CRM 2016 – Why can’t I add a business rule to the Article entity

I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.

Lou Holtz


Welcome to a new episode of Ask Hosk, where I answer a Hosk CRM readers question.

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Good day to you. I have been reading your post at

CRM 2013 – Businses rule workings, limitations and exam notes

I am quite new to Dynamics CRM so please excuse me, but i am trying to do some business rules for the Articles entity but the option is grayed out. Furthermore when i go to “Customize Entity”, under the Articles entity there is no Business rule option. What am i missing here because according to your post it seems that business rules are available for all entities whether default or custom.

Hosk Answer

This was an interesting question and I’m not sure of the answer but I can put my best guess.  I had seen something system entities before either in a blog post or study for the customisation and config exam, when I mention system entities I am referring to entities which you cannot edit like SystemJob

The first task is to make sure I couldn’t add a business rule, make sure the user was looking in the right place and it wasn’t a permissions issue. NEVER ASSUME THE USER IS NOT DOING SOMETHING SILLY, check the silly things and cross them off.

The article entity is not your standard entity because there are lots of things greyed out

Article Entity question

Notice there is no option for business rules, it seems the Hosk CRM blog reader was right

Article Entity question 1

I was searching through my entity related posts to see if I had the answer

Then I found some answers in my CRM 2013 – entities and fields revision page (highlighting why doing the customization and configuration certification has value)

This gave me some interesting limitations/facts about entities

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM default instance starts with more than 260 systems entities but which many are hidden from the UI
  • There are two types of entities – Custom entities and system entities
  • More than 90 system entities can be customized
  • Some system entities cannot be customized e.g. system job
  • Entities which can be customized (system and custom) are known as customizable entities
  • Not all components of a customizable entity can be customized e.g. system fields like created on cannot be deleted
  • IF an entity is selected as an activity this cannot be undone
  • System entities cannot be deleted

Interesting things to consider but they weren’t helping solve this problem, I remember one of my CRM developer maxims, always start with the CRM SDK and there is a good page on entities

Introduction to entities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

I’m guessing not people have read this page because entities are easy to understand but this is a great example why you should read the CRM SDK, there are lots of useful information on this page, I recall coming to this page a few times whilst writing these blogs

It’s here where it gives us an idea of how Entities are structure

Creating an entity record (or, simply a record) in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is like adding a row in a database table. The entities are divided into three categories: system, business, and custom. As a developer working with business data, you will use business and custom entities. System entities are used by Microsoft Dynamics CRM to handle all internal processes, such as workflows and asynchronous jobs. You cannot delete or customize system entities.


A bit further down the page it explains business Entities are account, contact etc

you can set business and custom entities and attributes to be either customizable or non-customizable

You cannot modify a non-customizable entity


There is a msdn page called Which entities are customizable?

In CRM 2016 there are 271 entities, 98 are customizable!  You should note the Article Entity has the schema name of kbarticle and this isn’t included on the fully customizable entity list, instead it’s on the list of customizable entity properties.

The information about entities and what you can do is all held in the Metadata but how do you view that.  Luckily for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community we have a Tanguy and he has created the awesome XRMToolbox and there is a Metadata browser, here it is.

Article Entity question 2

Business rules thing

lets recap where we are

  • kbarticle does not have Business rules showing on the entity
  • it’s not on the fully customizable entities like account, contact etc
  • The CanCreateForms = False
  • IsVisibleInMobile = False
  • IsCustomizable = True

I felt the answer perhaps was something to do with Business rules.

I go to the Create and edit business rules page looking for clues and under the section How do I configure business rules there is a note

Business rules will only work for Updated entities or custom entities.


I remember a colleague complaining how some of the forms in CRM 2016 are still CRM 2011 style and how the end users complained.  I wrote about it in the blog CRM 2016 – How to rename the default business unit, saying it was weird the Business Unit form was old style.

The technet page describes what has happened

Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides many options for designing forms. The forms for the Updated entities and custom entities provide the most options. We selected a group of entities that are used by most people and gave them a new user experience that includes many new capabilities including support for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for tablets client, business process flows, and business rules. One of the key requirements in providing these new experiences includes the goal that a form customizer can design once and deploy to all clients.


So here is the explanation, Microsoft have updated the forms of the popular entities, to enable them to use business rules, work on mobile etc.  it goes on to explain

Yet there are still a number of entities that retain the appearance and capabilities carried over from the previous version. Entities using classic forms weren’t updated because they are not used frequently by most people and updating them wouldn’t have a significant impact on the experience of most people using the application. This allowed us to focus our attention on the updated entities.


You can view the Updated Entities by clicking here and then there is a list of 28 entities which are still using the classic form and article/kbarticle appears on the Entities using classic forms , which explains why Business rules are not enabled.  Oddly business unit doesn’t appear on either list.


I have read a bunch of technet/msdn articles and got a better understanding of how Microsoft Dynamics CRM works and why Business rules are not enabled for all entities.

The question I can’t answer is if these entities will ever be able to run Business rules or if their forms will be updated.  Microsoft likes to keep information like this secret, this is frustrating to developers and baffling to customers.

It seems Microsoft have upgraded forms to work with the new functionality such as Mobile, Business Process, Business rules and because there are 271 entities it will take time to upgrade all the entities and some of them it isn’t worth the effort.  The problem is there is no way to request a form to be upgraded.

You need to take into account the effort to upgrade some of the forms, in many of the system entities Microsoft has tweaked things under the hood to offer extended functionality (a form of unsupported customization) which means is difficult to upgrade the entity.


2 thoughts on “CRM 2016 – Why can’t I add a business rule to the Article entity

  1. Royden Tan June 2, 2016 / 2:55 am

    Thank you so much for the explanation and effort. Appreciate it.


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