One of the most powerful fields on the Dynamics CRM Contact entity is something called the Relationship Type.
This field allows you to categorize your contacts by specifying who they are: customer, vendor, partner, etc.
Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, this field is missing from the default CRM 2011 data entry form. Let’s walk through the process of adding this field to the form and customizing CRM to maximize it’s use.
Step 1: Add relationship types
In order to make maximum use of this field, we first need to make sure it contains relevant data, which we will do with these steps:
1) Select Settings, Customizations, Customize the system.
2) Expand Entities
3) Expand Contact
4) Click on Fields
5) Locate a the Relationship Type field
Note: the internal or schema name for this field is customertypecode.
6) Double-click the field to open up the field editor:
This field is of the type Option Set ( picklist in CRM 4.0 ), and as you can see, it contains only the default value so let’s add some values.
7) In the Options list, click on the Default Value item.
8) In the Label edit box, change this value to Customer.
9) Click the plus sign on the Options list to add a new item.
10) Change the Item text to something relevant to your organization, like Vendor.
11) Repeat steps 9 and 10 until you have entered all of your selections. Mine looks like this:
12) Set the Searchable field to Yes:
This allows the field to be used for Advanced Find searches.
13) Click the Save and Close button.
14) From the toolbar, click the Publish All Customizations button to publish your changes.
Step 2: Modify the Main data entry form
1) In the Solution Explorer, under Contact, click Forms.
2) Double-click the Main form row to edit the form.
3) Locate Relationship Type in the Field explorer on the right-side of the form editor.
4) Drag and drop the Relationship Type onto the first section so that it looks like this:
5) Click the Save button to save your work.
6) Click the Publish button to publish the form.
7) Close the form editor.
Step 3: Creating Views
1) Once back to the Solution Explorer, under Contact, click Views.
2) Click the New button to create a new View
3) When the View Properties dialog displays, enter Active Customers in the Name field:
4) Click OK.
5) When the view designer displays, click the Add Columns button.
6) Select fields that you wish to display in your view:
7) Click OK.
8) Click the Edit Filter Criteria button.
9) We need to set our filter criteria to the following:
10) Click OK to save your filter criteria.
11) Click Save and Close to close the View Editor
12) Click the Publish All Customizations button to publish your changes.
Step 4: Verify your work
To verify your work, perform these steps:
1) Select the Workplace or Sales area
2) Open a Contact.
3) Set their Relationship Type to Customer.
4) Click the Save and Close button.
5) Select the Active Customers view:
6) Verify that the Contact you modified in step 2 is in the list.
Now that you have a view showing your Active Customers, you’ll need to create a view that corresponds to each of the new Relationship Types that you created.
This allows your users to quickly filter and navigate your Contacts which can be very helpful should you have a large number of Contacts.