In version 9 of Dynamics 365 / CRM, Microsoft introduced the Custom Control Framework, which gives Dynamics 365 customizers and developers more options on how to display fields and data-sets, such as views. The Custom Control Framework offers a wide range of aesthetically appealing displays, enabling you to transform regular fields and data-sets into more appealing visualizations that are likely to increase user engagement and enhance user experience.
The default display for a numeric input field, i.e. Whole Number, Decimal, Currency, Floating Point Number, is:
Using the Custom Control Framework, you can transform this regular numeric input field into other displays such as Number Input, Arc Knob, Radial Knob, Linear Gauge, Linear Slide, Star Rating, among others.
Depending on the type of input field, different Custom Control Framework displays are available. For an Option Set field, the regular display is:
Using the Custom Control Framework’s Option Set, it can also be displayed as tiles:
How to Implement the Custom Control Framework
Step 1: Go to the edit mode of the entity’s form that you wish to apply the Custom Control Framework to. In the example below, I will be editing the Account entity’s Account form.
Step 2: Click on the field you would like to apply the Custom Control Framework to. In the ribbon, click on ‘Change Properties’.
Step 3: In the Field Properties window that pops up, select the ‘Controls’ tab.
Step 4: Click on “Add Control…”. Then select the control you would like to apply (1 – image below). Having selected the control you would like to apply, click ‘Add’ (2 – image below).
Note: In the example below, I am applying the Custom Control Framework to a numeric field.
Step 5: Set the properties of the control. Select the devices you want your control to be displayed on i.e. Web Browser, Phone, Tablet (1 – image below). Enter the control’s properties i.e. Min, Max and Step values (2 – image below). Click ‘OK’ (3 – image below).
In (2 – image above), you can bind the Min, Max and Step values to a static value (A – image below) or to another field (B – image below).
Step 6: Save and publish the entity’s form. You can now go and view the published version of the form to see your custom control in action.
Depending on the type of input field selected, different Custom Control Framework displays are available in Step 4 above. Also, the properties available in Step 5 are dependent on the type of input field selected . That is, the Custom Control Framework displays available for a numeric field are different from those available for an option set field.
As shown above, the Custom Control Framework offers organizations more options for displaying fields and has a nice aesthetic touch. However, like all tools, Dynamics 365 customizers and developers, have to assess their client’s needs and determine whether to use the default displays or the Custom Control Framework displays.