Advanced Development for RapidStart CRM plus, or Dynamics 365. Part 7

Cleaning Up

Now it is time to cleanup any previous customizations you have done before following the steps in this series. If you have not done any prior customizations you can skip this post. 

Unfortunately, even though their own guidance is to use solutions, Microsoft gives you the ability to do customizations without them. I guess they did not want to burden “Citizens” with best practices guardrails. 

Doing your customizations inside of a solution like “My Customizations” is neat and organized, otherwise you are facing the opposite. One challenge is just finding them. This post will show you how to do that. The goal will be to locate any previous customizations and add them to our “My Customizations” solution. Warning, this can be tedious.

To begin, we’ll go back to https://make.powerapps.com/

Ensure you are in the correct environment, select solutions in the sidebar, and double-click on your “My Customizations” solution to open it. 

We going to be using the “Add Existing” capability to locate and add all prior customizations. If you already know what was done, this will be a snap, otherwise “buckle up”. In my demo environment I created one field on Account and one field on Contact that are outside of the “My Customizations” solution, so we’re gonna find them and add them.

We’ll start with the lost account field as I had previously added account to our solution and we just need to add the lost field to it. So we’ll click on the three dots and select “Open”.

With the Account object open, we’ll click on “Add Existing”

Across the top are all of the items related to the Accounts table. We are looking for a field so I will select “Columns”. To make sure I don’t miss any, I will sort the “Managed Externally” column from Z-A. This will pop to the top any “unmanaged fields”. I can see my “Lost Field”, and any other “lost” fields. I’ll tick it and click “Add”. When we do this kind of cleanup for customers, where we don’t really know what customizations may have been made, we will go each of the areas across the top, sort and capture any unmanaged components. We have to do this for every item in the system, and if you don’t know for sure what has been done previously, you should do this also. So now we will do the same for that lost contact field, but since we don’t have the Contact object in our solution yet, we have to take a slightly different path. Go back to your “My Customizations” solution.

Select “Add Existing” and in the dropdown select “Table”.

Scroll down and select the “Contact” table and click “Next”.

Once again, NEVER select “Include all objects”. Instead click the “Select Objects” link

Similar to the lost account field above, I will select the Columns area and sort the “Managed externally” column Z-A and see my lost field. I”ll tick it and add it. You may have to click “Add” twice.

You can now see that the Contact object has been added to our solution, but it only contains the one field we added.

Summary

In this Part 7 we went on a scavenger hunt for unmanaged items to add to our “My Customizations” solution. At this point your Sandbox should be quite tidy. In part 8, we will go over exporting and importing solutions to bring this tidiness to your production environment.

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