Configuring Timeline

The timeline control provides an easy and immersive experience to view information related to an entity, such as cases, accounts, or contacts which gives users a better understanding and helps them deliver more personalized service in an efficient and effective manner.

This experience gives system administrators the ability to configure the information displayed in each timeline to help users access information and create new activity records, such as emails and tasks directly from the timeline quickly so they can deliver more personalized service.

Timelines are located on forms within entities. To access timeline configurations, you must start with the entity list. You can access the entity list a couple of ways depending on the model-driven app you are using.

To access the entities list via Power Apps, go to:

  1. Go to Power Apps URL: make.powerapps.com
  2. Under Data section.
  3. Select Entities.

Select Entities in Power Apps navigation pane

Important

When accessing timeline, if you are not taken to the new form designer experience in Power Apps, you are not using the latest experience.

Select an entity form for timeline configuration

Every instance of the timeline that’s applied on a form can be configured. Example: An Account entity will have forms, and each form can have a timeline that can be configured. However, there’s only one timeline per form.

To begin, select the entity and form where you want to add and configure your timeline.

  1. The following is a list of entities. You can add a timeline to any entity.

    List of entities in Power Apps

  2. For this example, we selected the Account entity.

    Select Account in the entity list

  3. On the Account entity page, select Forms.

    Select Form tab

  4. The Forms landing page displays a list of Form types. Timelines can only be used on Main form types.

    Forms of type Main

  5. For this example, we select Account for Interactive experiences.

Add or remove a timeline from an entity form

Timeline is a component and you'll need to access Components to make timeline configurations. After you've selected a Main form type, the following page appears:

  1. In the Account for Interactive experiences form, from the left nav, select Components.

    Adding or removing a timeline from an entity form

  2. In the left nav, scroll down to the Timeline component, then drag and drop in the Timeline section of the form.

    Adding the timeline control to the form

  3. If Timeline option is greyed out, it means it already exists on the form. You can only have one timeline per form.

    Timeline greyed out

    To remove the Timeline component from a form, highlight the inside Timeline component area and hit the Delete key. This will remove the Timeline component from the form.

Note

Since the timeline component relies exclusively on underlying related data, when you add the Timeline control, you will always see the message 'Almost there' in the Timeline section. When you're creating or editing the form, there’s no underlying data, and therefore the area is blank.

Understand the timeline component on the form

In the form body, the Timeline component is added into the section called TIMELINE. section. To configure properties of the Timeline component, select the Timeline component inside the Timeline section and you'll see the properties in the right pane.

Understanding the timeline component on the form

Configure properties of timeline component

The timeline component can be configured and tailored to support specific business needs. The Timeline form is comprised of features and functionality you configure in the timeline component which is then displayed in the entity form.

The following sections describe how to configure the things like display options, records to show, and activity types to include.

Display options

  • Name: Use this field to change the name of the Timeline component. This field is only for your (system administrator’s) reference and doesn’t impact how it is rendered at the runtime.

    There are character limitations for this field. For example, you can’t have spaces and you must use underscores (_).

  • Records shown in page: This field allows you to define the number of records to show in the Timeline section at the runtime. If there are more records than the number you define here, users will see an option to load more records. By default, this field is set to 10. The following image shows the timeline at runtime when the Record shown in page field is set to 10.

    Configuration Runtime
    Display options - Records shown on page Display options - Records shown on page
  • Record types shown: Select which record types you want to show in the timeline. Users will also be able to create new records of the record types you select here. You can select from: Activities, Notes, and Posts. All these are selected by default.

    • Activities. There are multiple customizable sub-activity record types to support business needs. You can create, add, and display a number of different customized sub-activity record types under the Activity section of timeline properties.
    • Notes. Notes allow users to capture notes related to the entity record. Notes are typically used to grab thoughts, summary information, and provide feedback on a record, for example, a case.
    • Posts. There are two types of posts, Auto Posts and User Posts.
      • Auto Posts. These are system generated and notify you of account activity that has occurred.
      • User Posts. User posts are used to communicate with other users in your organization.

    The following image shows that because you selected Activities, Notes, and Posts in the Record types to show section of timeline properties, users will see an option to create these record types at the runtime. The records of these record types will also be shown in the Timeline section at the runtime.

    Configuration Runtime
    Select the records types to show in Timeline Option to create the record types that are selected in timeline properties

    The timeline shows an icon before the activity, post, note, and custom entity making it easy for you to identify the record type. Dates and timestamps are shown for each activity, note, or post in the timeline.

    Option to create the record types that are selected in timeline properties

Advanced section

The Advanced section covers settings that span across an activity, note, or post, which are the three primary record types that appear in the timeline section. This section is collapsed by default. When you enable or disable settings in the Advanced section, you won't be able to see the changes at the runtime (even though it may appear there is activity occurring on the timeline component) until you save and publish your changes and refresh the entity form.

