CRM 2013 – The social tab is good but would be better if you could customize it

I have been answering questions on the CRM forum and there have been quite a few questions about the social pane

If you are not sure what the social pane shows you posts, activities and notes and Yammer tabs if you have yammer configured.  This has been created by Microsoft and offers functionality you couldn’t easily do yourself.

What is the social pane?

The social pane is bespoke super control created by Microsoft.  The social pane replaces and extends the activity wall they had in previous versions of CRM.

The social pane shows Posts, activities and notes, which can be easily viewed and created with the new social pane tool.   There are three tabs allow you to flick quickly between posts, activities and notes, so in many ways it’s three tools in one.

The pictures below are from an excellent blog post by Power objects blog

Top 10 New Features of CRM 2013

The post gives a good overview of the social pane and other new features in CRM 2013.

The social pane by default sits on the main form of all the main entities and it allows people to see the relevant information for that particular record and quickly add either activities or notes

The social pane is great to use if you want to quickly add notes, tasks or a phone call activity.  You can add other activities (email, appointments) and these other less used options are hiding in the ellipses.

So far so good but problems arise if you want to modify the social pane, basically you just can’t and like most things out of the box in CRM, people want to modify it.

The only modification you can do using the GUI is changing which tab is shown by default

On the CRM forum’s many people have raised questions about modifying the social pane, they want to get rid of parts of it, they don’t like the way the new notes works (it no longer puts the person name and date:time in the title), they also don’t like how phone tasks works.  Unfortunately there is no solution to these questions/problems because it’s not possible to modify it.  So users have been raising enhancement requests on Microsoft Connect.

The social pane I think is a really good idea but it does feel like they rushed to get it in and it’s not quite finished yet so hopefully in the future Microsoft will develop this a little more to allow people to customize it.

I did read one good post detailing how to use Javascript to hide the post tab in the social pane.  A lot of users are not really interested in seeing the posts page for certain entities, so this Javascript hides it, allowing the users to still use the ease of adding activities the social pane provides and the quick access to notes.

The javascript is in the blog below, so click below to go get it.