Improving CRM grids with TableTools2

It is no secret that I am a big fan of the free/opensource tools that fit in nicely with Dynamics CRM. I am also a big fan of bookmarklets that improve your productivity around common repetitive tasks. Firefox is my primary browser for Dynamics CRM, and Chrome is my primary browser when it comes to Javascript debugging. I use Internet Explorer only when a CRM bug prevents me from using either or these, or an user report a issue that it IE specific.

If you don’t use Firefox, this post won’t be of much help to as this addon is Firefox only. The addon I am talking about is tabletools2. This extension is not open source, but is free to use. It would definitely be nice to look at the source, but it is free and super awesome, so I will ignore this point for now.

How this extension improves productivity

IMHO, CRM2016 lacks UX consistency in some areas. One of these is grid. You would not universally see the filter button on the right side, when a grid is displayed. In some pages, you would see it, in some pages you won’t. You can use the addon in grids that don’t display a filter or just in general with any page that displays a table like structure.

With Filter – Plugin Assemblies from Solution

WithFilter.png

Without Filter – Clicking a node inside the plugin assemblies

WithoutFilter.png

Without Filter – Bulk Record Deletion

WithoutFilter2

Without Filter – Add multiple users from Security area (popup)

WithoutFilter3

This one is a popup and so in this scenario, the behavior is consistent with the lookup popup window.

Now lets look how tabletools2 can improve the Bulk Record Deletion grid. Hover over the grid and do this: Ctrl – Shift – Left Click and then Ctrl – Shift – Right Click. This is how the page looks after you do this.

BulkDeleteWithFilter

Yellow text box on each column search and filter the current rows immediately. Turquoise text boxes display the list of unique values on each column and you can filter by this value (like Excel).

I tried this on the attribute screen, which doesn’t have OOB filter button either.

AttributeWithFilter

When the CRM grid lacks filter I usually follow one or both these approaches.

  1. Use browser search with Ctrl-F and highlight the matches
  2. Sort by a particular column

The extension is really useful in the regard, as it can add this functionality locally on the client side on-demand. One thing to note is the search and filter is restricted to the rows on the current page only. It doesn’t search across all pages. There is also heap on other functionalities with the extension, but this is what I currently use. Watch the video below for a quick overview.

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