Step by Step: Let’s refresh your Dynamics 365 Sandbox


Welcome back and Happy New Years Everyone.

One of the items I love about using Dynamics 365 Online is the ability to use the Sandbox feature. In the past, with on-premises version of Dynamics, you had to take a database backup copy of Production system, file copy the database to Sandbox server, restore the database and re-import the database via the Dynamics 365 Deployment Manager on the server. This process could waste up to a day of work and 4-8 hours to run!

So when Microsoft asked the MVP’s what feature we would like to have in the cloud, the ability, to sandbox/restore was right at the top of our minds.  I had to recently document this for a great customer, so I decided to share with you as well! So let’s show you step by step:

Step 1

Login into your Microsoft Office 365 Account.

https://login.microsoftonline.com

Step 2

From the Office Switch (Blue Box/white squares) in Top left select Admin. You will not see admin if you have not been made an Office 365 Administrator. Please see your IT department or the team that setup your office account to request access. This will take you the office 365 home page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3

Click the Admin Centers, and find Dynamics 365 Admin Center from the slide out.

 

Step 4
This will bring you the Dynamics 365 Instance Administration Screen. Click on the production instance name:

 

Step 5
and then press on the Copy button

 

Step 6
Finally, select the instance you want to copy from and the target (older sandbox instance) to override. Select full or minimal(no data), and Press Copy at the Bottom.

 

Once you start to copy the instance this can take anywhere between 10 minutes and 3 hours depending on the size of your production database and the level of customization.

All of this up till now is pretty standard, but here’s the gotcha. The production setup will have production settings for email and other items like plugins that will try to update the production system. to Protect us, the Org will be restored as Admin mode only – where users only with admin roles can access it until you get a chance to turn off some of this. I highly recommended immediately turning off email so don’t email clients when testing 🙂

 
Final Step

Here’s a link to all the gotcha/items to consider before enabling the Sandbox for user access.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/admin/copy-instance

From the instance manager is Step 4 select the sandbox instance and change the mode back to normal access. Enjoy!


Get Ready for CRMUG Summit


Please join me and the rest of the DXC, Tribridge, and Eclipse teams for the CRMUG Summit 2017 in Nashville.

CRMUG Summit is the premier CRM event of the year, with topics and tracks for all users of your Dynamics 365
system. I will be covering MVP, Medic Tent, Upgrade and ADFS sessions, along with a community showcase with my
colleague Donna Edwards.

Here’s a video about what Summit is all about! Register early to get a discount! Stop by and say hello!
CRMUG Summit 2017


Move over CRM and AX! Dynamics 365 is here!


Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been rebranded as Dynamics 365 as of November 1.

We have been battling for years the Microsoft CRM and ERP products did not talk to each other out of the box, requiring integrations like Scribe, EOne or KingswaySoft. Other competitors provided seamless tools that often noted this as a weakness.

Microsoft has responded with Dynamics 365 or a 360 degree of customer across CRM and ERP. And they didn’t stop with that. Now, the Common Data Model will be integrated across all products and be exposed to PowerApps, PowerBI and other products. An Appstore, along with the ability to provide Micro Apps will be a great way for developers to extend Dynamics 365 and get direct audience with the users needing these apps.

Why is this important to me as a developer? Lot’s of opportunity to not only extend Dynamics 365, but also to use XRM as your development platform and get access to all these great feature sets.

 


Thank you to the Community. MVP renewed for 2016.


It’s that time of the year again when Microsoft MVP’s in the October renewal cycle get their Award status. I’m proud to say I have been renewed again, for my 5th consecutive year. I would like to take a moment to thank my family, co-workers and Tribridge to give me the time and opportunity to support the community I love.

A lot of people do not realize that an MVP renewal is not guaranteed each year. You must work for it each year, showing and providing details of your efforts to be involved in the community. Most of us have no problem as we love to engage with the community and love to continue learning.

This year same as last year I will be splitting time between Dynamics 365 and Azure topics, as well as launching the Azure Medics monthly meetings to help the Azure community. CRMUG Medic calls will also continue quarterly.

Speaking of learning, Dynamics 365 blitz going on right now, with the launch for Dynamics 365 at the CRMUG Summit in Tampa FL October 11. Don’t miss it or join us remotely via the link below.

http://www.dynamiccommunities.com/conferences


Azure Medics Panel & First Webinar Date Announced!


