Learn how to work and get around in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

 

Updated: November 1, 2016

Applies To: Dynamics Marketing

System_CAPS_importantImportant

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is scheduled to be retired on May 15, 2018. After that date the service will no longer be available. Please plan accordingly. For details, see the blog post Microsoft Dynamics Marketing service will be discontinued, and learn what’s coming next.

This topic introduces many of the common user-interface elements and working methods that you’ll use while working in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. You’ll get a basic understanding of the logic and conceptual approaches implemented by the system. Once you understand these, you should be able to gain an intuitive understanding for how to get started working with the various features and areas.

To access Dynamics Marketing, you must have an Office 365 subscription and be assigned as a Dynamics Marketing user by your Office 365 administrator. Usually, this means that you also need to have a license for Dynamics Marketing, though some limited functionality is available to non-licensed users (these are called “portal users”). However, even portal users must have an Office 365 subscription and be set up as users for your Dynamics Marketing instance.

To sign in to Dynamics Marketing, do one of the following:

  • Sign in to your Office 365 portal and choose Dynamics Marketing in your list of services.

  • Enter (or bookmark) the URL for your Dynamics Marketing instance into your browser. If you aren’t already signed in to Office 365, you’ll be asked to enter your Office 365 user name and password. If your credentials are accepted, you’ll be forwarded to Dynamics Marketing.

Use the bar at the top of the page to navigate between all of the various features and displays of Dynamics Marketing. The exact selection of pages available to you here will depend on your role in the system and the set of permissions set up for you by your system administrator.

Getting around in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

The navigation controls are as follows:

  • Breadcrumb and navigator drop-down: To open the navigator, choose the text label to the right of the home button in the navigation bar. (The label here is a 2-level breadcrumb, which indicates the area and category in which you are currently working.)

  • Application areas: The main areas of the application are represented by this row of colorful tiles. Select a tile to view the categories and features associated with a given area.

  • Feature categories: The various features are grouped by category. The category names are shown here.

  • Feature icons: Choose an icon to go to a specific feature. (Usually, this brings you to a list page, which you can use to find and open the maintenance page for a specific record.)

  • Scroll arrows: In some areas, the menu might be wider than your screen; in this case, you can scroll using the arrows on the left and right side of the menu. Try also to use your mouse scroll wheel to scroll here.

  • Home button: Choose the home button to go to your home page, which you can populate with a customized collection of graphical widgets (see below).

In most cases, the first thing you will see when you navigate to a feature is its list page, which resembles a spreadsheet. Each row represents an individual record in the database, with the content of each record summarized in the displayed columns. From here you can search, sort, filter, group, create, copy and delete records—and more. You can also customize the set of columns displayed and adjust their widths. List pages are useful both for finding a specific record and for analyzing groups of records. For some features, you can edit records directly on the list page, but in most cases you will need to open the maintenance page for an individual record in order to change the data it contains.

A typical list page is shown below. Note the search/filter area, the column filter and the toolbar.

List-page features

  • Search and Filter: The search form searches in all data fields at once to find matching records. Most (but not all) list pages also provide a Filter link here; choose it to open a form in which you can search for specific types of values (such as status or start date). Each page provides those filters that are most useful for a given type of list. Enter text and choose Go to search. Choose Clear to remove all custom filters, groups and search criteria.

  • Group records: To list records in groups according to values in a given column, drag a column header to the area just above the table (onto the text that says “Drag a column header and drop it here to group by that column”). Once grouped, you will be able to see the groupings and sort-direction for each group here. To stop grouping by a given column name, click and drag that column name away from this area.

  • Filter by column value: Choose the filter button at the right side of any column heading to set up a filter for values in that column. This opens a menu that includes an input field and a selection of logical operators. Enter a value and choose an operator.

  • Filtered column: The filter button turns into a funnel button for each column that has an active filter; choose the filter button to adjust or remove the filter.

  • Sort by column value: Choose any column header to sort the list according to the values of that column. Choose it again to reverse the list. An arrow button is shown to indicate which column is sorting the list and the direction of the sort.

  • Toolbar buttons: The toolbar includes several buttons that enable you to manipulate the list. For example, you can choose to see only those records that you have created or to also see records created by other users; you can add or remove columns shown in the list; you can add or remove records; and you can show or hide inactive records. Some of the functions here are available on a wide variety of view pages (summarized below), while others might be very specific to just one or a couple of pages.

  • Select boxes: Some toolbar functions only affect selected records. Mark the boxes here to select (or deselect) a record on which to operate with a toolbar button (such as delete).

  • Rearrange columns: Use drag and drop to reposition the columns relative to one another.

