Let’s talk about a very under-utilized tool in your System Administrator toolkit: field mapping.
What does field mapping do in CRM?
Field mapping (or mapping entity fields) lets you to map attributes between entities that have an entity relationship. It’s a tool that allows you to eliminate end users to enter data in multiple places.
Some parts of Dynamics 365 are already set up with some out-of-the-box mapping. A great example that’s in your system today is on Lead Qualification. When you Qualify a Lead, some of your field values automatically (or auto-magically!) map over to your Opportunity. The tooling behind this magic is field mapping.
To illustrate how field mapping could work, let’s use a simple example.
Your organization is capturing Lead Type on the lead form and also asking for users to select Opportunity Type on the opportunity form. Even though it’s using the same values (Commercial/Industrial or Residential), it is two separate fields that users have to enter.
To simplify the user experience, you can edit the relationship between Lead and Opportunity, apply field level mapping and have the Lead Type value automatically move over to Opportunity Type when the lead is qualified.
How can I add my own custom field mapping?
First thing’s first: It can only be applied at the Classic Solution Designer. If you’re a Dynamics 365 Online customer, for now you’ll need to Switch to Classic to set this up.As of November 8, 2021.
1. In a solution file in your Sandbox environment, add the appropriate relationship (1:N or N:1). If a relationship does not yet exist between the two entities, you will have to build one. In the below screen shot, we are editing the Lead to Opportunity relationship. On the left-hand side, click the Mappings icon:
2. This opens up a new window where you can create mapping from Lead to Opportunity (or which ever entities you have selected). The left-hand column shows all fields eligible to be mapped from the Source Entity (in our example, the Lead). The right-hand column shows all fields for the Target Entity (in our example, the Opportunity). Select the appropriate field(s) and click OK.
3. Once you’ve published changes to the relationship in Sandbox, have your user group log in and test to ensure this is all working as you expected it to. With their approval, go ahead and move these changes into Production and celebrate the magic you created!
Field Mapping Rules
With all features like this, I think it is extremely important to share the rules and lessons learned. Here are a few things you should know about field level mapping before you get started:
- Fields must be the same type and format.
- Length of the Target field must be equal or greater than the length of the Source field.
- You can only apply field level mapping to a field one time.
- This will not work with hidden fields: the source field must be visible on the form.
- For Option Sets to be mapped, they will need to have matching integer values (not just matching text!)
(Global option sets make this simple!)
More Information / Help with Field Mapping
If you need any help with field mapping, feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to help if you have questions or get stuck. You can also check out this user guide from Microsoft documentation. Happy mapping!
The 10 Tools
Here are the tools we will review in the entire series: