Previously, you were able to create hierarchies of related records using self-referential relationships, but you had to iteratively query for the related records.
In Dynamics CRM 2015 – expected to be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2014 – new capabilities will let you query and view the records as hierarchies. To query an entity as a hierarchy you must enable a One-to-Many (1:N) or Many-to-One (N:1) self-referential relationship as hierarchical.
You can gain valuable business insights by visualizing hierarchically related data. The new visualization feature gives you a hierarchical view into the data. You'll be able to enable visuals for specific system entities and custom entities after you have updated the hierarchy settings for the entity.
Users can choose between a tree view, which shows the entire hierarchy, and a tile view, which is a detailed view of a smaller portion of the hierarchy. You can explore a hierarchy by expanding and contracting a hierarchy tree. Also, you can compare the attributes between the records at multiple levels in a tree and perform actions on one or more records right from the tree view.
Once defined, the hierarchy settings enable visualization in the CRM Web application and in Microsoft Dynamics CRM for tablets, but, for the tablets, in a modified format suitable for the smaller form factor. Because these visualizations are solution components, they can be transported between organizations like any other customization. You can configure the attributes shown in the visualization by using the customization tools in the CRM Web application. There is no requirement to write code.
The Account entity is hierarchical by default – I can designate parent and childs to a an account. In the below example I've created the top account "Microsoft Corp", with two childs "Microsoft Europe" and "Microsoft Middle East and Africa (MEA)". "Microsoft Europe" has two childs "Microsoft Denmark" and "Microsoft Sweden", and "Microsoft Middle East and Africa" has one child "Microsoft Turkey" (obviously there are more childs, but this is just an example)
Fig. 1 – Accounts with Hierarchical Icon
If I open Microsoft Europe I can check to see the parent as well as the childs
Fig. 2 – Defining an accounts Parent Account
Fig. 3 – Child Accounts
Before CRM 2015 the above is what we had – now we have a great visualization. Clicking any of the Hierarchical Icons (see Fig 1) will open the visualization.
- navigate the hierarchy by clicking the tiles as well as using the tree view to the left
- nagivate to lower layer by clicking anchor arrow under a card
- open a record by clicking icon on right upper corner.
Fig. 4 – Top of Hierarchy
Fig. 5 – Note the Open Revenue on Microsoft Europe (rolled up from child accounts)
Fig. 6 – Child Accounts of Microsoft Europe
Fig. 7 – Open Revenue on Microsoft Denmark and Sweden – rolled up to Microsoft Europe
Fig. 8 – You can navigate the hierarchy using the left tree view control too
So now its easy for you to traverse and explore the hierarchy. For example, from the hierarchical view for accounts, you can:
- See how an account is doing in overall revenue
- Drill into tiles for sub-accounts to see where the deals are coming from
- Find out who is working an account and enlist help from others by sending email or sharing the account with other salespeople
- View important details about each account, such as credit limit and latest activity posts for the account