Changing the default view of an inline lookup in CRM 2013

Dynamics CRM 2013 has done away with the ribbon interface, with the exception of a few forms. There are also some changes in the subgrid behavior. These are

1.) When you select a record in a subgrid ribbon menu no longer appears on top of the page
2.) Clicking the “+” icon above the subgrid, may display an inline lookup

I say “may” because it depends on the relationship. An inline lookup is only displayed when the parent entity field is NOT mandatory on the child record you are trying to create. When the inline lookup is displayed on a subgrid, there is no way to access this inline lookup control using CRM Client API.

There is however, an unsupported way to set the default view on an inline lookup. I am using Ribbon Workbench, by Scott Durow, as it makes the process much easier.

First notedown the name of the subgrid. In this example, I am trying to customise the contact subgrid on account. Note this down, as it is required in the later steps.

In this case, the subgrid is called accountContactsGrid. Next we have to get the GUID of the view we want to default to. There are two ways to do this: looking into the database or using Developer Tools. Open an account record, and try to add a contact to the subgrid. When the lookup selection popup appears, use Developer Tools to get the GUID of the required view. In this case, we want the GUID of Contacts: No Campaign Activities in Last 3 Months view. Note this down, as it also required in the script we will add later.

Open the solution with the contact entity in Ribbon Workbench. In this case I am trying to change the behavior of the contact subgrid. Ribbon Workbench displays the following subgrid menu for the contact entity.

Since this is a 1:M relationship and account relationship field is not mandatory on contact record, the first Add Existing button has to be customised. Right click on the first Add Existing button and click Customise Command.

The default command behavior is as below

The Mscrm.GridRibbonActions.addExistingFromSubGridStandard function is called with the entity typecode and the grid control as parameters. This has to be changed to call our custom function in a JavaScript webresource.

Create, upload and publish a new Javascript webresource with the code below. Since the contact entitity can be a subgrid in other entities as well, we want to restrict this behavior only to account entity. We can further lock down this behavior to a specific form on the account entity, if we want, but we are not going to do this in this instance.

function () {
    var NYR = window["NYR"] || {};
    NYR.addExistingContactSubgrid = function (gridTypeCode, gridControl) {
        Mscrm.GridRibbonActions.addExistingFromSubGridStandard(gridTypeCode, gridControl);
        if ( === 'account' &&
            gridTypeCode === 2 &&
            typeof gridControl['get_viewTitle'] === 'function') {
                var inlineBehaviour = document.getElementById('lookup_accountContactsGrid_i').InlinePresenceLookupUIBehavior;
    this.NYR = NYR;

Notice that we are using the name of the subgrid and the GUID of the required view. After uploading this script as a javascript webresource, we have to change the behavior of the “Add Existing” button using Ribbon Workbench. Change it to call our NYR.addExistingContactSubgrid function. In this case my webresource name is nyr_contact_ribbon.js.

Finally, publish the changes using Ribbon Workbench. Now, when you try to add contact from the subgrid in the account entity, Contacts: No Campaign Activities in Last 3 Months will be the default view.

I have used this to control the inline lookup behavior on a 1:M relationship, but the same approach can be followed for a M:M relationship as well. Notice that I have also hardcoded the GUID of the view. You can use SOAP/OData to retrieve the viewid using the viewname, to improve this code. This is an unsupported customisation, so please use it at your own risk. 


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