Custom Entity Designs
Surucas can work with your team to define which business processes unique to your business should have their own entities.
Dynamics CRM is often referred to with xRM, because the ease of developing custom entities enables CRM customers to define which processes they want to track. Some people say xRM stands for “Extended Relationship Management”. Others say x stands for Anything, as in, “Anything Relationship Management”.
Your business likely shares many processes in common with many others which run Dynamics CRM. They likely include, but aren’t limited to,
These are common processes, which are represented in CRM by data objects called entities. Microsoft Dynamics CRM custom entity design can bridge the gap between the way your business works, and how CRM is delivered without customizations.
Some examples of custom entities you might want to have designed for your unique business include:
- Event Registration, Logistics, Speakers and Financials
- Membership Management and Renewal functions
- Education course management
- Donations or Supporters for non-profit organizations, or charities
- Human Resources functions, such as Vacation Requests, Employment Candidates
- Collections for Accounts Receivable departments or agencies
When a Surucas designs custom entities for your business, they can also define the relationships that entities have with each other.
- Contacts will likely be associated with Accounts (often called an 1 : 1 relationship)
- Contacts and Accounts will likely be related to Opportunities (N : 1 relationship)
- Contacts, Accounts and Products can be related to Orders and Returns entities (N : N relationship)
- Where N is represents many, or an unknown quantity of entities.
Designing custom entities involves customization and coding, so if your company does not have the confidence, resources or experience to design and build your own custom entities, Surucas can help. We can partner with your CRM power users to define:
- Entity owners
- Organizations relevant to the entity
- Workflows and/or rules which will relate to information flow within the entity and related entities
Though you can find a great deal of documentation about creating custom entities, having an expert work with you on the process can help you avoid a great deal of frustration. Additional customization of the entity, once created and saved is much simpler than building a new entity from the “ground up”.
Besides CRM entities, there are also entity activities. Activities might include phone calls, faxes, emails, letters or other activities. If your company use an alternative form of communication, say, EDI, or carrier pigeon, you might want to create custom activities within you entities. Or, you might want to evaluate more modern forms of communication.
Some qualities of great Dynamics CRM entities:
- Appropriate use of picklists/radio buttons and text fields where appropriate
- Minimal clicks from one entity to another to navigate to desired information
- Logical field layouts
- Use of masks where possible to guide users of the sort of data required.
- Use of process guides and must answer fields where they can assist new users
- Minimal entities with multiple views for consistent data entry
- Logical icons and clear user instructions where possible.
If you are in need of assistance to create custom entities, relationships, and custom activities, Surucas has the expertise to help you get the job done!