1-Click Document Generation for Dynamics CRM 2016

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 features a raft of enhancements but one highly requested user improvement stands out.

Document generation is a well established function in Microsoft Dynamics but can prove a time consuming process involving repeated clicks.

That’s because Dynamics CRM relies on the mail merge feature of Microsoft Word to create these documents which involves manually extracting CRM data.

With the release of CRM 2016 users can now create Word and Excel templates for letters, agreements, quotes, invoices and other documents to be created in just a single click!

To get started, a new CRM template will be created in the Settings area:

Once the option is selected CRM will download a blank file which will then be used as the basis for designing a new template.

Each CRM template can be designed for either Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel.

For Excel the main CRM entity and related view will need to be defined.

By selecting the option for a Word template the main CRM entity e.g. contact and a related entity can be set.

For this initial release the related entities in CRM template are limited to 1 level deep but we expect this to cover multiple levels in future releases.

Using the example of Microsoft Word once the template is downloaded this appears as a blank document but upon selecting the XML mapping pane the full list of CRM fields for the referenced entities will be shown:

When the template has been completed with the correct layout, text and CRM fields it will be uploaded to Microsoft Dynamics to create a template entity. The supported file types are .xml, .xlsx and .csv.

Once complete, any CRM user with permission to access the template entity can create a document in a single click!

Simply browse to the new Documents Template option on a record form and select one of the defined templates for this entity.

The result is your personalized document created in a single click!

For Excel, security is based on template record ownership enabling CRM templates to be set and shared at team/user level or organisation level. For the latter, org-level templates can only be created by CRM administrators.

Once generated, documents can be downloaded and then printed, shared, emailed or collaborated on with Microsoft Office 365.

May 2016 Update - Read our latest post which shares more detail about 1-Click Word Templates for Dynamics CRM

Check the other improvements in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016