Best Practices for System Views and My Views in Microsoft Dynamics 365
This is my 7th blog in my 12 part series on Microsoft Dynamics Best Practices. If you've missed any of my previous blogs, please check them out by clicking here! If you're interested in learning more about Dynamics Best Practices, they are a great place to start. There are some easy things that you can start implementing right away. In this blog I am going to focus on best practices for System Views and My Views.
System Views and My Views
Let me start off by explaining the difference between System Views and My Views. System Views are system components that are part of an Entity's configuration. If you need to modify existing or create new System Views, you can do so through a Solution or Patch. My Views are also referred to as Advanced Finds. When you create an Advanced Find and save it, it will show up under My Views. Unless you share it, the owner is the only person who can see the view.
Don't Start From Scratch
Unless you have a specific need to create a new view from scratch, don't. Start with a view that contains some of the columns and/or query criteria that you need and make your necessary changes. If you're familiar with views in Dynamics, it can be a little tedious to add and configure a lot columns in a view.
It's All in the Name
It's impossible to see the future of your system but at least consider it when you start creating new views. If you are creating a lot of new system views, think of a good naming convention that you can follow to show the views in the list logically. Remember, users see all of the System Views, and a lengthy list can be frustrating. If you have System Views that all users really don't need to see, consider using Advanced Finds (My Views) and sharing them with Teams.
Even if you don't need to create an extensive list of system views, still consider using a naming convention within each entity and across all entities. Consider a view called "My Records" and another view called "Records I Own". The query for the views shows records where the owner equals the current user, but they have different names. This can lead to user confusion. Consistency is best in this situation.
If You Don't Need It, Don't Include It
Often, the view name will imply the data that is presented. There is no need to include columns that are redundant. For example, if your view is showing My Open Opportunities, then there is no need to show the Owner or Status fields. The same applies for a view that shows a certain type of record. If you are specify a certain Case Type in a view, for example, there is no need to show the Case Type as a column. Reduce the need to scroll to the right to see more columns as much as possible.
If You Don't Use It, Deactivate It
I don't recommend deleting system views that are included as part of Microsoft's Out-of-the-Box, Default Solution. You may run into future issues with updates and upgrades. However, there may just be system views that you will never use. If you run into this, simply deactivate the view. It will still be part of the Default Solution, but it will not be visible to users. Even if you're working with a system view that you created, deactivate it first and delete it when you're absolutely sure you'll never use it.
Keep it Simple!
Don't add columns to views if they aren't needed. I mentioned earlier to avoid the need for users to scroll to the right to see additional columns. If you've never had to sort or filter a view where there were more columns that will fit on the screen, try it one day! Scroll to the right, click on a column heading to sort, and you'll notice that it jumps you back to the left so you have to scroll to the right again. This is especially frustrating if you need to click a column heading twice to sort by it in descending order.
Best practices for Views are pretty simple and easy to follow. These are all things that you can start implementing in your Dynamics system right away! If you have a lot of views and need help with clean up and consolidation, we have experts here that can help you and guide you in the right direction moving forward.
Don't hesitate! Please contact us today with any questions you may have. We've helped several companies with these tasks by setting them up with best practices to follow that fit their business needs.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution. We also provide expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing and Unified Communication Solutions.