The introduction of Themes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 added much called for functionality to allow customers to change the branding of their Microsoft Dynamics CRM instance. With this one feature Microsoft removed one a major driver for unsupported customizations in Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Why you shouldn’t put unsupported customizations in Microsoft Dynamics CRM)
Themes are awesome
Themes added much demanded branding functionality, it allows you to change colour scheme of your instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and add your company logo to replace the words Dynamics CRM.
Lots of customers asked to change the colour scheme but these changes could only be done using unsupported customizations.
The main functionality of themes is
- Add a logo to CRM
- create entity specific colouring
- Change navigation colours
Where do I find themes
Add a logo
The most common task you will need to do is add a logo.
You need to create a new theme first, the easiest way to do this is to clone the default solution
Open your new theme
Select the Logo lookup. You will need to create a new web resource
Select logo and publish the theme. Just because Microsoft allows you to select themes, it won’t stop you creating ugly colour schemes
This technet article explains in detail what you can do and the limitations of themes
These two blog posts go into themes in details, showing you what each change does and where it’s used.
One criticism I have with themes is choosing the colours is difficult because you have to type in the correct color code and who knows that. Luckily CRM MVP Guido Preite has made a fantastic Dynamics CRM theme generator
It allows you to easily pick colour and preview your choices, awesome work Guido
Interesting use for Theme’s
Themes can enable people to easily identify what environment they are on. When you have lots of environments
It can be difficult to know which environment you are on, particularly if you have numerous Microsoft Dynamic CRM’s open at the same time, which is something developers often do because they are comparing values between environments.
In the CRM 2011 days we use to put an unsupported change which changed the a label on the CRM, sorry I mean other CRM developers did this sort of thing, I would never put an unsupported change into CRM 🙂
Themes allows you to set different CRM environments as different colours, increasing the chance of someone not accidentally updating production.
Useful resources for Themes
After publishing this blog post, Natraj Yegnaraman got in touch to send me these two interesting blog posts he wrote on Themes.
This is great Bookmarklet which adds colour picking functionality to the form
This isn’t related to themes but it allows the labels to be fully shown
The default theme is called CRM Default Theme
The default theme is type System and Default Theme = Yes
This technet page has some good limitations
What can you change or adjust?
- Logo tooltip
- Navigation bar color
- Navigation bar shelf color
- Header color
- Global link color
- Selected link effect
- Hover link effect
- Process control color
- Default entity color
- Default custom entity color
- Control shade
- Even though the theme colors are applied globally throughout the application, some legacy UI areas, such as gradient buttons, will retain the default colors.
- Certain areas must use dark or light colors to contrast with the default icon colors. The icon color isn’t customizable.
- An entity can’t be displayed in different colors under different Sitemap nodes.
- The Sitemap nodes colors aren’t customizable.