Global Search for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online User Manual

 

Contents

 

Overview

Welcome to the Akvelon Global Search User Manual. With this guide, you can learn how to install, configure, and use Akvelon Global Search for Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Global Search for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a custom module, which allows you to search across all CRM entities at the same time, providing results in a single-view convenient layout.

Global Search provides the ability to:

  • Search all records in all CRM entities (including custom entities) at once from inside the CRM workspace
  • Search all records using the CRM plug-in within Microsoft Outlook
  • View search results grouped by entities at a single glance
  • Filter results in the column headers of each entity
  • Configure entities to search, attributes to search by, and information to display
  • Search the contents of an attachment
  • Search custom entities (Search by Lookup fields)
  • Export search results to Excel

 

Licensing

Whether you are using Microsoft Dynamics 365 in your production, development or test environment, you always need licenses.

Each organization requires its own license for Global Search. In a typical setup you have one single organization and only need one license. The license contains the organization name and you only can install the license on the organization with the specified name.

If you use multiple organizations, each organization requires a separate Global Search license. However, you only need licenses for the organizations using Global Search. If you have a single CRM server with 4 organizations and you want to use Global Search in two of them, then you need two licenses.

Each organization license (except the trial one) contains a restricted number of client user licenses (CAL). Each user of an organization that uses Global Search must have a valid license. If an organization has 100 users and 50 users have permissions to perform search using Global Search (see Global Search Users’ Permissions section), you need at least 50 Global Search licenses, otherwise you will receive a license validation error.

When adding new users to CRM, be sure to check that Global Search also has corresponding licenses for new users.

To request Global Search licenses please contact gs.support@akvelon.com or visit avocado.software.

 

Installation of Global Search

Upgrading from previous version

To upgrade from previous versions of Global Search to 6.1.x or next, download new version from avocado.software site and install it (NO NEED TO REMOVE previous version). During installation, select the Maintain customizations (recommended), and check the Activate any processes and enable SDK messages... (see Global Search Installation section for more details).

Moving CRM Online database to CRM On-premise (and vice versa)

Please completely remove Global Search before moving your CRM Online database to CRM On-premise server. After moving database, install appropriate version of Global Search to your CRM server (the latest version of Global Search can be downloaded from avocado.software, Products menu).

NOTE:

  • New license key for CRM On-premise is required, the license key for CRM Online doesn't support.
  • CRM On-premise (please contact gs.support@akvelon.com for more details).
  • Global Search settings from CRM Online will be lost.

Global Search Installation

To set up Akvelon Global Search on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online, follow these steps:

  1. Download Akvelon Global Search by the following link. Log on to your Microsoft Dynamics 365 server using an account that has administrative privileges (System Administrator).
  2. Allow pop-up windows in your web browser for CRM website:
  3. Go to Settings → Solutions.
  4. Click the Import button (see Figure 1).

    Figure 1. Import Global Search Solution
  5. Follow the Import Wizard.
    1. Click the Choose File button and select the path to Global Search .zip file and click the Next button (see Figure 2).

      Figure 2. Select the Global Search solution
    2. Click the Next button again.
    3. Check the Activate any processes and enable any SDK message processing steps included in the solutions checkbox and click the Next button (see Figure 3).

      Figure 3. Activate any processes and enable SDK message
    4. Click Next and wait while the solution is installed.
    5. Click the Close button.
  6. Refresh the browser page using Ctrl+F5.
  7. After installation, Global Search should be activated (see Activation of Global Search section for more details).
  8. Give search rights to users (see Global Search Users’ Permissions section).

NOTE: Search in attachment contents feature will be installed together with Global Search, but if your license key doesn’t include Attachment search – this feature will be disabled for your CRM Online organization. Please contact gs.support@akvelon.com to get license key with Attachment search functionality. To enable Attachment search feature – CRM Database must be indexed after installation (see Configuring Attachment Search).

