Command Designer for Model-Driven Apps

Command Designer for Model-Driven Apps

John PhillipsProduct Updates

Editing Dynamics 365 command bars has always been complex; now with the new Command Designer, the process is about to get much simpler.

What is a Command Bar?

Command Bars (often referred to as Ribbons) appear throughout model-driven apps and provide contextual buttons and menus based on where you are in the app at the time. As an example, here is part of the Command Bar for a lead record:

Command Bar

The are four locations where a Command Bar can appear:

  • Main Grid. Displayed when using the left-hand navigation of an app to view a full page list of records.
  • Main Form. Displayed when viewing an individual record.
  • Subgrid View. Displayed on forms of other tables that render a table’s data within a subgrid.
  • Associated View. Displayed on the form of a parent table when viewing related data.

Why would I want to customise a Command Bar?

Although Dynamics 365 caters for the range of functions that a user may want to carry out on a record – saving, deleting, sharing etc. – there may be times where you want to add bespoke functionality that is specific to your own business processes or you may simply want to remove core functionality to hide unwanted options from users. Customising the Command Bars in an app provides a more refined user experience and can improve productivity.

What is the Command Designer?

The Command Designer is driven by Power Fx, the same low-code functionality that is part of Canvas Apps. It makes the customisation of an app’s Command Bars far more intuitive, encouraging app designers to take their model-driven apps further. It can be used to either run traditional Javascript functions, but also Power Fx formulas, opening up a whole range of possibilities for those already familiar with Canvas Apps.

How do I access the Command Designer?

Currently, the designer is in preview and so can only be accessed via the preview version of the app maker portal. The range of functionality is limited for the moment while Microsoft gather feedback on any potential issues (support for modifying ‘classic’ buttons is missing for instance), but we can hope to see full support in the coming months. Microsoft have issues some pre-release documentation for the designer which can be found here.


Customisation of app Command Bars has always been a chore for most app builders, so it’s great to see Microsoft addressing this and bringing their low-code approach that we’ve seen in other Power Platform products to model-driven apps. We look forward to seeing the functionality mature and the designer reach general release in the near future. If you are an existing client and wish to discuss this new functionality, get in touch with one of our experts today.

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