System Administrators and System Customizers responsible for managing components (views, entities, fields, dashboards, etc.) in Microsoft Dynamics CRM are probably all too familiar with this scenario; a component becomes obsolete, is supplanted by a new item or is simply not useful anymore – you try and delete it, but are greeted with an error informing you that the system “Cannot Delete Component: Cannot delete component because one or more components requires it.”
Luckily, CRM makes it easy to view these dependencies for anyone that has access to Customize the system and/or view the Solution.
I’ll use Views as an example, but most system components work the exact same way.
First, navigate to the component you want to remove. In my case, I’ll remove a View on the Opportunity form:
Select the View you want to remove and select More Actions. From the drop down menu select Show Dependencies.
A window will appear that will display two lists; the first will be a list of all the Dependent Components. These are the items that must be modified or deleted in order to remove the component you are attempting to delete. Note that you can double click on the display name to be taken directly to the component to modify or remove it as desired. Note that not all components will be able to be removed.
Once this list is empty, you will be able to remove the component as you were attempting to previously.
The second list contains a list of Required components. These are elements that need to be either in place on the target system or included in the solution already when attempting to move a component via solution to a new system. For example, when migrating from Development to Test.
While it can be time consuming to remove any and all references to a particular component when trying to delete it, this method is surely the much faster, safer way to do so than by manually hunting down any rouge references on your own.