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Setting Up Your System

Subjects


Microsoft CRM provides the Subjects feature so that you can hierarchically categorize various entities such as Products, Cases, Sales Literature, and Knowledge Base Articles under a common topic structure. Figure 2-13 shows a sample subject tree for the fictional Adventure Works Cycle database.

By creating a subject tree such as this one, you could link a product category, such as Road-150, with all its related Products, Cases, Sales Literature, and Knowledge Base Articles. To create your own subject tree, browse to the Settings area and click Subjects. Then use the tools in the Common Tasks pane to structure the subject tree for the different types of areas related to your organization, such as products, services, business operations, and anything else that you need to categorize in Microsoft CRM. After you establish your subject tree, you can assign entity records to one of the subjects, as shown in Figure 2-14.

Categorizing your entity records by their correct subjects offers the following benefits

  1. Users can browse Knowledge Base Articles by subject

  2. You can create new views, using subject values as filter criteria. For example, you can create a view that shows only the open cases for the Road-150 subject.

  3. You can create workflow rules that automatically route or assign cases to specific individuals based on the Case subject.

  4. Relationship Roles
  5. Queues (part of Business Unit Settings)

When designing your subject tree, keep the following in mind:

  1. You can easily adjust and modify the subject tree at any time, so don't fret too much over the initial layout.

  2. When you modify subjects, Microsoft CRM applies your changes immediately throughout the system

  3. You should avoid creating subjects that have only one child subject
  4. Although there is no fixed limit on how deep you can make your subject tree, we recommend that you keep it between four and five levels deep, with a maximum of seven levels. If you go much deeper, it might become difficult for users to select the correct subject in the user interface, particularly if they use the form assistant.

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