How to Use Advanced Find in Dynamics 365 (CRM)
Advanced Find is a powerful way to find any data you are looking for in Dynamics 365 CRM solutions. Once you understand the basics, you’ll be able to develop a query, establish filters, adjust the columns, and even export to Excel.
You may be using Advanced Find via the older “classic” interface, or via the new “modern” interface (aka, advanced filters), which started rolling out in 2022 Release Wave 1. Determine if you have modern Advanced Find. Below are instructions for both.
Classic Advanced Find
Note: There are now 5 different Dynamics 365 apps that serve various CRM needs. In some contexts, you may also see those products referred to as “Customer Engagement” or “CE” apps. Advanced Find works the same no matter which of those apps you’re using.
Advanced Find Video
If you prefer video instructions, you can watch this overview of Advanced Find in D365.
How to Know Whether You Have Modern Advanced Find
When you are looking at a view, if you do not have a filter button in the very top right, you have modern Advanced Find. Jump to the modern Advanced Find instructions.
How to Use Advanced Find (Classic)
To access Advanced Find in Dynamics 365, using the classic interface, click on the funnel icon in the upper right.
Step 1: Look For
The first thing to do in setting up your query is to set the “Look for” field to whatever you want to report on.This is an important decision, as you will be able to add columns of data from this entity, as well as entities this record is a child to in a one-to-many (1:N) relationship. You will generally want to select the most granular detail for this.
An example would be Account and Cases. If I want to see data from Cases and pull some specific information about the Account associated with a Case, I would set the “Look for” to Case, not Account.
Step 2: View
Once the Look for is set, you will need to determine the View to be used for the base filtering. When selecting this, you will have options of
- [new] (which has no previously defined filtering logic),
- any existing System Views, or
- Personal Views (more on this later)
Step 3: Filtering Logic
With Use Saved View selected, the filtering logic will be the next thing to define. If you click the Select button, you will see you can select any field from the entity selected for the Look for (above) as well as related records.
Depending on what is selected for the initial field, your next step will be defining the filter clause, such as Equals, Contains, or Begins With.
Below is a basic example where I want to see Cases (Look for = Cases), without an initial filter applied (Use Saved View = [new]), where the “Created On” field is set to “On or After” the beginning of the year:
Additional filters can be applied by clicking the Select button and continuing the build-out.
An item to note on this is if you add additional filters, Advanced Find will treat them as “AND” scenarios — meaning criteria X must be met AND criteria Y must be met. So, in the example below, the query would return all Cases where the Created On date is On or After the beginning of the year AND the Owner equals Current User:
If your query needs to leverage “OR” functionality, Advanced Find can do this as well. Using the query from above, say we want to return a result set where the Created On is On or After the beginning of the year OR the Owner equals Current User. To do this, click on the small down arrow adjacent to each filter, and select the Select Row option.
With each row selected, click on the Group OR button. This will update the filter with the OR scenario. Also note, there is an option for Group AND, so if you need nested AND/OR functions, you can do this:
Step 4: Edit Columns
To review and/or edit the columns in the Advanced Find query, click on the Edit Columns button:
In the Edit Columns window, you can click to Add Columns. Keep in mind, you can add fields directly from the “Look for” entity initially selected (in this scenario, Cases), as well as fields from any parent entity (such as Account, Contact, User, etc.).
Step 5: Results
Once the columns have been selected, in the Advanced Find window, you can click on the red exclamation point (Results) to run the query. You may find it necessary to revise the columns and filtering logic before finalizing.
Step 6: Save As
Once you have your Advanced Find query complete, click on the Save As button to assign a name to your Personal View. This Personal View will be available to select from your View selector on the “Look for” entity (Cases), as well as in Advanced Find in Use Saved View.
This saving feature is important — don’t overlook it! You’ve spent the time to develop your query, and this will keep you from having to recreate it each time you need this data!
Those are the basic steps to complete an Advanced Find query.
Other Functions in the Classic Advanced Find Pop-Up Window
Advanced Find is a powerful ad hoc query tool, and there are features which users often overlook in the pop-up window, like creating, deleting, and merging records.
Note: Because modern Advanced Find does not create a pop-up window, you can do all the functions below without any special instructions in the modern interface.
