Entities and Records
Now that we have a functional overview of all CRM modules, let's learn and understand entities and forms in CRM.
What is an entity?
An entity is used to model and manage business data in CRM. Contacts, cases, accounts, leads, opportunities, activities, etc. are all entities that hold data records. Conceptually, a CRM entity is equivalent to a database table. For example, the Contacts entity would contain contact records, the case entity would contain case records, and so on.
You can have both: ready-made entities (supplied by default with the CRM) and custom entities (which you can create with personalization). For example, suppose you manage data for books that your customers have read. For this, you will store the dataCustomers using the Contacts entity out of the box, but where would you store the data for the books? You don't have any entity capable of storing data for books. In such scenarios, you will create a new custom entity named Books and link it to the existing Contacts entity.
For this tutorial, let's take an example of storing employers and employees in CRM. Taking this example into consideration, out of the box, CRM provides a Contact entity where you can conveniently store all of your employees. It also provides an Account entity where you can store all of your employers. But for the sake of learning about entities, we'll create a new custom entity called Employer (and not use the existing account entity).
Create a new entity
Step 1 - Click on the top ribbon button followed by the Para optionmeters . Click the Customizations option in the Personalization section (see the following screenshot).
Step 2 - Now click on the Customize System option.
This will open the Solution Window by default. You will learn more about CRM solutions in the following chapters, but for now , you will use the default CRM solution.
Step 3 - Expand the Entities option in the left panel.
Step 4 - Now click on New → Entity.
Step 5 - In the entity form, enter the display name as Employer and PluralName as employers. In the "Domains that display this entity " section, check Sales, services and market ing. Check these options to display the newly created entity in the Sales, Service and Marketing tabs of CRM.
Step 6 - Click on the Save and Close icon. This will create anew entity in the CRM database behind the scenes.
Step 7 - In the parent window of the default solution, you will see the 'newly created Employer entity.
Step 8 - Click on the Publish all customizations option on the top ribbon bar. This will publish (aka commit) all changes we have made so far. You can close this window by clicking Save and Close.
CRM is all about managing valuable data in your system. In this section we will learn how to create, open, read and delete records in CRM .We will continue with the employer entity we created in the last chapter.
Step 1 - Access the employer entity records grid via View the work areas → Sales → Extensions → Employers.
Step 2 - Click on the New icon.
This will open the default form of the new employer. You can see that there is only one editable Name field in this form by default. Enter Employer 1 in the Name field. Click Save and Close.
Step 3 - With active employers , you can see the newly created employer file.
Access to records
To access records already created in CRM, go to this entity page. In our case, go to Show work areas → Sales → Extensions → Employers. You will see the list of records present in the grid. Click on any Employer record to access it.
Once you have opened a record, you can just edit the details of the form. By default CRM 2015 comes with an autosave option which saves all changes made to it.u form 30 seconds after modification. You can also click Ctrl + S.
If you want to disable the function of automatic registration, go to Settings → Administration → System settings → Enable automatic registration for all forms and select No.
Step 1 - Select one or more records you want to delete and click on the Delete button.
Step 2 - Confirm the deletion of records by clicking on Delete .
As the example above shows, the default Employer form only had one field. However, in real scenarios you will have many custom fields on a form. For example, if you look at a sample contact record (which is a ready-made CRM entity) it will contain many fields for stStore contact information like full name, email, phone, address, cases, etc.
In chapters following, you will learn how to modify this default form and add different types of fields to it.