Dynamics CRM 2015 introduces a new feature, Hierarchy Visualization which graphically displays the relationships that exist between records. This way of displaying the relationship between records allows the relationships between parent and child records to be displayed and for users to drill down through the associated record directly within CRM. This experience wasn’t previously possible within CRM and would often require external documents to be created and maintained.

CRM for Housing Example

Hierarchy relationships naturally occur within the core entity that housing organizations use with CRM. This example CRM organisation has the following entity relationships (although this example only focuses on the patch and property records).

Simple Housing ERD

Let’s have a look at how Hierarchy Visualization can be configured for a simple Housing CRM. In this example we’ll use the patch entity to build the patch hierarchy for the associated properties to create a view to show the following structure.

Simple Housing Organisation

Quick Overview

By default hierarchical relationships have been enabled on the Account (parent account), User (parent user), Position (parent position) and Product (parent product) entities. To view the hierarchical relationship with another entity requires the feature to be enabled on any system or custom entity which has a self referencing 1:N relationship.

Create Hierarchical Relationship

Enabling Hierarchical Relationships


Solution Customization > Expand the entity > Expand 1:N Relationship > Select an existing or create a new relationship > Hierarchical= Yes.

Once the relationship has been created and identified as being hierarchical, expand Hierarchy Settings.


Enter a schema name. Click “Create New Form” and design a new quick create form in the form designer. The first four fields in the form will be shown on the hierarchy tile. Select the self referencing relationship, any additional relationships can also be identified as a hierarchical relationship; click the row with the relationship and then the “Mark hierarchical” in the top left of the screen.


Viewing the Hierarchy

With the relationship configured open the entity view. You will now see an icon which looks like an organisation structure to the left of the view, this is also available from the menu when viewing record. Clicking on the icon will display the hierarchy for that record.

  • – The list on the left showing the hierarchy based on the tile selected.
  • – Hierarchical tiles showing information based on the Quick View.
  • – The “Open this record” option is on the list as well tiles and allows the record to be opened directly from the view.
  • – View hierarchy icon option is available on the top-right corner of a record if the relationship field is populated.
  • – Hovering towards the bottom edge of a tile will allow the associated child tiles to be displayed.
  • – Clicking on the “tick” at the bottom of the tile allows the record to be selected, with multiple tiles selected the menu allows bulk actions to be undertaken.

CRM Magic.