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How to create or modify a form in Microsoft Dynamics 365

Forms fill an important role in Microsoft Dynamics. Although the aesthetic has changed in the last few years, the function of informing users has remained the same. This blog will explain how to create or modify a form in Microsoft Dynamics. We will elaborate on good practices for the creation of forms, how to modify a form directly in the editor, and how to modify a form from the solution editor.

Best practices for the creation or modification of forms

It’s possible that, after a certain amount of time using the solution, you’ll realize that the system out of the box forms in your Dynamics CRM don’t 100% correspond to your business needs. Dynamics 365, with its great flexibility can, enable you to customize your forms and even create new ones. However, before jumping into creating a new form, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Who will use this form?
  • What are its functions?
  • Where does the saved information come from?
  • What does the user need to do in this form?
  • What information should be mandatory, recommended, or optional?

If an existing form meets those needs/requirements, it will be more efficient to customize it to really fit your needs. Although the form editor is simple to use, designing a form from scratch can take a lot of time.

How to modify a form directly from the Dynamics 365 form

Depending on the security role that has been assigned to you, it’s possible to modify a form with Dynamics 365 directly in the system form. As shown in the image below, you only need to click on the Form button. If you don’t see this button, it’s because you don’t have the security credentials to make those changes. If you want this option, you need to ask your CRM Dynamics 365 admin.

The dangers of modifying a solution directly from the form editor in Dynamics 365

As mentioned in our blog post, ‘’What is a solution in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and how to create one?’’ we always recommend making your modification using a solution. If you make the changes directly to the form from the Form option, you can lose track of who customized the form and, above all, it can be difficult for you to distinguish out of the box system forms from those that you’ve modified.

When you modify a form with this function, understand that you modify the out of the box Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution. So if you need to go to the previous version, it’ll be more difficult to differentiate the out of the box system forms in Dynamics 365 from the ones you have customized. It’s important to create your customization in an organized manner when adding them in the solution.

Dynamics 365 form creation from a solution

As mentioned previously, if you create a form from the solution it’ll allow you to easily trace back your customizations. We can compare a solution to a container filled with customizations, which represent the content. The forms are parts of a type of content that we can find in a solution. To see how to create a solution, check out our blog post, “How to create a solution with Microsoft Dynamics 365?”

To ensure your understanding of it, here’s the solution editor interface:

  • Point #1 informs us that we are in the event manager solution.
  • Point #2 informs us that inside the event manager solution, we can find the Account, Contact, Lead and Opportunity.
  • Point #3 shows us the forms that we can find in the Account.
  • Point #4 shows us the principal form named Account that you can modify by double clicking on it.
  • Point #5 allows us to create a new form in the Account.

The different parts of a form

A form is divided into 4 parts:

1) The header includes a maximum of 4 fields. We can also find the name of the record in the header of the form. In this header, you will also find the name of the account record. If we look at the image below, the name of the account record is: A. Datum Corporation (Sample).

2) The footer includes a maximum of 4 fields too. All the fields are placed at the bottom of the form. It’s important to note that these fields cannot be modified. They are in read-only mode and the footer follows scrolling of the form. By adding no fields, the footer won’t be included on the form.

3) The navigation includes the list of entities linked to your form.

4) The form body includes tabs, sections, fields and other components of your form.

The parts of the form inside the Microsoft Dynamics 365 editor.

The previous section showed the different parts of a form. Now, let’s see how these sections can be incorporated in the form editor.

  • Point #1 represents the header of the form.
  • Point #2 represents the footer of the form.
  • Point #3 represents the navigation portion of the form.
  • Point #4 represents the body of the form.
  • Point #5 represents the available fields that you can add to the form.
  • Point #6 represents a form browser that allows you to go directly to the portion of the form that you want to edit: header, footer, navigation, body.

Save and publish your form with Dynamics 365

When you want to create or modify a form, it’s important to follow the following steps:

  1. First, save your modifications
  2. Publish your form. If you don’t publish it, users won’t be able to see the modifications  you’ve made or even see the form that you’ve created. The formula can also be applied to any customizations that you make in a solution. If you don’t publish the customizations, the users won’t be able to see them in your Dynamics 365 CRM.
  3. If you are done with your customizations, you can click on the Save and Close button.
  4. The option Save As allows you to clone or create a copy of the form by giving it a different name.

What can be added to a form in Dynamics 365?

In a form, you have the ability to add tabs, sections, columns, subgrids, spacing, web resources, Bing Maps, etc.

What’s the the difference between a tab, a section, and a column?

  • The image below is the body of a form.
  • The Summary (in the red square) represents a tab in the form. It’s important to note that when you minimize a tab in the form editor, it will also be minimized in your CRM.
  • In this tab, you can find 3 columns (blue square)
  • The section (green square) of the first column is called Account Information, the second column is Social Part, and the third column is Assistant and Section.
  • In a section, you find fields. In the Account Information section, there are the Account Name, Phone, Fax, Website, Parent Account and Action Symbol fields.

In short, a form can include many tabs. A tab can include many sections, and a section can include many fields.

To conclude, a form will be efficient if you have thoroughly defined the following questions:

  • Who will use this form?
  • What are its functions?
  • Where does the saved information come from?
  • What does the user need to do in this form?
  • What information should be mandatory, recommended, or optional?

Take the time to answer these questions and the adoption level of your forms will be optimal. In the next blog, we’ll show how to create a field and how to add i

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