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CRM 2013 Business Rules vs. Sonoma Partners’ Dynamic Forms

One of the new features of Dynamics CRM 2013 is the introduction of Business Rules (formerly Portable Business Logic).  Business Rules are Microsoft’s initial attempt at taking the ability to automate an entity form out of a JavaScript developer’s hands, and placing it in the hands of non-technical administrators and business analysts.  With Business Rules, these non-technical users can publish rules to dynamically alert a user, set field values, set the requirement level of fields, set the visibility of fields, and set fields to be edited or read only.

This functionality didn’t exist in prior versions of Dynamics CRM, and therefore this was an opportunity for Sonoma Partners to fill a much needed gap.  Dynamic Forms for CRM 2011 was the solution that was built from that need.  With the release of Dynamics CRM 2013, we’ve upgraded our Dynamic Forms solution so that it’s compatible with 2013.  Dynamic Forms provides a lot of the same functionality that Business Rules provide, but it also provides much more.

An example of a feature in Dynamic Forms that is missing from Business Rules is the ability to disable a form for a certain group of users.  A great use of this would be when an Opportunity hits the “Approval Needed” status that the opportunity becomes read only for all users in the salesperson role.  However, sales managers would be able to take a look at the opportunity and either mark it approved, or rejected, moving it along the sales process

The table below outlines the features that are included in Dynamic Forms but are missing from Business Rules, or other native Dynamics CRM 2013 features.

Native Business Rules and
CRM 2013 features

Sonoma Partners
Dynamic Forms for CRM 2013

Feature

Feature Exists (Y/N/Partial)

Feature Exists (Y/N/Partial)

Condition

Check: Field Value

Y

Y

Check: Form Type

N

Y

Check: Related Entity Field Value

N

Y

Check: Current User Security Role

N

Y

Check: Current User Attributes

N

Y

Action

Section: Hide/Show/Disable

N

Y

Tab: Hide/Show/Collapse/Disable

N

Y

Form: Disable

N

Y

Left Navigation Link: Hide

N

Y

Fields: Enable/Disable

P - Cannot enable/disable native fields with Field Security Profiles

Y

Fields: Require/Not Require

Y

Y

Fields: Hide/Show

Y

Y

Fields: Set Value

Y

Y

Fields: Clear

N

Y

Fields: Format Input

N

Y

Execute JavaScript Function/Alert

N

Y

The Dynamic Forms Community Edition is free to download but limits the number of rules you can create.  For customers of Sonoma Partners, they can get access to the full Dynamic Forms solution that allows you to build out as many rules as you need.

To find out more information about Dynamic Forms 2013 or download your free Community Edition copy, please visit this link.

Thanks to my colleague Valter Herman for putting together this in depth comparison between native Dynamics CRM 2013 Business Rules, and Sonoma Partners’ Dynamic Forms.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013