A number of times I have had users ask me about searching for companies by a contact name, or a contact by company name. These are typically people coming out of some contact manager that is set up on a flat file system. One day I decided to stop fighting against this paradiagm and give them a way to do it. Sure, you can teach them to go to Advance Find everytime but to sales people that' s a lot of clicks for a simple search.
On every object within the Forms/Views portion Customization is a View called "Quick Find View." On the right side there is an option to "Add Find Columns." This basically gives you the ability to open up any field within the table to be searched against. So, for instance, a contact typically searches against Full Name, First Name, and Last Name. But now we can add the "Find Column" of "Parent Company" and now from the main contact window I can type in "Microsoft" and see all of the contacts that have "Microsoft" as their Parent Company.
Sure you can do this by going to all of the Microsoft Companies and click on Contacts on the left side but that's a search, a double-click to open, and then anonther click to the contacts section. And if there are multiple Microsoft divisions in the database then that means I have to open each one up and look through them. This keeps things much simpler and easier.
Also, note that the Lookup View is set up the same way as the Quick Find View. And the advantage to setting up the Lookup View allows you to do these kinds of searches from the Form Assistant.
So, that's kind of a cool advantage to setting this up, but here's one of my favorite reasons for using this. I have a customer who installs systems at their client sites and they need to keep track of what they have installed there. They have a custom object they use for this. It is related to both Accounts and Cases. When customer support opens a case from the Account all of the Account information comes across. There is a lookup on the Case that goes back to the System object. Within the Form Assistant all of the Systems get pulled back and customer support just wants to see the Systems of the Account being worked on. So, by adding the Parent Account field on the System object to the Lookup View searchable fields, customer support can now type (or copy and paste) the name of the Account into the Form Assistant and pull back all of the Systems installed at the Account.
Something very simple but powerful when used the right way.
Dynamic Methods Inc.