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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Custom Hierarchies

Post Author: HCLTech |

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Hierarchical Visualizations allows the end user to visualize and interact with hierarchical data in an intuitive and visual fashion across both the web and the tablet. This new functionality is available in the Account entity, but you can also implement the same hierarchical view for other entities; in this article we will configure the Contact entity with a hierarchical visualization, and create a Manager and Employee hierarchical representation.

To do this we will have to:

  1. Create the Hierarchy Relationship for the Entity
  2. Create the Hierarchy tile form
  3. Add the Relational field to the Entity form
  4. Update contact records with hierarchy relationship
  5. View the hierarchy representation

We want to have the following relationship, as the end result for contact hierarchy visualizations


Create the Hierarchy Relationship for the Entity

Let's begin with the hierarchy view configuration going to the Settings Navigation -> Customizations -> Solutions or Customize the System -> Entities and Select the Contact Entity

Create the new relationship as the 1:N (one to many) relationship

  • Primary Entity: Contact
  • Related Entity: Contact
  • Hierarchical: Yes
  • Display Name: Parent Contact (or Manager)
  • Name: new_parentcontactid (this field is auto created depending on the previous field but you can update)
  • Type of Behavior: Referential (Important not to confuse as Parental)


Create the Hierarchy tile form

Now let's create a Hierarchy Setting for this relationship. Down below the relationships, select Hierarchy Settings and click New.

Give the Setting a name.

To create the tile used in the visualization click on the Create New link.

In this example, we've added created a new Quick View form including the Contact Full name, the Address and the Parent Contact and saved it as the "Contact Hierarchy Tile Form".


Add the Relational field to the Entity form

At this point you have the Hierarchy relationship and Quick View Tile form created, but on the Contact form you need to add the field for Parent Contact.


Updating contact records with hierarchy relationship

Now you are ready to add the relationship on the Contacts. You assign some contacts with the Parent Contact or manager, as shown below.


View the hierarchy representation

Notice that the records which have a relationship with the parent contact will have the hierarchy icon on the left side of the contact record on the grid, when you click on that icon to open the Hierarchical View, you should see the same view as we have at the beginning of this article.

The Hierarchical Visualization is impressive but there are some limitation on the functionality

  • The form has a 4 field maximum in every Quick Entity tile form
  • Visualization are only based on 1 entity and not multiple entities
  • The relationship is a 1:N and is a self-relationship (only to the same entity)


And that's all there is to setting up a new hierarchy visualization in CRM 2015. In a future blog, we will dive into other hierarchy enhancements such as mobile representation, using filters, and incorporating images in the hierarchy.

Happy CRM'ing!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

2 comments on “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Custom Hierarchies”

  1. I had got this far before finding your forum but I am still trying to figure out how to get the hierarchy symbol to display in the embedded list view and/or related regarding views like if I go to the account then show related contacts and want the related contacts to be displayed in a hierarchical view. I know that I can open up the contact then show hierarchical but if the symbol shows in the main list view why shouldn't it in the Account -> Related Regarding Contacts list view.

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