Previewing the iPad Sales Experience for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online

Posted by on March 1, 2013  |  commentsComments (3)

Microsoft recently released their iPad Sales Experience for CRM Online.  Existing CRM Online orgs should now have the capability to now turn this on by Installing Product Updates.  However, new customers that signup for CRM Online will have this functionality enabled by default.  After you install the product updates or signup for a new Online org, you’ll be able to see the enhanced iPad Sales Experience on your iPad by simply hitting the website in Safari.

We were able to get our hands on this functionality and play around with it a bit and wanted to share some thoughts.  First off, you can only access this from Safari on an iPad, and you must have iOS6 installed to use it.  If you have a lower iOS on your iPad, you’ll be redirected to the Mobile Express UI.  For those users who are big fans of Mobile Express and you do have iOS6, there’s an option to launch CRM in the old Mobile Express mode via a link at the top of the page.


As you can see above, a subset of the SiteMap is available on the iPad (including the What’s New and Dashboards).  Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity entities are displayed in the SiteMap, and will open up in the new process based forms that were made available in Polaris.  You can access other entities in Dashboards and Sub Grids, but not through the SiteMap, and when opening other entities, they’ll open up in either the Read Optimized or Mobile Express UI.

You can modify all types of fields on the iPad including lookup fields.  Lookup fields will initially show you the available records in a dropdown fashion.  However, you have the option to click Lookup More Records to get a modal lookup dialog that’ll appear overlayed on the CRM window.

photo (2)

photo (4)

You can even work with the Dashboards and Charts similar to how you do within CRM.  When on a grid, you can expand the Charts pane to click on a section of the chart, and have your data in the grid automatically refresh for those records that section applies to, and even select a new field and chart type to report on different data.  This functionality mimics the web client exactly!

photo (3)

photo (5)

photo (7)

There are some gotchas that you need to be aware of regarding the forms that appear for the native entities.  While the COLA entities will usually open up in the enhanced UI, there are scenarios where they’ll open up in Mobile Express, or the Read Optimized mode.  There are also scenarios for other native entities and what form mode they’ll open up explained below.


Form Displayed


Script on Form

Mobile Express

If Mobile Express is disabled, an message will appear stating you cannot view that record on the device

Enhanced UI Form Isn’t the Default

Read Optimized Mode with Inline Edit Capabilities



Enhanced UI Form Isn’t the Default, and Default Form has Script

Mobile Express

If Mobile Express is disabled, an message will appear stating you cannot view that record on the device

Enhanced UI Form is Disabled

Read Optimized Mode with Inline Edit Capabilities



Enhanced UI Form is Disabled, and Default Form has Script

Mobile Express

If Mobile Express is disabled, an message will appear stating you cannot view that record on the device

Special Native Entities with Ribbon (e.g., Competitor)

Read Optimized Mode with Inline Edit Capabilities

Edit Button doesn’t appear if Mobile Express is disabled

Special Native Entities without Ribbon (e.g., Business Unit)

Do not open on the iPad

Some entities bypass read optimized and go right to mobile express:

     - Appointment

    - Recurring Appointment

    - Service

    - Case

    - Campaign

    - User

Entities that cannot be displayed on the iPad

    - Goal

    - Rollup Query

    - Rollup Field

    - Marketing List

    - Quote

    - Product

    - Article

Do not open on the iPad

A message will appear stating you cannot view that record on the device.

Some of the functionality / limitations of the iPad Sales Experience are:

  • Currently limited to just the Contact, Account, Lead, and Opportunity entities, as well as What’s New and Dashboards.  With the Orion release and the new UI being applied to all entities, I can see this being extended so that every entity you see when working on your desktop will be available to work on the iPad.
  • You can do touch base scroll, but there’s no pinch / zoom capabilities
  • SiteMap cannot be modified
  • Cannot multi-select in grids
  • A maximum of 9 browser tabs can be opened
  • Works in Landscape or Portrait mode with the SiteMap being collapsible to allow for more real estate to view your data
  • Similar to how the enhanced UI forms work with CRM Online, on the iPad you cannot create new records from sub grids.
  • Unable to create Charts / Dashboards / Personal Views
  • Unable to add attachments to Notes
  • The following items have been removed:
    • Getting Started Pane
    • Jump Bar
    • Gold Bar Notifications
    • Home/Most Recently Viewed Records
  • Limitations of the New Forms – options removed for the iPad:
    • Switch to Classic
    • Share
    • Form Editor
    • Process Configuration Editor

Some more information on the iPad for CRM Online is available at the CRM Online Resource Center.  Microsoft is making a bigger push in mobility recently, and this iPad Sales Experience is only the tip of the iceberg of where they’ll go over the next year or so.  However, if this is any indication of where they’re headed, I for one am pretty excited.  The iPad Sales Experience is very slick and a big step up from Mobile Express!


  1. Excellent and comprehensive review! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Posted by: Lawry Matteson  |  Mar 22, 2013 8:53:47 AM

  2. What is you have IOS 7.0.4, will that work? I am being directed to Mobile Express.

    Posted by: Fred Wallace  |  Jan 23, 2014 1:08:22 PM

  3. Hi Fred-

    Did you follow the instructions in the blog above to install the product updates to get this functionality?

    Also, you are connecting to a CRM 2011 Online org correct? You should see the iPad Sales Experience, but also have a link at the top to Launch Mobile Express as is seen in this screenshot from the blog. I'm wondering if you clicked that by accident?

    I just tried this on my iPad mini that has iOS 7.0.4 and I was able to connect to the 2011 Online Org. However, these orgs are in transition of being upgraded to 2013 so this information really won't be pertinent in the near future. Another alternative would be to install the native tablet app once you get upgraded to 2013. This is free and available for the iPad.

    If you still want to use the iPad Sales Experience connected to a 2011 Online org, and it's not working for you, I'd contact Microsoft Support because it should work with iOS 7.0.4 (as I just tested it and it works for me).

    Good luck!


    Posted by: Peter Majer  |  Jan 27, 2014 10:00:33 AM

Post a Comment

  • *Required

Contact Us for a Quote, or Personalized Demonstrationof Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Your Business.

Contact Us