Using Dynamics 365/CRM App Designer (Part 1 of 2)

One of the newer features of Dynamics CRM is introduction of App Designer. This feature is replacing old concept of Site Maps in Dynamics CRM. With this feature we can rely on easy to use interface from product itself to select which entities will be visible in top navigation to users.

So no more relying on xml editing or third party tools.

What is an App in Dynamics 365 ?

When you launch Dynamics 365, on left hand side you can click small Arrow to see list of Apps. These can be third party apps (if you have installed those) or product apps specific to business functions.

You can also define your own apps here.



How do I create an App which is specific to my Business Requirements ?

Steps are simple:

1. Go to Settings –> Solutions –> Either Create a New Solution or open existing project specific solution.

There will be a section for Apps at bottom of left navigation.



2. Click App –> New and App designer window will appear.

You can provide properties like App Name (Visible in Home page App navigation) and URL Suffix ( Easy to remember path)

3. Once you have created app, Click Arrow near “Site Map”



4. Click on Area, Give it a Valid name,  Group, Sub Group and So on.

You can click add button on top to add more areas, group etc…  or Right Component Section to Drag areas, groups etc…


5. On Save and Close of Site Map editor, you will see the entities you have selected are available in your entity View.

Deciphering the main App Areas.

Site Map : To design top navigation of Dynamics CRM interface.

Dashboard/Business Process Flows: To select dashboards and business process flows available within this app.

Entity View: This will dynamically include entities based on your sitemap, dashboards and business process flows. Here you can select which forms, views and charts that are visible in given app.



For demo I will keep it simple and select two views (Active and Inactive Accounts/Contacts), validate and Publish the App.


Result Post Update

Default Site Map:



Updated Site Map





Default List of Views:



List of Views in App  (Only Active and Inactive)



Above steps helped us in creating a new app for our organization and restricted System Views .

Note that system views will not be restricted in Advanced Find.

In Next post I will highlight how to restrict access to apps based on security roles.

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