We have several Azure MVPs & soon to be MVPS signed up to be your first panel for our upcoming Azure Medic Webinar on October 25th. Let’s introduce them here and make sure to follow them on twitter for additional content! I will be your host and moderator for these web events. More details and future webinar dates can be found on our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1033129676804625/

Greg Leonardo https://twitter.com/gleonardo

Kevin D. Wolf  https://twitter.com/ByteMaster

Santoash Hari https://twitter.com/_s_hari

Scott Dorman https://twitter.com/sdorman

 

 

 


Override CRM dashboard limit to avoid your solution failing


When trying to upload a solution with more than the maximum number of dashboard components.

Message: “The Dashboard that you are trying to save has more components than the maximum number allowed. Remove some components and try again.”

dashboard

 
 
 
 

To resolve this issue, you can increase the Dashboard limit using Power

1. Retrieve and set the dashboard limit

  1. Open a Windows PowerShell command window
  2. Add the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Windows PowerShell snap-in:

2. Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.Crm.PowerShell

powershell_01

 
 

3. Retrieve the current setting:

$setting = Get-CrmSetting -SettingType DashboardSettings

4. Modify the current setting:

$setting.MaximumControlsLimit = 10

Set-CrmSetting -Setting $setting

powershell_02

 


How to setup load balanced SSRS Servers for CRM 2016


While not very common, there are times when a customer or client requests two servers for the CRM SRS data connector/SSRS to be installed and have load balancing configured for the servers. The idea here is failover; when one server hosting SSRS crashes, all incoming requests are routed to the secondary server. There are a couple of ways to do this, but the following method is the most straightforward and simplistic way.

1.    Create a Virtual IP(VIP) to route to each SSRS server.

In order for this method to work, a virtual IP will need to be created. The virtual IP will accept incoming data packets, then route the requests to each of the IP addresses of the physical servers that will have SSRS installed.

2.      Install and configure SSRS on each server.

Install and configure SSRS on each server as you typically would by pointing to the SQL server and/or instance where you would like the report server databases to be located.

3.    Install the CRM SRS data connector on each server.

Grab the installation files for your respective version of CRM and install the data connector on both servers. Install the data connector as you would for a typical CRM deployment.

4.      Configure the host file on each SSRS server.

On both SSRS servers, open the host file: C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts. Edit the host file by adding the IP and DNS name of the virtual IP created in step 1:

host

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.      Add the BackConnectionHostNames registry key with the server name and FQDN.

Open Registry Editor on one of the SSRS servers, and locate the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\MSV1_0.

Right click MSV1_0, point to New and then click Multi-String Value. Type BackConnectionHostNames, then press ENTER.

Right click BackConnectionHostNames, then click Modify.

In the Value data box, type the host name of the VIP and FQDN of the VIP, and click OK.

multi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat these steps for the other SSRS server.

6.      Add hostname and URL root values.

On one of the SSRS servers, make a backup of the reportserver.config file located here: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSRS11.MSSQLSERVER\Reporting Services\ReportServer.

Right click the original reportserver.config file and choose edit.

Modify the hostname and URL root tags of the .xml file located under the service tag by adding the FQDN of the VIP as shown below:

reportserverconfig

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Save the file after making the changes.

Repeat these steps for the other SSRS server.

7.   Restart both SSRS servers.

8.   During the import or new creation of an organization in CRM, specify the name of the VIP.

Use the VIP created in step 1 when prompted for the reporting services URL during a new org creation or an org import:


ADFS setup error when using CRM 2016 and ADFS and Windows 2012 R2


An error occurred. Contact your administrator for more information” error when accessing CRM with ADFS/IFD set up.
After completing ADFS/IFD setup where ADFS is installed on a Windows Server 2012 R2 machine, you receive the below error:

 To resolve this issue you must enable Forms Authentication:

1.       Connect to the ADFS server

2.       Open the ADFS management console and click Authentication Policies

adfsauth

 

 

 

 

 

3.       Under Primary Authentication, click Edit next to Global Settings

adfsprimary

 

 

 

 

4.    Put a check mark in the Forms Authentication option on the Extranet and Intranet sections

adfserror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.    Click OK

6.       You should now be able to log in to CRM successfully

Thanks to Ian Holton, Client Field Engineer at Tribridge for putting this together!