Advanced settings in Timeline properties

  • Quick entry record type: Select the record type that you want to enable for quick create. For example, if Notes is selected in the drop-down list, users will see an option to quicly create a note from the timeline. When you select this option,

    Configuration Runtime
    Select which record type to enable for quick entry Notes enabled for quick entry in Timeline at runtime
  • Sort default: This setting controls the order of how the data must be sorted on the timeline. The default setting for this feature is set to Descending.

  • Enable filter pane: Define whether you want to enable filter options on timeline. This setting is enabled by default.

    When the Enable filter pane check box is selected, a filter icon is shown on the Timeline. More information: How to filter records in Timeline

    Select which record type to enable for quick entry.

  • Expand filter pane: The Expand filter pane setting is used to display an expanded filter pane at the top of timeline anytime a record is opened. This setting is disabled by default. The Expand filter pane feature provides quick access to filtering options for timeline records.

    Runtime when Expand filter pane is disabled Runtime when Expand filter pane is enabled
    Timeline with Expand filter pane option disabled Timeline with Expand filter pane option enabled
  • Enable search bar: Define whether you want to enable or disable search bar on timeline. When you select this check box, a Search timeline box appears in the Timeline section allowing users to easily search for records in the timeline. When you search for a phrase in the timeline, it searches in the title of the record or body and description fields of the record, and then displays the search results. This setting is enabled by default. More information: Search records on timeline

  • Expand all records by default: When this check box is selected, all records in the timeline are shown in an expanded view. This option is disabled by default. Select or clear the check box to enable or disable this option. timeline-expand-all-records-enabled-runtime timeline-expand-all-records-disabled-runtime

    Runtime when Expand all records by default is disabled Runtime when Expand all records by default is enabled
    Timeline with Expand all records by default option disabled Timeline with Expand all records by default option enabled

    Note

    The records in timeline might contain images, but they won't display when the record is collapsed. Records with images must be expanded to be viewed. Use the caret icons (˅ or ^) to expand or collapse a record. Records with images will often display the message "The email has been blocked due to potentially harmful content. View full Email content." When you select this message, the warning goes away. If you don't see a message and still don't see the image displaying, refer to Timeline FAQs.

  • Enable "What you've missed" summary: This setting shows users when there are new records that they haven't seen. This setting is disabled by default. To enable, select this check box. When enabled, you'll see a notification like this:

    What you've missed notification in timeline

Record settings section

The Record settings section allow you to define detailed settings for the record types that you selected in the Record types to show setting. For example, if you selected check boxes for Activities and Notes in the Record types to show section, the Record settings section will provide you more settings related to these two record types.

Configure activity record types

After you select Activities in the Records types to show section, you can also select which type of activities you want to enable to be shown on the timeline. When you expand the Activities under Record settings, a list of all the activity types that can be either enabled or disabled on the entity form is shown.

  1. Expand Activities under Record settings. A list of all the activity types that can be either enabled or disabled on the entity form is shown.
  2. Select the activity type that you want to enable, for example, select Email. A fly-out appears.

Configure activity type to display in timeline

  1. Configure the following options:

    1. Enable: To show the activity type in the the fly-out menu that appears when you select the Create a timeline record icon in the timeline section, select Enable. The activity type will appear as shown in the following image:

      Email activity in the flyout

      The records for this activity type will also be shown in the timeline.

      To prevent an activity type from appearing in the fly-ot, clear the Enable check box.

      Note

      Additional settings for a record type are disabled until you enable the record type.

    2. Enable status tags: Status tags display in the timeline to help users to see at a glance whether an activity, for example, an email is in the Active, Overdue, or Closed state. Status tags are enabled by default. The following image shows where users will see the status tag is in the timeline at the runtime:

      Activity status in the timeline

    3. Create directly from timeline: When you enable this setting for an activity type, users can quickly create a record for this activity type from the timeline. The following image shows where users will see the option to create the activity record from the timeline at the runtime:

      Email activity in the flyout

    4. Select form: Records are displayed using the default form for each activity type. However, for some activity type records, for example, an appointment or email, you can either select the default form or a different card form if one is available.

      Select a different form for an activity type

      You can't use the Email card form in the timeline unless you select and publish it first.

      Note

      • Not all activity types support creating forms of type form, so Default will be the only option you can select for these activity types.
      • If you create a new card form, you must go to the parent entity and add the new form of type Card before it starts appearing in the configuration for timeline. If Default is displayed, you are not using the card form.

How to customize a card from in timeline

All card forms are broken out into the following four (4) sections:

Labels Section Description
a ColorStrip Section This section does not appear on the timeline record. The ColorStrip is located on the left of the card form.
b Header Section This section is displayed on the timeline record, however only the first two fields are displayed on the timeline record. For this example, only the Subject and Modified On fields are visible.
c Details Section This section is displayed on timeline record, however only the first three fields are displayed on the timeline record. For this example, only the To, CC, and Description fields are visible on the timeline record.
d Footer Section This section is not displayed on the timeline record.
e Entity Fields You can select which fields you want to add to your card form from the field options listed on the right. You can customize your card form by dragging and dropping the fields you want to use into the sections you want that field to appear in on the timeline record.

