New Inline Grid Editing for Microsoft Dynamics 365

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fall '16 update adds new capabilities which save time by enabling users to make inline edits from list views.

Recent Microsoft updates had already added some editable grid functionality. Integration with Microsoft Excel Online enables bulk edits directly in Excel to be saved back in Dynamics and was already capability to make inline edits to product line items.

The latest update, the first release following the launch of Microsoft Dynamics 365, goes further by offering users a better experience for making inline edits within list views for contacts, accounts and other standard or custom record types.

Once Editable Grids have been enabled by a System Administrator on an entity, Dynamics 365 users can access the new list view.

This immediately enables field values to be edited directly from the view.

In the example shown above a company name is amended directly from an Account list. 

To make multiple edits to the same record simply tab across to the next field in the same row.

Similar to record edits made in the record form, editable grids use an auto-save process, or just click the save icon.

Each list view may include numerous columns. To improve the navigation within these lists users can group each editable grid display by any of the fields / columns.

In the example below, a list view is grouped by Country to organise Accounts by regions:

Another example, is to Group an Account grid by Relationship Type to instantly group records by Customers, Prospects and other record types.

Revised filters for editable grids include 'Equals', 'Begins With', 'Contains' and 'Ends With' as well as AND / OR controls enabling users to quickly define views and make inline changes:

Using this filter criteria each list view can be easily narrowed:

Grouped and filtered grid displays will be retained in the existing Dynamics 365 session for each user. 

Even if a user navigates away from a filtered Account list, these filters and groupings are retained when the user returns to the list.

The addition of editable grids doesn't remove any functionality from Dynamics list views. Options for charts, sorting and search remain and the new functionality works with the existing command bar.

There are some exceptions to the field data that can be amended using the new grids.

Firstly, editable Grids are subject to the usual field security level settings. As a result, view, read and write permissions for fields shown in these grids will vary in line with the permissions for each user.

Also, some fields will be protected in an editable grid. 

For example, a Status field can only be updated from the command bar rather than editing this within the grid:

For Case records, the Case Number is another protected field which can't be amended with an inline edit. 

Customer and Owner fields are also protected from inline editing but the latter can continue to be amended from the list view by selecting the Assign option from the command bar:

Edits can only be made directly for the selected entity. 

For example, using an Account grid the primary contact field is a look-up on the Accounts form. 

From this editable grid a new primary contact can be selected from a look-up list:

If amendments need to be made to an individual contact these will need to be applied either from a Contacts editable grid, or by opening the individual Contact record.

Editable Sub-Grids

Inline edits can also be applied through Sub-Grids.

In this example, the case title and priority status for open cases can be edited directly from a sub-grid shown on a contact form:

Editable grids works with Business Rules to display error messages, default values, locked fields and enforce other actions in line with these defined rules.

Javascript controls available for grids and sub-grids can be triggered by OnSelect, OnSave and OnChange for this release.

At any time individual users can revert back to a read-only grid by toggling the Show As option:

Inline Editing for Mobile Users

In addition to inline editing at form level, Dynamics 365 Mobile and Tablet users are able to utilise nested grids from list views.

In the example below, a cases sub-grid has been added to a contact form so this component is also shown as a nested grid in the mobile interface. 

Users can now make quick changes to both the contact and case lines from the same screen creating a vastly more time efficient process for mobile users: 

The command bar shown at the foot of the mobile screen dynamically changes in response to the items selected.

In the example above, the command bar reflects the options when the parent Contact record is selected but these will update with contextual options if the Child Cases entity is selected enabling a mobile or tablet user to apply command actions from this grid in addition to inline edits.

Editable grids are a highly welcome improvement to Microsoft Dynamics and a great response to many user requests!

Get in touch with Preact to learn more about editable grids, or any of the other capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365.