Microsoft Gold Cloud CRM and Gold Cloud Platform Partner

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog about things I have learned using Dynamics CRM. Over the years I have seen some creative ideas to help the client get their requirements met without the use of plugins, Javascript, or custom reports. Microsoft has done a wonderful job with business rules and other extended functionality that a non-technical person could take advantage of. However, there are still a few items that need creative thinking.

Lately my clients have been asking to be able to see the latest time a particular record was “touched”, whether via an email, phone call, note, etc. Also, the type of record varied from leads, contacts, opportunities or custom records being created and managed by personnel.

In the past I’ve used the technique of creating multiple custom fields (Last Email Date, Last Note Date, etc.) that would be populated with the date when a new record was created. These fields could then be placed on the view of the related record so that users can see the last date.

Another solution was to ask the users to add their notes in a text field with specific naming conventions that often did not get followed.

I’ve also seen the technique of having a plugin created to store the last date any of the records within the entity were modified. This, however, didn’t really tell me what type of activity was taking place, but that wasn’t what the client needed. They simply needed the date.

This latest one is for a client who wants to utilize the Notes associated with an opportunity. With this being a vanilla implementation – no Javascript nor plugins, we kept finding ourselves in the same boat as not being able to view this information in a view. Reports could do it, but you’d see multiple lines per record if there were multiple notes.

After explaining to the client their options, we found that they only needed to see the last note that was created. But they wanted to make sure that the user was only having to put the note in the Note section of the form once and that standard date/time stamp and author functionality was maintained.

Requirement Resolution

  1. Create a custom field on the form called Last Note.
  2. Hide the field on the form (since the user doesn’t need to see this in both the Note section and the field).
  3. Save and publish
  1. Create a workflow that when a Note is created, it populates this field with the date/time, author, and description (or whatever Note field they wanted to see). I set the workflow to be a real-time workflow so that it happens instantly.
  1. Set the properties to concatenate the values the client would like to see.
  1. Place the hidden field on their main view.

Now let’s try it out:

  1. Open or create an opportunity.
  2. Add a Note.
  3. Refresh the view.
  1. Add another Note.
  2. Refresh the view.

A very simple solution! Let us know if this helped or if you have an alternative workaround.