Dynamics 365 Record Hierarchy

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Aaron Back, MCP

Dynamics 365 (CRM) has a neat feature, Record Hierarchy, that can be easily overlooked, but can provide great visual insight into your customers. In this post, we will explore the components that make up this feature.

What Is Record Hierarchy?

The Record Hierarchy in Dynamics 365 is actually a simple concept. It boils down to parent/child relationships. For example, "Fictional Company" is the headquarters which has multiple branch offices, or companies that it owns, in different locations.

Account Records Hierarchy

Parent Accounts within Dynamics 365 (CRM) have been around for a while. However, with the Hierarchy options available, you can visualize the relationships between accounts. So, let's explore this set-up.
Below, you will see a list of Accounts with the Hierarchy IconHierarchy icon at the left of the Account Name.

Accounts View with Hierarchy Icons

Due to the Parent Account field being populated on the Account record the hierarchy icon is displayed. For example, on the "Alpine Ski House" account, the Parent Account is "Fabrikam, Inc.".

Account Record with Parent Account

Now, by simply clicking on the Hierarchy Icon, you can see the hierarchy of the accounts and how they are connected.
Hierarchy View of Accounts

As you can see, "Fabrikam, Inc" is sitting at the top level with the companies that it owns sitting underneath. Next, by clicking on one of the sub-companies, the hierarchy view will expand further.
Hierarchy View of Child Accounts

TIP: To open a record from the Hierarchy View, simply click the icon in the top-right corner of the record tile.
Hierarchy Tile - Open Record option

User Records Hierarchy

In addition to Account Records, User Records can be visualized with hierarchy. So, let's review how this works.

Below is a list of User Records with the Hierarchy Icon next to the names. Since managers have been set for the users, the hierarchy icon will be displayed.
Users View with Hierarchy Icons

How this icon is displayed is based on the Manager being added to the User Record.

User Record with Manager

You can add a manager to a user by clicking the "Change Manager" button at the top of the User Record.

Change Manager button

Therefore, when the icon next to "Dan Jump" is clicked, you can visually see the hierarchy.
Hierarchy View of Users

Next, you can click on a tile below "Dan Jump" to see who reports to this person.
Hierarchy View of Managers

Hierarchy Settings

The Hierarchy visualizations and connections are achieved through the Hierarchy Settings on the entities. You can check the current Hierarchy Settings of an existing entity, or add a new Hierarchy, from the solutions area.

First, you will need to navigate to Settings>Customizations>Customize the System, or Settings>Solutions and select the appropriate solution file.

Next, expand the appropriate entity and select "Hierarchy Settings".
Hierarchy Settings in solution

Next, double-click on the "Account Hierarchy" listed and you will see how this is set up.

Account Hierarchy Settings

As you can see in the "Hierarchical Relationship" field, this setting is based on the "Parent Account" relationship. So, let's look at where this is found.

First, you will need to navigate to the One-to-Many (1:N) Relationships under the Account entity.

Account one to many Relationships

Next, double-click on the relationship listing, and you will see how this is set up.

Account one to many Relationships - Parental

Hierarchy in Advanced Finds

The last area we will cover is Advanced Finds. Once hierarchies have been set up with all the appropriate entities, you can utilize Advanced Finds to find data. In the below examples, we will look at Accounts and Opportunities.

First, navigate the "Active Accounts" View in Dynamics 365. Then, click on the "Advanced Find" icon to open the "Advanced Find" window. Next, select "Accounts", "Under", and then in the last field select the Parent Account which is "Fabrikam, Inc.".
Advanced Find - Accounts Under Parent Account

Now, the results returned will be Active Accounts that are under the Parent Account of "Fabrikam, Inc.".

Advanced Find - Accounts Under Parent Account - Results

By the way, these results can be checked by viewing the Hierarchy Visualizations area.

Hierarchy View of Child Accounts

The next area we will look at is Opportunities under a specific Account. So, you will need to open the Advanced Find window again. But, if you already have it open, just change the "Look for" field to "Opportunities".

In the query area, select "Status equals Active", and "Account under Fabrikam, Inc.". Due to these query settings, the results will show all Active Opportunities under the Parent Account of "Fabrikam, Inc.".

Advanced Find - Opportunities Under Account

Next, click on the "Results" button to view the results. Now, you should see all the opportunities under the child accounts under the parent "Fabrikam, Inc" account.
Advanced Find - Opportunities Under Account - Results

In Conclusion

The Hierarchy options can help you visualize or find important customer data within Dynamics 365. Because many people consume data in different ways, having a visual method to see the data is a great "tool" to have at your fingertips. So, the next step is for you to try these things in your system!

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.

ACE Microtechnology, Inc. is a professional services firm committed to delivering Dynamics 365 (CRM) business solutions to small and medium sized organizations. Our focus is on delivering products and services that improve our clients’ business operations. ACE has developed specialties in serving the lite manufacturing, distribution and the hospitality industry.

Rather than just building technology or implementing software, we deliver real business value through industry knowledge and understanding each client’s business. We make it our business to know your business.

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

6 thoughts on “Dynamics 365 Record Hierarchy”

  1. We tried above Parent child relationship but it is not working in contact/account - dynamics 365.
    I am looking for following Hierarchy
    Parent >>> Child >>> Child
    Parent should be able to see not only his/her child accounts (Achieved) but also child of child accounts.
    kindly guide further

    1. Pankaj - I don't believe what you are looking to do can be achieved. The parent/child relationship only looks 1 level deep. For example, any activities associated with an Opportunity that is linked to an Account, those activities will show up on the Account's timeline.

  2. Allan Lauridsen


    Interesting post,

    How do you see the 'parent company' transferred to D365 for operations where we only have invoice account and customer account ?


    1. Dynamics 365 for Operations and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CRM) are two different applications under the Dynamics 365 umbrella. Dynamics 365 for Operations used to be called Dynamics AX while Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement was called Dynamics CRM. This article is referring to the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CRM) application.

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