Dynamics 365

Tools to Help You Be A Super System Admin: Global Search

Posted by Heidi Neuhauser

Part 3 of our series “Tools to Help You Be a Super System Admin” brings us to global search within Dynamics 365. Global search is a powerful tool for your users and allows them to search through a number of tables (entities) for a specific term. As a System Administrator, there are two things you can do to help your users utilize global search to its fullest capabilities:

  1. Add or remove tables (entities).
  2. Change fields that are displayed after a user performs a global search.

In this blog, we will walk through how to do both of these.

Add/Remove Tables (Entities) from Global Search

Make sure global search uses the appropriate tables. By default, things like User is turned on for global search, which isn’t often a useful table for your users.

Updating your tables (entities) is in your system settings area – so you’ll need to access the Settings menu to make any changes. To do this, click the gear icon in the top right-hand corner of Dynamics 365 (highlighted below) and select Advanced Settings.

Access Advanced Settings in Dynamics 365 to update global search settings.
Access Advanced Settings.

There are four simple steps to make changes to what powers your global search:

1. Switch to Classic! In Settings, navigate to the Administration tab.

From settings, navigate to Administration.
Settings > Administration

2. Select System Settings, which will pop up a new window.

Select System Settings (highlighted in image).
Select System Settings (highlighted in image).

3. It will open on the General tab, which is where you can update search settings. Scroll down until you see the Set up Search section (highlighted below). Click the Select button (highlighted and circled below).

Set up search lives on the General tab of your System Settings area.
Set up search lives on the General tab of your System Settings area.

Pro tip! This change is system-wide. Any entities that are added or removed by this process will effect all users.

4. A new Select Entities window will pop up. Use the arrows to add or remove tables/entities from global search. When complete, click OK.

Use the Add and Remove buttons in the center to update entities/tables for global search.
Use the Add and Remove buttons in the center to update entities/tables.

Change Fields Displayed After a User Performs a Search

Only three fields are shown in the search results screen for each entity/table. Some of the default fields are less helpful than others and can lead to results that look like this:

Sample global search results.
Sample global search results.

“—” isn’t a terribly useful piece of data for my users. So let’s fix that, shall we?!

To change the fields displayed here, you need to update the Quick Find View for each table (entity). The first three columns in your view is what will be displayed – in order.

  1. Add the Quick Find View for the table (entity) to your solution file.
  2. Simply add/remove columns (fields) and put them in a specific order – remember the first three columns are the important ones!
  3. Publish your changes!

It’s as simple as that! Use meaningful columns for your users – like phone number or email address for Contacts.

The 10 Tools

Here are the tools we will review in the entire series:

  1. Managing Business Settings
  2. Security Model Tools
  3. Global Search
  4. Table (Entity) Search
  5. Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
  6. UI Controls
  7. Model-driven Apps
  8. Field Mapping
  9. Business Rules
  10. XrmToolBox Tools

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