I have created a custom entity entitled "Funding Request". I want to add a field that allows users to select multiple products from a list. My first thought is to go into the Fields interface and create a new Pick List and look for the option that allows users to choose multiple items, but the option is not there. It is there in SharePoint, but for some reason it is not here in CRM. CRM 2013 and still no multiple selection list. What?!

So instead, I have to use this infuriating workaround. Hrrmph…

  1. Create a custom entity for your list.
  2. Create an N:N relationship between your list entity and your main entity, i.e. in my case my list entity is "Products Used" and my main entity is "Funding Request".
  3. Populate List Entity.
  4. Go to your main entity form and add the list entity as a Sub-Grid.

Okay. Let’s do this…

Create List Entity

  • Navigate to CRM -> Settings -> Customization
  • Select Entities and choose New.
  • In this example, I created an entity for my list called "Products Used", not to be confused with the CRM Entity "Product".
  • Select an area to display your entity in so that you can add values. In this case I choose "Settings" so that my list entity does not appear in the main navigation.
  • Under Communication & Collaboration, I unchecked everything, because this is meant to be used only as a select list.
  • You may want to change the "Display Name" of the Name field for this list to better represent the list entity you are creating, i.e. I renamed mine to "Product Name". You can do this by clicking on Fields and double-clicking the Name field.
  • Please Note: You will need to Publish this customization before you can add items to the list

Create N:N Relationship between Main Entity and List Entity

  • Navigate to CRM -> Settings -> Customization.
  • Expand Entities.
  • Locate your new List Entity ("Products Used" in my case) and expand it.
  • Select N:N Relationships and choose New Many-to-Many Relationship.
  • Set Current Entity to your Entity List (in my case "Products Used") and Other Entity to your Main Entity (in my case "Funding Request").

Populate List Entity

  • Once you have published your customizations, you can populate your List Entity with the values you want in your multi-select list.
  • In this case, I went to CRM -> Settings and selected Products Used.
  • Then I added a new item for each list item.

Add the List Entity to Main Entity Form as a Sub Grid

  • Navigate to CRM -> Settings -> Customization.
  • Expand Entities.
  • Locate your new Main Entity (in my case "Funding Request") and expand it.
  • Select Forms and choose Main.
  • Click the Insert Tab and choose Sub-Grid.

  • A Set Properties dialog will display. First, change the Entity to your Custom List entity (in my case "Products Used").
  • Set the default view. I defaulted mine to "Active Products Used".
  • If you want them to have the option of changing the view, then turn View Select to "On". I left mine "Off", because I only want them selecting from Active Products.
  • If your list is long, you can select "Display Search Box" to allow the user to search for a specific item.

  • You can click the formatting tab to determine how many columns the Sub-Grid spans.

  • Choose Set when you are finished.

Don’t forget to publish your customizations. J

The result? Yes, it did seem like more work than necessary.