03 December 2012

How to control what CRM records sync into Microsoft Office Outlook

With Dynamics CRM 2011 outlook client, users can view CRM data even they are not connected to CRM. Synchronized too much data might not be a good idea as it will reduce performance and user experiences.

In CRM2011, users can specify the filter on:
  • what data they wanted to take offline
  • what data they wanted to sync to their outlook’s folder
To configure Office Outlook 2010 filters,
1.       Navigate to File>CRM> Synchronize dropdown.

2.       After clicking the “Outlook Filters”. Users can change the filter to control what data sync into their outlook.
The dialog contains list of different entities type being configured and their status.

Offline Synchronization Filters
Outlook filters affect CRM items which have counterparts in Outlook, like Tasks, Contacts and Appointments. They control what data gets synced to Outlook folders, such as the Contacts folder or Calendar.
Outlook Synchronization Filters
Offline filters affect the CRM folders in Outlook, and they specify what data gets stored on your machine when you disconnect from the internet (Go Offline).

If user missing CRM data while Offline, we can modify the Offline filters.
If user is taking long time to Go Offline, we can deactivate some of the data filters to reduce amount of data being sync.
User Filters
These filters belong to you, and it defined what information gets synced down from CRM to Outlook.
These filters configured by the system administrator, and they apply to everyone.

09 November 2012

Firewall Port Requirements for CRM 2011

Some useful information for enterprise level environment installation.
List of ports to be enabled in firewall before running your CRM2011 installer.

Download the full requirement below.

31 October 2012

Yammer Dynamics CRM Integration

Yammer announced a native integration with CRM few days ago!

Meanwhile, the detail information on how we can use and integrate with CRM yet to be confirmed.
For example: CRM online, on premises and activity feeds etc...

Will try to update here once I get the update, it is good to see that more and more native integration build in with MSCRM :)

11 October 2012

CRM2011 UR 11 is available!

Will be release on 11-Oct, click the build number tab on this website for detail.

08 August 2012

CRM2011 setup log file location

Some good to know information during CRM 2011 installation process.

The log file will be created in the following path:


LoginName is the user name that you are using for installation

13 July 2012

CRM 2011 Activity Feed cannot be deleted

Playing with the new activity feed R8 beta solution recently. Somehow hit an error prompting me "The Solution Activity Feeds cannot be deleted. The following components are required by other components in the system." when I try to remove the managed solution.

By viewing the details, we can see the dependencies.
Disable the message step for activity feed managed solution.
For this case, we have to navigate to the "Activity Feeds configuration", then delete the records inside.
Followup with Publish all entities...

Now you should be able to uninstall it. :)

05 July 2012

Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro with $39.99 Only

This promotion run through 31-January 2013.
You are qualified if you running Win XP, Vista or 7! Sounds good.

Here is the post by Brandon LeBlanc if you wish to read for detail information. :)

08 April 2012

How to access Azure WCF Endpoint with CRM plugin

CRM plugin only support add service reference on run-time, which means we have to bind and generate the classes using code behind whenever we want to access it.

We can use the following sample code to create the binding in code behind.
BasicHttpBinding myBinding = new BasicHttpBinding();
myBinding.Name = "ARV.MyService";
myBinding.Security.Mode = BasicHttpSecurityMode.None;
myBinding.Security.Transport.ClientCredentialType = HttpClientCredentialType.None;
myBinding.Security.Transport.ProxyCredentialType = HttpProxyCredentialType.None;
myBinding.Security.Message.ClientCredentialType = BasicHttpMessageCredentialType.UserName;
EndpointAddress endPointAddress = new EndpointAddress("http://eea5f8cbdbc749b0bcea2b6250cbae11.cloudapp.net/Myservice.svc");
MyServiceClient client = new MyServiceClient(myBinding, endPointAddress);

26 March 2012

Update Rollup 7 for CRM 2011

Official available on 22 March 2012 for download now.
KB : 2600643
Download HERE

This RU introduce a new feature called Read Optimized Forms. By using this feature, an organization can let users decide whether they want to view records using a form that is optimized to load quickly.
The read-optimized form improves productivity for users who primarily consume data instead of editing records. It also helps prevent users from unintentional editing field values

24 March 2012

CRM 2011 SDK 5.0.10

We can download the latest CRM 2011 sdk v5.0.10 already!
 Release on 22/Mar, cheers

There is a new topic with guidance about two types of read-only forms: the new read-optimized forms included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 7 and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook reading pane.

