The Announcements module in MSCRM is potentially very useful to your deployment, especially during the early days of implementation (in my opinion). By directing all users via the Announcements page, it is possible to make sure they all see pertinent news or articles. The problem is that by default, a user’s Start Page is the Activities screen and unless you have particularly motivated and/or habitual users it will be difficult to get them to check Announcements on a regular basis.
The solution? Force their default Start Page to be “Announcements” – but how? There is no out-of-the-box solution available to the administrator. In fact the only supported method is to request each user to change the value themselves. Far from ideal, right?
Dejan Dular encountered the same problem so he did something about it. The users’ Start Pane and Start Tab are of course held in the database. Dejan found the appropriate fields in the _MSCRM database and updated them. Simple!
The basic code is copied below, but please be sure to thank Dejan via his blog if you found this to be useful.
UPDATE [UserSettingsBase] SET [HomepageSubarea] = 'nav_news', [HomepageArea] = 'Home'
As with all good things, this change is unsupported by Microsoft so the usual caveats apply!
Incidentally, we will be using the Announcements section to post links to self-help articles or reference documents to assist our users during early days of the deployment and to announce the inevitable post-implementation bugfixes.