 

Activation of Global Search

Activate Global Search separately for each organization.

Before activation, make sure that pop-ups are not blocked by your internet browser for your CRM site. To activate Global Search for an organization, go to Settings → Global Search Settings and click the About button at the upper right corner. You will see the End User License Agreement, please read and accept it using the checkbox, then click the Accept and update license (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. Activate Global Search

Updating License Data

If you need to update license data (e.g. to input commercial license instead of trial, update number of users, prolong your commercial license or enable search in attachment contents feature) go to Settings → Global Search Settings and click the About button at the upper right-hand corner, then click the Update license button (see Figure 5).

Figure 5. Update Global Search license

 

This chapter describes how to configure Global Search roles, entities, attributes to search by, and attributes to display, within results.

Global Search Users’ Permissions

To allow users to use Global Search, you must assign them special permissions. To give Global Search permissions to user groups, go to Advanced Settings → Security → Users. Switch to ‘All Project Members’, select user(s) you want to provide with Global Search permissions and go to Manage Roles on upper CRM menu. Add Akvelon Global Search Users role to selected user(s) (see Figure 6). Click OK button.

Figure 6. Global Search users’ permissions

To allow users to change Global Search Settings (add and remove entities and attributes to search and display), you must assign them Akvelon Global Search Experienced Users (see Figure 7).

Figure 7. Manage User Roles

NOTE: This role provides selected users with rights to Manage THEIR OWN Search Settings. It enables advanced functionality for your CRM users and number of requests to your support team can be increased. Please enable this functionality only for experienced users and at your own risk.

Users who have “Akvelon Global Search Administrators” can change Global Search Settings for all users (see “Save as Default” Settings for Global Search Users section).

NOTE:

  • Akvelon Global Search Administrators – doesn't influence number of Global Search licenses;
  • Akvelon Global Search Experienced Users – influences number of Global Search licenses;
  • Akvelon Global Search Users – influences number of Global Search licenses;
  • Akvelon Global Search role assigned to Teams – influences number of Global Search licenses.

For example: you purchased 10 Global Search licenses, and you have 2 users with Akvelon Global Search Administrators role, 3 users with Akvelon Global Search Experienced Users role and 4 users with Akvelon Global Search Users role – only 7 licenses are used in this case. 3 licenses are available for additional Global Search users.

If you have User-1 with Akvelon Global Search Users/Experienced Users role and User-2 without this role, but User-2 is assigned to CRM Team which has Global Search Users/Experienced Users role – in this case, 2 licenses will be used. Please be aware.

By default, Akvelon Global Search has set of configured Entities/Attributes to search through Dynamics CRM records and display search results. You can reconfigure search entities, attributes, and display fields according to your business needs.

Follow these steps to add/remove the entities Global Search uses:

  1. Go to the Settings area, and click Global Search Settings (see Figure 8). You will see the list of entities that are currently enabled for search.

Figure 8. Global Search Settings
  1. To add a new entity, click Manage Entities on the toolbar. Select the entities you want to enable in Global Search from the list (see Figure 9).

Figure 9. Manage Global Search Entities

NOTE: Number of searched entities can affect search performance (too many entities selected can slow down the search).

After you click OK the entity will add to main Global Search Settings window with default settings. In this window you can change the default attributes to search and display. To disable an entity for search, click Manage Entities and unselect this entity in the list. Click OK button.

Users who have Akvelon Global Search Experienced Users role can configure Global Search Settings directly from Global Search main page (see the Configuring Entity Properties for Advanced Users section).

Configuring Entity Properties

For each entity enabled for Global Search you can customize the properties that are searched and displayed in result columns. In the entities list, double-click the entity or click Edit entity on the toolbar.

On the Attributes to display tab (see Figure 10), use the Add/Remove buttons to select the attributes you want to show in the results table. To change the order of the displayed columns, use the Move Up/Move Down buttons.