29 February 2012

Migrating SQL Database to SQL Azure

Microsoft SQL provides serveral options for users to migrate their on-premises instance of SQL database to SQL Azure. In this post, I will use the simplest method (generate script) to prepare script for SQL Azure. Before we begin, it is good to know the limitation of SQL Azure compare to on-premises instance type of SQL, we can found the full list at MSDN here.

One of the key concern is you have to use SQL server 2008 R2 version, SQl 2008 does not support the target database to be SQL Azure.

Navigate to the database you wish to migrate. Mouse right click, select task , then generate scripts.

A wizard screen called "generate and publish script" will pop up. Select your object and define the script location. Key thing here is click the advance button.
Inside the advance option;
Set "script for the database engine type" to SQL Azure Database
Set "Convert UDDTs to Base types" to True.
Set "Types of data to script" to schema and data 
Now, execute the scripts in SQL Azure management portal, you should able to see your data in the cloud :)

18 February 2012

CRM 4 and CRM2011 rollup information [sharing post]

Here is the detail information regarding Dynamics CRM 4 and 2011, posted by Greg Nichols. Well done !
Rollup version listing

14 February 2012

CRM Anywhere-R8 (Q2 2012)

Microsoft will be releasing their next service release called "CRM Anywhere" which will definitely be a important milestone for Dynamics CRM as it provides some of the most wanted features for CRM 2011.

Dynamics CRM Mobile
Set to provide a cross-platform native mobile client for WP7.5, iPad, iPhoneand Blackberry.

Cross Browser Support
CRM web client will run across different browser and platform such as Safari, Firefox, Chrome...powered by HTML 5

Activity Feed enhancements. Improve portal framework and deliver industry templates. Leverage on SQL 2012 provide the next generation BI & reporting tools.

Happy CRM'ing

10 February 2012

My CRM book review [Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 New Features]

I was contacted by an online book shop “Packt Publishing” to review one of the CRM book by Jim Wang and Darren Liu. Both of them are well known CRM MVP in the field. I hope that in future will have chance to meet them up.

Back to the book review, I would say this book is more suitable for those technical people who deal with MSCRM customization as well as extending CRM. I like the way how they used simple English and the “Note” section that display extra tips for readers’ reference. In term of the book contents, I was a bit surprise because it actually included the environment setup chapter which is missing on many CRM book. :) Reading the experience by experts is the fastest way to pick up. 

The chapter - Extending CRM 2011 in the Cloud di provide summary information for readers to have a quick start on the Cloud requirement. The chapter arrangement is OK and rich, but I prefer it can include a chapter for CRM2011 troubleshooting technique. Another hot topic that missing is the claim base configuration. Overall for me, USD35.99 for almost 300 pages print book is definitely worth it. 

Book Contents preview:
1.    Setting Up the Development Workspace
This chapter provides the information about the development tools, system requirement as well as step by step guide on how to setup a CRM2011 VM.

2.    System Design and Configuration
Interesting topic arrangement where they use a project to explain the CRM2011 customization part (Entity,Form,View,Relationship)

3.    Data Import
Provides the information and option for data import with real life business example.

4.    Client site programming
Information regarding the XRM.Page namespace, SOAP and REST endpoints programming.

5.    Server side programming
Provides information on the CRM assemblies, plugin development and Process.

6.    SharePoint Integration
Show case on SharePoint integration with CRM2011.

7.    Charts and Dashboard
Information on CRM charts dashboard and filters.

8.    Extending CRM2011 in the Cloud
Information on the Azure,Email router and the CRM2011 Portal solutions.

9.    Sitemap and ribbon customization
Guide on working with sitemap, ribbon etc.

10.    Packing it up
Explain on the new concept of CRM2011, Solution. Managed and Unmanaged solution tips.

27 January 2012

Book review: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 New Features

Received this book "Microsoft Dynamics CRM2011 New Features" last 2 weeks. Wrote by 2 CRM MVPs Jim Wang & Darren Liu to provide readers all in one type of resource to pickup CRM2011...
Stay tuned for my upcoming review of this book, half way through already~ :-)

Book review post

25 January 2012

Happy Chinese New Year

Took one week leave for Chinese New Year celebration...
Wishing everyone a happy dragon year...Gong Xi Fa Cai !

