Microsoft Dynamics CRM Goes Turbo with Faster Form Rendering

In addition to its revised menu navigation the most immediately visible improvement in Dynamics CRM 2015 Update 1 is dramatically faster performance.

As result CRM users can now view records in a fraction of the time it previously took, especially if these involve long forms.

That’s because Microsoft has changed the way Dynamics renders its record forms.

This is now handled more efficiently by increasing the content that is cached and making the loading process more efficient.

Each CRM form is held in an IFRAME but previously these weren’t retained in the browser which meant the entire IFRAME needed to be reloaded each time a similar record is opened.

CRM 2015 Upgrade 1 applies a more intelligent approach to reduce load times that gives users quicker access to CRM records.

IFRAMES are now retained throughout the user session. For example, once you’ve opened the first contact record in a session CRM will cache the frame enabling subsequent contacts to be opened without reloading this component.

CRM now handles common and custom scripts separately to achieve further performance gains.

Common scripts will always be cached and never need to be reloaded during this session.

Because caching is only retained per user session it means that the initial form rendering for each entity will take slightly longer after logging in but all subsequently forms for the same entity will load significantly quicker.

Custom scripts are now loaded in a separate IFRAME and are discarded when the user closes the form but because CRM now retains common scripts users will immediately enjoy faster form loads once this upgrade is applied.

Microsoft has made further changes to CRM’s form rendering which now handles more processes concurrently to shave off additional time each time a record is loaded compared to earlier versions.

This graphic has been released by Microsoft to demonstrate the approximate performance gains by comparing form loading times between the new and legacy form rendering processes on records from 50 fields up to as many as 300 fields.

Based on a CRM form with 100 fields the new form rendering could result in pages loading up to 300% faster!

Considerations for Existing CRM Users

For the majority of CRM users the only thing you’ll notice is faster CRM form loading!

The new form rendering engine has full support for client scripting and uses the same XML definitions and behaviours but because of the changes that Microsoft has made to the organisation of IFRAMES during this process unsupported customisations may fail.

To report these issues a new dialog will display if script errors occur:

To highlight potential problems the CRM 2015 code validator can be used which will highlight the use of unsupported or deprecated API’s.

As a temporary measure in the event that unsupported customisations conflict with the new process Microsoft has included the option for administrators to fall back on the legacy form rendering process.

This can be found in CRM Settings > Administration > System Settings > General.

Select ‘Yes’ under Use legacy form rendering to enable this mode for all users.

We stress that is a temporary option as Microsoft has given notice that this option will likely be removed from future CRM releases.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Preact if you have any questions about the new form rendering engine including testing to ensure your CRM customisations are fully supported on the latest version.