Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Refreshed Versus Non-Refreshed legacy entities in the new Fluid Flat UX design

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 comes with the new fluid User Interface and Flat UI User Experience (UX) and design. The new design aims to ease user navigation, free up screen space and create a consistent look and feel across desktop and touch enabled mobile devices. It comes with new simpler single line action command bar with a “more actions” drop down list freeing up screen space (as opposed to the ribbon in CRM 2011) for more data, charts and information on forms.

 This new refreshed design of CRM 2013 has affected most but not all Dynamics CRM entities. Entities that have changed to reflect the new fluid UX design are called Refreshed Entities. Entities which are continuing to use the classic design are called non refreshed entities in CRM 2013.

Below are some important facts and information about both refreshed and non-refreshed entities in CRM 2013:

    • Non-Refereshed legacy entities and cannot have Business Process Flows allowed for them.  However, as a work around, Non-Refreshed legacy entities can still be exposed as sub-grids onto refreshed entities so that they can be included in Business Process Flows on the refreshed entities in CRM 2013.
    • All custom entities and most end user facing system (out of the box) entities are “Refreshed” entities and are using new UX form experience.
  • Classic (old) forms are mostly restricted to system settings area while new Fluid UX forms for refreshed entities cover majority of common CRM 2013 entities that are frequently used by CRM users (such as Accounts, Contacts, Cases, etc. – full list / details below).
  • Non Refreshed entities are:
    • Goals & Territories performance Management,
    • Service Contracts,
    • Service Scheduling/Management entities,
    • Goals Performance Management,
    • Document Management,
    • Reports,
    • Search / Advanced Find,
    • Email and Mail Merge Templates,
    • Organisation settings,
    • Security Roles & Profiles,
    • Duplicate (Dupe) Detection,
    • Data Management (Cleansing, Auditing),
    • Dialog/Workflow,
    • Customisation & Extensibility,
    • MUI & Multi-Currency,
    • Billing & Subscription Management.
    • In CRM 2013, Only Refreshed Entities have the new command bar while the legacy Non-Refreshed entities have the Ribbon (as in CRM 2011).
  • Full List of Refreshed entities in Dynamics CRM 2013 (Total of 28 entities):
    • Appointment
    • BulkOperation
    • Campaign
    • CampaignActivity
    • CampaignResponse
    • Competitor
    • Contact
    • Contract
    • ContractDetail
    • Email
    • Fax
    • Incident
    • Invoice
    • Lead
    • Letter
    • List
    • Opportunity
    • OpportunityProduct
    • PhoneCall
    • Product
    • ProductPriceLevel
    • Quote
    • RecurringAppointmentMaster
    • SalesLiterature
    • SalesOrder
    • SystemUser
    • Task
    • Team

The following Table / Diagram shows the various Refreshed and Non-Refreshed entities in CRM 2013:


Refereshed Versus Non Refereshed Entities in CRM 2013
Refereshed Versus Non Refereshed Entities in CRM 2013


What’s new in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013: New Features & Comparison of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 versus #CRM2013 #MSDynCRM

This post, What’s new in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, lists the main new features in Dynamics CRM 2013 and compares them to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 where applicable (Crm 2013 Vs. CRM 2011). At the bottom of the comparison table, you will find links for the most important Dynamics CRM 2013 resources which are the customer center, developer center and Tech IT Pro Center. You will also find some informational files about Dynamics CRM 2013 and which are published by Microsoft.

I will continue to update this table frequently. All comments & feedback is welcome. Please comment below.


