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Today we're going to discuss the different entity relationship types inside of Dynamics CRM. It's critical for any solution that you have the proper relationship based on the requirements. One thing that I'm asked for time and time again is the ability to utilize the out of the box reporting more and more. Having the ability for the users to create there own personal views and take advantage of the fields in related entities is massive. There are direct impacts to out of the box charts and dashboards depending on what types of entity relationship is chosen between two entities.
This is a very familiar relationship to most. For our discussions we'll assume the relationship is 1(Account):many(Contacts). It essentially is one account record can have many contact records associated to it but that same contact can only have one account record related to it. This means that on the account form would have a subgrid of contacts and the contact form would have a lookup field to the account entity. When creating vies for the contact we have access to parent account's field values which is fantastc for reporting and providing the proper information to our users. With this view enablement from the contact up to the account we're able to build charts and dashboards around this.
Continuing with the example of many(Account):many(Contact); one account can have many contacts related to it and one contact can have many accounts related to it. The many tomany relationship brings some limitation as it doesn't have the ability to pull fields through from the other records into views; which means the out of the box charts and dashboards can't really take advantage of this relationship.
The idea behind manual many-to-many relationships is a linker entity that allows fields or describes the relationship. This would be a custom entity that links to both related entities. The advantage of this is that if we need some sort of description or additional information around these related entities we'd be able to access it. I'd like to point out that with this type of format you'd have the ability to also create views and use charts & dashboards through this entity for the relationships.
I hope this has shed some light on the available entity relationships options within Dynamics CRM.
Thank you Kishor!
Hi Jason Cosman,
Thank you so much for the good article about the relationship in MS CRM
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