can just type in the control first (see above)
- Why do you have to hit enter/press the search icon to display the inline menu? (why not just show it as you type - it's what everyone expects nowadays anyway)
- Why do you have to scroll down to be able to see/press "lookup more records" - why isn't it next to record count, +New etc.
- Why not just show more records automatically when you scroll down/hover at the bottom? (a la LinkedIn etc.)
- For customer lookups how do you know how many contacts and how many accounts would be displayed? If the first 10 are say accounts how would the user even know contacts could be selected instead?
- The button "Add" makes no sense in old-school inline dialog (it doesn't add - it replaces the previous value with the one you select) "OK" or "Select" would make much more sense.