Searching by Guid

When a lookup is resolved in CRM in advanced find on entity form, it uses quick find view to resolve the correct record. So, if you search for a value that is present in an attribute that is not a “Find Column” the value will not be resolved to a lookup. In this situation, you will get a red cross icon, indicating that this value has to be manually chosen.

Failed to resolve

Note in the above screenshot that I am searching by Guid of the contact. The primary key of the contact entity is “contactid”, but it cannot be added as a “Quick Find” column.

QuickFind Columns

The default find column of a custom entity will be “[publisher prefix]_name”. This is usually the “Primary field” of the custom entity, unless you have changed it during entity creation. If you just went with the default, this is what it will be. Unlike OOB system entities, which have lot of find columns defined by default, custom entity will have one find column i.e. primary field, defined by default.

In both these scenarios it is not possible to search by the primary key of the record, as indicated by the screenshot above. As a power user, you might know the primary key of the record you exactly want on the lookup. A common scenario that I personally experienced is that, I might create a fetchxml that returns a child result set, and I want to display the parent entity records from advanced find, that have the child lookup set to a particular value.

You could search by name if name is unique or your quickfind columns don’t return multiple results. If you search term returns multiple matches, you will get an yellow exclamation icon indicating that you would have manually resolve it.

Multiple Matches

In this situation where you are searching a contact, it is not uncommon for people to have the exact same name, and if you are searching by name (assuming fullname is a find column) you will end up in this scenario. I present a solution to this problem. It is a custom plugin that fires pre-operation of RetrieveMultiple message and modifies the query to enable searching by primary key.

This is how the plugin is registered.



In this case, I want the primary key search capability only for account and contact, and hence registered steps only for these entities. You could add additional steps similarly for more entities, that you require.

Here is the functionality in action on lookup.

Advanced Find Guid Search

Here is the same behavior on normal saved view search.

View Guid Search

You can find the source code for the plugin at

This a proof-of-concept to give a idea about this capability using RetrieveMultiple. You can extend on this to make the plugin steps configurable and add additional performance optimisations. I hope this will be a useful feature for power users.



  1. Another tip: If you have one or more GUIDs (e.g., from a log file) and want to know the entity type, record name and get a hyperlink to the record that the GUID represents, check out the “Link Buddy for Dynamics CRM” app that I uploaded to CodePlex. I use it in situations where I have a log (tracing) file with GUIDs and want to be able to navigate to each of the CRM records.

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