Figure 10. Attributes to display window

On the Attributes to Search by tab (see Figure 11), select the entity attributes that will be used in search queries.

Figure 11. Attributes to search by

NOTE: Too many entity attributes selected can affect search performance.

 

In the States to search by tab, you can choose the states to filter records (e.g. search only active records).

If all states are selected, search results will not be filtered by state. To apply new settings, you should click the OK button.

On the Relationships to display tab you can set relationships for entities which can be displayed in search result (see Figure 12).

Figure 12. Relationships to Display

Configuring Entity Properties for Advanced Users

Users who have Akvelon Global Search Experienced Users role can change their own search settings directly from Global Search window. Click on Entity’s icon which you want edit. Entity Properties window will open (please see Configuring Entity Properties for more details). Click Manage entities to add or remove entities for search (see Figure 13).

Figure 13. Quick search settings panel

Configuring Maximum Number of Found Records

You can set a maximum number of found records for an entity group (there are 100 records by default) – go to the Global Search Settings page and click on Settings. You can change this value to any number from 100 to 500 records (see Figure 14). To apply new settings, click OK button.

NOTE: Large values can affect searching performance.

Figure 14. Configuring maximum number of found records

Enable/Disable Highlighting Keywords

Highlighting keywords provides ability to quickly find used keyword in search results (see Figure 15).

Figure 15. Highlighted keywords

To Enable/Disable highlighting keywords, go to the Global Search Settings page, click on Settings, tick the Highlighting option and then click the OK button (see Figure 16).

Figure 16. Enable highlighting option

Auto-expand Entities in Search Results

This feature provides ability to automatically open group of entities in the search if only one record was found in this group (see Figure 17).

Figure 17. Auto-expand Entities in Search Results

This feature is disabled by default. To enable this feature, go to the Global Search Settings page and click on Settings. Select the Auto-expand group if 1 record is found and click the OK button (see Figure 18).

Figure 18. Auto-expand option in the Settings screen

“Save as Default” Settings for Global Search Users

Changed Global Search settings can be applied for all users by one user with Akvelon Global Search Administrators role.

To apply changed search settings, go to CRM Settings → Global Search Settings → click Save as Default (see Figure 19).

Figure 19. Save as Default button

Select Users with the following roles: … and click OK to apply settings for all users: Akvelon Global Search Online Users, Akvelon Global Search Online Experienced Users and Akvelon Global Search Online Administrators (see Global Search Users’ Permissions section for more details).

Select Only users with "Akvelon Global Search User" role and click OK to apply settings only for users who have Akvelon Global Search User role (except Experienced Users) (see Figure 20).

Figure 20. Select user roles to apply settings

By default, Relevance Search option in Global Search is disabled. To enable it, go to CRM Settings → Global Search Settings → Settings → tick the Relevance search option and click the OK button (see Figure 21).

Figure 21. Enable Relevance Search in Global Search Settings

NOTE: This option will work the same way you configure Relevance search built in Dynamics CRM. Follow the instructions below to set it up.

Enable Relevance Search in Dynamics CRM

To enable Relevance Search, go to Settings → Administration → Click System Settings → General tab → In the Set up Search sub-area, select the Enable Relevance Search check box (see Figure 22).

Figure 22. Enable Relevance Search in Dynamics CRM

After you enable Relevance Search, the Enable Search consent dialog box opens (see Figure 23). Click OK to give your consent.

Figure 23. Enable Search Consent Dialog

Click OK to close the System Settings dialog.

To select entities for the Relevance Search results, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings → Customizations.
  2. Click Customize the System.
  3. Under Components, expand Entities, and then click Configure Relevance Search (see Figure 24).

Figure 24. Configure Relevance Search
  1. The Select Entities dialog box opens. Click Add to select the entities for the search results. When you’re done, click OK (see Figure 25).

Figure 25. Manage Relevance Search Entities
  1. Click Publish All Customizations for your changes to take effect.
  2. Select these entities in Global Search settings in order to perform relevance search through them with the extension.

