The ability to merge main forms facilitates the upgrade process. Updated user experiences in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 include new layouts and functionality in forms. This topic explains how you can merge existing forms to use the new layout optimized for this release.
1. What to expect when you upgrade:
We understand that changes that occur during an upgrade can be disruptive and we have designed the form upgrade process to minimize this. Rather than force each organization to adopt all the changes and new features included in this release, we have designed a process to put you in control. People in your organization should be able to continue working with the system while you apply changes to allow them to use new capabilities.
Organizations who upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be in two main groups:
- Online organizations: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online organizations using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update who are upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13.
- On-premises organizations: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 on-premises organizations who are upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.
When On-premises organizations are upgraded, they will continue to use the same main form definitions that they had before upgrading. Each entity has a main form named ‘Information’. They will also have some new forms added, but these forms will be in an inactive state so that people using the system will not be able to use them until they are activated. These new forms are named after the entity. For example, the Opportunity entity will have a new disabled ‘Opportunity’ main form and the pre-existing Opportunity ‘Information’ main form will remain active.
Online organizations already have updated main forms for the Contact, Opportunity, Lead, Account, and Case entities that follow the convention where they are named after the entity. When these organizations are updated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13, these main forms will automatically be updated to use the latest form capabilities. These forms will remain active. For entities other than the Contact, Opportunity, Lead, Account, and Case entities, new main forms named after the entity will be added but will not be activated.
Note: If you are a CRM Online organization and you have customized any of the five updated forms, depending on the specific customizations you have applied, you may see a Conflicts tab added to your form. In this tab you will find any fields where the customizations could not be automatically merged into the new layout. To address this, simply edit the form and drag the fields to where you want them to be. Then delete the Conflicts tab.
After you upgrade, you can use the new capability to merge your existing main ‘Information’ forms into the new main form definitions. After you are satisfied with the conversion process for each entity, you can activate the new forms and deactivate the old forms.
2. Merging main forms to use the new layout:
You only need to merge forms for Updated Entities that you have customized. You do not need to do this right away, but you will need to do it sometime before the next major release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
When you view one of the updated forms using the form editor, you will see a Merge Forms button in the Upgrade group in the Home tab. Use this button and select one of your existing forms and click or tap Add.
At the bottom of the form, you will find the visual elements of the form you selected have been appended to the bottom of the current form. The only difference is that the header and footer elements from the old form will be added as separate tabs containing a section with the contents of each element.
What you can’t see so easily is that all the form script event handlers are also brought in and merged with the new form. There is a limit to the number of event handlers that can be merged. Each form can have up to 50 event handlers. If the total number of event handlers exceeds 50, the action will be canceled. You will need to remove some event handlers from the form you want to merge before you can merge it.
Once the new forms are merged, you need to move any of the form elements from the old form into the new form until all the added elements are gone. Remove any form elements you don’t need.
If your original form has any security roles assigned to it, be sure to apply the same security roles to the new form.
When you are finished, activate the new main form and deactivate the old one.
Activate or deactivate a main form:
1. In the solution explorer, expand the entities node and select the entity with the main form you want to activate or deactivate.
2. Select Forms to view the forms list. If you do not see the form you are looking for, check that the All Forms view is selected.
3. Select the view and, in the toolbar, choose either Activate or Deactivate.
Note: You must have at least one active main form for each entity. If you try to deactivate the only active main form, you will see an error message.
4. You must publish customizations before these settings take effect.