Dynamics 365 – You can’t add new forms to the appointment entity

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. Jimmy Dean

Thinking is difficult, which is why most people avoid it #HoskWisdom

Just when you think you understand Dynamics 365 it bamboozles you making you think your browsers broken.  I was trying to add a form to the Appointment entity, only to find the new form button was missing.

I tried it in different browsers but the create form button on appointment was refusing to appear.  I asked another developer to add a new appointment form but the button was missing for them too.

Here is custom form with the create form button

no-create-form-1

Here is the Appointment entity and there is no create form button

no-create-form

Why?

As always we start with the CRM SDK but I couldn’t really find anything but I did find this tip of the day instead

Tip #561: Custom Activity Forms

It has this interesting information and opinion

There is no New button or Save As button that is available on the following activities:

  • Social Activity
  • Appointment
  • Recurring Appointment

This is mostly likely is due to the binding of the information on the form fields to the Outlook client for Appointments and to Microsoft Social Engagement for the Social Activity. Custom versions of the form would likely endanger the integrity of the sync.

 

This forum post discusses

Why can’t I create new forms for the Appointment activity?

I wasn’t sure the reason for not being able to add appointment forms but Outlook integration would seem the most logical.

I was thinking the problem could have been the old forms which Microsoft haven’t updated yet, discussed in this blog post

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

 

What can you do?

You can update the existing appointment form and this is a valid option but you should consider if you need to use the default appointment form and if a heavily customized appointment form will cause problems and maintenance overhead.

You could use business rules and Javascript to show/hide sections or fields on the appointment form.  Be careful with Outlook integration because new fields won’t appear on the Outlook appointment record (but will appear on the CRM appointment record).

The other option is to create a new entity.

If you are going to create a new entity it might be an activity,  read this blog post to understand what this means

Be careful making an entity an activity because it’s very difficult to add security to an activity because all activities live under the one security setting.

Creating an activity will mean it appears under activities, you must need this functionality.

Conclusion

Only being able to update the one appointment form stopped me in my tracks, what if we needed to use the appointment form in other scenarios, I would be difficult to support.

This made me pause to think if I needed the appointment functionality and when making entity changes it’s better to think longer and avoid a mistake because deleting things in Dynamics 365 is a slow painful business.  Much better to think hard and avoid creating entities incorrectly.

Dynamics 365 gives you the power to quickly and easily create entities but that doesn’t mean you should.

CRM Entity ownership – How do you decide?

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