Customize your Business Contact Manager forms through user-defined fields

By using Business Contact Manager for Outlook, you can customize your Account, Business Contact, Opportunity, and Business Project  forms to show exactly the information you want to track. For example, if you are a real estate agent, you may want to track the type of property (residential or commercial) that a customer is interested in. By customizing the forms, you gain the flexibility to better sort, filter, classify, and analyze your data. One way to do this is to create your own user-defined fields, and then add or remove them to design your forms the way you want.

You can use these user-defined fields in the same way that you use the fields in the default forms. For example, as a real estate agent, you may want to send an e-mail message to all the customers who are looking for a two-bedroom. You can filter the recipient list using the type of property field that you created for the form.

After you have created a customized form, it is saved as a .bcmx file, which you can share with others on your work team. You can also import customizations created by others.

Note: Business Contact Manager forms are customized by adding fields, known as user-defined fields, or by changing the list of items that are available in a field (drop-down list). You cannot change the layout of forms or remove default fields.

What do you want to do?

Create a user-defined group or field

Customize a form through user-defined fields

Delete a user-defined field that is no longer needed

Export and import customizations

Create a user-defined group or field

When you enter data in a Business Contact Manager for Outlook form, you enter it into a field—such as Account name or Office, located on the Account form. Each field is part of a group on that form. For example, the Account name or Office fields are both part of the Account group. The group name appears on the form as a subheading.

Important: To be included on a form, a field must be part of a group. If you do not specify a group, a default group is created for you.

  1. On the Business Contact Manager menu, point to Customize Business Contact Manager Forms, and then click one of the following: Customize Account form, Customize Business Contact form, Customize Opportunity form, or Customize Business Project form.

  2. In the appropriate Manage User-Defined Fields dialog box, in the Page list, click the page you want to add a user-defined field to.

  3. Click the Add Group button to create an identifying group for your new user-defined fields, and, in the Add a Group dialog box, type a name for this group.

  4. Select the group, and then click the Edit button to change the name of the group.

  5. Click the Add Field button.

  6. In the Add a Field dialog box, type the field name that you want, select a Data Type (such as Text, Number, or Date/Time), and a Format for the data type you choose.

    Note: After you save the field with a specific data type, you cannot change the data type. Instead, you must delete the existing data type and select a new one.

    What is a data type?

    When you create a field, you must decide what type of data it will include. You can choose from the following:

    For this type of data

    Select corresponding data type

    Words or sentences up to 96 characters


    Numbers with and without a decimal point (up to 19 digits on either side of the decimal point).




    Prices, income, or any other currency-related data


    Answers to simple questions such as yes or no, on or off, or true or false


    Date or time information in any of the formats available in Outlook


    Whole numbers


    A prepopulated list of possible entries to save time or maintain consistency among forms.

    Drop-down list

Tip: After you create a user-defined field in one form, you can reuse it elsewhere. In the Add a Field dialog box, click Add field from a different entity, and then click the field you want. You can can up to 40 fields per form.

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Customize a form through user-defined fields

You can create, edit, move, or delete fields and groups of fields in the Manage User-defined Fields dialog box.

  1. On the Business Contact Manager menu, point to Customize Business Contact Manager Forms, point to Manage User-Defined Fields, and then click Account, Business Contact, Opportunity, or Business Project.

  2. In the appropriate Manage User-Defined Fields dialog box, in the Page list, select the page you want to customize. If you have previously added user-defined fields, these are listed in the order that they appear on the page.

    To manage these fields, do one or more of the following:

    • To add a new group or field to this form, see Create a user-defined group or field.

    • To edit a user-defined field, click the group or field name, and then click Edit. Type the information that you want.

      Note: The Data type cannot be edited. For more information about editing a field, see Manage user-defined fields in Business Contact Manager: Edit a Field.

    • To change the order of these fields, select the group or field you want to move, and then click the Move Up or the Move Down button. To change the position of a group or field in the left or right column, select the item and then click  move to the left button   to move the item to the left or   move to the right button to move the item to the right.

    • To move a group or field to another page on the same form, click the Move To button.

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Delete a user-defined field that is no longer needed

If you no longer need a user-defined group or field, click the Delete button, which deletes the group or field from the page or form.

Note: When you delete a user-defined field on a form, you also delete all the information linked with this field in your Business Contact Manager database. If you think you may use this data again in the future, back up the database before deleting the field. To back up the database, you must be the database owner.


If you are the database owner, on the Business Contact Manager menu, point to Database Tools, and then click Manage Database. In the Manage Database dialog box, on the Backup/Restore tab, click Back Up Database.

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Export and import customizations

When you have created a set of forms that you want to use, you can share these customizations with other co-workerss.

Export your customizations

Your customizations, including user-defined fields, groups, and their positions are saved as a .bcmx file.

  1. On the File menu, point to Import and Export, and then click Business Contact Manager for Outlook.

  2. In the Business Data Import and Export wizard, click Export a file.

  3. Click Business Contact Manager Customizations (.bcmx) and then click Next.

  4. Click Browse to select a location for your customization file.

Ensure you can readily share this customization file with other co-workers by selecting a publicly accessible location.

Import customizations from others

  1. On the Business Contact Manager menu, click Import Customizations.

  2. In the Business Data Import and Export wizard, click Next.

  3. Click Browse to locate the customizations (.bcmx) file you want to import, and then click Next.

The customizations are applied to the existing forms in your database.

Note: This customization file applies only to your current database. You must re-import the file each time you create or select a different database.

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