Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Help

Understanding entity fields

Fields can be divided into two categories.

  • Business field. This is any standard field that comes with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. It can be customized or added to a solution. When part of a solution, a business field might be further customizable, depending on restrictions placed on the field when creating the solution.
  • Custom field. A user with the System Administrator or System Customizer security role, or equivalent permissions, can create a custom field in the customization area. You can include a custom field in a solution. A custom field might be further customizable, depending on restrictions placed on the field when it was created.

More information: Create or Edit Entity Attributes

Field data types

Choose the data type when you create an entity field. There are some predefined formatting and character limits, although some of its properties can be defined when creating the field.

Data Type


Single Line of Text

The following formats are available:

  • E-mail. This opens a new e-mail message in the default e-mail software when clicked.
  • Text. This creates a text box.
  • Text area. This creates a scrolling text box.
  • URL. This opens the URL in the user's default browser when clicked.
  • Ticker Symbol. This create a stock ticker symbol in all capital letters. Click the symbol to open information about the stock in the user's default browser. By default, the MSN Web site opens.

Option Set

Select an existing option set, or define a new one.

Two Options

After creating this field, configure it in the form to which it was added. In the form, select whether the field is displayed as option buttons (also known as radio buttons), a check box, or a list.

Whole Number

The following formats are available for this field:

  • None. The defaults are integer values between -2,147,483,648 and 2,147,483,648, although you can set different minimum and maximum values.
  • Duration. This creates a drop-down list box with values in minutes, hours, and days.
  • Time Zone. This creates a drop-down list box with options for every available time zone.
  • Language. This creates a drop-down list box with options for every language that your organization has made available for users.

Floating Point Number

Select up to 5 precision points. You can set the minimum and maximum values.

Decimal Number

Select up to 10 decimal points. You can set the minimum and maximum values.


When you add a currency field to an entity, a corresponding (Base) field is created also. The (Base) field also has a currency data type.

If the entity does not already have a field with a currency data type, two additional fields are created:

  • Currency. A lookup data type whose value must be set before you can set the value of a field with a currency data type.
  • Exchange Rate. This has a decimal number data type.

Multiple Lines of Text

This is a scrolling text box. You can set the maximum number of characters for this field.

Date and Time

There are two formats: date only, or date and time.


You can create a lookup field using an entity relationship that has already been created, but not yet used with another lookup field. If you create a lookup field in an entity form, the relationship is automatically generated. A lookup field is created as a relationship field.

Options sets

A reusable set of options is called a global option set. An option set field, also called a picklist field or a drop-down list field, uses a global option set to define its options.

Several option set fields can use one global option set. Maintain the options for all those option set fields in one place.

Each option for the option set has an assigned integer value. This assigned value includes the option value prefix. These five digits added to the front of the option value help differentiate the options created by one solution publisher from other publishers.

Installing a new managed solution with an option set that is already installed updates the existing option set for all solutions. All the options defined through the managed solution are available for use in any solution. If you uninstall a managed solution that modified an option set that was previously available to your organization, the settings for the option set return to what they were before the installation.

Field level security

Field level security applies security roles to control the permission of users and teams to read, create, or write in a field.

Field security that you set works in all clients, including the Web client, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for Microsoft Office Outlook, and Mobile Express.

Only a user with the System Customizer or System Administrator security roll, or equivalent permissions, can apply security roles to fields.

Field security applies to all components, including reports, search, offline, filtered views, auditing, and duplicate detection. More information: Controlling Data Access

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