Setting Up Search

Dynamics 365 includes an out of the box configuration for Category Search, while Relevance Search is disabled by default. While a user with the System Customizer security role may configure the search fields for either, a System Administrator security role is required to enable Relevance Search because it sends CRM data to an external (Azure) database.

Tipsy Reminds You...

The searchable fields for both Category Search and Relevance Search can be configured in a lower environment, then promoted through Test, QA, then Production by using a Solution (or multiple Solutions).

Category Search

Category Search leverages the Quick Find views for up to ten (10) entities, displaying the results returned for each entity in its own separate column.

By default, CRM includes the following entities by default:

  • Account
  • Contact
  • User
  • Activity
  • Lead
  • Case
  • Opportunity
  • Competitor

The entities, as well as their display order, may be configured through the following action:

  1. Go to Settings > Administration then click System Settings.
  2. On the General tab, in the Set Up Search section, click the Select button next to Select Entities for Categorized Search.
  3. Use the Add and Remove buttons to include the desired entities (up to 10).
  4. Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to change the order in which the search results will be displayed.

Category Search entity selection dialog.

Configuring Category Search

The Category Search relies on the fields added in the Quick Find view for any search-enabled entities.

Tipsy Reminds You...

It is important to set both the Find Columns, View Columns, and set the order of the View Columns.

The three (non-primary) View Columns in the column order will be the fields that are displayed in the search results. For custom entities, this includes the Created On date field which is typically irrelevant in this type of search.

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To choose the fields that will be searched in Category Search results for an entity, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Customizations, then choose Customize the System.
  2. Under Components, expand Entities, then expand an entity (e.g. Account), then choose Views
  3. Double Click the entity's Quick Find view
  4. Once the View Editor opens, use the Add Find Columns to modify the fields that will be included in the search. Then click OK.
  5. Then choose and Add View Columns to include the fields that will be returned. Then click OK.
  6. Next, set the order of the view columns by selecting a field and using the left/right arrows.
  7. Once complete, click OK

Tipsy Reminds You...


When fewer fields are configured as Find Columns in the Quick Find views, overall search performance is improved.

Learn more: Tip #422: Search faster by searching less

Relevance Search

Relevance Search has been made available as an additional search option for Dynamics 365 customers. Because it synchronizes data to an external server (Azure Search) it is disabled by default and must be configured then enabled by a Dynamics 365 Administrator.

Once enabled, users will be able to choose which search method they would like to use and have the option to freely change their preference while using the system.

The recommended order for configuring Relevance Search is to:

  • Select Entities for Relevance Search
  • Configure search fields for those entities
  • Enable Relevance Search for the organization

Select Entities for Relevance Search

To choose the entities that will be included in Relevance Search results, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Customizations, then choose Customize the System.
  2. Under Components, expand Entities, then choose Configure Relevance Search.
  3. Once the Select Entities dialog box opens, click Add to include the desired entities to search. Then click OK.

Relevance Search entity selection window in the Solution editor along with the progress bar showing the total number of fields indexed for the Dynamics 365 organization.

Tipsy Reminds You...

While there is no limit to the number of entities that can be enabled for Relevance Search, there is a maximum of 1000 fields per Dynamics 365 organization. 

A progress bar shows your total usage towards this total.

Configuring Search Fields

Similar to the Category Search, Relevance Search relies on the fields added in the Quick Find view for any search-enabled entities.

To choose the fields that will be included in Relevance Search results for an entity, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Customizations, then choose Customize the System.
  2. Under Components, expand Entities, then expand an entity (e.g. Account), then choose Views
  3. Double Click the entity's Quick Find view
  4. Once the View Editor opens, use the Add Find Columns and Add View Columns to modify the included fields (see table below).
  5. Once complete, click OK

Option

Purpose

View Columns

Define the available facets and filters. The first four facetable fields will be shown.

Find Columns

Define the searchable fields for the entity.

Tipsy Reminds You...

The first four "facetable" fields included in the Quick Find view display columns will be the default facets that end-users are able to filter on. Four (4) is the maximum that will be displayed with the search results, though more facet fields may be defined.

Users may select their own priority for facets via their Set Personal Options menu. This could result in different users seeing different available options when performing the same search.

Supported Fields

Field types are not treated equally in Relevance Search. Some fields are supported for the text search itself, while others are supported for filtering the resulting list of data.

Searchable Fields

  • Single Line of Text 
  • Multiple Lines of Text  

Facet & Filter Fields

  • Option Set
  • Date
  • Currency
  • Lookup

As a note on facets: Fields in a view that are from related entities are not valid Facet fields.

Tipsy Reminds You...

When considering the 1000 field total, be aware that Option Set fields count as 2 fields and Lookup fields count as 3 fields toward that total.

Enable Relevance Search for the Organization

Once the search entities and fields have been configured, enable Relevance Search for your organization by doing the following:

  1. Go to Settings > Administration.
  2. Click System Settings > General tab.
  3. In the Set up Search section, select the Enable Relevance Search checkbox.
  4. The Enable Search consent dialog box opens. Click OK to give your consent to synchronize data.
  5. Click OK to close the System Settings dialog.

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