Customizing Fields

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;
    • Optional.
  • 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

  1. 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.
    Customizing Fields
  2. Click on the New button in the ribbon.
    Customizing Fields
  3. The page for creating a new field and selecting its properties opens. Fill in the details based on your requirements.
    Customizing Fields
    Customizing Fields
  4. 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

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

  1. Choose Option Set as the type while creating a new field.
  2. Select Yes in the Use existing option set radio button.
    Customizing Fields
  3. Click on the New button.
    Customizing Fields
  4. In the page that opens, fill in the display name and click on the + sign.
  5. Enter the options in the Label field one by one. (The number in the Value field defaults.)
    Customizing FieldsCustomizing Fields
  6. Save and close. Now this set is available to be used for fields in other entities too.

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