Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Training
An error occurred while loading the video. Please try again.
When you create a custom field in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you must decide what kind of data will be recorded in the field. By default, there are ten field types. In this lesson, we will offer a brief overview of each data type, and cover the various options available to each one.
To create a new field, open the Form Editor by clicking the ellipses in the command bar of an open record. You can also navigate to Settings > Customization > Customization, and then click Customize the System. When the Default Solution window opens, drill down into the desired entity, click Fields, and then click New in the toolbar.
The Field form opens. We’re going to focus on the Type field, a dropdown list containing the ten field types.
The first in this dropdown list is Sing Line of Text. This is the simplest field and is fairly self-explanatory. It is a string attribute, and the length can be defined between 1 and 4,000 characters in the Maximum Length field. In the Format field, you can choose a formatting option depending on what kind of information you want to record with this field. An E-mail format will create a mailto link for in the field. Ticker Symbol will provide a quote for the ticker entered into the field when the value is clicked. URL will display a link to the value entered in the field. When a record is deactivated, the URL loses its hyperlink, but the text will remain. Text Area can be displayed as more than one line on the form, like a description box. A quick note: notice that fields at the bottom of the window dynamically change as you select different options.
The Option Set format is commonly referred to as a pick list or drop down field. It predefines a User’s choices. A “blank” value is acceptable here, and a default value can also be defined. If you wanted to record similar data across entities, you can create a global option set. For example, you could create a global option set for state names. That way if you created a custom “State” field for the Account entity, and then wanted to create one for the Contact entity, you wouldn’t have to enter all fifty states twice.
The Two Options type is similar to an option set, but it only contains the values “zero” and “one”. The display of each value can be changed to represent whatever you decide, like “no” for zero, and “yes” for one. Once a two-option field is saved and created, it can be configured to be a check box, a list, or radio buttons. This is set in the form editor after the field is placed on the form.
The Whole Number type stores round numbers, meaning no decimal points. In addition to recording integers, this field can be formatted to record Duration (amount of time in minutes, hours, and days), Time Zone, and Language (if your organization supports multiple languages). These three formats appear in the form of dropdowns.
The Floating Point Number type supports values in the range of -100 billion and 100 billion, and it allows for numeric values with up to five decimal points. Basically, this field supports very specific numbers.
The Decimal Number field stores numeric values with up to ten decimal points. This field type is great for recording data that will later be used in charts. For example, using decimals allows for more accurate averages. The average of 1 and 2 is 1.5. If you don’t allow for decimal places, Dynamics CRM will round that average to 2, which could be a big difference in a chart.
The Currency field is used to store monetary values. Based on your currency settings, the correct currency symbol is also displayed such as the dollar sign or euro symbol. It can also hold up to four decimal points.
The Multiple Lines of Text field is similar to a Single Line of Text, however, it can store much more data—1,048,576 maximum characters compared to 4,000. This field type is ideal for “summaries” and “descriptions” for example.
The Date and Time field stores, as it name suggest, date and time data. You can choose to have both the date and time displayed on the form, or only the date.
The Lookup field represents a link to another entity. It will create a 1:N relationship in the organization.
This is just a brief overview of each field type. Some are more straight-forward than others. You can watch “Custom Description Fields” for more details on Single Line of Text and Multiple Lines of Text fields. Other related videos are “Creating an Option Set”, “Two-Option Fields”, and “Whole Number Fields”.
For more tips, tricks, and tutorials, please refer to the Success Portal and blog.xrm.com.