Set Up Auto-Complete Control in Dynamics 365

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Aaron Back, MCSE

Have you ever needed to have a field in Dynamics 365 be an auto-complete field? If so, we will cover how to set this up in the Unified Interface.

Dynamics 365 Form End Result

Before we dive into how to set this up, check out the screenshots below. The reason I'm showing this early is to give you an idea of what the end user will see. So, you can see that there is a drop-down list, but this also provides type-ahead functionality.

Auto-Complete Drop-Down List

Account-Auto-Complete field

Auto-Complete Type-Ahead Feature

Account-Auto-Complete field - Type-Ahead

The Setup

Now, let's dive into the setup.

In our example, the Country field being impacted by the Auto-Complete control. The Country field is a native text field, and not a custom field or rendered using code.

The next part of the setup is a custom entity called "Countries". In the Country entity, I have a simple form and I have uploaded all the global countries using Excel.

Custom Country entity

Custom Countries entity

Countries List

Custom Countries entity - list of records

The Setup - Field Properties

The next part of the setup is the Field Properties of the Country field. So, navigate to the Customizations area and select an Account form to edit. After the form is open, select the "Country" field and click "Change Properties".

Field Properties

Country field properties

Now, you need to click on the "Controls" tab in the "Field Properties" window. Next, you will need to add and set up the control. To add the control, click on "Add Control" and choose "Auto-Complete" from the list. Afterwards, you can click on the row of the control named "Auto Complete" to see the setup options.

Auto-Complete Setup</3>
Country field properties - Control setup

In the above screen shot, you can see a few Properties.

  1. The first Property is "Field" and the Value is the schema name of the field.
  2. The second Property is "Source" in which you will choose "View" or "Option Set".
    • If you choose "Option Set", you will be prompted to choose an option set.
    • Auto-complete - bind to Option Set
  3. The third Property is "View". When you click the pencil icon it will open a Configure Property window. This will allow you to choose the Entity and the View.
    • Configure Property setup for views
  4. The fourth Property is "Field". This is field from the Entity chosen in Step 3. Once the control is bound to the Country field, it will display a list of the Country Names.
    • Configure Property setup for entity field

The Final Steps

Now, you will need to finalize the configuration. You will need to choose where you want this control to be displayed. The options are Web, Phone, or Tablet. So, in this example, all three options are selected. However, you can choose to have this applied to only the Phone and Tablet and not the Web.

Control Display Options

Country field properties - Control setup - choose device displayed

Lastly, you will need to "Save" and "Publish" the form. Once the form is published, refresh the form in the browser to see you updates applied.

In Closing

This is a simple example of the Auto-Complete control. But, as you can see, it provides an alternative to lookup fields. Additionally, you don't have to set up relationships between the entities. The configuration of the control allows you to bind the field to any entity and field.

Account-Auto-Complete field

The next step I would like to see come out is to create cascading auto-complete fields. For example, if you choose a Country, the State/Province field would only display the states/provinces for the chosen country. Hopefully this will appear as an update to the control. But, if not, I will be submitting the idea.

Aaron Back is Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) with many years' experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM). He is actively involved with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 UG (D365UG) (User Group) Community. His involvement includes: Serving as Chapter Leader for his local D365UG Chapter, serving on the D365UG Board of Advisors, and speaking at the annual D365UG 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!

2 thoughts on “Set Up Auto-Complete Control in Dynamics 365”

  1. Hi Aaron,

    Thank you for the auto complete feature you showed above.
    can you send me link to solve create cascading auto-complete fields?

    I have similar requirement.


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