An often requested Dynamics 365 feature is to have a view of “past due” accounts, contacts, leads, or cases. By “past due” I mean records that have had no contact for a certain amount of days.
There are a number of ways to give your users this capability. I’ll review some of the simpler ones today.
Microsoft recently rolled out a new feature of Advanced Find that will allow you to get a view of records with no activities at all. For example, if we want a view of accounts that have no associated activities at all, we can construct the view as in the image below.
To create this view, just start a new Advanced Find on the account entity, add a reference to the Activities related entity, and select “Does Not Contain Data” next to it.
This will work with any record types (for example, you can use the same type of view to find accounts with no associated contacts). But this functionality is of limited value when looking for past due records – because most of them have some activities in the distant past, but none in the recent past.
What you would really like to do is add another line in the above advanced find view that essentially says “return all accounts where the list of completed activities in the last 30 days doesn’t contain data.” You could accomplish this by adding just one more line in the above Advanced Find but, as you can see in the grey area, you are not allowed to add more logic to views of this type.
The good news is that this type of view is possible, it just requires some more advanced tools. You can use a free tool called the FetchXML builder – it is part of a larger set of tools called the XRM ToolBox – to create the view that you want. Download the FetchXML Builder and XRM ToolBox here.
Once you have downloaded and installed it, you’ll open the view you created in Option 1, above. Your FetchXML code will look something like this:
Next, you’ll edit the code to look like this:
And then you’ll save the new view as a new name (something like “Accounts w No Activity for 30 Days”.)
When you open the view in Advanced Find, you’ll notice that the new logic appears. You’ll also notice that you can now change the number of days if you want to move the number around a bit!
Another option: You can create an aggregate field that is stored on the account entity that tracks the number of days since the last activity was completed. Then you can build views that use this field.
Aggregate fields are fairly easy to create. There are a few downsides to this approach: (1) aggregate calculations run daily, so it may take a day for your views to update, (2) you are only allowed a limited number of aggregate fields in your instance of Dynamics 365 – so use them wisely!
The reality is that not all accounts are equal. Most organizations don’t want to follow-up on all accounts on the same schedule. You may want to prioritize them something like this:
You can accomplish this by using a combination of extra fields (to set the priority of an account) and FetchXML. You can create different views for each priority, or a single view that shows you all accounts that are past due, sorted in order of priority.
Our job is to make Dynamics 365 easy for you and your team. If you’re looking for help and support with views like this, then give us a call – we’re here to help!
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