Can you open tabs in new windows?

Hints, Tips and Tricks

Technical Hints Tips and Tricks that cover customization and development using Sage CRM. API usage and coding are covered.

Can you open tabs in new windows?

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A customer asked for guidance whether screens in Sage CRM could be opened up into new browser tabs or windows.

The definitive statement is tucked away in the patch release notes for Sage CRM 7.2 e. 

"0-154083-QA User Interface A user wanted to open a case in a new tab in order to assign it to someone. This is by design. Sage CRM can be used in one tab only."

The reality is a little more nuanced.  It is possible to open screens in new browser tabs or windows.  There are lots of places within Sage CRM where pop-up windows are used.

Notably, they are used around E-marketing, within the Outbound calls screens and even the Profile menu pops open a link to the community in a new window.  This is controlled by a metadata flag 'Tabs_NewWindow' in the custom_tabs table.

You can investigate this yourself within the database:

select * from custom_tabs where Tabs_NewWindow is not null

Please note that this 'pop up' mechanism is available only for system screens.  There is no way to define this through the Admin Screens and is specifically excluded from the documentation.

And it is also important to understand that when these options are called the key aspect is that they do not wrap the page in any additional navigation. They don't have any menu on the page.  You are supposed to allow the user to do one action and then close the window.  You are certainly not able to open a window and then browse off elsewhere within that new window. 

If this were to happen Sage CRM would lose track of its session information and you would most likely end up on a logon screen.  This all became a very noticeable issue in Sage CRM 7.2 when the use of framesets was dropped and Sage CRM became by design a single page application.

Nevertheless, it is possible (and desirable) in some cases to call a screen in a new browser window.  And the APIs allow for this. 

The COM API used in Button method within classic ASP pages has the concept of a target allowing a URL to be opened in a new window. 


An example of calling a popup screen using the client-side API can be found here:

The important part of the URL used to call the Sage CRM screen in a new window is "&PopupWin=Y".  The flag PopupWin=Y tells Sage CRM not to draw the Main Menu and TopContent including any Tab Menu for the new page.  And that in turn removes the risk of losing session context.

  • This is a very interesting topic because many end users have grumbled about the single-page interface, especially since 2 or morre screens have become the norm. I still hope it can change someday.

  • I would agree with Caili, the big thing is scheduling appointments and tasks for sales groups, the number one complaint is the amount of "clicking" that is required.  If somehow it would just pop the appointment/task screen up over the screen you are on that would be a great start, not sure it would be less clicking but it would be a great enhancement to the flow so they could be recording their notes about the call but still use the system while in the call.  I've had to be creative and create a new tab in communication screen for company related information so they could stay within the appointment screen and still answer some questions.

  • I'll pass your comments onto my colleagues in product management.  But if you want to tell us in person and may be have longer chat then you can always join the weekly 'surgeries' we have on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Check out my signature within in any of my forum posts.