How to find what does not exist

Using a static Marketing List to identify records where a specific criteria does not exist

Today we have a guest post from fellow CRMUG D/FW member Torrey Landry.


All Sales managers want to know what population of their target audience has not purchased a certain product.

How do you build a view to tell you where “Product X” does not exist?

If you have a dedicated field for each product that can indicate a “yes” or “no”, then the search for product purchase is much simpler. You can use Advanced Find to query for:

  • Does Not Contain Data
  • 0 or 1
  • Yes or No

But what if you do not have a dedicated field?

Using the Marketing Lists entity, you will essentially create and compare two lists of data, leaving only the records you wish to target.

IMPORTANT: It must be a Static list, as opposed to a Dynamic list, in order to use the “add” and “remove” options under the “Manage Members” menu option.


Sample Scenario

You want to know which customers in Texas, in John Smith’s territory, do not have Product X.


The Process

  • Step 1: Create an Advanced Find that pulls in all records from John Smith’s territory that have an address in Texas. This is your ‘initial’ list.
  • Step 2: Create an Advanced Find that pulls in all records from John’s Smith’s territory that DO have Product X (within Texas or not, it does not matter). This is your ‘remove’ list.
  • Step 3: Remove all of those records from the ‘remove’ list from the ‘initial’ list.

The Result

All that remains are those records, in John’s area, in Texas, that do not have Product X.


The Details










Final Thoughts

  • This add & remove process is limited to only a few entities within CRM: Account, Contact and Leads.
  • The CRM Administrator can define the fields that will be displayed in the resulting marketing list, but (I believe) these fields will be the same fields displayed for all marketing lists created.
  • The columns may differ between Account, Contact and Leads

Searching for Emails to a specific person

I ran across something yesterday that I can honestly say I have never had to do within Dynamics CRM: Show me all emails to a specific Contact.

No problem, I thought. Just use an Advanced Find to look for emails with the person as the TO (or CC or BCC).  Uh, no, would be the answer. It doesn’t work that way due to the layout of the various activity-related entities.

Here is actually how you do it:


Step By Step

1. Look for Activities.

2. Search for Activity Type equals Email.

3. Include the Linked Entity: Activity Parties.

4. Search for Participation Type equals:To Recipient, CC Recipient, BCC Recipient.

5. Search for Party equals [contact].


Now hit the Results button and see your results.


Pretty nifty,huh?

Online2 is available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

It seems Microsoft has started rolling out an update to CRM 2013 Online called, “Online2.’

Here is a link to the KB article:

and here are the highlights:

Online2 resolves the following issues:

  • A custom entity that has multiple "inactive" status reasons can be deactivated without prompting the user to select the appropriate status. This occurs within the form and not from a form view.
  • Unresolved recipients removed from email form.
  • Unexpected format changes occur when you create email messages by using the email template.
  • When you use Internet Explorer 8, the related record drop-down list is missing when a record is opened.
  • When you set IME mode on an attribute on an entity to ACTIVE, the IME mode is not honored. This occurs for Single Line of Text, Multiple Lines of Text, and other attributes that are bound to input elements or text area elements.
  • If you have a field set by using the "Phone" format setting, the field appears as a dialable phone number in the contact card. If you created a solution prior to CRM 2013 that had a field marked as "phone," the field was marked as "text" when the solution was imported into a 2013 organization.

Handy Help Links for Dynamics CRM 2013

I just received a great link to a information page from one of the Microsoft folks:

Check Out These Handy Links to Help for CRM 2013

Check it out when you have time.

CRM 2013: Modifying Administration Navigation

While we’ve already discussed using the Quick View Menu to help with Dynamics CRM 2013 navigation, I thought I’d take the opportunity to show a technique to assist Dynamics CRM System Administrators.

First of all, I would like you to download the CRM SiteMap Editor from Simpler Software:

It’s free and is very helpful in editing your SiteMap.

Note: This is a Windows-based application that you install on your workstation.

When you launch the SiteMap Editor, it will ask you to connect to Dynamics CRM by entering in the URL and login credentials, after which it will display the SiteMap for the selected organization.

After it has successfully connected to Dynamics CRM and downloaded the SiteMap, you should see something like this:


You can navigate around the SiteMap much as you would inside of Dynamics CRM itself. The pane on the right will change to reflect the type of item selected within the SiteMap itself.

Click on the Settings area, which will display something like this:


So what we will be doing is moving the most important Sub-Areas to the top of the list, which happens to be the Business Group.

This is accomplished with a simple drag-and-drop operation and this is the result:


In my mind, these are the most important things for me to see when I click on the Settings Area.  Your system will probably be different so rearrange things so that they make sense for you.

When you are finished with your modifications, press the Publish button on the toolbar:


This will push your changes back to Dynamics CRM.

Open a new web browser session to your Dynamics CRM instance and you can see the results.

Here is how the Quick View Menu looks:


And here is the normal Dynamics CRM navigation:



And that is it.  More goodness from the Simpler Software SiteMap Editor in the future.

Easing Dynamics CRM 2013 Navigation Troubles

If you have upgraded to Dynamics CRM 2013 you have probably noticed that the navigation has changed quite substantially. This has lead to an increased learning curve, at best, and a loss of productivity, at most.

My friend and fellow CRM MVP Rhett Clinton has arrived on his white horse with a solution.  Let me introduce you to the CRM 2013 Quick View Menu.


What Does It Do?

Well, it will turn this:

into this:

This places all of the Dynamics CRM SiteMap items in a single-pane, grouped by Area, and makes navigation a breeze.



Installation is pretty simple:

1. Install the managed solution.

2. Configure the solution and add Quick View to the SIteMap.

3. Refresh the web page and you are done.


Next Steps

To further enhance the experience, you can set the Quick View Menu to be your startup page, using these steps:

Note: These settings must be performed by an individual user.

