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Customizing Products in CRM 4.0

We have just started to look at Microsoft CRM 4.0 for a client and we have a very basic problem

Out of the box the Product entity assumes that the client is selling a "widget", however our client is selling insurance policies. Therefore each "Product" would be a unique price.

We would like to set up the product to reflect this but are cannot seem to amend this entity because it is a "system" entity

Does anyone have any suggestions or experience of this type of issue with the insurance industry?

I may not have explained very clearly but I am unsure where to start

I look forward to any advice received

Comment
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can you give some more detailed information about what you would like to achieve with Product entity. If its not meeting your requirement then there is always a chance to create a custom entity and link with rest of the entities that you would like to associate.

let me know the details and i will provide as much information required
Feridun KadirPrincipal Consultant

Commented:
When you add products to the product catalog in CRM you have to provide certain pieces of information including price.

If you are selling an item that will have a different price every time then enter a notional price in the catalog and then when you add the product to an order you may override the price with the specific price for that customer.

What is that you are trying to customize?

Author

Commented:
Hi Guys

Thanks for your response

My plan was to use the product entity as a starting point because it has all the relevant links re relationships, attributes etc.

I would then clone this and amend for each policy area i.e. liability, household

I would then further amend to allow different screens for the different policy types within each area i.e. Liability for tradesmen, hosue contents or buildings cover

I suppose I was being a little lazy and not creating a custom entity which I think will end up being the solution

I hope this extra information helps

Regards

Mahargnala    
Principal Consultant
Commented:
I think you could do this with Products. You can add attributes to the Product entity to cover the different policy types. Then add the attributes to the Product Form, perhaps in different sections or tabs and then use the form OnLoad Event to hide sections or tabs as appropriate.

Am I right in thinking you need to store different types of information for the different policy types?

Author

Commented:
Hi Feridun

Thanks for replying so promptly

First point - I will have a look at this shortly and get back to you

Second - You are correct with regard to different data to be stored
Updating the same form with different fields based on roles or types would be easier or simpler if they are not more than 2 or 3 of them and they don't change or expand with further types in future.

 But if they are prone to change or update frequently with the types or the fields that need to be displayed for each types its better to go with custom entities and add relationships to product entity, as they have more control and less hassle free on a longer run plus it brings easier maintainance. Though there would be some additional work at the beginning to layout the relationships and the structure of the entities related or some additional lines of code but to me its better or cleaner approach. And if these types tie up with security roles it becomes easier with custom entities and it would mess up the code and logic if it needs to tie with the roles and make fields or sections visible based on the roles.

Hope this helps.

Author

Commented:
Hi Aftab

I am seeing your point and it would appear that due to the fact that there would be a number of varying "product types" the custom route could cause less issues further down the work flow line

I think I need to experiment with both suggestions and get back to you guys

I really appreciate the assistance and guidance given so far

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the assistance it has confirmed the actions I need to take