Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Allowing users to click on a hyperlink and more with helper text in Dynamics Portals

22:00 Posted by Elaiza Benitez , , , No comments
Ever wanted to display helper text in Dynamics Portals with a hyperlink to either a document stored online or to a different web page that may list the terms and conditions to users?

If the answer is Yes, you have come to the right place.

What is helper text?

I didn't know the official terminology until I Googled it one day and sure enough I found a website with design guidelines that described what I was looking for as "helper text." It's text that is usually displayed by a field to help the user understand what they need to enter in the field.

Can I do this in Dynamics Portals?

You most certainly can my grasshopper. There's no need to use content snippets and then modifying the template for the form to display the content snippet by the field. Well you could but it's more time consuming and general rule of thumb is to work with what's available out-of-the-box if you can.

In my vlog I show you how to achieve displaying a clickable hyperlink to a user in Dynamics Portals.

What are the configuration steps?

Create a Web Form Metadata record against the Entity Form or Web Form Step that is displaying the fields to the user in Dynamics Portals. You want to select "Attribute" as the Type value. Then proceed in selecting the field for the helper text.


Scroll down till you see the Description/Instructions section.
  • The Position field outlines where the helper text is going to display against the field. I personally like "Above the field" as it looks better than the other two options.
  • The Use Attribute's Description Property field should be set to No otherwise it will use the description entered in the field in the field customization settings.
  • The Description is where you enter in your text.


If you enter in text, that's fine. Your text will show as required.

A more common scenario is providing a hyperlink for the Dynamics Portals users to click on for additional information that cannot be displayed on the form. An example is a link to terms and conditions. If you want to enter in a hyperlink for users to click on, simply use HTML to do so. 

Example I used in the vlog is:

Click <a href="https://docs.microsoft.com/en-au/dynamics365/">here</a> for full terms and conditions.

When you refresh your web page of the form, you'll see the helper text displayed.

Hold on...

If you use this HTML it will open the target URL in the current browser tab which is not ideal as the user needs to remain in the Dynamics Portals form.


Recommendation

The HTML that should be used in the following as seen in my vlog. You need the highlighted yellow part:

Click <a href="https://docs.microsoft.com/en-au/dynamics365/" target="_blank">here</a> for full terms and conditions.

Quick question - how come this Dynamics 365 field supports HTML?

If you look closely at the field, it's not actually a standard Dynamics 365 field. Our friends at Dynamics Portals have used iframes in some of the records to allow more functionality beyond a standard Dynamics 365 field.

Other HTML that can be used to change the appearance

The following is what I went through in the vlog that is supported in Dynamics Portals
  • Centered Text
  • Right Align Text
  • Left Align Text
  • Bold Text
  • Italics Text
  • Underline Text
  • Bold, Italics and Underline Text
  • Change The Font Size
  • Change The Font Colour
  • Bullet Points
  • Numbered Points
  • Ping Pong Style Marquee
  • Marquee That Scrolls Left
  • Marquee That Scrolls Right
  • Marquee That Scrolls Up
  • Marquee That Scrolls Down
  • Emojis - check out Megan's blog post if you haven't already done so
  • Rainbow
  • ASCII Art - I showed a bunny :)
  • GIF
Now you do need to be practical about what you display. GIF, ASCII Art or Marquees is probably not appropriate (well in a live/production environment ;) ). You get the idea though, if you know HTML you can manipulate the appearance of what's entered as helper text.

I'm not a HTML guru, I had Google help me with some of the HTML above.

Marquee was a personal favourite of mine when I learnt simple HTML back in high school ages ago so it made the cut.


Summary

Displaying helper text is supported and 100% configurable using a Web Form Metadata record of type "attribute." You don't need to do any additional development to provide this functionality, it's supported with Dynamics Portals already.

I hope you enjoyed the vlog. I had a lot of fun with it.

Till next time, toodles.

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