Add New Record in Advanced Find (Classic)
Clicking on the New button will open a blank form for the entity you are running the Advanced Find for. This will allow you to create a new record directly from Advanced Find.
This feature will allow you to delete one or more records. To use this feature, select the record(s) you would like to delete. With the record(s) selected, the Delete button will become available.
After the Delete button is selected, the system will prompt you with a final warning regarding the deletion. Proceed carefully.
Get our advice on bulk deleting records in D365 CRM solutions.
There may be times when you need to update multiple records. While the system provides an option to import a file for this update, sometimes it is just easier to do it manually.
To use this feature, select the record(s) you would like to edit. With the record(s) selected, the Edit button will become available. After the Edit button is selected, the system will open a window for the record where the edits can be made.
Depending on how your Duplicate Detection rules are established, there are inevitably times when duplicate records are created. Instead of deleting a specific record, Dynamics 365 allows users to merge these records. When merging records, make sure you are aware of which record is your master record, and which record will become deactivated.
If/when a business process requires you to share records with other users or a Team, this can be done from within Advanced Find. This is extremely helpful when you need to share multiple records at once. To use this feature, select the record(s) you would like to share. With the record(s) selected, the Share button will become available. After the Share button is selected, the system will open the standard window for record sharing.
If records need to be reassigned, this function can be performed from within Advanced Find. To use this feature, select the record(s) you would like to re-assign. With the record(s) selected, the Assign button will become available. After the Assign button is selected, the system will open the standard window for record assignment.
Excel Export in Classic Advanced Find
This feature allows you to take the dataset returned by an Advanced Find query and export it to Excel.
A common scenario for Excel export is for calculations or ad hoc charts not captured in Dynamics 365. If you plan on using this functionality, consider using the Dynamic options, as you can refresh the Excel file with updated data from Dynamics 365.
How to Use Modern Advanced Find
“Under the hood,” modern Advanced Find in Dynamics 365 still functions almost exactly the same as the previous edition, but it is accessed and labelled differently. You may also hear this functionality referred to as “advanced filters.”
- Click the big search box in the top ribbon to access modern Advanced Find.
- Select the blue text that drops down, saying “Search for rows in a table using advanced filters.”
- Choose your table (entity) from the list that will pop up. Then click Continue.
- Enter your filter criteria on the table you have selected, and click Apply.
- A view will appear with records that fit your filter criteria. This is denoted by the asterisk on the view name.
Save View in Modern Advanced Find
Select the drop down next to the view title.To save the view, select “Save as a new view” from the dropdown. Then you can choose the new view’s name.
Add, Edit, Merge, Share, or Assign Records in Modern Advanced Find
You can add, edit, merge, share, or assign records while using modern Advanced Find the same way you do normally in your Dynamics 365 CRM solution.
That is because modern Advanced Find does not create a pop-up window. Instead, it filters the data you see in the normal window, and the interface doesn’t change.
Edit, Share, Assign, Hide, or Deactivate View
To manage an Advanced Find view, by editing, sharing, assigning, or deactivating it, click the view name and select “Manage and share views” from the dropdown.
Then in the popup, click the 3 dots near the center right, and simply pick your option.Note that personal views will have an icon to differentiate them from system views.
To hide a view, just select the eye icon to the left of the view name. Select that icon again to unhide a view.
To update columns in a view, select Edit columns near the top right here:
To save those changes, select the drop down next to the view name and select Save changes to the current view or Save as new view
Export Modern Advanced Find View to Excel
Exporting to Excel is done from the top ribbon’s “Export to Excel” button. Note that in modern Advanced Find you must save the view before exporting it.
Limitations of Modern Advanced Find
- Schema names are not visible when selecting columns to add.
- Downloading FetchXML is not present. A workaround is to use the XRM Toolbox to attain the FetchXML.
Note that the product is constantly being improved by Microsoft, so these limitations may well be fixed in upcoming release waves. For instance, you may have heard that exporting data from modern Advanced Find to Excel requires saving a view first, but that’s no longer true.
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There is also new feature: you can now search for a view within a list of views
If you have any questions about using Advanced Find in Dynamics 365 CRM solutions, please contact us.
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