  • Resize columns: Click and drag the right edge of a column header to resize that column.

  • Open a record: In most cases, you can choose any column value to go to the maintenance page for the associated record. From the maintenance page, you can edit all field values, create associations, add new associated records and/or navigate to associated records.

  • Inline edit: For some types of records and fields, you are able to edit field values directly in the list view. For fields where this is supported, choose the target column value for a given record; in this case, you will be presented with an input field rather than going to the maintenance page.

The following table provides an overview of the most common toolbar icons shown on list pages (and some maintenance pages). The collection of icons provided on a given page will depend on the specific area in which you are working, but those listed below are typical. Specialized commands are also available in some areas; see the related section of this online manual for details about these.

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Several toolbar buttons act on one or more “selected records.” To select a record, mark its check box in the left-hand column; all marked records will then become targets of the toolbar operation (for example, deletion).

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Toolbar icons provide tool tips that will help you discover and remember what each button does. Hover your mouse pointer over a button to view the tip.

Toolbar button

Description

New button
New

Creates a new record.

Copy button
Copy

Creates a copy of a selected record. Your new record will open in its maintenance page, ready for editing. (You can also copy several records at once, but just one of these will be available for editing immediately afterwards.)

Recurring Copy button
Recurring Copy

Creates a copy of a selected record. Your new record will open in its maintenance page, ready for editing. (You can also copy several records at once, but just one of these will be available for editing immediately afterwards.)

Delete button
Delete

Deletes one or more selected records.

Show View All/View My button / Show View All/View My button
Show/hide other users’ records

Toggles between showing or hiding records that you do not own or did not create (records owned or created by members of any teams you are on count as your own records too). You will always be able to work with your own and your teams’ records, but your ability to work with records belonging to other users will depend on your site permissions.

Show All/Active Only button / Hide Inactive/Deleted button
Show/hide inactive

Toggles to show or hide records that are inactive or deleted. (In most cases, “deleted” records still exist in the database; they are simply marked as inactive in case they are needed later.)

Customize Columns button
Customize columns

Opens a menu that enables you to modify the selection of columns shown in the table.

Excel button
Excel

Downloads the current list as a Microsoft Excel document, enabling you to sort, format and present the data using Excel’s advanced functionality. All filters, column and view settings will be applied to the exported list (not including pagination, however--all matching records will be included in the Excel file).

Print button
Print

Prints the information you are currently looking at. For list pages, this will usually just print the current list page, just as you see it on your screen (including pagination). In other cases, this will print a formatted report of a selected record or collection of records.

Email button
Email

Sends mail to the primary email address associated with each selected record. The content of the mail will depend on the specific list page you are working with; it might start out as an addressed (but empty) message, or it might include some default text (such as the name of a job) or even a report in PDF format (such as an invoice). You may also be asked to select an email template if appropriate. In all cases, you will go to an email form in which you can edit the message, add and remove addresses, and see any generated attachments.

Upload button
Import

Starts a wizard that will help you to import records, such as marketing contacts, into the database.

Maintenance pages display all of the data belonging to a single record and enable you to edit that data. They also display related records, enable you to create new relations between existing records and to create and associate new related records.

Maintain page features

The main navigation controls are shown above. See the list below for a legend.

  • Breadcrumb: A small number of maintenance pages provide a breadcrumb display at the top of the page, which indicates a path of relations between the current record and other related records. When present, you can choose any of the parent items in the breadcrumb to navigate to that record. For example, the Task maintenance page provides a breadcrumb with links to the parent job and company records.

  • Toolbar: A few functions for working with the current record may be available here. These may include print and email functions, notes, etc.

  • Top-level tabs: Some maintenance pages provide two or three fundamental ways of viewing data about a selected record. This will typically include a tab with a summary of data values, plus maybe a tab for a graphical flowchart (such as the campaign-automation canvas) and/or a tab for posting related widgets, etc. Top-level tabs appear at the top of the page (below the title) when they are available.

  • Local data fields (shown, but not labelled, in the illustration): simple information fields that hold data about the current record. Though often important, the data in this type of field are typically not part of any advanced functionality.

  • Required fields: fields marked with a red asterisk are required. You will not be able to save the record unless all of the required fields hold valid values.

  • Related data fields: these look like standard, local data fields, but they actually link to a record from another data table. Typical examples of this type of field include the name of an existing company, contact, campaign, etc. associated with the current record. Fields of this type must hold a matching value from the related table (or be blank if they are not required). Values that do not match a current value from the related table will be rejected.

