Enhanced offline support in CRM for Tablets


With the CRM for Tablets application – released in CRM 2013 – we gave sales people compelling and powerful mobility scenarios. Sales people can get their work done from the device and location of their choice.

Data is cached in an Offline Cache (HTML 5 local storage) allowing salespeople to access (read only) previously viewed information in the application when offline. See this blog post "Understanding CRM for tablets offline scenario" for more.

For CRM 2015 we plan to enhance the offline support to enable the following key scenarions in offline mode

  1. Add notes to existing records (records already on the server)
  2. Add opportunities to existing records using associated grid/lists
  3. Add new records for entities (without lookup field support)

When you go offline, you'll see a 'create new' button in the all entities list respectively for which you has create permission.

The Dashboard command bar will have the "+" for global entity create similar to online mode

All records which are created in offline (and not yet saved to server)  will be present in the Drafts Records view.

When clicked a record is opened in the quick create form with the Close and Save draft option. Fields are editable and you can make changes to this draft.

Lookups will not be user editable in offline create/update scenarios. This includes partylist, owner and customer lookups. When you open the offline drafts in online mode, the look-up fields and attachments are enabled again.

The “Add new opportunity" button when clicked from the associated grid for the account and contact will autopopulate the customer lookup (Account or Contact). You cannot edit this lookup field in offline mode and hence the opportunity specific to the context of the customer would be locked.

When you go offline, you can add notes to the existing records which are available offline. Notes can be correctly created and associated to corresponding parent records when the Tablet client goes online again.

Save records to CRM when back online

Once you are back online you can tap the reconnect button on the Tablet app and connect to CRM in the same manner as for CRM 2013.  Using the sitemap you can navigate to the Drafts view where you can see all offline created notes and records in the drafts view and take appropriate action (eg make minor changes and then save to server)

Draft records are removed during Sign Out. The Tablet app will warn you if you try to sign out and still have unsaved drafts

Important Considerations

Creating Drafts

  • Only new Draft records can be created (you cannot modify existing records offline)
  • New Draft records cannot be added to other Draft records
  • Quick create forms are used for Draft create/update experience
  • New Draft records cannot be created from a full grid

Lookups

  • No lookup/partylist editing support while offline
  • Creating record from a parent record can auto populate a lookup field

Save Drafts to Server

  • Drafts do not automatically sync once reconnected
  • Drafts must be manually saved to the server individually (no Save All option)
  • Draft records are removed during Sign Out
  • Drafts will block metadata sync

Dynamics CRM 2015 has not been released yet. The above described product capabilities and themes are subject to change.

Comments (0)

Skip to main content