Application Navigation

When talking about application navigation and Dynamics 365, one could be talking about multiple things, as there are multiple interfaces for Dynamics 365.

  • Traditional web interface
  • Unified Interface (AKA unified client)
  • Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
  •  Dynamics 365 Mobile apps

In this chapter, we will describe what is likely the most common interface for dynamics 365, the traditional web user interface. This is what you'll get if you open a browser and go to your dynamics 365 environment. Later in the chapter we will describe the new unified interface. For more information on mobile or Outlook, please see  the mobile and Outlook chapters. the interface we are describing is the generic interface for new dynamics 365 customer engagement environment. If your environment has been customized, the menus and layouts may look different, but the general navigation will be similar to what we describe in this chapter.

Getting started: Accessing Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 customer engagement supports the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer on Windows
  • Microsoft Edge on Windows 10
  • Firefox on Windows
  • Safari on Mac OS X
  • Chrome on Windows or Google Nexus 10

 To log onto dynamics 365, open a supported browser and enter the URL for your Dynamics 365 environment. If your environment is hosted by Microsoft, the URL will be in the format of * in North America. Other geographies may have a number after the crm in the URL--this indicates in which data center the application is hosted.

By default, users will see a dashboard when they initially log into the system. This default start screen can be set to any menu pane in user settings

Main application navigation

The main application navigation controls are located in the upper left side of the screen. These controls remain available wherever you are in the application.

1. Office 365 application selector: This grid gives users the ability to switch to any other Office 365 application to which they have permission. This control  is available throughout office 365. users and other office 365 apps, such as SharePoint online or Outlook Web Access (OWA) can use this button to get back to Dynamics 365.

2. Dynamics 365 app selector: Clicking on the dynamics 365 logo (or what ever logo you have replaced it with in your theme) will take you back to your main start page. Clicking the down arrow  next to the dynamics 365 logo will allow you to select one of your Dynamics 365 apps. This includes  dynamics 365 customer engagement app modules, dynamics 365 for operations,  as well as Power Apps. For more information about Dynamics 365 app modules, see the App Designer chapter.

Tipsy Reminds You...

If you upgrade to Dynamics 365 8.2 or later, you may find that you accidentally hit this button as it is located in the same location that the "home" button used to be. If you find this happens, click the "home" link in the navigation menu to return to the main start screen.

3. Sitemap area: This area displays the menu (sitemap) area from which you are currently working. For more detail about the sitemap menu, see the section "understanding the sitemap." 

Clicking the drop-down arrow by this part of the menu will expose the full sitemap menu. The currently selected area will be displayed, but you can click on any of the other main areas to select the link in those areas. This is the primary way that users will navigate between application entities.

4. Entity/recently viewed records: this part of the menu will dynamically change to reflect  the entity from which you are working. For example, if I navigate to the Account link in the sitemap, this area will display "accounts."

If you click the entity name (in this example "Accounts," it will take me back to the Account view. This is helpful if I open a record but want to get back to the entity view to select another record.

If you click the drop-down arrow next to the entity name, you will be presented with a list of recently used records. This makes it easy to find your frequently accessed records.

5. Record navigation menu: If you open a record, you will notice an additional menu option becomes available. This is the record level navigation menu.

This will display the name of the selected record. Clicking the drop-down will allow you to select related entity links. For example, from an account record, a user can navigate to a view of contact records associated with the selected account record.

Tipsy Reminds You...

Confused by all of the drop-down arrows on the application navigation menu? It's not uncommon for users to be confused or accidentally click on the wrong arrow when they start using Dynamics 365; however, if you think about the logic in how they are organized it will begin to make more sense. The links go from general to specific, with application selection on the left, and individual granular record and relationship selection on the right. Want to navigate to a different record in the entity from which you are working? Click on the entity name. Want to navigate down in relationship hierarchy? click the arrow by the record name. Want to move to a different entity?  Click the drop-down arrow next to the menu area name (sales, customer service, etc).

On the right

On the right side of the top menu you will find the links for quickly finding and creating data. Want to read more about finding data, check out the chapter "Finding Data."

1. Global search: click the search button to search across multiple entities. The entities that are searched are determined in Settings>Administration>System Settings and click "select" by "select entities for categorized search." You can add up to ten entities.

Tipsy Reminds You...

​Want more than ten entities in categorized search? Add the activity entity--this will make all types of activities searchable from categorized search, and only count as one entity. Keep in mind that this means the standard fields will be searchable, but not custom fields on activity entities like phone calls, tasks, and appointments.

2. Recently viewed ​items: This link will display recently viewed records and views, making it easy to return to frequently used application areas. This includes items viewed in all interfaces, including Dynamics 356 mobile as D365 App for Outlook.

If you want to lock a favorite item so it always appears in the recently viewed items list, hover over it with your mouse and click the push pin on the right of the item name.

3. Quick Create: The + button gives users the ability to quickly create records. Quick create uses a special type of form called "Quick Create Form," designed to be more simple than the full entity form for quick data entry.

To be available for quick create, the entity must be set to allow quick create in Settings>Customization and have at least one quick create form defined for the entity.

Tipsy Reminds You...

Remember that when you use quick create, the newly created record does not maintain context to a parent record--for example, if you click the + for quick create while on a company record and select "Contact," the contact form will not automatically populate the account field on the contact form. If you want the created record to maintain context to a parent record, you need to create in from the associated view for that entity in the parent record navigation menu, or from a subgrid on the parent record form.

​4. Advanced Find: Advanced ​Find is the query builder in Dynamics 365 that allows users to filter lists of records, select view column layouts and sorting, and save personal views. For more detail on using Advanced Find, see the next chapter.

​5. Options gear: The options gear gives you access to personal settings and application options.

  • ​Options are personal options for the application. This includes options like the default start pane for the application, number of records displayed per page of views, email tracking options, and user Exchange synchronization filters.
  • Apps for Dynamics 365: This is where you can deploy the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook or find the links for mobile apps.
  • See Welcome Screen: If you want to see the welcome screen that pops up the first time you access the application, ​click this option. You may want to do that to visit the link for books and videos about Dynamics 365.
  • ​About: this option will display the version of Dynamics 365 that you are using. This is helpful when you talk to Microsoft support​ so they can provide appropriate assistance for the version which you are using. Also, when you read Microsoft documentation, the document will detail which versions the information is applicable to. By finding your application version number, you will be able to verify that the documentation applies to your version.
  • Opt Out of Learning Path: If you don't want to see in-application guided learning (Learning Path), you can use this option to opt out of seeing this feature (or opt in if you have already opted out)>
  • Privacy and Cookies: this option will display the Microsoft privacy statement

​6. Help: This link will display application help content. If your organization opts in to learning path and creates custom help content, your organization's help content and learning path content will be displayed when the help link is clicked.

7. User Account: The circle with the head in it is where you can see details about the logged in user or log out. This is also where you can provide a photo (which will be displayed on the user button and user record forms).

To add your user photo:

  • ​Click the user account circle and select "Edit image"
  • ​Browse to photo and click "OK."
  • ​The user account circle will now display your image.


​Working with the sitemap

​The sitemap is the main Dynamics 365 application navigation menu.

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