How Microsoft Dynamics CRM data is organized

Although you don’t need to know a lot about databases to start working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it’s helpful to know a few things about how data is organized in the system.

In particular, there are two definitions you should know because they are used many places in the system: record and record type.

Every day, you’ll work with different customer records and record types as you move customers through your business processes, collecting the data you need to fill in the fields for their records—and ultimately to win their business.

What is a record?

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a record is a complete unit of information. Think of it like a single row in a table, with multiple columns (or fields) to store the pieces of info that make up the entire row.

For example, for accounts you could have a column for Company name, Address, and Contact name for the person you call when you want to check in on the account. Each time you add a new account to the system, you’re creating a new record in the CRM database.

What is a record type?

Each record you add to the system belongs to a certain record type, such as an account, contact, lead, opportunity, or case. (Microsoft Dynamics CRM has several other types of records besides these, but these are the ones you’ll probably work with most often.)

Record types give you a way to group and organize similar data. For example, in Microsoft Dynamics CRM you’ll find your contact records grouped under the contact record type.

Case records are grouped under the case record type, and account records are under the account record type, and so on.

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