Armanino Blog

Dynamics CRM Custom Entity Options

February 08, 2016

When we create Dynamics CRM custom entities, there are a number of options which are enabled by default. Most users do not realize the impact of these options on the overall CRM system. The purpose of this post is to shed further light upon some of these options so you can make better decisions about when (or if) to utilize them.

First, let's look at a new organization-owned custom entity with NO options selected. It begins life with 16 fields, five 1:N relationships and five N:1 relationships. If you change the entity's ownership to user or team, that adds three fields (for a total of 19) and three new N:1 relationships (for a total of 8). This might not seem like a massive change, but simply choosing to use organization ownership reduces system-wide complexity (especially when MANY custom entities are involved). If your business requirements permit it, sticking to organization-level ownership may also make it easier for users to interact with the new entity.

Limiting the number of non-essential options helps to make your Dynamics CRM environment clean and easy to use. The following options can all be turned on after creating your custom entity if a need for that functionality should arise; however, most cannot be turned off once the entity has been created. (The three options listed in italics are all enabled by default, but might not be necessary depending upon your requirements.)

Business Process Flows

This option adds two fields to the entity (processed and stageid) as well as an N:1 relationship pointing to the Process Stage entity. This also updates the entity's forms by adding the Process Flows section to the top of all forms.


This option updates the notes entity by adding a new relationship for your custom entity. It also adds a single 1:N relationship to your custom entity which points to the Notes entity. By default, this is checked. We suggest that you uncheck it if users will not need to attach notes/files for your custom entity.


This option creates many additional 1:N relationships for your custom entity... one for each activity type in the system (nine OOB, not including any custom activity types). Those relationships allow you to set the Regarding field on activities which are relevant to your custom entity. However, if activities are not necessary/relevant for your custom entity, we suggest that you uncheck this option.


This option adds two 1:N relationships to Connections entity, one for "To Connections" and one for "From Connections" with both pointing to your custom entity. It is fairly unlikely that you will actually need this functionality for custom entities, so we suggest that you uncheck this option when creating your custom entity. Remember that you can always re-enable it if necessary.

Sending Email

If you enable this option after creating the entity and you already have a plain text field with the format set to email, that field will be used. Otherwise, a text field entitled emailaddress (without any solution-specific prefix) will be added to your custom entity. In addition, it adds a 1:N relationship to the Activity Party entity. This option is pretty cool as it can be used to allow custom entities to be senders and recipients of CRM email.

Mail Merge

This can be turned on or off at any time and does not appear to update the schema.

Document Management

This can be turned on or off at any time. However, if enabled it adds a new 1:N relationship to the Document Locations entity. Turning it off later does not remove this relationship.

Access Teams

This option adds a single 1:N relationship to the Team entity. It can be enabled or disabled at any time; however, disabling it will not remove the relationship. (Note that this option is not compatible with organization-owned entities.)


This option updates the Queue Item entity by adding a single 1:N relationship to Queue Item.

Discover more CRM troubleshooting, updates, and tips like these helpful insights into Dynamics CRM custom entities in the CRM  resources.

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