Navigation Configuration Using SiteMap
The Web application for Microsoft CRM 3.0 includes a new navigation model. To support this, the organization entity includes a new attribute site map that defines the navigation structure for the application. This provides an important element of customization to the system as entities are added and renamed or as additional pages are added to the system. In addition, it allows end users to customize their Workplace navigation structure by selecting profiles, which are groupings of application pages defined in the site map, using a configuration UI. With the site map, you can control the entire navigation structure and precise placement and order of pages within the application navigation structure.
You can place custom entities into the navigation structure using the Customize Entities area in the Web application by selecting the primary location, such as Workplace, Sales, Marketing, or Service. However, this does not allow you to control the precise placement within the area. For example, using the Customization tools, you cannot control the order that the new entity will appear under Sales. For more information, see "Export or import customized entities, templates, or navigation" in the Microsoft 3.0 online Help.
The default navigation structure is shown in the diagram below.
The Web application creates an in-memory representation of the site map by combining the three data sources shown in the following diagram.
The user interface for the Microsoft CRM Web application is constructed from the following elements:
- The sitemapxml attribute in the organization entity.
- Navigation additions found in the isv.config.
- Custom entity information contained in the metadata database.
Note The additions to the application navigation structure described in the isv.config and in the metadata database are automatically appended to the end of the appropriate areas defined in the base Sitemap.XML. These additions lack the precise control of placement.
The site map defines the areas represented in the Web client's Navigation Pane. It also defines Workplace profiles, which are groups of sub-areas that end users can add or remove from the Workplace area using the User Settings for Workplace. The Go To menu and User Settings for the Start Page (Web client only) automatically reflect the navigation areas and sub-areas defined in the site map.
The site map does not provide configuration support for the Forms left navigation pane, nor does it make the functionality in isv.config obsolete. Continue to use isv.config to add such items as menus and buttons to the application.
The site map can be exported and imported to move your customizations between development and production environments.
The Workplace is a user-configurable area that allows the user to select from a set of profiles defined in the site map. These profiles typically will be configured to contain the most frequently used pages of the application, enabling users to create workspaces tailored to their job responsibilities.
There are two groups that are always shown in the Workplace: My Work and Customers. These contain the pages of the application that are typically used by all users of the system. Technically, these are not profiles. For more information, see Sitemap XML and SiteMap Schema.
The user can optionally add groups by selecting from a list of profiles in User Settings for the Workplace. The default profiles include:
These groups and profiles are customizable by using the site map. You can add, remove, modify, and rename profiles to best meet the needs of your users.
The areas, Workplace Groups, and sub-areas defined in the site map are reflected in the Outlook folder hierarchy under the Microsoft CRM folder. Note that the Outlook client represents the folders alphabetically; the order defined in the site map does not apply.
Legacy ISV.Config Support
Application navigation entries that use the isv.config are still supported. These entries are merged at runtime to the in-memory representation of the site map. They are appended to the end of each site map area in the order listed in the isv.config, as follows:
- For Workplace, they appear in the Extensions group.
- For the Home and Reports areas in the isv.config, for example
<Home code="home">, these are appended to the Workplace area in the site map in the Extensions group.
- If an area listed in the isv.config does not exist in the site map, such as if the Service area is removed, the corresponding navigation entries from the isv.config file are ignored.
The following list contains examples of what you can do with the site map.
- Replace the Home Page with a custom page/dashboard.
<SubArea Id="nav_home" ResourceId="Homepage_Home" Icon="/_imgs/area/18_home.gif" Url="url to dashboard" Client="Web" />
- Customize Workplace profiles to better match with user responsibilities.
- Add Custom Entities and place them in the navigation where you want them.
- Remove an unused top level Area.
- Add a new top level Area.
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