NOTE: By default, some out-of-the-box system entities are included in Relevance Search. However, custom entities aren’t included. You have to add them to Relevance Search.

You can use the Quick Find view to define which fields appear as facets when users search by using Relevance Search. All View Columns with data types other than Single Line of Text and Multiple Lines of Text are marked as facetable and filterable in the index. By default, the first four facetable fields in the Quick Find view for the selected entity are displayed as facets when users search by using Relevance Search. At any time, you can only have four fields selected as facets.

  1. Go to Settings → Customizations.
  2. Click Customize the System.
  3. Under Components, expand Entities, and then expand the entity you want.
  4. In the navigation tree, click View. Double-click Quick Find View. The following illustration shows the Quick Find view for the Case entity (see Figure 26).

Figure 26. Quick Find View for the Case Entity
  1. Click Add Find Columns. In the dialog box, select the fields you want to add to the search index. When done, click OK. In the following illustration (Figure 27), you see the Case entity fields added to the external search index.

Figure 27. Add Searchable Fields
  1. Repeat the steps for the View Columns.
  2. Click Publish All Customizations for your changes to take effect.
  3. Select these fields in Global Search settings in order to perform relevance search through them with the extension.

If you want to include an entity in Relevance Search, the Can enable sync to external search index managed property for this entity must be set to True. By default, the property is set to True for some of the out-ofthe-box system entities and all custom entities. Some of the system entities can’t be enabled for Relevance Search.

To set the managed property, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings → Customizations.
  2. Click Customize the System.
  3. Under Components, expand Entities, and then click the entity you want.
  4. On the menu bar, click Managed Properties. For Can enable sync to external search index, click True or False to set the property to the desired state. Click Set to exit (see Figure 28).

Figure 28. Set Managed Property for Relevance Search

We strongly recommend start attachments indexing process when CRM users do not work with CRM (non-working time). To enable the Search Attachment feature, please follow these steps: Go to CRM Settings → Global Search Settings. Make sure Notes and Attachments are added to Global Search Setting then click the Document Search button in CRM Online (please see Figure 29).

Figure 29. Documents Search button

Documents Search Configuration will open in CRM Online (see Figure 30).

Figure 30. Document Search Configuration window

In this window you can see Number of Documents in CRM database, Number of indexed documents and Indexing progress status. To enable search in the documents you must perform initial indexing of CRM Database. Click Start indexing button to start indexing process. When indexing will be completed Attachment search functionality will be available (see Figure 31).

Figure 31. Documents Indexing Progress Status

NOTE:

  • Entity “Notes” and “Attachments” should be added to Global Search Settings.
  • Full indexing can take from several minutes to several hours depending on the amount of documents in the system.
  • You will be able to search newly added attachments after repeat of documents indexing.

Configuring Email indexing

Email Indexing provides ability to improve searching performance in the Dynamics CRM emails description. Searching performance becomes much better.

NOTE:

  • Email indexing process can take up to several hours depending on amount and size of the emails in the CRM Database.
  • We strongly recommend start email indexing process when CRM users do not work with CRM (nonworking time).
  • Email Index requires additional storage to create indexes. Please make sure you have free space on your storage on Dynamics CRM Online deployment (indexes can take about 5%-20% of CRM emails volume). To verify storage usage, go to CRM Settings → Administration → Subscription Management (Storage).

To enable the Email Indexing feature, please follow these steps:

Go to CRM Settings → Global Search Settings → click the E-mail Indexing button (see Figure 32).

Figure 32. Email Indexing button

E-mail Indexing configuration window will be open (see Figure 33). Wait a couple of seconds to complete Initialization process. When Initialization process will be completed, you’ll see the Index status window: Number of emails in the Dynamics CRM Database, Number of indexed emails and email indexing progress status. Also the Enable E-mail Index… button will appear after the Initialization process.

