CRM2015 introduces a powerful new search facility that enables you to search across multiple entities at once when using the Web application or Outlook client. For those who are familiar with the CRM2013 for Tables application, you may have already seen this feature in action!

With previous versions of CRM (Web and Outlook Client), in order to use the Quick Search feature you would first need to navigate to the entity before searching – this new feature intends to reduce the need for this extra step.

It’s worth noting, the way in which the multi-entity search functions is performed is no different to the current quick search feature we have in 2013 (well, apart from the fact it’s searching across more entities of course!). By that, I mean it will still only look for a match beginning with the text you’ve entered unless you include an asterisk. It still also uses the Quick Find view so therefore you still need to consider your ‘Find Fields’ for each entity.

 

Overview (Web application)

When you access CRM2015, you will now see a search field on the main navigation bar.

 

By performing a Quick Search (e.g. ‘Rob’) you will see the records that have been found are from two different entities, Contact and User.

 

 

In this second example, the search ‘Gap’ has found matches within the Account entity as well as the Contact entity.

 

If you look at the ‘Filter With’ field you will see the list of entities that have been included in the search. The Configuration section of this blog will explain how you can amend the list of entities being searched.

 

If you select an entity to filter on, your search results will be updated as you would expect – see example below.

 

TIP: You can also add a new record at this point as you will notice we are also presented with the familiar looking + button in the results section.

 

Configuration

Out the box, this new search feature will search across the following entities: Account, Contact, Lead, Opportunity, User, Competitor, Activity and Case. You can amend this as explained below but unfortunately (or fortunately from a resourcing point of view!) you will be limited to a maximum of 10 entities.

To customise the entities being searched, simply go into Setting > Administration > System Setting and scroll down to the ‘Set-up Quick Find’ section, which is located around half way down on the General Tab.

You will see the section called ‘Select Entities to Search’ so just click ‘Select’ to open the screen shown below.

 

Select an entity and use the ‘Add’ and ‘Remove’ buttons until the Selected Entities list appears as required. In my example below, I’ve removed User and added Phone Call to my list.

TIP: You can use the ‘Move Up’ and ‘Move Down’ buttons to control the order in which the results are displayed to the user.

 

Now when I search ‘Rob’, you will see below that the User entity is no longer shown as a result, however a Phone Call record is now shown.

 

Just to elaborate on this, the Phone Call record has been found because my Phone Call Quick Find View includes the regarding field as one of my Find Fields (so you can see that this element is working no differently to the quick find search in CRM2013).

 

Outlook Client

Within outlook, the new Multi-Entity search button can be found in the main ribbon section where you would usually find options such as Advanced Find etc.

 

When using Outlook, the results screen will appear in the same way at it does via the Web application.

 

Notes and Take Away Points

·         You can customise which entities are being searched via System settings.

·         You can only specify a maximum of 10 entities to search across.

·         The search results will be displayed in the same order as they appear on the configuration screen.

·         Only the ‘Find Fields’ that have been defined in the Quick Find View will be interrogated when searing – so no real change from CRM2013.

·         There could be potential performance implications with this new search feature as the search will be spanning a much larger data set then if you were to perform the search on just a single entity.

 

Conclusion

The new Multi-Entity search feature is certainly beneficial and will help to reduce the number of clicks it may take to find a record. However, larger organisation with huge amounts of data would probably be advised to test this thoroughly before advising staff to use this in a live environment to ensure performance isn’t compromised. So a very neat feature, but searching in the old fashioned way against a single entity I expect will still have its place!