Original CRM 2011 Feature CRM 2013 New Feature

CRM 2013 New Feature/Benefit Description

Interface Left Navigation Pane New Top Horizontal Navigation menu bar New menu bar replaces CRM 2011 Navigation pane and designed to ease user navigation, free up screen space and create a consistent look and feel across desktop and touch enabled mobile devices.
Interface Top Ribbon Commands bar 5 buttons Action bar & a More actions CRM 2011 ribbon has been replaced by a simpler single line action bar with a “more actions” drop down list freeing up screen space for more data, charts and information on forms. Commands are related to what you are working on and change based on data and record opened.
Interface Get started pane Removed in CRM 2013 Removed to provide further screen space for information.
Interface Workplace Area & Dashboards No Workplace area. Dashboards specific for each area The Workplace Area has been removed and Dashboards and Reports are now part of every Work Area: Sales, Marketing and Service giving more room for data specific to each CRM Work Area.
Interface Popups No Popups. Edit Data Inline. Inline Editing: In CRM 2013, you can now click or tap a field to update info for a record right inline. No flipping to another screen. There are no more pop ups in CRM 2013.
Interface Quick Create Form Create new records using the Quick Create Forms on the go.In the top Nav bar, click or tap Create, and then select the type of record you want. Enter data for a few fields, or more if you have it. You can come back and fill in the gaps later when you have more time.
Interface Prominent Records Headers & Quick View Forms Surfaces important Customer information and highlights key data (such as phone number, status, record owner) on related forms so users always have their customer data at their fingertips. .
Interface & Devices Seamless Interface Experience Across all devices CRM 2013 is delivering a CRM experience that is consistent across web, client and devices.  Native device capabilities provide familiar tools and actions to get things done.Always know where you are within your sales process, easily complete key tasks and advance the process to reveal what’s next. Embedded Skype calling allows you to stay connected with your Customers.
Devices Dynamics CRM Apps for Windows 8 PC & Tablets, iOS (iPhones & iPads) and Android phones. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM phone applications will complete the mobility story by providing a touch-enabled mobile phone application experience for Windows 8, Android and iPhones. Phone applications will be launched following the General Availability of CRM 2013.
Devices Tablet Optimised Web Browser Experience Users that access CRM from the web browser on their mobile device will be presented with a web browsing experience optimized for the device. The “liquid layout” optimises the viewing experience, adjusting for various screen shapes and resolutions (landscape, portrait, 1, 2, 3 column). This browsing experience adds flexibility in how the mobile employees access their CRM data and includes offline caching for offline viewing so users can still access key data if connectivity is lost.
Deployment Write once, Deploy Everywhere. Configuration changes to the interface will persist in the tablet application. CRM optimises your web forms for the tablet layout. Even client-side logic is supported on the mobile device to deliver rich experiences.
Social Enterprise Collaboration Yammer Integration including users without CRM licenses. Users can participate in social conversations directly within Microsoft Dynamics, through the Yammer web and desktop applications as well as apps running on Microsoft (Windows Phone), Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) mobile devices.
Process Excellence & Agility Business Process Flow Dynamics CRM 2013 gives users visual guidance to navigate processes that makes workflows more prescriptive and easier to follow.New process bar prompts users to follow next action steps in line with your mapped workflows to progress leads, opportunities, service cases and other tasks.

Business Processes also have Stage-Gating feature that prevents users progressing any process to the next stage if one or more steps haven’t been completed

Business Rules Custom JavaScript Business Rules. Business rules in CRM 2013 now allows for native controls to be applied on forms instead of writing custom JavaScript as it was the case in previous version. These are client side enforced controls based on business conditions and allows for 5 actions:

