Thursday, February 9, 2012

Using View Layout Replicator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

I have been using the view replicator by tanguy for sometime now. It is a valuble time saver, and very user friendly to boot! If you want to replicate the columns/ formatting in a view to other views, this is a much better option to creating and modifying the properties one view at a time.

Here are the steps to set it up and get it running.

1. Download the zip file from codeplex.

2. Double click on the ViewLayoutReplicator2011 application. Notice that there are 2 dlls in the same folder, the microsoft.xrm.sdk and microsoft.crm.sdk.proxy dll.

3. Click on Load entites. In the select connection dialog, if you are running the replicator for the first time (or connecting to a new org), click on "Create new connection".

4. In the connection dialog, enter a name for the connection, and the details of the crm setup. Then select Get Orgs button to retrieve all the orgs. Select the org you want to work with and click Ok.

5. Select yes to confirm connection to the server. Once connected, the Entities list on the left navigation section will populate with the entities in the org selected. Note that both OOB and custom entites are available.

6. Create a new view from CRM 2011, with the filter criteria specified. In my case, I created a new system view for a custom entity to check for all Custom Orders with status Shipped. Notice that I have not changed the fields/ columns available.

7. Select the Entity used in step 6 from the entity list. This action brings up 2 sections, one with the list of source views, and another with a list of target views. 

8. Select a source view, in this case Active Custom Orders. You will notice that the xml representation of the view is displayed, which gives information of the fields exposed in the view and formatting details. Choose the view created in step 6 as the target. What we are doing is trying to get the same columns which are available in the source view (Active Custom Orders, in my case) to show in the target view (Custom Orders in Shipped Status).

Select Save Views and Publish Entity buttons, in that order.

9. Once the entity has been successfully published, go to entity in crm 2011, and select the target view (Custom Orders in Shipped Status) from the view drop down. Notice that the target view has the same columns listed as the source view, while still maintaining the filter criteria. Neat, eh?

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