Why not use an IFRAME?
Good question. File this one under constraints. We have similar capability on the left nav already that we carried over from CRM 4. We really wanted to locate the features near each other -- and the entity form we're working with was already pretty tall.
I found a handful of links that suggested using a form.onload script and modifying the link via the DOM. Or modifying the onclick behavior. These might work too -- but something that I observed while doing ribbon development gave me some hope. Here is a summary what I did and what I found.
*** Disclaimer: You just found this on some random blog. Be smart. Backup, create a new test CRM Org. Test it outside of Production. No warranties, expressed or implied.***
- Create a "seed" navItem through the traditional, supported way. (Customize form, navigation..)
- Create an Unmanaged solution
- Include the entity in question
- Export the Solution
- Unzip the Solution Package
- Open the customizations.xml file in a text editor
- Search for "FormXML"
- once found, search for the name of your link (by display name is fine)
- You'll see something that resembles the following:
- The "PassParams" attribute is what I added.
- Zip up the assets that made up the original exported solution -- especially the modified customizations.xml
- Import this package into CRM2011 through the traditional Settings>>Solutions feature
Publish after successful import. That's it. Verify using Fiddler. Good luck.