  1. Set specific field value (including formulas & calculation),
  2. Set business required state for a CRM attribute,
  3. Set visibility of a field to visible or invisible (visible = false),
  4. lock and unlock Dynamics CRM fields / attributes, and
  5. Show an error message on a form if certain conditions are met.
Search Multiple Entity Search innew mobile client application. New mobile client application (MoCA) for Dynamics CRM 2013 will have multiple entity query (eg; a simple cross-entity search). The multiple entity search is configurable for up to ten entities and provides the capability in MoCA for mobile users to find the CRM data they need when working on their tablet
Customisation & Configuration Records Auto Save Users no longer need to click or tap Save when editing a record. By default, the system automatically saves any edited records every 30 seconds, or when users navigate to another record.
Customisation & Configuration Image Data Type Images are now First Class data type. Users can now associate images with CRM records including contacts and users
Customisation & Configuration Actions Developers can extend the functionality of the standard Microsoft Dynamics CRM system by creating custom messages, with associated request/response classes, known as actions. Actions are new type of processes to expand the vocabulary available for developers to express business processes. With core verbs like Create, Update, Delete, Retrieve, Associate and Assign provided by the system, an action uses those core verbs to create more expressive verbs like Escalate, Approve, Route, and Schedule. If the definition of the action needs to change due to changing business priorities, someone who is not a developer can edit the action using the application workflow designer. Since these actions are available through web service calls, they can be used from both inside the application using a command action or from external applications.
Customisation & Configuration Integrated Maps Integrated Bing Maps dynamically show the map for the primary record address.
Customisation & Configuration Skype & Lync Integration Skype & Lync integration enabling direct dialling from any phone number field in Dynamics CRM
Customisation & Configuration Workflows are Asynchronous. Real-time Synchronous Workflow The existing workflow execution model that supports asynchronous workflows has been extended to support real-time (synchronous) workflows. Real-time workflows are not queued, as was the case with asynchronous workflows, but execute immediately on-demand or in response to a message being processed by the execution pipeline. Real-time workflows participate in the database transaction and perform similar functionality to plug-ins, yet can be created by a non-developer through the web application workflow designer. Developers can still create real-time workflow through code.
Customisation & Configuration Role-Based Security (owner) Teams Only Role-Based Security Teams (owner Teams) and Access Teams Teams need to collaborate with a unique set of people within their organization for each record such as an Opportunity, order or important customer contact. CRM 2011 role-based security does not give users this level of flexibility. With a record-based access team, CRM users can be added to a specific record and give them access. The access team is a new type of team that doesn’t own records, but, has access to records. Unlike with owner teams, you can create one or more access teams to work on the same records and have team members with different levels of access rights to the record.
Customisation & Configuration Calculations and formulas via Business Rules Setting a field value in a business rule allows the use of formulas to do calculations for applicable fields such as fields of type “Money”. Addition, subtraction, multiplication & division are the calculation operations available and can be done between fields or values. So for example: set “Total Box Value” field value to “Price per item” field multiplied by “24”. (assuming every box has 24 identical items for instance).
Office 2013 Support for Office 2013 CRM 2013 for Outlook will be supported in Microsoft Outlook 2013 providing contextual capabilities directly within the Outlook experience. Word merge for documents and emails will be supported in Microsoft Word 2013, and the ability to export data to Microsoft Excel for analysis and reporting will be supported in Microsoft Excel 2013.
Web Services & Endpoints Support for Oauth protocol & enhancements to OData web service Endpoint. CRM 2013 includes several enhancements to provide flexibility to deliver powerful mobile applications. Added support for OAuth protocol that is RESTFUL and easier to support for Mobile/Tablet applications. These applications, once they are authenticated through OAuth, can then use either the SOAP endpoint or the REST OData endpoint. The OData web service endpoint has been enhanced with the addition of authentication support for external mobile and rich client applications. Previously, the OData web service endpoint supported only pre-authenticated client (script) code provided in web resources.
Web Services & Endpoints Support for CRM 4.0 2007 Endpoint & Legacy features CRM 4.0 Service Endpoints & Features removed in CRM 2013 CRM 4.0 2007 service endpoints, CRM 4.0 plugins, CRM 4.0 client-side scripting and CRM 4.0 custom workflow activities no longer supported & will not work in CRM 2013.
Duplicate Detection Duplicate Detection during Record Create and Update Removed in CRM 2013
Server Side Synch Server-Side Sync will be used to integrate emails, activities and tasks with CRM 2013.Server-Side Sync will be doing the same work as the Email Router and more. Currently, Server-Side Sync will only work in the following scenarios:

  1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online → Microsoft Office 365
  2. Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premise → Microsoft Exchange On-Premise.

Important Dynamics CRM 2013 resources can be found here:
CRM Customer Center:
CRM Developer Center:
CRM IT Pro Technical Center:

You can find more information in below CRM PDF guides / informational files published by Microsoft:


Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 has been officially released & is now available for Free Trial Online & On-Premise download

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 has been officially released and is now available as of today 8 October 2013. Dynamics CRM 2013 Online Free Trial and On-Premise installation bits (server, etc.) are all available.

To register for a free 30 days Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 trial, use the following link:

To download Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 On Premise installation bits are available from following locations:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2013:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Language Packs:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Email Router:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Report Authoring Extension (with SQL Server Data Tools support):

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office Outlook (This is the Outlook Client):

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 List Component for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (for multiple browsers):

Good news for everyone in the Dynamics CRM community.

Business Rules in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 – New feature introduction & basic facts

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 comes with a new feature called Business rules. Business rules are “almost” a replacement for JavaScript client side UI scripting but only for 5 specific actions. Business rules feature is different Business Process Flows (or Business Processes) so don’t confuse the two. When CRM 2013 is released, it will only have 5 actions that can be done via CRM 2013 business rules. More actions and additional capability enhancements are expected in future updates of Dynamics CRM.

The five actions in the first release of Dynamics CRM 2013 are:

  • Set specific field value (including calculations and formulas),
  • Set business required state for a CRM attribute,
  • Set visibility of a field to visible or invisible (visible = false),
  • lock and unlock Dynamics CRM fields / attributes, and
  • Show an error message on a form if certain conditions are met.

The following Screenshot shows a sample business rule, its conditions and available actions:

Sample Business Rule with Conditions and Available Actions
Sample Business Rule with Conditions and Available Actions

More actions and capabilities expected in later updates but in the mean time, other functionality will need to be created using JavaScript UI similar to how it has been in previous Dynamics CRM version (2011, 4, etc.).

