Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Update 1 (code named Carina) brings a lot of new great functionalities, in this post the new theming functionality is presented.
Event though not essential when customizing CRM to the customer’s specific needs (traditionally getting they’re business specific processes up and running would the main thing), I lost count on how many times this was requested by customers.
It seems theming plays a key role for customers to feel they have something of their own, rather than just another standard OOB solution.
On previous versions changing CRM “css” was highly unadvisable, not to bluntly say unsupported.
Well, now the functionality is there.
Setting a new Theme
There is a new “Themes” option available in Settings > Customizations:
Users can set new themes, clone from existing themes and finally publish themes.
Only one theme can be set as default, and AFAIK there it is not possible to define different themes for different users, but the customization options are pretty much aligned to make this a reality, probably it will come out on a “Update 2”.
Previewing: Users can also preview the theme they are setting, as per button in image above:
- This will set a cookie that allows the user to use this theme for a set time before it reverts (how long is the “set time”? It seems to be a secret of the gods for now. If anyone knows the answer feel free to share it in the comments area).
- Previewing or publishing a new theme resets it. Erasing cookies will erase this as well.
Last, but not least, a theme allows for the following to be configured (more details on each configuration option can be found in the next section):
What Changes can be done to the UI?
- Logo Tooltip
- Navigation Bar Colour
- Navigation Bar Shelf Colour
- Header Colour: This affects main navigation bar as well as view and form navigation bars, as per images below:
More details can be found here (this link is actually on the theme entity itself (useful if a developer wants to query / further enhance themes with automation, but also provides a god description on what each configuration setting means).
Example Custom Theme
Below are some example images on how a custom theme could look like in CRM 2015 Update 1.
Tips, Tricks and Recommendations
Below some tips, tricks and recommendations on themes:
Primarily for Branding:
- Logos, Main Navigation.
- Adjusting Accent colours only: Hover colours, Selection colours.
- Not designed to alter CRM UI drastically: The theming is designed to make colour changes and not to drastically alter the CRM UI.
- Core CRM Icons are not exposed to theming this release, and some are legacy (i.e. still are 2011 icons and will continue to use the default colour for hover effects.
- Beware of colour contrast. The OOB theme has the correct contrast ratios to ensure optimal usability, consider them as a basis for your custom themes.
- High contrast mode will always be using the default colour settings.
Ohh…and one more thing… 🙂, Microsoft has a nice little video on all the above here: Theming with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1.
Stay tuned, more posts to come on 2015’s Update 1 and its new functionalities.