    • You can tell a related field by hovering your mouse over the field label; if the field relates to another table, the field label will show an underline on hover.

    • Choose the label of a related field to go to the related table; if the field already contains a value, you will go to the maintenance page for that record; if the field currently has no value, you will go to a form to create a new record in the related table.

    • Related data fields include a type-ahead lookup feature. Therefore, if you start typing in a related-data field, you will begin to see matching values displayed as suggestions. If you are not sure what to type, try typing “%%” to see a list of all available values.

  • Time and date input controls: Data fields expecting time and/or date values provide these controls, which provide a pop-up calendar or time picker. These controls are fast to use and ensure that your values are entered using the correct format.

  • Drop-down list values: These provide a limited set of values to choose from. In many cases, you can customize the choices shown in a given drop-down to match the values required by your business. See Create custom drop-down values and folders for details about how to customize the values shown here.

  • Fold-down section: Some types of records include a large number of data fields. For these, we have nested the more specialized fields under fold-down sections to organize them and keep them out of the way. Choose the fold-down arrow to open or close these sections (when present).

  • Related-information tabs: Near the bottom of most maintenance pages you will see a dotted horizontal line below which you will find a drop-down list and several related controls (such as a toolbar, search form, record list, etc.). There you can find records that are related to the currently displayed record. Use the drop-down list to navigate between related-record types. We often refer to this control as a “tab” rather than a drop-down list because it completely replaces all of the content below the dotted line. For example, if you are looking at the maintenance page for a campaign, choose the Tasks tab to see and create tasks that are related to the current campaign, choose the Email tab to read and create emails related to the campaign, etc. These tabs can provide a wide range of functionality; for example, some tabs feature controls that work very much like a list page, while others provide graphical tools and analysis features.

  • Submit/Save/Cancel: These buttons either save or discard your unsaved edits. Use Submit to save your changes and go back to the last view you had open; use Save to save your edits and remain on the current page; use Cancel to discard your changes. In some cases, you must save your record first before you can submit it (thus reloading the page with more information that you need to consider before continuing).

  • User-defined fields (not shown): User-defined fields (UDFs) are created by your site administrator to help customize Dynamics Marketing for the business needs of your specific organization. When present, these typically appear near the bottom of the main field set, but they are otherwise not special. For details about how to create UDF fields, please see Configure user defined fields.

Use the home page and side dock to customize Dynamics Marketing so that it takes you directly to those features and data that are most important to you in your day-to-day work.

Every time you log in to Dynamics Marketing, you will arrive at your home page, which you can customize using any number of specialized widgets. These provide charts, tables, lists and/or maps that give a quick overview of those areas of Dynamics Marketing that are most important and relevant for you. You can arrange your home page using easy drag-and-drop operations and also change and configure your collection of widgets at any time. You can filter your data, drill down on a record, or just open a record to view it without needing to navigate to the various areas of the application.

Like the home page, the widget dock is also able to hold your preferred set of widgets, though the selection of available widgets is slightly smaller here than on the home page. You are able to view these from any page in the site by clicking on the show/hide dock button located on the right just below the help button.

Home dashboard features

Controls for working with your home page and widget dock are highlighted in the illustration above. See the list below for a legend.

  • Home button: Choose this to view your home page and work with its widgets.

  • Add Widgets: Choose this to open a menu for choosing a widget to add to your home page.

  • Maximize button: Choose this to zoom in on a widget.

  • Filter button: Choose this to change the settings for the widget (for example, to show a different date range).

  • Close button: Choose this to remove a widget from your home page or widget dock.

  • Widget name: Choose the name and use drag-and-drop to reposition the widgets on the page as needed.

  • Show/hide dock button: Choose this to show or hide the widget dock. You can do this on any page of the site. Once open, the dock will remain open as you navigate the site until you close the dock again.

  • Add dock widget button: Choose this to add a new widget to the dock.

The best way to get a feel for how these various widgets work is to experiment with them. Start by finding a widget that displays the types of data you are interested in and then adjust its settings until the information you need is best highlighted for your day-to-day work.

The search field in the navigation bar at the top of every page enables you to search for files, jobs and contacts (other types of records are not indexed here). To use the search feature, start typing in the field; matching records will automatically be listed as type-ahead suggestions in a drop-down. When you can see the record you are looking for, choose it in the drop-down (or use arrow keys and press return to select). There is no search-results page, so you will always go straight to the relevant record from here.

Quick-create hyperlinks are available via the New menu in the navigation bar at the top of every page. They save time by enabling you to create new records without navigating to a specific list page. Edit your preferences to customize the set of links that are displayed here (see Configure your preferences).

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