Some important facts, Basics and tips about Business rules in Dynamics CRM:

  • Business Rules work on all clients and devices whether it is Microsoft Dynamics CRM web client, outlook client, tablet, Safari or Dynamics CRM iOS and Android Apps.
  • Business rules are solution aware so they can be included in importing and exporting Dynamics CRM Solutions.
  • Setting a field value in a business rule allows the use of formulas to do calculations for applicable fields such as fields of type “Money”. Addition, subtraction, multiplication & division are the calculation operations available and can be done between fields or values. So for example: set “Total Box Value” field value to “Price per item” field multiplied by “24”. (assuming every box has 24 identical items for instance).
  • Business rules are just a process category similar to workflows and dialogs. It is not a complete replacement of JavaScript. It is written once, works everywhere.
  • Business rules can be customised on the Web and Dynamics CRM Outlook clients only.
  • Business rules are triggered by onLoad, onSave and onChange events.
  • Business rules are written in JavaScript for execution.
  • Always create business rules in deactivated mode.
  • Quick create form supports business rules. so if field is missing, business rule will not fire on quick create form.
  • Business rules will not execute if the field does not exist on the form, the business rule will not get triggered or fired.
  • You cannot call other JavaScript web resources or connect to external data sources from within the business rule.
  • Business rules that belong to the last installed CRM Solution will run last. no limit on the number of actions to attach in a business rule.

* Business rules can be configured and setup from any of the following locations:
1) Entity Customisations in Settings –> Customisations –> Entity –> Business Rules as shown in the following screenshot:

business_rules-1-EntityCustomisations2) On the Form customisation as shown in the next snapshot:

business_rules-2-FormCustomisations3) On the field (attribute) properties dialog, under the business rules tab (new tab in CRM 2013) as shown below:

4) In Settings –> Customisations –> fields customisations, open a field customisation form, you have Business rules for this field as shown in the following screenshot:



This new feature will save us from some JavaScript but it is by no means a replacement of JavaScript, yet. Looking forward for more available actions in business rules in next product updates.

What more actions do you think Business Rules should get? Any ideas or thoughts of how to improve this feature? Looking forward for your comments below.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Resources Windows 8 App for Dynamics CRM News, Forums, Videos, Feeds and Twitter Updates

Microsoft Dynamics CRM windows 8 App is Dynamics CRM community App that displays the main Dynamics CRM information and resources including news, forums, Dynamics CRM videos, Dynamics CRM feeds and twitter updates and Twitter search tags all on one screen optimised for both Windows 8 Tablets and Windows 8 Laptops, Desktops, Tabtop/Lablet (such as Microsoft Surface). This Windows 8 App aims to provide a single source of Dynamics CRM essential and main resources all on one screen without having to switch screens or tab between different windows. It’s currently an early version App (v 1.0) but I believe it can be quite useful especially to those Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers and Dynamics CRM consultants and professionals who want one source of for information, news, the latest tweets and feeds about Dynamics CRM all in one location and switch between them by a click of a button without having to research resources or switching between different screens and applications for them.

The App is a Windows 8 App built for the windows store but I haven’t added it to the store yet as it is still work in progress. Based on the community feedback and popularity of the app and its future versions, I can invest into extending it with more resources and information about Dynamics CRM and make it available for free on the Windows Store (I don’t have a paid store account yet!). Hopefully, I will be also updating it with resources for the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 guides and information.

For all of the above reasons, I will really appreciate any feedback, comments, ideas and suggestions from the Dynamics CRM community on how to improve the App and make it a more useful resource widely used by the whole CRM Community. There is obviously a large potential for expanding this app but it won’t go anywhere without the community participation and support. Just giving back something to the great Dynamics CRM community!

To start using the app, and because it is not available on the Windows store yet, you can download the source code from CodePlex and Run it from Visual Studio 2012 to install it on your Windows 8 machine (or VM). All you need to do is to download the source code, run the Visual Studio solution file and when Visual Studio opens, you just need to build / run the App solution (F5 or CTRL F5) and then the app will run and will also be added to your start screen as a new tile. The App is called All CRM Resources.

Here is the link to the Codeplex project for the “All CRM Resources” App:

Some Screenshots of the App:

All CRM Resources Community page
All CRM Resources Community page
All CRM Twitter Updates #MSDynCRM
All CRM Twitter Updates #MSDynCRM
All CRM Resources Customer Center
All CRM Resources Customer Center


As mentioned before, I am hoping this to become a community project with lots of input from everyone. Please add your comments and suggestions below and join the discussion. Alternatively, you can use the “Contact” page here on my blog to contact me directly.


Alternatively, below are the “Release” files to run the app directly using power shell. Please see the following link for details on how to do that (if you prefer not to go through the source code route):

Please Note: This software / application is provided AS IS, with no warranty or support and you download and use it at your own risk.