Monday, May 5, 2008

MSCRM: Track Project Activities

A client recently asked: How can I track activities associated with a project?

We are asked all the time about how to track activities to a specific client project. This is an enhancement that has been made to Dynamics CRM that makes it really easy.

This can be done without writing javascript or using .NET. You just have to know how to use the Customize menu in Dynamics CRM.

First, go to the Customize menu (under Settings) and add a new Project Entity (by the way, this Microsoft-speak to add a new table) For completeness, the steps are below:

* Select Settings > Select Customization
* Click New (Entity) > Complete the Form
* Add Name > Select Ownership
* Check the boxes you want (including where the form should appear)
* Click Save

You now have your basic entity (table) and can add attributes (fields) that you want to capture on the Project Header, such as Project Name, Budget and Time Frame. You can add these right after you save the project entity above (note: click Save, not Save and Close)

* Click on Forms and Views > CRM already has a Name and Owner
* Click Attributes > review the preexisting fields > add new attributes
* Add Budget field > Add Due By field > Save and Close
* Select Forms and Views > Choose Main Application Form
* Add the new field (attributes) > Change Name label to Project Name
* Save and close > Publish the changes
* Create a relationship between Activities and Project (1:N)
* Create a relationship between Account and Project (N:1)

Now you will be able to add Projects under the Project entity on the left navigation bar. You can add activities to this Project and associate them with an Account. You can also view these Project Activities under the related Account and the Activities menu under Workplace.

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