Lookup Fields Auto Complete Search

September 16, 2010

Lookup Fields Auto Complete Search

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Lookup fields have an Auto Complete feature. This means that instead of opening the Lookup window or using the Form Assistant, you can start writing a value within the Lookup field, and when you take the focus away from the field, the Auto Complete will try to resolve the matching records according to the value typed.

If no record can be resolved, the Lookup will show a red error sign.

Lookup field Auto Complete no options

If more than one record was resolved, a yellow warning sign will appear. Clicking the yellow sign will display all the resolved values and allow you to select the correct record.

Lookup field Auto Complete Multiple options

If one record was resolved, the Lookup field value will fill up automatically with this record primary attribute value (usually, the record name).

This is commonly known time saving feature, that helps users look up records without opening new window or even the Form Assistant. By the way, you can use the asterisk search operator here too.

But did you know the Auto Complete feature can search on additional fields other than the record name?

For example, suppose you want to lookup a Contact by his email address. If the email attribute of the Contact entity is defined as a search field in the Contact entity Lookup view, you can just type the Contact’s email address (assuming the Contacts email field contains a value) and the Auto Complete will resolve the Contact’s name according to the email value and will fill the field automatically.

It is not a good practice to define too many search fields, as it will impact the SQL performance eventually. Find out your users common search criteria and stick to that.  

In order to define a search field, follow these steps:

1. Open the Contact entity lookup view in Forms & Views

Define search field 

2. Select the email field, save the view and publish the entity

Select email as a search field

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