How to search for data in Dynamics 365
This blog is a brief comparison of different search options in Dynamics 365 / Power Platform. It is one of a series of short blogs that I am developing as I write a flexible training course for Microsoft's PL-200 Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant exam.
There are several different ways of searching for information in your Dynamics 365 applications. Each has their strengths. The search options and the differences between them are also popular questions in the PL-200 (and other) exams. The searches are
- Quick Search
- Categorised Search
- Relevance Search
- Advanced Find
Quick search only searches the table from where it is accessed. It returns the records that match both the view from which it is used and the search string. It searches for the search string in the fields specificed in the quick find view.
Quick Search is accesed from the search bar above a view.
In earlier versions of Microsoft Dynamics 365, it only returned active records, and returned records using the columns defined in the Quick Find view.
Categorised search returns records from the tables specified. A maximum of ten entities (tables) can be selected.
You access the select entities from the System Settings. Go to the General tab and scroll down to 'Set up Search'. The Select... button takes you to the Select Entities (above).
Relevance search is the newest option. It uses Azure AI and so is only available for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online. It searches more deeply than the others, and also returns similar words to the search string.
If you want to use this, it must be enabled from System Settings - see below.
Once enabled, user can choose between Categorised Search and Relevance Search. Both are accessed from same look-up icon.
Comparison between Quick Search, Categorised Search, and Relevance Search
The table below heps highlight the differences - especially those that appear to be popular in exam questions.
Advanced Find is not usually considered part of search, but I have included it here for completeness. This video blog details how to use Advanced Find https://www.opsis.com.au/menu-why-opsis/gill-walker/gill-says/understanding-the-power-of-advanced-find-in-microsoft-dynamics-365