In my recent post Some Useful XrmToolbox Plugins, we discussed a few plugins for XrmToolbox that might be helpful for Dynamics 365 developers, administrators, or business analysts. The toolbox includes over a hundred plugins to date, so I wanted to highlight even more plugins that I find helpful during build and management of a Dynamics 365 solution.
User Roles Manager by MscrmTools (Github)
This plugin is included in with several security related plugins as part of the baseline download of XrmToolbox. As the name suggests, this plugin allows you to manage your security roles across user accounts.
If you administer Dynamics CRM instances, you will already know that the interface is a bit limited. Adding security roles to users in bulk is fairly easy in CRM, but what about removing them? as the Actions menu shows, this plugin makes it easy to add roles to Users or Teams, remove selected roles from Users or Teams, or clear out existing roles and apply selected roles to Users or Teams. This can be a big time saver on initial environment setup, as new security roles are deployed, or during general user administration. Another relatively simple idea that can remove a lot of headaches for developers and administrators.
View Layout Replicator by MscrmTools (Github)
This plugin is another baseline inclusion and also has descriptive name: you can replicate a view layout from one view to another view or views.
Once you select an Entity from the list, you will see all of the views associated with the Entity. You can then can then select a View from the Source Views list in the top right pane and preview the layout in the middle right pane. In the Target Views list, you can choose the Views to which the layout will be applied. Note that this will over write the Target View layout only and not impact any filter criteria that you might have applied.
This is incredibly helpful during development as Views change with initial user feedback. Once you have one View configured properly, you can then easily apply that layout to others with a single click. Given the large number of Views in the Account entity, imagine updating all of those views manually, ensuring that the columns are ordered and sized correctly!
Entity Relation Diagram Creator by Bas van de Sande (Journey Into CRM)
This plugin provides an excellent way of visualizing your Entity schema and relations. The splash screen for the plugin itself provides an excellent overview:
The instructions in this splash screen outline the many capabilities of the plugin, such as building a diagram for a single solution, moving and resizing the Entity and Relations around your diagram, saving a diagram to be reopened later, capturing an image for your documentation.
Several members of your team will benefit from this plugin. Developers might want to step back and look at their Entity relations while building out a solution to ensure they are on the right track with their design. As a project progresses, new developers can grab a quick overview of the Entity model as they are on-boarding with your team. Business Analyst might need to present user facing documentation as part of a deliverable, and this tool can provide a holistic or detailed view of solution Entities and its relations.
This is a fairly new plugin to me but it is another excellent time saver for developers, testers, and administrators when dealing with Security Roles. The designer in Dynamics 365 is relatively easy to use and pretty intuitive once you understand it, but comparing Security Roles can be extremely tedious.
Usage is pretty simple: select a few Security Roles and view the settings for each inline. The filter at the top makes it easy to see different tabs and sections from the web designer. I really like how this stays close to the Dynamics 365 Security Role tool look and feel so that you feel like it is part of the platform. When you are building similar roles that might only differ slightly, I can see this plugin saving a LOT of time.
What about the rest?
This is my second post on XrmToolbox plugins and I still have more really cool plugins that we could discuss. I’ve come across a few new ones while putting together these posts, so the list is growing. In the meantime, I hope that these are helping others be more efficient in their day to day or solve problems that might pop up.
As mentioned before, please share helpful plugins or plugin ideas for CRM administrators, Business Analysts, or Dynamics 365 Developers. And as always, comments, questions, and corrections are welcome!