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Primary Contacts linked to multiple accounts RRS feed

  • Question

  • Is it possible to have the same contact used as primary contact for a number of accounts?

    Thanks.
    Monday, August 20, 2012 8:56 AM

Answers

  • There are many possibilities, which may explain why the replies above are giving potentially contradictory answers. The options for linking contacts and accounts are:

    1. Use the built-in Primary Contact field on the account. This allows one contact to be linked to multiple accounts as the Primary Contact
    2. Use the built-in Account field on the contact. This allows multiple contacts to be linked to one account, but does not allow the contact to be linked to multiple accounts
    3. Use customer relationships to allow you to link multiple contacts to multiple accounts. This requires that you define relationship roles. It is also used in the rollup functionality, whereby, at the account level, you can view all activities for contacts associated with that account
    4. Create connection roles to link multiple contacts to multiple accounts. I see no benefit to doing this instead of option 3
    5. Create a custom N-N relationship between contacts and accounts. This is an alternative to option 3. It avoids the need for relationship roles, but rollup will not use this
    6. Create custom 1-N relationships. Included for completeness, but I don't think this is useful here, as you're still stuck to one value. E.g. you could have an additional account field on the contact form, but this would only let you link the contact to a 2nd account, and wouldn't help for linking them to more accounts

    From what I know of the scenario, I'd recommend a combination of 1 and 3


    Microsoft CRM MVP - http://mscrmuk.blogspot.com/ http://www.excitation.co.uk

    • Marked as answer by RoarCRM Wednesday, August 29, 2012 2:41 PM
    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 9:11 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • For example, we have a number of small organisations and it is often the case that the same contact runs two organisations.  We would like to be able to have the same contact used as the primary contact of both without having duplicate contacts for the same person.  On the contact form there is only one Account field, is it possible to add a secondary account field and use this when one contact runs two organisations or is there another way around the issue? 

    Thanks.
    Monday, August 20, 2012 8:59 AM
  • No, Primary contact relationship is been configured 1:N between account and contact.

    If any particular contact is a primary contact of any account then it can't be assigned as a primary contact to any other accounts. However you can still add that contact to the list of the contacts for that account, which is N:N association between account and contact.

    Cheers!!


    Thanks and regards,
    Hiren Solanki.
    Please vote or mark as a answer if it helped you.

    Monday, August 20, 2012 9:01 AM
  • You may have to create N:N relationship separately and use it because out of the box parent account is 1:N relationship you cannot use that for multiple accounts

    Thanks Anil Chelasani http://exploringxrm.wordpress.com

    Monday, August 20, 2012 9:02 AM
  • well you could use connections for this purpose.

    You can add a new connection between the account and contact to record the relationship of a contact with more than one account.

    HTH 

    Sam 


    Dynamics CRM MVP | Inogic | http://inogic.blogspot.com| news at inogic dot com

    If this post answers your question, please click "Mark As Answer" on the post and "Mark as Helpful"

    Monday, August 20, 2012 12:05 PM
  • You can make a contact the Primary Contact of multiple accounts - this relationship is 1-N from contacts to account. To do this, you set the Primary Contact field on the account record.

    I don't see any need to either create a new relationship, or use connections, as you can create customer relationships between contacts and accounts - this effectively allows for an N:N relationship between accounts and contacts


    Microsoft CRM MVP - http://mscrmuk.blogspot.co  http://www.excitation.co.uk


    Monday, August 20, 2012 2:17 PM
    Moderator
  • You can make a contact the Primary Contact of multiple accounts - this relationship is 1-N from contacts to account. To do this, you set the Primary Contact field on the account record.

    I don't see any need to either create a new relationship, or use connections, as you can create customer relationships between contacts and accounts - this effectively allows for an N:N relationship between accounts and contacts


    I fully agree, except for the part where you suggest that this effectively allows for an N:N relationship between accounts and contacts. This is in my opinion not correct. While it is possible to link a contact to multiple accounts, and link an account to multiple contacts, this is not an N:N relationship. Consider a situation where you have two accounts and two contacts. If contact 1 is the primary contact for both accounts, then contact 2 can only be linked to one of the two accounts. Hence this is not a true N:N relationship.

    Monday, August 20, 2012 2:45 PM
  • Yes it is a inbuilt behavior.

    If you find this post helpful then please "Vote as Helpful" and "Mark As Answer". Amreek Singh Senior CRM Consultant CDC Praxa Sydney, Australia http://mscrmshop.blogspot.com http://crm2011usersettings.codeplex.com

    Monday, August 20, 2012 3:40 PM
  • Would it just be a case of adding an additional account field on the contact form in order to allow this then?
    Monday, August 20, 2012 4:02 PM
  • There are many possibilities, which may explain why the replies above are giving potentially contradictory answers. The options for linking contacts and accounts are:

    1. Use the built-in Primary Contact field on the account. This allows one contact to be linked to multiple accounts as the Primary Contact
    2. Use the built-in Account field on the contact. This allows multiple contacts to be linked to one account, but does not allow the contact to be linked to multiple accounts
    3. Use customer relationships to allow you to link multiple contacts to multiple accounts. This requires that you define relationship roles. It is also used in the rollup functionality, whereby, at the account level, you can view all activities for contacts associated with that account
    4. Create connection roles to link multiple contacts to multiple accounts. I see no benefit to doing this instead of option 3
    5. Create a custom N-N relationship between contacts and accounts. This is an alternative to option 3. It avoids the need for relationship roles, but rollup will not use this
    6. Create custom 1-N relationships. Included for completeness, but I don't think this is useful here, as you're still stuck to one value. E.g. you could have an additional account field on the contact form, but this would only let you link the contact to a 2nd account, and wouldn't help for linking them to more accounts

    From what I know of the scenario, I'd recommend a combination of 1 and 3


    Microsoft CRM MVP - http://mscrmuk.blogspot.com/ http://www.excitation.co.uk

    • Marked as answer by RoarCRM Wednesday, August 29, 2012 2:41 PM
    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 9:11 AM
    Moderator
  • Using CRM2013 and have a business need to have contacts typically associated with more than one account BUT absolutely NEED to see roll up of each contact's activities on all associated accounts.

    From reading David's analysis above it would seem that setting up a Relationship Role should achieve what is needed but in my tests I cannot see the roll up of activities. Can anyone confirm this is indeed a valid solution - even with CRM 2013?

    It seems the roll up now happens via an 'internal' rollup message that we cannot intercept with a plugin?

    Thanks

    Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:36 AM