Classify It with the Subject Tree

August 26, 2010

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Classify It with the Subject Tree

The Subjects Tree in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 helps classifying records to subjects. Classifying records allows users to easily find data and can be used to produce quality reports. Out of the box, the Subjects Tree is used to classify Cases, Products, Sales Literature and Knowledge Articles.

Many legacy applications use a combination of 3 related combo fields to fully classify records. This force the user to go through a long series of clicks which usually ends with meaningful value in the first field and random data in the other (which means low quality reports). Many users don’t see the purpose of this time consuming process which cramp their performance statistics.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Subjects Tree a great improvement: it allows the user to navigate down a tree to select one subject or to just write it (if they know the subject name) using auto-complete feature of the Lookup field.

I have only recently discovered the the Subject entity (representing the Subjects tree)  can be related to other entities via N:1 relationship (1 Subject tree to many other entity records) The opposite relation is not available. I am not sure if this type of relation was always available or was added in one of the rollup packages.

This means almost any business entity (custom entities included) can be related to the Subject Tree. Once you have related the Subject Tree to another entity, added the Subject Lookup to the related entity form and published, clicking the Subject lookup will open the subject tree.
Actually, you can related entities to the Subject Tree in more than one relation, allowing the subjects tree to be used more than once on the same record.

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