Understanding the Multi-Select Field in Dynamics 365

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Aaron Back, MCP

The multi-select field within Dynamics 365 (CRM) was introduced with the release of version 9.0 (July Update). This new field opens up new possibilities for System Administrators and Customizers.

How to Create the Multi-Select Field in Dynamics 365

So, let's get started with creating this new field. Once the field is added, we can do other things within Dynamics 365, such as Advanced Finds, related to this field.

Now, to add the create the field, it's as simple as creating other fields. However, you need to understand which option to pick from the field types.

Navigate to Settings > Customizations > Customize the System - OR - Solutions. If you utilize a custom Solution for your configurations and customizations, then open the correct solution file. Otherwise, when you click the "Customize the System" option, it will open the default solution.

Settings-Customize the System

Once the solution file is open, navigate to a particular entity and click on "Fields". In this example, we will be adding the multi-select field to the Account form. However, you can also create the multi-select field in the global option sets area as well.

Customize the System-Account Fields

Customize the System-Add new global option set field

Next, click the "New" button at the top of the list of fields.

Customize the System-Add new field

After you click the "New" button, you will see the new field window open. In our example, the new field will be called "Region". This field will show region options for the account.

Keep in mind, that you will need to select the "Data Type" of "Multiselect Option Set". Also, if you started with a Global Option Set, then be sure to select "Yes" on the "Use Existing Option Set", and then pick the appropriate option set.

Customize the System-Set up new multi-select field

After setting up the field, click "Save and Close".

Adding the Multi-Select Field to a Form in Dynamics 365

Obviously, the next step in the scenario is to add the field to the Account form. With your Solution file still open, expand the Account entity and select Forms. We will be adding the new field to the main Account form.

Customize the System-Selecting the Account Form

Now, with the Account form editor window open, select the new "Region" field. You can easily find custom fields by clicking the drop-down list and selecting "Custom Fields".

Customize the System-Selecting the Custom Field

After finding the field, just drag and drop the field onto the form editor window in the desired location. In this scenario, I have added the field to the Account Information section on the form.

Customize the System-Adding custom field to Account form

Once the field has been added to the form, be sure you click "Save" and then "Publish".

Customize the System-Save and Publish form changes

You can now close the form editor window.

Viewing and Updating the Multi-Select Field in Dynamics 365

You have successfully added the new multi-select field to the Account form. Congratulations! The next steps are checking if you can see the field, updating the field, and using the field in an Advanced find. Let's start by seeing if the field is on the form.

The first step you may need to do is to refresh your browser. This will refresh the site and will update any of the new changes you just applied through the "Save" and "Publish" process.

Next, open an Account record and look for the field. In the below example, you will notice the new field on the form and that I can see the options that I added to the option set list.

Customize the System-Interacting with the multi-select field

To continue this scenario, I will update the field to show multiple regions and repeat this for a few Account records. In reality, you may not have an Account physically in multiple regions, but this is just for an example.

After updating the field, be sure to Save the record.

Using Advanced Find with the Multi-Select Field in Dynamics 365

Now that the multi-select field has been updated on a few records, let's check out the Advanced Find!

I have opened the Advanced Find window and added the new "Region" field as a column.

Multi-Select field in Advanced Finds-Adding Column

After I added the column, I updated the filter to only show the Active Accounts with data in the Region field.

Multi-Select field in Advanced Finds-Filtering

When I view the results, I can see only Accounts with data in the Region field.

Multi-Select field in Advanced Finds-Show filtered results

Now, let's take this a step further. I updated the filtering to show specific values within the Region field.

Multi-Select field in Advanced Finds-Filtering by multi-select field

When I view the results this time, I can only see Accounts with "Northeast" in the Region field.

Multi-Select field in Advanced Finds-Show filtered results by multi-select field

In closing

In prior versions of Dynamics 365 (CRM), this type of functionality was available. You would have to add multiple checkboxes onto a form to allow for the selection of multiple values. If you use the new multi-select field, you can save a lot of space on the form, and simplify the administrative process and form updating significantly.

If you should have questions regarding the multi-select field, or other questions related to Dynamics 365 (CRM), reach out to ACE Microtechnology.

Aaron Back is Microsoft Certified Professional with many years experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM). He is actively involved with the Microsoft Dynamics CRMUG (User Group) Community. His involvement includes: Serving as Chapter Leader for his local CRMUG Chapter, serving on the CRMUG Board of Advisors, and speaking at the annual CRMUG Summit conference.

For more information or assistance with Dynamics 365 (CRM) contact ACE!

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