A new feature launched at the inception of CRM portals but never really documented is the ability to display entity record related activities on the portal through a new timeline feature. This feature was created to enhance the portal case management functionality by allowing the display of any activities related to the entity record (using the regarding field). This functionality is actually configuration based through a new entity form metadata type of “Timeline”, which can also be used with your own entity forms with any entity that is activity enabled.
To add the timeline to your own entity form there are a couple configuration steps you will need to make to successfully setup. To use the timeline metadata type the entity your working with will need to be activity enabled otherwise the metadata option will not display. You can activity enable your entity by opening the System Customizer and navigating to the entity information, on the general tab under Communication & Collaboration ensure Activities is selected.
You can now create an entity form in either Edit or Read-Only modes where you can then add the timeline metadata type. Below is the minimum configuration for an entity form for edit mode:
Once you have your entity form created, we need to add the associated entity form metadata for the timeline. Scroll to the bottom of the entity form configuration or from the related entities navigation select Entity Form Metadata and create a new item. In the new metadata form, select the type as “Timeline”.
Once on the type “Timeline” the options panel below will update to reveal the new configuration options for activities. At this time it is mostly focused around the portal users ability to contribute content as an activity, and what file upload functionality they have. You can also select the “Advanced Options” to reveal a number of additional labels that can be modified.
The portal timeline feature utilizes the activitypointer entity in Dynamics to query for the related activities and supports the following activity entities. It does not support custom activities it appears at this time, however you can expose additional activity types (like task) or custom activities through sub grid functionality.
- Portal Comment
- Phone Call
For this configuration to properly function Entity Permissions need to be configured. We are going to assume you have already created an entity permission of the entity, in the case of mine, the entity Economic Development Sites (adoxio_economicdevelopmentsite), with the scope of contact (there is a related contact field that is a lookup to the contact entity), the privileges (read, write, create, append, append to), and with the desired web roles set.
There needs to be 2 additional entity permissions added, one for the activitypointer entity, and another for the Portal Comment activity. Both entity permissions should have the scope of parent and set the parent entity permission to the permission of the entity being viewed. This ensures that only the activities which are related to the record are accessible.
Activity (activitypointer) – Privileges: Read
Portal Comment(adx_portalcomment) – Privileges: Read, Create, Append
Portal Comment is a new activity entity that replaces the use of notes/annotations for user submitted content. This was done so that a entity relationship to contact was established and it would support native entity permissions. Annotations are still used to hold the contents of attachments on the portal comment activity record. Back office staff can create new Portal Comment activities within Dynamics regarding the entity record and once marked complete will be displayed on the portal.
Once all the configurations are complete, you can now view your edit or read-only entity form with an included timeline view of activities.