In part two of this blog series, we examine the role of technology in enhancing the customer experience in government with a focus on streamlining and automating customer-facing processes.
In this post, we’re going to cover how to effectively approach Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 ribbon customization using Scott Durow’s Ribbon Workbench. For this tutorial I am going to create a few web resources within CRM including a HTML file that can be updated by another CRM user. We’ll create a button for other CRM users to click to see news from our organization.
To get started, let’s install Scott’s solution to CRM.
First, we download the solution from the link above, then, in CRM, browse to Settings, Customization and Solutions. Click the Import button and browse to where you saved the solution to select it. Complete the import wizard.
After the solution is imported, you will see a button to launch the tool in the ribbon of the Customizations area. The tool uses Silverlight, so if you don’t already have it installed, you will be prompted to install it.
Now let’s start preparing the resources we’ll need to create our button. For this example, we will need the HTML, a 16 x 16 pixel image for the button, a 32 x 32 pixel image for the button and to know where we’d like to use the button.
In CRM go to Settings, Customizations and click Customize the System. In the customizations window, select Web Resources and click New. Complete the resource name, being sure to include the file extension for the type of file you’re creating. Use a meaningful Display Name, select Web Page (HTML) for the Type. When you click save, you’ll notice that CRM has created a URL for the resource. Copy this URL to a temporary location because we’ll need it later.
If you’re ready to create the initial HTML, you could do that by clicking the Text Editor button or by uploading a file that you already have.
Repeat the same process to upload the 16 x 16 pixel image and the 32 x 32 pixel image, selecting PNG, JPG or GIF as the Type.
We’re close to using the tool now, are you ready?
First we need to decide where in CRM we want this button. Since this button will be a corporate communications tool, I’d like the button to be on the Dashboards page, the main page that loads when my users start CRM. Now we need to create a solution for the Ribbon Workbench to work from.
Once again we’ll go to Settings, Customizations and Solutions, but now we’ll create a solution by clicking New. Since I want the Dashboards page and that is located on the Application Ribbon, we need to add Application Ribbon. Click Add Existing and choose Application Ribbon. Then we need to add our button images, so click Add Existing, choose Web Resource and add your two image files. When you have these components, click Save and Close.
OK, OK, now it’s time for the tool. As you recall the button for the Ribbon Workbench is in Settings, Customizations ribbon. Click it to load it and you will be prompted to select a solution. Select the solution you just created and it will load.
As you can see, there is a lot to see, but we know that we’re after the Dashboards page, so let’s click that. Now we need to give our button a command, so click Commands in the Solution Elements section, right click and click Add New. Expand the Commands section and click the new command you created, and in the Properties section, choose the lookup button next to Actions. Click Add and then click open URL Action. Remember that URL we saved before? We need it now. Our URL was https://myorg.crm.powerobjects.net//WebResources/new_corpcommunications.html. We just need the /WebResources/new_corpcommunications.html part, so paste that into the Address field. Note you can pass parameters if you like. Since this is a static page we won’t need to do any of that. Click OK and you have just created a command.
Now let’s create our button.
On the far left, click Button in the Toolbox and drag it up to the location on the Dashboard Ribbon where you would like the button to appear. When you do that you will see that there us a new button under the Solution Elements and the Properties section is ready to accept more info. In the command section choose the drop down and select the command that we just created. Now let’s fill out the info we know. Click the lookup to select the images we put in the solution, give your button a label, description, provide some tool tips if you like (what a user will see if they hover over the button with the mouse).
The hard work is done now. When you have everything ready to go, click Publish Solution at the very top of the window and the button will be added to CRM. You may need to refresh the CRM web page to see the button after the tool has completed uploading the solution.
Whoa! Look at this! We have our new Hi Joe! button and I created a button for an existing solution, PowerGlobalSearch. When I click these buttons their web pages open up for me. Imagine the options we have!
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on creating a button in the CRM ribbon. To learn more, reach out to the CRM Experts at PowerObjects.