This post has been cross posted from The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog and describes considerations that customizers will want to take into account when upgrading CRM forms to CRM 2013.

When using CRM 2013 or the CRM Online Fall '13 upgrade, it doesn't take much time to realize that the form layout for CRM Information forms has changed considerably.  New CRM users will immediately notice the new form experience, however upgraded forms from CRM 2011 will not contain all of the new form enhancements after the upgrade.  After upgrade, end users will see the same forms they are used to working with translated into the CRM 2013 User Interface. As a result, the older forms will render in inline edit mode with Command bar capabilities.

After upgrading, it is possible to merge the CRM 2011 form layout with new CRM 2013 forms on a case by case basis.  You have full control to choose the form and capabilities on your own terms via Form Editor.

‘Merge Forms’ button in Form Editor (Only Updated entity Forms) 

Figure 1 - Ribbon in the CRM 2013 Form Editor


  • Allows the customizer to select any information form (including role-based forms) and bring it into an updated form as a customization by appending the form definition to the bottom of the current form. 
    All scripts, fields, field settings, etc. are also brought in working. This includes iframes, custom web-resources, and any dependencies those may have.
  • The header and footer from the old form gets converted into a tab with 1 column, and 1 section in their equivalent to the section settings in header.  The header goes before the body of the new form and the footer goes after the body of the new imported form.
  • Customizers can do this merge as many times they want provided that the total number of events on the form does not exceed 50.


  • This functionality is available only for updated entities (Lead, Opportunity, etc.).
  • This functionality is not applicable for custom entities as well.
  • This functionality only apples to 'Main' forms (not mobile or other form types)


Mary, a CRM customizer, has just upgraded to CRM 2013.  However, she still uses the information form for all her ‘Account’ records.  She now wants to try the new ‘Updated Form’ experience.  With the newly introduced ‘Form Merge’ feature she can make a smooth and easy transition to the new UI and at the same time also keep the sections she wants from the old form. All she needs to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to customizations, activate the updated main form for ‘Account’.  Open the form editor of the updated form in ‘Active Forms View’.
  2. Click the Merge Forms button on the ribbon.

  3. A lookup dialog opens.  Select the information form which you want to Import and click Add.

  4. The Header , Footer and Body(including all the events, web resources etc.) of the selected Information form gets merged into the updated form in the following manner:

  5. You can remove any unwanted tabs, sections and fields from this merged form according to your need. You can add web resources from ‘Form Properties’. All the functionalities of form editor can be used on this form to get the desired look.

  6. After all the customizations are done, save and publish the changes. You also need to change the form order and bring this form up in order if you want it to be opened by default.

Now when Mary opens any Account record she sees the form with all new updated experience, just as she wanted.


More Information

For more information, see Update your forms to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall '13. 

Happy customizing!

Brandon Kelly

Microsoft Premier Field Engineer