Improved D365 Advanced Find for Related Entities

They are familiar requests but Microsoft Dynamics 365 has struggled to quickly answer these type of questions in an advanced find:

  • How many leads don’t have scheduled activities?
  • Which accounts don’t have any contacts associated?
  • What active cases don’t have activities?
  • How many of my accounts don’t have an opportunity?

Let’s focus on the first one.

Marketing teams want to know leads are being followed up and nurtured so it will be useful to identify any active leads without a scheduled activity.

Without a reminder task there is greater risk of a lead being forgotten.

To avoid this it will be useful to have view in D365 to monitor.

In earlier versions, an advanced query for leads referenced activities as a related entity but this would only find data containing this criteria.

Extra query lines could be added but still Dynamics would only look for leads with activities.

What about active leads where there isn’t a scheduled activity?

Without this type of rule in the advanced find interface, users might look at an add-on option, or build a marketing list using rules in multiple steps to find this information.

Alternatively, a developer might look to customise the FetchXML to fit this purposes.

Does Not Contain Data Rule for Related Entities

That’s why it is good to see that D365 v9 offers a new solution to help users. One that will find matching records for the above queries and similar advanced find examples.

As shown below, Dynamics 365 no longer restricts queries for related entities to ‘contains data':

In v9, advanced find queries can now be set to ‘Does Not Contain Data’ for related activities.

In the above example, D365 will find open leads owned by current user where an any activity isn’t associated.

This query has immediately identified several matching leads that don’t have any activity:

This is a much improved solution for these type of queries but there remains some limitations.

That’s because when the ‘Does Not Contain Data’ rule is set for the related entity it removes and blocks any additional filters at this level:

In this example, it might have been useful to narrow the query by searching for leads that do not have any activities scheduled within the next 60 days.

However, as the screenshot shows above, no further lines can be added to filter the activities entity beyond the ‘Does Not Contain Data’ rule.

Overall, a very positive development and we look forward to seeing further improvements in upcoming releases!

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