Recently viewed records and views in Microsoft CRM 2016

Recently viewed records is a concept which has been in Dynamics CRM for a while, since 2011 in fact. It’s a really useful feature and one I use regularly, but I hadn’t paid much attention to the details of it until someone asked me how many records it shows.

In CRM 2015 Update 1 and later, it’s possible to view a global list of recently viewed records by selecting the icon in the header bar:

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When you select it, you are presented with 2 lists – ‘Recent Views’ and ‘Recent Records’.

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It shows the last 40 records and last 10 views, most recent at the top. It’s slightly annoying that the recent records are presented in one column as it means you have to scroll down to see earlier ones. It would be an improvement if they were presented in multiple columns to minimise scrolling.

In Microsoft CRM 2013 and onwards, it’s possible to see recently viewed records for a specific entity. You access this by selecting the drop down next to the entity name in the breadcrumb trail in the header bar. The screen below shows doing that from a view of contacts:

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You can also select the entity specific recent records when you are viewing a record for that entity, by selecting the same place in the header breadcrumb trail:

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It shows a maximum of 20 records, with the most recently viewed in the top left, the next one below that etc., in columns of up 6 records. There are no recent views displayed in the entity specific one.

It’s worth noting that the entity specific recent records just shows any records for that entity in the global recent list. So, for example, if I had 10 recently viewed contacts occupying positions 31 to 40 on the global list (1 being the most recently viewed), and no other contacts on the list of 40. I would see those 10 contacts on the contact specific recently viewed list. If I then viewed 10 account records which were not already on the global list, the 10 contacts drop off the bottom of the global list. If I then went back into the entity specific recent contacts list, I would see no recently viewed contacts. This functionality is a little counterintuitive and means that the entity specific recently viewed records could be a little redundant, as the global recently viewed list shows an amalgamation of all the entity specific recently viewed records. The global list is available from anywhere in CRM and takes only 1 click, plus potentially a little scrolling to see records further down the list, so is often a little easier to get to than the entity specific one.

It is also possible to pin specific records and views to the global list. Simply select the push pin:

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The record or view then moves to the top of the list and a line separates pinned and unpinned items. The push pin shows vertically next to each pinned item:

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The pinned items are displayed in alphabetical order, and are included in the list of 40 records, e.g. if you pinned 10 records, then the recently viewed unpinned items would show the last 30 items viewed.

You may run into issues with records not remaining on the pinned list when using Internet Explorer. They sometimes drop off when you log out of CRM and back in again. These issues are not apparent when using either Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

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