Display options - Advanced - How to customize a card from in timeline

Each individual card form has to be customized for each activity record such as email, tasks, posts, and so on.

Header Section
The displays the title/subject in your timeline email form. You can have up to six (6) fields in the Header section, only the first two (2) fields will be seen on the timeline record. Also empty fields will be ignored by the form in all sections.

    a. Header - Field 1. Regardless of the field you choose, it will appear as a bold header at the top of your timeline record. For this example we selected Subject for this field.

    b. Header - Field 2. Again regardless of the field you choose, this field appears in the bottom right corner of the timeline record. For this example we selected Modified On for this field.

Details Section
This displays in the body of your the timeline email record. You can have up to four (4) fields in the Detail section, but only the first three (3) fields are seen on the timeline record.

    c. Details - Field 1. As before, regardless of the field you choose, this field will always appear below the Header - Field 1 as a sub-header on the timeline record. For this example we selected To for this field.

    d. Details - Field 2. This field will display one line of text in a summary view on the timeline record. When you expand your timeline record, content in this field is fully displayed with format. For this example we selected CC for this field.

    e. Details - Field 3. This field follows the content in Details -Field 2 and is part of the main body of your timeline record that is only viewable when you expand the record. For this example we selected Description for this field.

Footer Section
This section is not visible on the timeline record.

    f. Footer – Field 1. For this example we selected **Owner** for this field.

    g. Footer – Field 2. For this example we selected Regarding for this field.

    h. Footer – Field 3. For this example we selected Priority for this field.

Display options - Advanced - How to customize a card from in timeline

How to set date in the sort activities by feature in timeline

How you view data is important and setting a default display view of your data varies based on the needs of your business. Admins can choose how data is sorted and create a default sort setting for Activity types in Record settings. Last Updated is on all activities which is why it is set as the default in ascending order.

  1. The Sort activity by feature in the Activities record settings allows you to control how data is sorted in timeline.

  2. When you select the Sort activities by field, a list appears. You can select from this list how you want your data to be sorted and displayed on timeline in the form.

    There are some unique date fields, for example:

    Labels Section Description
    a Date sent This only occurs in email. If you sort by Date sent, most activities will not contain a Date Sent and therefore will be grouped together without any ordering.
    b Sort date You can't create a custom date field. If you create one, it will not display, so in answer to this, Sort date was created. It does not have a value and therefore allows you to choose your own. It is empty by default.

    Display options - Advanced - How to set date in the sort activities by feature in timeline

    Important

    • Sort date is intended for users to programmatically map each activity with a date of choice to have more control. It’s a customization option that allows you to sort activities any way you want by whatever date you want. You will have to populate each field and it requires that you update all activities to populate the Sort date with a value. However, once you complete the configuration, you have flexiblity to sort anyway you want.
    • Sort dates have to be configured for each timeline instance and set up must be completed in all three main forms for the Account entity in order to work.

How to set create activities form type in timeline

The Create activities feature allows you to choose which type of form you want to work in based on your business needs.

Select Create activities using feature to select either a Quick create form or Main form.

Note

If a quick create form for an activity has not been created, then the main form will be used. If quick create form is not supported, such as with email, the main form will always be used.

Display options - Advanced - How to set create activities form type in timeline

Timeline performance impacts

You only want to enable activities that you need on this form. When working with 10 or more Activity types, you will receive a warning notice letting you know the number of activity types you have selected impacts the performance speed on your timeline. To improve timeline performance speed, consider limiting activity types to 10 or less.

Warning notice will display when you select more than 10 activity types

Display options - Advanced - Timeline performance impacts

Notes on timeline

Use the following steps for Notes:

  1. Select Notes
  2. The section will expand to see Coming soon which indicates you have Notes enabled.
  3. Once enabled, you can now click on the (Create a timeline record) icon
  4. Flyout will appear. Select Notes
  5. Begin writing your Note using rich text and just click Add Note at the bottom to save.

Notes on timeline

Posts on timeline

Use the following steps for Posts:

  1. Select Post
  2. The section will expand to see Coming soon which indicates you have Post enabled.
  3. Once enabled, you can now click on the (Create a timeline record) icon
  4. Flyout will appear. Select Posts
  5. Begin writing your Post.

Posts on timeline

Save and publish timeline updates and changes

Before you can view any configuration changes on the entity form, you must save and publish your updates first on the timeline component.

  1. Before you can publish, you must Save any changes made in the timeline component first

  2. Once your configuration changes are saved, select Publish. Timeline updates are now live in your timeline environment and can be viewed.

    Save and publish timeline updates and changes

How to configure dashboard timelines

Timelines can be configured and put on a dashboard. However, dashboards are not supported by Power Apps. For more information see Set up timeline section (control).

Note

Capabilities on a dashboard timeline are different than those in an embedded dashboard timeline. For more information see Create or edit model-driven app dashboards.

How to create and add custom activities to timeline

You can create custom entities to display on the timeline by enabling specific options during the creation of the entity. See the How to create and add custom activities for a step by step guide.

See Also

Timeline FAQs