This entry is part of our Feature Review Series. These short, to the point blogs strive to provide a quick snapshot of information to a user looking for a quick overview of a feature, how it’s managed or configured, some insight into how a business / organization would use it, and provide links to resources or tutorials for a deeper dive.
What Is Sharing in Dynamics 365?
In many ways, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a user can allow another user access to a record they own or have rights to.
But there are a number of things to understand about this feature to be able to leverage it properly.
Let’s dive in to understand the details!
When Might We Use the Sharing Feature?
One of the best ways to explain how sharing works is to highlight a use case example of the tool in action.
Let’s say we have a system where Account records are visible only to the user level.
However, there might be a situation where a colleague of mine has an interaction with one of those Accounts (say, for example, someone has gone on vacation but the customer calls in to get support).
In order to get the other user visibility on the record, it can be shared with them. This is a feature found on the command bar of the record itself, as shown below.
Note that the location of the Share button may vary based on configurations you have within your record.
When clicked, a new window will open. At time of writing, this window still reflects the former UI experience. This could change anytime as Microsoft continues to modernize the platform.
How Does Sharing in Dynamics 365 Work?
Now that we’re on the Sharing window, let’s talk a bit about how this feature works.
On the left we have the Common Tasks area.
- Add User/Team – click this to select which user/team you wish to share the record with.
- Remove Select Items – this is used to remove a row or rows that have been given access to the record.
- Toggle All Permissions of the Selected Items – this is used to turn all of the sharing options on or off.
- Reset – this removes all shared access to the record.
On the right you find a number of options in a grid format. These are the various functions you can control for a user you are sharing a record with.
- Name – the name of the user/team selected
- Read – this gives the user read access. They can see a record, but cannot edit it in any way.
- Write this gives the user write access. They can now edit the record in any way.
- Delete this gives the user the ability to delete a record. When Delete is selected, the Write permission is automatically selected as well. Note that when a record is deleted, the only way to get it back is through a restore of a backup.
- Append this allows users to set the value of Look Ups on the form from other tables. Example: Contact has an Account lookup (often as the “Parent Account” field). Without Append, a user could not fill this data in, even if they have write access. The field would be read only. Note that this works hand in hand with Append To.
- Append To – this allows users to be able to set the value of lookups to this record. The user would need to have Append To in order to set this record as the value on another table. Note that this works hand in hand with Append.
- Assign – this permits the user to reassign this record. Note that giving this permission means someone can “steal” the record by assigning it to themselves or another user.
- Share – this permits the user the ability to Share this record. Example – sharing a record with another user and giving this permissions allows them, in turn, to share the record with someone else. However note that the user can only provide the same or fewer permissions as they have on the record when they share it out.
A Note About Security
Security Roles control access to sharing of records. It can be turned on or off for a specific security role. Let’s take a Sales Manager and Salesperson example.
The Sales Manager security role might allow them the ability to share Account records, however the Salesperson security role may not allow it at all.
This example would look like what you see below:
In some organizations, data is open to all users, so the concept of sharing may not apply. But, if you are in an organization where data on any record is controlled down to the user level, sharing might be a way to allow other users access to the record to view the data or even make necessary changes.
We hope this gives some insight into how this feature could be used. Interested in discussing this further? Contact C5 Insight today!