#MobileCRM: Am I missing something? – part 4

In this series of articles I’m exploring the mobile Dynamics CRM app. In the previous article I compared the apps for iOS, Windows Phone and Android. In this article I’m going to take a look at the configuration of the mobile client and how the configaration is functioning on the device. For this excercise, I limited myself to the Windows Phone client. 

Time to get started

I created a new solution “MobileCRM” and in that solution I added the Account entity. Opening the Forms node, reveals the forms already specified on this entity. Among these forms is a form with the type “Mobile-Express”. The Mobile-Express form is the form that will be displayed inside the mobile client.

1

Mobile Form designer

I open the mobile form for editing, and notice a different forms desiger. In the mobile forms designer, all I can do is add/remove fields. Set them to read only and change the display order. This does not look very promising.

2

When I click the “Form Properties” button, a new form pops up, with just two text fields. In the regular forms designer, the “Form Properties” form is the place in which you can add custom scripting to form events (e.g. change event on a field).
In the mobile forms designer I don’t have the possibility to add custom scripts that respond to form events.

This is a severe limitation on functionality I can offer to my users.

3

Business Rules

Back in the solution explorer I decide to add some new business rules. As I don’t have scripting possibilities in my form, business rules are my last resort to offer input validation / advanced business functionality.

I added two rules and activated them:

  • Entity scope (enhanced business rule): Show an error message in case the city entered is “Rhenen”. In other cases hide the Country/Region fields
  • Specific Form scope (this form only): If the email entered is a specific email adress, then set the account name.

4

5

Test Run

I save the configuration, activate the business rules and publish all changes. I grab my Windows Phone to give my configuration a test run.

In the main screen I navigate to accounts, and decide to add a new account. The new form appears with the layout I specified.
Then I enter as city “Rhenen” (an error should appear) and as email adress, my email adress (the account name should be set). Nothing happens.

Perhaps the rule is activated when I press the save button.
No luck either, a required field message appears indicating that I have to enter the account name. Appearantly the business rules do not fire!

I enter a name for account name, press save once again and hope for the best…..

6  9  8

The record is saved and I can open it from the list. Whatever I try, my business rules are not firing. This is a serious flaw!

How can I build solid mobile business applications using the standard Mobile CRM client. On the other hand, other features work like a charm. E.g. when I click the city, a bing map appears showing a map which is really neat.

Final thoughts for today

Short recap: no scripting possibilities on form events, business rules are not firing.

With these limitations I cannot build serious business applications using the standard Mobile CRM client. Am I missing something?
I can live with the fact that I cannot do custom scripting. However I cannot live with the fact that I cannot apply business rules on my forms.
I wouldn’t have minded if I only could apply forms based business rules.

Therefor my question still remains: “Am I missing something?”

More to follow soon…

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