CRM 2011 – Custom Activity types

I saw this article on the the power object blog.  Custom activity types is something on my todo list of things to check out.

I have a possible need for some custom activity types.  A user wants to create activities for themselves but they aren’t always just email/phone calls etc.

Here is the link to the article, you should definitely check the blog out because they always have a few interesting articles to look at.

What I like about this article is it is short and sweet and gets to the point straight away.  Which is very useful when you just want to know how to do something.  They also offer help to people who need it (like the A Team) so if you have any questions or need any help with CRM, give them a call


CRM 2011 allows a user to define his/her own activity type. For example, if we want to conceptualize sale transactions as activities, and report, analyze and view them on a par with the out-of-box CRM activities, we can define our new custom entity as an activity type. In 3.0 and 4.0 this would not have been possible (at least in a supported fashion); in CRM 2011 it is quite easy.

When creating the custom entity, such as “Sale Transaction” below, check the boxes labeled “Define as an activity entity” and “Display in Activity Menus”, as shown below. Save, publish, and you’re done!


Having defined our custom entity, we can now see it in the Activities tab of the Workplace ribbon toolbar under the pull-down list called “Other Activities”:


Since we checked the “Display in Activity Menus” checkbox on our custom entity definition screen, Sale Transaction appears in the pull-down list along with the nine standard activity types when we create a new activity:


The Sale Transaction record itself is structured much like the other activity records. For example, you can regard it to other entity types, set an Actual End date, and mark the activity as complete:


Finally, we see that in the list of a contact’s completed activities, the sale transactions appear alongside the other activities with this record.



CRM 2011 Metadata Browser Project on Codeplex

I had blogged previously that the metadata browser had been removed from CRM 2011, I don’t really understand why you would remove this functionality but if you want to read about that you can here

Clearly Rhett Clinton at the excellent MSCRM Bing’d blog was also missing this feature.  So Rhett being a CRM a great contributor to the CRM community went and build a Metadata browser in silverlight, awesome.

Find out more about it here

you can also find the project on codeplex on the link below

some of you may already be using another one of Rhett’s awesome CRM projects, the truly brilliant Javascript CRM 4 to CRM 2011 converter.  This is not only a great way to convert your CRM 4 javascript but it also a good way to learn the new syntax, which has changed  a fair bit.

find out more about that here

Awesome work from Rhett, his blog is also a good source of information and interesting articles.


SharePoint 2010 Architectures Overview

If you are doing any development in CRM 2011 you will at some point find yourself doing some Sharepoint 2010 integration work.  CRM 2011 does help you a bit but you will also have to do some work to find out how SharePoint works and like a lot of things in CRM  it can be tricky.

I saw this web page today which is an overview of the SharePoint 2010 Architecture

This is a nice and concise document and certainly one to bookmark for later, it could also be a suprise for some people who think SharePoint is a internet version of a company drive to store documents.

Summary: Learn about the architectures of Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, including the platform stack, the Microsoft ASP.NET-IIS integrated request pipeline, the server and client object models, and the execution process system for sandboxed solutions and farm solutions.

Applies to: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 | Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

Provided by: Ricky Kirkham, Microsoft Corporation