Getting started with Ribbon Workbench

Ribbon Workbench for MSCRM 2011/2013/2015:

  • The Ribbon Workbench for CRM is a tool written to make customizing the Ribbon easier and quicker.
  • The Ribbon is the user interface element that appears at the top of all recent Microsoft Applications, and was the successor to the old ‘toolbar’.
  • Rather than have a single toolbar that was full of all command buttons and a set of drop down menus that could be multiple layers deep.
  • The Ribbon attempts to show only the commands that you need depending on the task that you are doing. The ribbon also attempts to scale to the available window width, making some less important commands smaller or even move them to drop down menus when the space is limited.
  • The ribbon designer decides on the importance of each command and therefore the order in which commands are ‘demoted’ as the window width is reduced.
  • The ribbon work bench was written to provide a ‘drag and drop’ developer experience that allows all customization scenarios to give complete control over your CRM ribbon & command bar.


Installing the Work Bench:

Download the Ribbon workbench solution from here.

To install this solution Navigate to Settings ---> solutions –> import

Click on Next until it finishes.

After imports Ribbon workbench will be displayed on top of the solutions.



Toolbox, Entities and Solution Elements

You'll notice the panels shown under the Ribbon Editor Panel. You can select the divider bars between these panels to resize them to the position that suits you best.




Toolbox Panel- The toolbox allows you to drag and drop ribbon controls on to the ribbon design surface. When you drag an item it must be positioned next to where you would like it to appear. The cursor will change to a blue plus icon when dropping the control is allowed. If you want to place a new tab, you must drag the tab control directly next to an existing tab, rather than drop it where the controls appear.

Entities Panel - The entities that you included in your solution will appear as a list in the Entities Panel. By selecting an entity, the Ribbon Workbench will show you the tabs that are available for that entity and the currently selected ribbon type

Solution Elements Panel - This panel is one of the most important areas for understanding your ribbon customizations. As you drop items on the Ribbon Design Surface, Custom Actions will appear in the Solution Elements. Later we will look at what each of these elements mean.


Process for Ribbon Workbench:

Click on Ribbon Workbench. This will pop with the below screen. Click on Open solution to load the solution information.

A pop will open with the list of solutions. Select the solution from the list.

Then the selected solution will downloads to Ribbon workbench area.



Now the solution components are added to the Ribbon workbench.

You can able to add or edit buttons at a form level for all entities or else you can make the changes for a specific entity at form level,sub grid level.



Adding button to the Ribbon area:


Drag the button from the toolbox and drop it where ever you want to place it.

below in the screenshot the button is showing as dragged.



Setting the Properties for Button:

After placing you can able to see the button then you can customize this button.

you can able to add the images as per requirement, Using Ribbon workbench can able to add 16by16 or 32by32 images.

You can able to give the name for the button in the AltText  and LabelTextButton.

Then the button name will be edited. 


Defining a button command:

Now the button is defined then do some action while clicking on the button. For this you need to write a command.

Right click on the command. You can able to see Add New.



Command is created. This will be displayed as drop down in the command tag. Select the command.

You may be wondering why we are creating a new command when we have already added a button to the ribbon. This is because the Ribbon allows a command to be defined such that it can be used by multiple buttons. So although we are only going to associate our command with the new button, we could add more buttons that all call the same command. Commands use 'Actions' to define what should happen when a user clicks any associated buttons. To define the Actions, click on the magnifying glass icon next to the 'Actions' Property:

Any existing actions that are defined for this command would display here, but because it is a new command, the list will be empty. Go ahead and click 'Add' to create a new one and select the 'Open Url Action'. The other 'JavaScript Function Action' option is for more complicate actions that involve calling code, but more on this later.

Now we set the properties of the action:


Display rules/Enable Rules – you can define the criteria such that you can display or hide the buttons based on criteria.




Now everything setup, we can publish our solution to make the user interface available to the user. To publish, simply click on the 'Publish Solution' button on the Top Bar.

The publish may take a span of time depending on how much resources your CRM Server has been allocated, but once finished, you should be able to navigate to form and use the new button.

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