Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Training
Relating Contacts to Multiple Accounts
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In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Contacts can only be related to one Account by default. This is based off an assumption that a person only works for one company. This is usually the case, and some great functions have been put in place based off of that structure. For example, Activities related to a Contact record automatically roll up to that Contact’s related Account.
There are however scenarios where relating Contacts to multiple Accounts is necessary. For example, if you use Dynamics CRM in the context of healthcare, Accounts may be used to represent hospitals. It is entirely possible that a doctor, who is represented as a Contact record, operates out of multiple hospitals.
A simple solution is to create a Connection. The Connection functionality allows users to associate just about any two records. By doing this you are essentially creating a many-to-many relationship without making any dramatic customizations.
I begin by opening a Contact record, “Dana Wilson”. The new flow form for the Contact entity opens.
Dana works as a general practitioner at two hospitals called “Sunnyside” and “Market Street”. I want to connect her to both, but first I have to create a Connection Role that will properly describe her relationship with each Account.
There is no Connect button in this form, so I click Switch to Classic in the command bar. In classic mode, I click Connect in the ribbon, and then select “To Another”.
I click the lookup in the As this role field, which opens a Look Up Record dialog. Towards the bottom, I click the New button. The Connection Role form opens, and I can start creating the new role.
In Step 1 I’ll type “General Practitioner” in the Name field. I can also select a Connection Role Category, but the default selection of “Business” suits my needs.
In Step 2 of the form, I want to select the “Only these record types” option, and then select Account and Contact. What I’ve done here is made this Connection Role available for the Account and Contact entities only. I can now click Save and Close.
Back at the Look Up Record dialog, I can select the new role and click the OK button. The dialog closes and I am returned to the Connection record. In the Name field I’ll select one of the Accounts representing the aforementioned hospitals.
In the Details section I could specify the Connection Role the hospital has with Dana, but for this purpose I don’t need to. Since I want to connect Dana to more than one Account, I’ll click Save & New in the ribbon.
The Connection record refreshes and I can now connect Dana to the other hospital. I then click Save & Close in the ribbon.
Back at the Contact record, if I click Connections in the navigation pane I see the two Accounts representing the hospitals. I have effectively related a Contact to multiple Account records.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this lesson, this strategy is easy to set up and maintain. However, it is important to understand its main disadvantage. Activities do not roll up through a Connection. That means that any Activity record associated with the Contact does not role up to any Account to which they are connected. If all you need to do is simply relate two records, this solution should work perfectly for you.
For more tips, tricks, and tutorials, please refer to the Success Portal or our xRM.com blog.