Figure 33. Email Indexing window

Click the Enable E-mail Index… button to start full e-mail indexing process (please read notes above before starting email indexing). Then click the Start indexing button (see Figure 34).

Figure 34. Email Indexing “Ready to start” status

In the appeared dialog box click OK button to start email indexing process or click Cancel to prevent this action (see Figure 35).

Figure 35. Confirm dialog

You can see the current indexing status in the Email indexing window (see Figure 36). We don’t recommend close the window during indexing progress – it speed up indexing process. If you close the window, email indexing process will prevent, but indexing will resume in background periodically, so all new email messages will be indexed automatically. Also you can open the Email indexing window at any time and start indexing again manually.

Figure 36. Email indexing progress status

If E-mail Indexing process was successfully completed, Indexing status will change to Completed. Also you can see number of indexed emails in your Dynamics CRM Database (see Figure 37).

Figure 37. Email Indexing completed

Now you can add Description in the Attributes to search by tab for the E-mail Messages entity (please see Adding/Removing Entities to Search section).

Disabling E-mail Index. To disable E-mail Indexing, go to CRM Settings → Global Search Settings and click the E-mail Indexing button at the top menu. The E-mail Index window will open. Click the Disable E-mail Index… button. Click OK in appeared dialog to start disabling process.

NOTE:

  • Indexed data will NOT be removed from the system.
  • We strongly recommend remove Description in the Attributes to search by tab for the E-mail Messages and Activities entities (please see Adding/Removing Entities to Search section).

Removing E-mail Index. To completely remove indexed data from the system, remove Global Search from your Dynamics CRM system (see Uninstall Global Search section).

 

Removal of Global Search

To uninstall Global Search, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings → Solutions page.
  2. Check the AkvelonGlobalSearchOnline checkbox and click the Delete button (see Figure 38).

Figure 38. Uninstall Global Search
  1. Click OK in the confirmation dialog and wait until Akvelon Global Search is removed (see Figure 39).

Figure 39. Confirm Deletion dialog

 

Searching with Global Search

Akvelon Global Search can search various data items (such as customers, accounts, activities and etc.) in a single query. Global Search 5.0 and higher includes cross-browser support. It means that you can use your favorite browser (IE, Chrome, Firefox or Safari) to search in Dynamics CRM.

To use the search, go to one of the tabs where the Global Search link was added in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 application (these tabs are Sales, Service, Marketing), and select Global Search link (see Figure 8).

Type a word(s) into the search field and click the Search button or press Enter (see Figure 40).

NOTE: If you use customized sitemap and Global Search link is not appeared there, please contact Global Search support for assistance: gs.support@akvelon.com.

Figure 40. Global Search link in the sitemap

After the search is complete you will see all entity groups found. If you expand any of them you will see the list of found records. To open a specified record, double click on it. Also, Global Search provides ability to highlight search keywords in search results (see Enable/Disable Highlighting Keywords section for more details).

Global Search supports two types of search views (choose view at the top-right corner):

  • All items – all items from all users (that user has access to) will be searched;
  • My items – only your items will be searched.

NOTE: Entities and attributes that are searched and displayed can be configured in the Global Search Settings (for detailed information see Configuration section).

Figure 41. Searching with Akvelon Global Search

Search Logic

Global Search performs searches of strings in all entities and attributes configured in the Global Search Settings.

Global Search performs case-insensitivity searches by the word-beginning search principle. For example, if you search for “Book”, you can find entities that contain “book”, “Books”, “BOOKSHELF” and also “eBook”.

You can use an asterisk (“ * ”) as a character to represent one or more other characters. For example: If you search for “sa * t”, found values will start with "s" and end with "t", for example “Salt”, “Saint”, “sacrament” etc. If you search for “ * sam * ”, records with "sam" anywhere in the string will be found, for example “sample”, “Samson”, “Grossam”.

