One of the most exciting new bits of functionality in CRM 2015 for me was the multi-entity search that is available from all forms. By placing it on the navigation it is accessible anywhere in the system. You could be diving through a list of Cases and you might want to find an Account, or you could be filling in an Opportunity and want to quickly search products that are not in the Price List you have selected to make sure you have selected the correct one…
After using the multi-entity search in CRM 2015 a bit, I feel like it does fill the gap between the other types of searches and reporting methods you can do in CRM. This is quite a statement as there are lots of ways to get information out of a Dynamics CRM System, but I think it was definitely missing the ability to search from anywhere with no clicks at all. The addition of the advanced find next to this box is a supplementary bonus, because if your direct search requirements does not contain one of your 10 entities, advanced find is your fallback plan which is directly to the right of it. This was not available at the form level before either, so it’s like the perfect pairing.
Wait.. Yes I did just say it’s only configurable for 10 entities. I’m not going to pretend, this was a bit disappointing, however, lets consider the alternative and pretend it does work for more than 10 entities, and it works for the 90+ visible entities that are out of the box and also any custom ones you create, considering the amount of data in a CRM system that is normal, performance could have been seriously affected and Microsoft would probably have not even implemented this awesome feature due to this fear. Performance is a non-functional requirement that a lot of customers can forget about because they are lulled into a false sense of functionality when it appears amazing at first light.
So lets be positive about this awesome new feature. You can search for entities from the search bar for any 10 entities you configure from the list. As standard they are:
To use the search, you simply type something in, the exact same as a Quick Find Search…infact you’ll find this is actually a quick find search for those entities that are OOB or those you configure to use with it.
You can configure the two fields that appear in the search results on your found records by editing those fields in the appropriate entities Quick Find Search. Be cautious and always test your results. Some of the results are left blank if you have slightly more specific fields e.g. Allocated Budget didn’t work and just displayed ‘—‘, so I would assume any currency field doesn’t display, dates also didn’t display. User’s did display, and so did Status Reasons. In time, I’ll update this post with a second table with the field types that do not display and do, but for now just be aware that not all field types display, so ensure you test your configured two choices in the Quick Find Views of your chosen 10 entities. Remember, the three fields it pays attention to are the three on the left of a quick find view for the entity. You can only change the second two, the primary key for that entity must remain to the left.
To edit the entities in the search, you navigate to Settings > Administration > System Settings > General Tab > Set up Quick Find.
From here you can limit the results, good idea if you are thinking about performance even further, especially if you have lots of records in the system, then select the option below to configure the entities and open a pop up box that lets you edit them from a list.
The entities that are available to have in search are: (I’ve bolded a couple that I think would be interesting to play with and would yield unique results)
|Appointment||Fax||Post||Sdk Message Filter|
|Article||Field Security Profile||Post Configuration||Sdk Message Processing Step|
|Article Template||Filter||Post Rule Configuration||Sdk Message Processing Step Image|
|Business Unit||Follow||Price List||Sdk Message Processing Step Secure Configuration|
|Campaign Activity||Goal Metric||Process Sessions||Service|
|Campaign Response||Import Job||Product||Service Activity|
|Case Creation Rule||Invoice||Product Association||Service Endpoint|
|Connection||Invoice Product||Product Relationship||Sharepoint Document|
|Connection Role||Letter||Profile Album||Sharepoint Site|
|Contract||Mail Merge Template||Publisher||Site|
|Contract Template||Marketing List||Queue Item||SLA KPI Instance|
|Customer Relationship||Opportunity Product||Quote Product||Social Profile|
|Discount List||Opportunity Relationship||Recurring Appointment||System Job|
|Order Product||Rollup Query||Team|
|Email Server Profile||Phone Call||Routing Rule Set||Territory|
|Email Template||Plugin-in Assembly||Sales Attachment||Unit Group|
|Entitlement||Plugin-in Type||Sales Literature||View|
Enjoy having a play, it takes no time at all and can really make a system personal, especially if all of those 10 entities are custom ones. If you are stuck for choice drilling down to only 10, I would recommend using entities that don’t link to one another unless absolutely necessary, especially ones that have sub grids on anyway e.g. search for an Account instead of a Contact and use the Contact sub grid on the searched Account form, especially if your not quite sure who your looking for. Finally, as a backup plan you can always make a Dashboard with empty lists and use this as a Multi-Entity search from the Home page of your CRM, this means it could be unique to an individual but also you can set up multiple dashboards leading to more than 10 entity types being available.