Customizing Fields for Dynamics 365
What is a Field?
A field is the equivalent of a column in the database table, just as an entity correlates to a table. Fields are classified as either of the following:
- System fields. These are out-of-the-box fields that cannot be deleted but can be modified to some extent.
- Custom fields. These are fields that are built within the system and can be modified and deleted.
Options for Customizing Fields
Administrators have the ability to customize fields in a number of ways. They can define a field’s name, data type, requirement level, searchability, security, and auditing. Remember: fields are specific to an entity, and a field created in one entity is not available in other entities.
- Display Name. The name of the field set here will be the label seen throughout CRM, including forms, views, and advanced find.
- Name. This is the column name of the field in the underlying SQL Server database.
- Field Security. This gives the option of enabling field security for non-customizable fields.
- Auditing. When auditing is turned on for the entity, changes to this field will be tracked if this is enabled.
- Field Requirement. There are three levels that can be chosen:
- Business Required;
- If Business Required is enabled, the form cannot be saved unless data is entered in the field.
- Business Recommended;
- Business Required;
- Searchable. When a field is made searchable, it appears in the list of fields which users can select for queries in an advanced find.
- Description. This is a text box for giving details about the field for the system customizers.
- Appears in global filter in interactive experience and Sortable in interactive experience dashboard. Checkboxes to control behavior of the field in Interactive Experience.
- Data Type. This field is an option set of the different field types. In Dynamics 365, these field types are Single Line of Text, Option Set, Multi-Option Select, Two Options, Image, Whole Number, Floating Point Number, Decimal Number, Currency, Multiple Lines of Text, Date and Time, Lookup, and Customer.
- Field Type. Appears for some data types as an Option set with options of Simple, Calculated, or Rollup.
- Format. Depending on data type, it may have the options of Email, Text, Text Area, URL, Ticker Symbol, Phone, None, Duration, Time Zone, Language, Date Only, or Date and Time.
- Maximum Length. Available for some data types; there are different maximum values depending on data type chosen.
- IME Mode. Describes the Input Method Editor mode.
- Use Existing Option Set. Available if Data Type selected is Option Set. If Yes is chosen, a drop down of a list of Global Option Sets appears. If No is chosen, fields are available to add options to the option set and set a Default Value for the Option Set.
- Minimum Value and Maximum Value. Allows you to set a positive and negative number as the lowest and highest value for specific data types.
- Precision. Set the number of digits available after the decimal point for specific data types.
- Behavior. Option set available for Date and Time data type with options of User Local, Date Only, Time-Zone Independent.
- Target Record Type. Available for the data type of Lookup to show which entity the field will use in the N:1 relationship being created.
- Relationship Name. Automatically filled in for the Lookup or data type when a Target Record Type is chosen.
How to create a custom field
- On the left navigation pane, expand the entities section of Components, and expand the entity for which you want to create the field. Then, click on Fields in the expanded view.
- Click on the New button in the ribbon.
- The page for creating a new field and selecting its properties opens. Fill in the details based on your requirements.
- Save and close the page. Please note that once the Type is chosen and the field is saved, it cannot be changed.
Note: Remember to publish all changes!
Option Sets are a field type similar to a pick list. If you want to be able to use this set in multiple entities without having to create them every time, you can create a global option set. For example, a list of countries can be created as a global option set that can be used for account and contact addresses. Users have the flexibility to add or delete items from this list.
Steps for Creating a Global Option Set
- Choose Option Set as the type while creating a new field.
- Select Yes in the Use existing option set radio button.
- Click on the New button.
- In the page that opens, fill in the display name and click on the + sign.
- Enter the options in the Label field one by one. (The number in the Value field defaults.)
- Save and close. Now this set is available to be used for fields in other entities too.
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