If several words are input, Global Search will find all records containing all of the words in their attributes (not obligatory in the same attribute). For example, if you search for “Jack London”, it will find a contact with name Jack London, and it will find all Jacks that have London in the “city” attribute (or in any other searchable attribute).

If you search for “Seattle Art Museum” it will find Accounts with the organization name “Seattle Art Museum” or contacts with city “Seattle” and “Art Museum” in description.

You can also use the asterisk symbol with Multiple Word Searches (see Wildcard Search section).

Global Search for Online Dynamics 365 CRM allows to find matches to any word in the search term in any field in the entity (like “show”, “showed”, “showing”) and sort search results by relevance, based on factors, such as number of words matched or their proximity to each other in the text like Relevance Search built in Dynamics CRM Online does.

Search the Contents of an Attachment

To make a search through attachment contents, type a word(s) into the search field, check Search in Attachment and click the Search button or press Enter (please ensure the Attachment Search is enabled, see the Configuring Attachment Search section for more details). Search logic for attachments are the same as for Global Search except Wildcard search (please see the Searching with Akvelon Global Search section). Wildcard doesn’t work for beginning and middle of search word. It works only for end of the word, for example, if you search for “Tom”, it will find the following: "Tom", "Tomato", "Tomorrow" etc.

Akvelon Global Search supports Custom Entity Searches (Search by Lookup fields). Every entity form has a lookup field regarding another entity. For example, the Account entity can be related to the Contact entity by the Primary Contact lookup field (please see Figure 42).

Figure 42. Relationship between Account and Contact

To add required attributes, go to Advanced Settings → Settings → Global Search Settings, select the entity, click Edit Entity or double click on selected entity. In Attributes to Display and Attributes to search by areas you can see customized attributes marked as (lookup) (please see Figure 43).

Figure 43. Search Lookup Settings

Add required attributes and click OK. The lookup fields are clickable. Related records will open by clicking the appropriate link (please see Figure 44).

Figure 44. Search by Lookup Field

Inside Column Filters and Sorting in columns

When more than five records are found in group, the additional column filters are shown. At the top of each column, there is a text box used to filter that specific column (see Figure 45).

Figure 45. Inside column filters

By typing in the text box, you can narrow the number of rows in the table down to those that match your filter text.

You can sort search results for each column by click on column name. You can select sort order (such as smallest to largest or largest to smallest) for each column you want to sort on.

Export found data to an Excel static worksheet

This feature requires ‘Export to Excel’ privilege that can be set on security roles (go to Security settings click on Security Role and open role → go to the Business Management tab and look under Privacy Related Privileges). By default, an exported worksheet includes found records and fields that are displayed in the search results, using the same field order and sorting.

  1. In the main Global Search window, click Export to Excel (see Figure 46).

Figure 46. Export found results to Excel
  1. In the Export Data to Excel dialog box, select entity which you want to export to Excel. Please note that CRM doesn’t provide ability to export multiple entities at a time.
  2. Click Export button → Open or Save Excel file.

Export all found records option – provides ability to export all found records to Excel. For example, Maximum Number of Found Records = 100 but Global Search has found 172 accounts, this option provides ability to export all 172 records to Excel.

Make this data available for re-importing by including required column headings option – if you are exporting the data so that you can make changes and import it back into Microsoft Dynamics 365, select this check box (file will be saved in XML format).

NOTE:

  • When you open Excel file – you will see a message that says the file that you are trying to open is in a different format than specified by the file extension. Click Yes.
  • In Microsoft Dynamics 365, money values are exported to Microsoft Office Excel as numbers. After you have completed the export, to format the data as currency, see the Excel Help topic titled “Display numbers as currency”.
  • Maximum number of records which you can Export to Excel at a time, depends on Microsoft Dynamics 365 configuration.

 

Feedback

If you have any questions, experience problems, or have feedback – please feel free to contact us: gs.support@akvelon.com.

The Akvelon team encourages and appreciates leaving feedback about Akvelon Global Search at the App Source website.