Create and work with custom fields
The functionality noted in this article is currently available in both the stand-alone Dynamics 365 Human Resources and the merged Finance infrastructure. Navigation might be different than noted while we make updates. If you need to find a specific page, you can use Search.
While there's an extensive set of fields out-of-the-box for managing a broad range of business processes, sometimes there's a need for a company to track additional information in the system. While programmers can be used to add those fields as extensions in the developer tools, the custom fields feature allows fields to be added directly from the user interface, allowing you to tailor the application to fit your business using your web browser.
Only users with special permissions have access to this feature.
This video shows how easy it's to add a custom field to a page: Adding custom fields.
Creating custom fields
After you've identified additional information to track in the application, you can create the custom field on the appropriate table and expose that new field on a page.
The following steps describe the process for creating a custom field and placing that field on a page.
Navigate to the page where the new field is needed.
Because the end goal is to expose the custom field on a form, the entry point for creating custom fields exists inside the personalization experience. Open the personalization toolbar by selecting Options, and then Personalize this form.
Click Insert and then Field.
Select the region of the form where you want to expose the new field. After selection, the Insert fields dialog box will display a list of existing fields that can be inserted into the selected region of the page.
Confirm that the field you're interested in doesn't already exist in the list. If it does, you can simply select that field in the list and click Insert.
Click the Create new field button above the list to initiate the process of creating a custom field. This will open the Create new field dialog box.
If you don't see the Create new field button, you do not have the necessary permissions to use this feature.
In the Create new field dialog box, enter the following information.
Select the database table where this field should be added. Note that only tables that support custom fields will appear in the drop-down list. See the section below for technical details on supported tables.
Select the data type for the new field. The available data types are checkbox, date, date time, decimal, number, picklist, and text.
- If you choose the text data type, you can also specify the maximum length of the text that can be entered in this field.
- If you choose the picklist data type, you can also select the set of valid values for the field.
Provide a name, label, and help text for the field. The name corresponds to the physical field name in the database, whereas the label and help text are the text used to represent this field in the user interface.
If this is the only field that you need to create for this page, click Save. If you need to create additional fields, click Save and new and go back to step 7.
Currently, there's a limit of 20 custom fields per table.
- Leaving the Create new field dialog box will return you to the Insert fields dialog box. Any custom fields that were just added will be automatically marked in the field list to be inserted into the page.
- Click Insert to insert the marked fields into the selected region of the page.
- Optional: Enable Move mode from the personalization toolbar to move the new fields to their desired location in the selected region. See Personalize the user experience for more information about how to use the various personalization capabilities to optimize a form for your personal usage.
The ability to enter values in a custom field added to a page is dependent on whether the table associated with the custom field is editable or read only. When the associated table is read only, all fields linked to that table, including any custom fields, will also be read only.
Sharing custom fields with other users
After you've created a custom field and exposed it on a page, you might want to provide this updated page view that includes the new field to other users in the system. This can be accomplished in two different ways using the personalization capabilities of the product:
- The recommended route is to publish a saved view with the custom field added to the page to the appropriate set of users. If the saved views feature isn't enabled, the system administrator can apply the personalization to the desired users from the Personalization page. For more information, see Personalize the user experience.
- Alternatively, you can export your changes (called personalizations), send them to one or more users, and have each of those users import your changes. The Manage option on the personalization toolbar enables you to export and import personalizations.
Managing custom fields
Management of all the custom fields can be accomplished through the Custom fields page in the System administration module. This page allows users access to many capabilities, including:
- Viewing a list of all custom fields in the system.
- Limited editing of existing custom fields.
- Deleting custom fields.
- Exposing custom fields on data entities.
- Providing translations of custom field labels and help text.
Viewing all custom fields
The Custom fields page provides visibility to all the custom fields that have been defined in the system. Select the table that you are interested in, and the page will update to show a list of the custom fields associated with that table. Choosing a custom field from the list will allow you to view all the details about the field.
Editing custom fields
After a custom field has been created, only certain pieces of information about the custom field can be modified on the Custom fields page.
You can modify these attributes:
- Help text
- Length, for Text fields
You can't edit the following attributes:
- Field name
- Data type
Additionally, for picklist fields, the set of valid values for the custom field can be reordered, and new values can be added; however, existing values for the picklist field can't be removed. Click Apply changes when you're done editing fields for a particular table so the changes are saved.
Exposing custom fields on data entities
It may also be important to allow custom fields to be visible on data entities. Data entities are utilized in the Office integration overview feature, and for data import/export scenarios.
Follow these steps to expose a custom field on a data entity:
- Select the custom field on the Custom fields page.
- Expand the Entities section to view the set of relevant entities.
- Click the Edit button.
- Modify the Enabled field to be selected for each entity that should expose this field.
- Click Apply changes to save your selections.
Allowing custom fields to be displayed in other languages
Because custom fields may need to be accessed by users in a variety of languages, the Custom fields page provides a mechanism to allow the label and help text for a custom field to be translated into other languages.
The following steps describe the process for translating custom fields in other languages:
Select the custom field on the Custom fields page.
Select the Translations button in the Action Pane. This will open a drop-down menu with existing translations for this field.
The Language drop-down menu shows the set of languages for which translations have already been provided.
If you want to edit an existing translation, select the language from the menu and modify the values for the label and help text.
Otherwise, click the Add language button, select the desired language from the menu, and then provide translated values for the label and help text.
Click OK when you are finished.
Deleting custom fields
When you decide that a custom field is no longer needed, a system administrator can choose to delete the field from the Custom fields page. To delete a custom field, select the field to delete, click Delete, click Yes to confirm the deletion, and finally click Apply changes.
This action can't be undone, and will result in the data associated with the field being permanently deleted from the database.
Why can't I enter a value in my custom field?
If you can't type a value into the custom field when the page is in Edit mode, this may be because the table that the field was added to is currently read only. All fields in a table become read only if the backing table is currently configured as read only on the page.
Who can create custom fields?
Only system administrators are able to create custom fields by default. However, those power users whom the organization deems necessary can be given rights to create custom fields by a system administrator using the Runtime customization power user security role. Users without this security role will not be able to create custom fields, but will still be able to see and interact with custom fields added by other users in the system.
What tables support custom fields?
For performance and technical reasons, only tables that meet the following conditions currently allow custom fields to be added.
The table must be tagged as one of these groups:
The table can't extend another table.
The table can't be marked as a system table.
The table can't be a temporary table.
Can I reference custom fields from the developer tools?
Custom fields can only be managed through the user interface and can't be referenced by code.
How can I move custom fields between environments?
The current recommendation for moving custom fields between environments is to manually re-create the custom fields in the target environment. To see the full list of custom fields on a particular table:
- Go to the Custom fields page, select that table from the dropdown.
- In the target environment, follow the process described earlier in this article to recreate each field.
- Once all the fields have been created, click Apply changes.
- Move all the personalizations containing custom fields by exporting those personalizations from the original environment and importing them into the target environment.
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