New Advanced Filter Feature & What This Means For Advanced Find

Advanced Filters

Advanced Find is a lingering legacy feature from Dynamics CRM which Microsoft hasn't yet got around to replacing in the Unified Interface. In the 2020 Release Wave 1, the introduction of Advanced Filtering suggests the way ahead.

In the latest update, a new Advanced Filter icon is shown on list views for standard and custom entities. Clicking this opens the expression builder panel. 

Launch Advanced Filtering

Filters can be as simple or as complex as you need. This supports queries using a few fields, through to grouped expressions with nested conditions.

Within the builder panel, filters can be defined using most common operations including and/or.  Consistent with Advanced Find, queries can work across related entities.

In this release, the Advanced Filter panel is opened from an existing view. By default, the current definitions are shown. These can be changed with conditions for fields being added and removed, as appropriate.

Advanced Filter Expression Builder

Once complete, the filter will be applied to the current view.

An * will then be shown next to the current view title. This denotes that the view has changed from the default conditions but the new filter is unsaved.

To cancel the new filter definitions and revert to the original view, click the cancel filter icon highlighted.

Unsaved view changes

To save the new filter conditions, either by creating this as a new personal view, or replacing an existing personal view, click the ellipsis in the ribbon.

Save Personal View

In another improvement, personal views in Dynamics 365, and other model-driven apps, are now shown above System Views. 

Personal Views

Does Advanced Filtering replace Advanced Find?

For many usage needs this will likely be a better experience compared to Advanced Find, enabling users to quickly apply filters and define new views.

At this time, Advanced Find has not been deprecated as some of its functions haven't yet be replicated in the new experience. For example, sharing, assigning and deleting views still need to be handled in Advanced Find. 

Also, clicking 'Create a New View' continues to open the Advanced Find pop-up as the new filter experience is only launched when editing an existing view. 

As we've highlighted, additional personal views can be created but if you want to define an entirely new set of conditions starting with a basic view such as 'active contacts' is recommended. That will avoid time being spent deleting rows of multiple conditions as there isn't currently a 'clear all' button to reset the existing conditions. 

As these gaps are expected to be bridged soon, the writing seems to be on the wall for Advanced Find.

Improved Grid Filtering

Grid Filtering

Within grids, users can more easily drill down with additional filter improvements that are introduced in the latest release wave. 

New grid column filtering capabilities make it easier to control displays including: 'begins with', 'ends with', and 'contains data' criteria. New date filters include absolute criteria ('before', 'after', 'on', etc.) and relative ('last month', 'older than X months', etc.).

If you have any questions about these, or other Dynamics 365 features and capabilities please get in touch, and we'll be happy to assist.

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