1. Click the “Gear” icon on the command bar:


2. Select Options, to display your Personal Options page.

3. Set the Default Pane to Quick View and the Default Tab to Site Map, as shown below:


4. Click OK so save your changes.

5. Press Ctrl+F5 to refresh your web page and you should see the Quick View menu displayed.

Renewing a Contract Error: The state of end date is not valid

One of my customers occasionally runs into the following error when attempting to renew a contract:


This is a very strange error given that the contract was created correctly and has been in place for long time.  Here is what causes this issue:

Here is an example of the Contract Start and End dates:


If you have never worked with Contracts, you will find that you need to have at least one Contract Line, which is a detail-level record (with the Contract itself being the master record).

Here are the Contract Start and End dates for the Contact Line:


Do you notice that the End Date of the Contract Line is not the same as the Contract End Date?

It turns out that Dynamics CRM doesn’t like the dates not being the same and the result is that error message above.


Root Cause of the Issue

This issue was caused by a piece of automation (plug-in) that was created and installed into the system. I incorrectly specified the Contract Line End Date field value and upon renewal, the error was generated.



To correct such an issue, perform the following steps:

1. Open the Contract.

2. View the Contract Lines.

3. Open the Contract Line with the incorrect dates.

4. Cancel the Contract Line.

5. Create a new Contract Line with the same values as the original one, but with Start and End Dates that match the Contract.

6. Return back to the parent Contract.

7. Click the Renew Contract button on the Ribbon.

8. When prompted for Include canceled contract lines?, uncheck the checkbox.

9. Click OK.

At this point your contract should be renewed with the next period’s dates.

Working with Queues

I was working on some queues at a customer last week when I discovered a design issue that I needed to correct.

During this process, I decided to write a quick article on the subject and in doing a bit of research, I found my friends at xRM Cubed had already done the hard work for me.

Here’s an great overview of working with Dynamics CRM queues:

xRM3, Inc.

Admin 101: Queues and Queue Management – Part 1

Admin 101: Queues and Queue Management – Part 2

Admin 101: Queues and Queue Management – Part 3


Assigning an Item to a Queue

One of the things you’ll notice as an Dynamics CRM administrator is the number of queues that are created automatically by CRM. Most of these queues are for users and can be identified by their name.

If you look at the following queue list, you’ll notice the queues with names that contain < and > symbols:


These are queues that are created and maintained by Dynamics CRM itself and represent users and teams.

The problem is that these are valid queues and they have a tendency to "crowd" the queue list.

For example:  You have a Queue Item open, and would like to add it to a queue, using the ribbon button:


This displays the queue selection dialog:


Clicking the lookup button displays the queue selection dialog:


As you can see, there are a lot of queues listed – most of which we really don’t care about at this point.

Let’s change that lookup to make it more usable.


Modifying the Queue Lookup View

To modify the Queue lookup, perform these steps:

1. Select Settings, Customization, Customize the System.

2. Expand Entities.

3. Expand Queues.

4. Expand Views.

5. Open the Queue Lookup View.

6. Click on the Edit Filter Criteria button.

7. Set the filter criteria as follows:


This will instruct CRM to ignore any user or team queue as well as queues that may exist from an upgraded CRM organization (4.0 or 3.0).

8. Click the Save and Close button on the toolbar.

9. Publish your changes.

Now when you open the Queue Lookup dialog, you’ll see something like this:


Tip o’ the Day: Working with Queues

At times, it can be difficult to manage queues, if you have a large number of users because the normal production queues get lost in the list of users ( who also have queues ). Here’s how to work around that problem.

1. Select Settings, Customization.

2. Expand Entities.

3. Expand Queues.

4. Click on Views.

5. Open the All Queues view.  It will probably look something like this:


6. Click the Save As button on the toolbar.

7. Give the new view a name like, All Production Queues:


8. Click the Edit Filter Criteria button on the Common Tasks task pane.

9. Add the following  filter criteria:


All users queues begin with a greater-than symbol ("<"). Normal queues do not. We are instructing CRM to show me only non-user queues.

10. Click OK.

11. Click the Save and Close button on the toolbar.

12. Publish your customizations.


Now you have the ability to filter the list of queues to remove user queues:


Contacting Your Customer: The Good and The Bad

I wanted to show you two examples of contact with a customer. In my opinion, one is good, and one is bad.  You may decide for yourself.


The Bad

My wife received this from her optometrist:


Besides a little redaction of the doctor’s details, this is untouched.

I see two problems here:

1. My wife’s name was not specified, only ‘Patient.’

2. The doctor’s name is listed in a signature block, but not it was not signed by the doctor.

This leads me to question if my wife’s doctor even knows who she is and why he even bothered sending a letter with his name on it..


The Good (#1)

Here are a series of text messages from my dentist, reminding me of upcoming appointments:


They know my cell number because I gave it to them and they use it, with my permission, to alert me to upcoming events, and to send me birthday wishes. Smile


The Good (#2):

Here is another example that I think is excellent and actually pretty funny:


Here we have a clearly identified customer, Millie, and a set of next action steps that Millie needs to take.

Is also happens that this postcard is from our Veterinarian and Millie is one of our cats. 

What I like most about this, even if you find it a bit silly, is that the Vet knows exactly who the customer is: Millie the Kat.  It just happens that her humans are the people who have to make this happen, so we’re included as well.


And your point would be?

Assuming you know your customer’s name, use it.  There are a variety of ways that you can utilize personal information in correspondence:

  • Email templates
  • Mail Merge templates
  • Third-party marketing services like Core Motives, Click Dimensions, and MailChimp, etc.