17 January 2012

CRM 2011 SDK 5.0.9

We can download the latest CRM 2011 sdk v5.0.9 now!
 Release on 17/Jan, cheers

16 January 2012

Update Rollup 6 for CRM 2011

Official available on 12 January 2012 for download now.
KB : 2600640
Download HERE

  • You must have Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 build 5.0.9688.583 installed to apply this update rollup.
  • You cannot remove Update Rollup 6. Specific database updates are applied in Update Rollup 6 that will not let you uninstall Update Rollup 6. You should back up your databases before you install this update. 
  • contains the Dynamics CRM Q4 Service Update features
  • is a cumulative update rollup that includes all the fixes
The full install packages (slipstreams) for version 5.0.9689.1985, were re-released. This was the install packages that included Update Rollup 6. Due to this re-release the old install packages are no longer valid for future Update Rollups. [updated 21/Jan]

01 January 2012

MSCRM2011 integration with Windows Azure (AppFabric) - Part 1

As Microsoft steps into the Cloud service with CRM 2011, Windows Azure platform AppFabric Service Bus provides an end-to-end solution option for us to integrate with CRM 2011 Online. It enable the data that has been processed as part of the current MSCRM operation to posted to the bus. Futher more, it provides a secure channel for communicating CRM run time data to external cloud applications. This is useful in keeping CRM systems and others data source synchronized.

Diagram below shows the how the AppFabric serve as a middle man:
Service bus messages are received at an endpoint using: (Detail explanation can be found on the SDK)
  • Queued
  • One-way
  • Two-way
  • REST
After a long summary on what AppFabric can do, lets see how to configure it. In this part 1 section, I will used CRM 2011 Online + Azure AppFabric as an example with step by step screen explanation:

Note: Microsoft Windows Azure upgraded ACS to version 2 on April 2011, for compatible checking, read the detail in this article.

First of all, we need to have CRM2011 account, Windows Azure account and CMR2011 Plugin registration tool... (You can also signup for free trial 30 days for CRM2011 & 3 months Windows Azure platform free trial, refer my previous post)

Step 1: Open the CRM 2011 Online in browser,navigate to the Developer resources screen from setting tab. Download the Certificate file and remember your Issuer Name. [We need to use this value in later stage!]

Step 2: Login to your Windows Azure Platform portal. change to Service bus, access control and caching page. Click the new ribbon button on top to create a new subscription service bus. [CRM will connect to this bus later]

Step 3: System will prompt you for namespace value, region and service you want to create. [Namespace must be unique, you can use the check button to verify. In my case, I used "EastOceanDevelopmentBox"]

Step 4: Wait few minutes for the Azure platform to create your service, you will see the status turn to Active. On the right hand site of the portal, from the properties section, notice that the ACS version is version 2, and there is a default key you will need to refer during the plugin registration stage for service endpoint.
Click on the view button you will see the similar screen as below: [Default key required on plugin registration stage!]

Step 5: Open a precompiled CRM2011 Plugin Registration Tool. Select the "Register New Service Endpoint" option.

Step 6: In the service end point details screen.
Fill name for this service.[It will display in CRM system job screen]
Fill in the solution namespace with the one we created in step 3. [EastOceanDevelopmentBox]

Fill in the Path. [Your service bus URI, example: https://eastoceandevelopmentbox.servicebus.windows.net/RemoteService]
Choose the contract you want and click the save and configure ACS button.

Step 7: In the ACS configuration screen, Paste the default key in step 4 as the Management Key
Browse the certificate we downloaded earlier. Paste the issuer name, all can get from CRM developer resource. Click Configure ACS.
You will see something similar as screen below.

 Step 8: On the service endpoint detail page, click save and verify. Then close.
If everything configure nicely without error,  a new system event record should appear in the CRM system job view with the name I key in earlier "CRM 2011 Online" status succeeded. Refer screen below.
Hooray! Now the CRM is connected to Azure and we can run our listener program to capture the context values.

I will try to post the part 2 ASAP, for part 2, I will demo how to register step with service endpoint and the different type of contract interaction that can use.