Jan 16, 2013

Subgrids in terms of relationship types

Subgrids are new enhanced feature in CRM 2011 forms. They can be considered as alternatives for associate views.  Yet it got something more and it caters some of the usability engineering aspects too. Though it doesn’t contain any complexity, I thought of writing this explanation.

When we add a subgrid, we basically have one main option to select; it’s to show “All records” or “Only related records”. If you need to show all records you have all the entities to choose from. If you need to have related records only, you have much shorter list. They are the entities with relationship to the entity we are customizing right now. Check the difference in below illustration.

Showing the related records is something theoretically identical to an associate view, but showing all the records is something new. This invites designers and architects to grasp a new thought. In other terms we are now allowed to have an editable reference list (of information) within a form.

Now we will from the users view point. For my example I consider an entity called “office” which got a subgrid of designations. Designation is another entity.

1) Office has no relationship with designation

When you select the subgrid/ sub record relevant ribbon button offers you buttons to do all the operations of designation entity such as Add new, Edit and Delete.  Here I don’t need to show any link to designation from anywhere else of the CRM since I am capable of handling it from the subgrid.

2) Office has a 1:n relationship with designation

In this case we see an extra button called “Add existing designation” which leads to a wizard which gives full control of adding designations to the current subgrid.

3) Office has n:n relationship with designation

Now you don’t get add new button here but other buttons such as remove.

Subgrid is a nice improvement in CRM 2011, yet they are to be carefully selected in terms of the relationship type, as required. Also, by looking at the ribbon we can identify the entity relationship behind it.