Customizing Navigation in CRM Using Sitemap

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Brief Description:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables you to easily perform navigation customizations by editing the site map. The site map is an XML file that is read and parsed by Microsoft Dynamics CRM when it is loaded and can be used to change the information displayed in the navigation pane.

About SiteMap:
We can customize the contents of the Navigation Pane in Microsoft Dynamics CRM by editing the Site Map.
The site map consists of three primary elements:

  • The Area element, which is used for the primary areas on the navigation pane (Workplace, Sales, Marketing, Service, Settings, and Resource Center).
  • The Group element, which divides the Area elements into subareas. The workplace area has six default groups: My Work, Customers, Sales, Marketing, Service, and Scheduling. These are optionally shown, however, because users select which ones they will see.
  • The Subarea element, which provides the clickable links that change the content displayed in the main pane of the application. By default, most links in the Navigation Pane point to pages in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM application. One exception is the Resource Center, which creates links to pages on the Internet.

Before making any modifications to the site map, be sure to make a backup copy of the XML output in case you need to restore your changes. If you are not familiar with editing XML files that match a specified schema, you may want to use an XML editing tool that provides schema validation. Two free applications that support schema validation are Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition and XML Notepad 2007.

Customization Using SiteMap:
The process of customizing the Site Map consists of the following steps:

1. Export the Site Map as part of the file. To export the site map, In the Navigation Pane, click Settings, click Customization, and then click Export Customizations. Locate the site map and select Export Selected Customizations. Save the resulting file to your desktop.

2. Extract the customizations.xml file from the exported file.

  • Edit the Site Map Elements in the customizations.xml file. Some of the changes we can perform include:
  • Change the name of areas in the Navigation Pane.
  • Change the order of areas in the Navigation Pane.
  • Reorganize or add new areas.
  • Change the order of the links presented within areas.
  • Change the names of links in an area.
  • Group links in areas.
  • Change the Workplace profile options that people can choose from.

3. Import the edited customizations.xml file. To import the file, In the Navigation Pane, click Settings, click Customization, and then click Import Customizations. Click Browse to locate an XML file or a compressed (.zip) file that contains customizations and settings exported from Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Double-click the file or select the file, and then click Open. Click Upload.

If the Site Map cannot be successfully processed, a dialog box will display error messages. We need to recheck the file for errors and import it again.

Article written by Indira Prayaga, Technical Consultant – ERT Group

If you’re looking for specific CRM software information, check out the resources on the ERT Group website. You can also contact ERT Group for assistance in determining if a technology solution can help your organization and better serve your business needs.

For current promotions and deals on Microsoft Dynamics CRM please visit our Promotions Page.

ERT Group is a Florida Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a 2010 President’s Club member for Microsoft Dynamics – offering Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Microsoft CRM.

3 thoughts on “Customizing Navigation in CRM Using Sitemap”

  1. I imoprt unmanaged solution to CRM2011, however I did not add system reports to the solution. As a result, we do not have any system reports. My question is how to import system reports to the solution only?
    Thanks in advance


  2. This is a great article. I always wondered whats the difference between sales force and Microsoft CRM tools. Now i understand the customizability of the tool.

    Thanks for the article.

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