CRM 2013 – Start Users on a Dashboard vs Personal Wall

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 offers by default a “What’s New” landing page known as the Personal Wall.  The “what’s new” page is a great place to start and is part of the social add-ins Microsoft introduced with CRM 2011.

Personal Wall

Checking out the social aspects of the Personal Wall


Although the Personal Wall is great, I often like to start users on a custom dashboard:

Here's an example of dashboard that launches to various entities and summarizes data specific to the user.  A different approach to the Personal Wall.

Here’s an example of dashboard that launches to various entities and summarizes data specific to the user

A dashboard customized around the users day-to-day needs allows for users to quickly see and get to pertinent information.  In my case, my team mainly focuses on the companies, projects and tasks assigned to us individually.

To setup a dashboard as the default page, as well as the “home” button, you have a few options.

Option 1: User Specific

The first option is easy, but specific to each user.  When logged in, click Settings > Options and then choose the Default Pane and Default Tab you’d like to begin with.  If you choose Dashboards, then your default dashboard will be shown.

User Specific Personal Options



Option 2: System Default

Instead of having each of your users change their default page individually, you can alternatively modify the sitemap to start on dashboards (or any other entity of your choosing).  It is important to know that users can override the system default page by following the steps in option 1 above.

Let’s walk through setting our dashboard as our home page with CRM 2013.  The first step is to export the sitemap and move the “nav_dashboards” SubArea above the “nav_personalwall” SubArea: 

Sitemap XML

You’ll want to zip up your customizations and import your solution.

After publishing, browse to your dashboard listing (Settings > Customize this System > Dashboards).  From there, you’ll want to select the desired dashboard and click “Set As Default”.

Dashboard Listing


Now at this point users should see your new default dashboard.

If users have overridden the system settings, they will need to change their “Default Pane” to “<Default based on user role>” for Option 2 to work.


Today we looked at having users starting on a page other than the “what’s new” landing (aka CRM 2013 Personal Wall).  We altered the home page to a dashboard.  We could default to any entity as long as it’s first in the sitemap.  One thing to watch out for is that users can set their own home page.

Hopefully this was something you can use in the future.  If you liked this post, please share some thoughts in the comments below.  Thanks and I hope you enjoy!

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About Paul Way

Born and raised in Greenville, SC. I'm a coder to the core. The only thing I love more than coding is my family and your epic comments.


  1. Useful but incomplete. You say “The first step is to export the sitemap…” but give no instructions at all on how to do this.

    • Hi Alexander, There is something called “Sitemap Editor” within a piece of software called XRMToolbox which you can download from the codeplex.com site (the instructions are also on there). This is a really useful tool, as you can also customise the order the items appear within all the main sections (Workplace, Sales, Marketing, Settings, etc.).

  2. I have a question for you now, Paul. The “Developer Dashboard” you show above looks absolutely amazing. How did you go about customising it like this? Are you using web resources or is this done with pure xml customisation? Would you be able to give me a steer in the right direction?

    Looking online I can only find very basic info about customisation (which I feel I’m already fairly confident with) and nothing like what you’ve achieved!

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Paul – same question as Stephen…. great looking dashboard – is that some custom web resources & custom charting? I can’t get anything out of the box to look like that. Can you give us a steer on how you did it?

      • Yes, completely custom web resource. We’re using high charts and chartjs on dashboards to give more flexibility and to go beyond the six widget limitation of dashboards. A single web resource can show numerous charts, and this works quite nicely.

  3. Can I set default view for all users in feeds wall and how?

    • Not to my knowledge. In the past, I have built a custom feed wall, called “What’s New” that shows feeds regardless of whether a user is following something. This helped provide a pulse of what was going on across the organization.

  4. Hi Paul – this feature was very interesting. We are also curious to understand more about the custom web resource that you created. Can you give us some tips on how you did this? We would like to flexibly embed different components such as images, charts, embedded HTML pages, etc. all within the same web resource.

  5. Hi Paul, interesting idea. I have a question about the custom web resource that you built. Can you please explain how this was done…is the web resource linked to an HTML page that has the charts and images embedded in it?

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