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Hitachi Solutions

Managing Activate/Deactivate ‘permissions’ of CRM Entities

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Business Case

When an account or a contact isn’t purchasing we might think of them as “inactive” – and CRM offers a button on the ribbon to ‘deactivate’ the record - but is that the right way to manage the status of a record? - Typically not. – The Active/Inactive status of CRM records really refers to the status of the ‘record’ rather than the contact or account the record refers to. Setting a customer to ‘inactive’ means that it cannot be edited, re-assigned, shared and it immediately gets excluded from most views and reports.

While you may ultimately want to de-activate records if the customer goes out of business or is merged, because of the system-wide implications of this status field - everyday users shouldn’t be deactivating records on-the-fly. Far more useful is to add a customer status option set (or even extend the “status reason” options) to include a more descriptive set of data around why the customer is not an active customer – once that information is captured, it’s possible to review and deactivate those records through a more methodical process.

Strategy

So why not just remove the ‘De-activate’ privilege from users’ security profile? Unfortunately there isn’t a special activate/deactivate privilege in CRM security – if you can edit a record, you can deactivate it – and furthermore there’s a very nice button in the ribbon to activate/deactivate records –in bulk!

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In 2011, we have a supported, if a bit geeky way to edit the ribbon – and by doing so, we can remove the temptation of the activate/deactivate buttons from selected entities. – We then would add simple workflow processes to activate/deactivate records and share these with administrators / power users.

Implementation

Download and install the free http://crmvisualribbonedit.codeplex.com/ tool from Codeplex. (You’ll need to be sure you’ve already installed the 2 requirements beforehand – “.Net Framework 4.0” and the “Windows Identity Framework” – since these are common requirements for CRM development, you might already have them installed.)

Launch the application and click the ‘Connect’ icon in the upper right-hand corner then enter the connection information needed to connect to your environment. – I’ve found that this step can be finicky if you’re connecting to IFD and sometimes to Online but in general I’ve been able to connect.

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Next click on the “Open” icon in the ribbon and select the entity you wish to edit from the option set. In this case I’m choosing the Account entity.

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The application will create a simple solution with that entity in it and export it for editing.

It then displays a version of the ribbon in the editor – Click on the “Activate” button and then click “Hide” – Repeat the same for the “Deactivate” button.

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Then repeat the same on the Homepage and Sub-Grid ribbons.

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Finally, save your changes – This will publish the ribbon back into CRM.

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Reopen CRM and you’ll see the Activate/Deactivate buttons have been removed from the Ribbon.

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Wrap-up

At this point you’re all set. – You may want to create a workflow for the entity that sets records active and one that sets them inactive – simply create it and share the workflow with your administrators to allow them to ‘optionally’ activate or deactivate records based on your business rules.

Post by: Scott Sewell, Customer Effective

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