If you haven’t looked at the “App Designer” in Dynamics 365 yet, you immediately should. The App Designer totally changes the way we approach designing views, dashboards, charts, and even the sitemap!
The app designer makes creating and editing various components of your CRM a piece of cake. Not that it wasn’t easy to create them before! The App Designer makes everything more intuitive and faster – it saves a bunch of clicks that traditionally can be a tad bit annoying, especially if you are creating several views, charts, dashboards etc.
Let’s look at how you can use the App Designer to create a new System View.
In order to get to the App Designer, go to Settings-> My Apps under Application.
The My Apps area shows you all the “apps” you have access to. Think of an app as the traditional Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, etc. modules. Choose the app you want to add a view to, click the ellipses on the top right corner of that app, and select “Open In App Designer”.
In the App Designer canvas, you will see a list of all entities, along with blocks that are labeled Forms, Views, and Charts. On the top, you will also see the Site Map for this app, as well as dashboards.
Clicking on “Views” for a certain entity will show a list of all system views available on the right. What’s nice about this list is that it categorizes all the views so you know what kind of views are available, and how many. Let’s go ahead, and create a new view by clicking “Create New”.
The next screen shows you a canvas with three areas. The top lets you set filters the way you normally do. In addition, you also see what the view looks like right below it. By default, it has one column but you can add as many columns to your view from the list of fields to the right (under Components).
There is also a “Search” box you can use to look for a specific field, in case you have hundreds of fields on your entity. Here, we searched for fields that have the text “phone” in them. From the results, we dragged and dropped “Main Phone” to add as a column to our view.
After adding as many columns as you want (or vice versa), start setting your filters. You will notice that as you add more filters, your search results below update instantly. This is different from how it is with the “traditional” mechanism where, when creating system views, you do not get to see what the results look like unless you publish it and go to the view directly.
This short 40 seconds video shows the process. Notice how the results below change as the filters are added on top.
Once you are satisfied with this view, go ahead and give it a name – either right under “Columns” or under Properties. Then Save it.
Bada-bing-bada-boom! Your view is now ready. Go to Accounts, and look at your System Views. This new view will be in that list now.
This is what it looks like in the Unified Interface.
Making changes to columns is super easy too. As you increase and decrease the column width, you can see the results right there and then. Drag and drop columns to rearrange their orders.
As you can see, the App Designer brings a refreshingly new, versatile, quick, and easier way of creating views. This makes creating views much more fun, and saves a bunch of clicks, time, and ultimately frustration.