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.

 


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:


CRM Organization Import Issue and SSRS MaxRequestLength


When importing an organization to CRM 2011 we came across an error during the import wizard process which was causing the import to fail:

14:54:33| Info| PublishReportsFromDatabase: Creating report in Reporting Services. ReportId: 9f973403-bc84-e111-88bc-0050569e0001, Name: INVOICE PAYMENTS
14:54:34| Error| Error while updating organization information: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
at Microsoft.Crm.Reporting.RuntimeReportServer.UploadReport(String path, Byte[] reportDefinition, String name, String description, Boolean overwriteExistingReport)
at Microsoft.Crm.Reporting.RuntimeReportServer.UploadReport(SRSReport report, String reportNameOnSrs, String name, String description, Boolean isSharedReport, Boolean overwriteExistingReport)
at Microsoft.Crm.Setup.Server.Utility.ReportsUtility.OrganizationPublishReportsScaleGroup(IDbCommand command, Uri reportingUrl, String orgUniqueName, Boolean ignoreCustomReportsFailure, Boolean publishOnlyCustomReports)
at Microsoft.Crm.Tools.Admin.DBImportHelper.RePublishReports(IDbCommand command, Guid organizationId, String organizationUniqueName, Uri reportUrl)
at Microsoft.Crm.Tools.Admin.ImportOrganizationInstaller.UpdateOrganizationInfo(Guid organizationId, OrganizationGroupsInfo organizationInfo, String organizationFriendlyName, String organizationUniqueName, Uri reportServerUrl, Int32 PercentUpdateOrganization, ICollection`1 users)

This was not an upgrade of any sort – just simply a CRM migration to a new environment so there were no versioning differences from a CRM perspective. While the error above is lacking much detail, it did give us enough to begin troubleshooting. We could clearly see that this issue was occurring with a report titled “Invoice Payments” but knew nothing else. After obtaining a copy of the report’s RDL file, we didn’t notice anything wrong in particular with the way the report was written but did think it was rather large for an RDL file – nearly 5MB – there were quite a few embedded images.

We decided to attempt uploading the report directly into SSRS and were met with a much more helpful error message – “Maximum request length exceeded”. What this was telling us rang a bell with what we noticed earlier regarding the RDL file size. By default, SSRS has a limit on the report file size that it will allow to be imported. This limit is 4MB but can be increased by doing the following:

Open the web.config of the Report Manager (%\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.X\Reporting Services\ReportManager) and find the “executionTimeout” setting. It should look something like this:

On this line, add the maxRequestLength attribute with the value (in KB) needed to upload the report. This value is not in here by default. It should now look like this (this shows a 10MB limit):

Save the file and then repeat these steps in the web.config of the Report Server (%\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.X\Reporting Services\ReportServer). Once both files have been modified and saved, restart the SSRS service.

Following this change, we were able to upload the RDL to SSRS directly to verify that the change worked and then subsequently were able to complete the organization import for CRM without issue.


CRM 2016 Spring Release Best Feature : A little bit of Polymorphism


Several-out-of-the-box entities in Dynamics CRM (including Case, Lead, and Opportunity) contain a field that represents a customer, which can either be an Account or a Contact. In CRM, these fields have the Customer data type, which is a special kind of lookup field for these two specific entities. Previously, system customizers couldn’t add a Customer field to their own entities. As part of this feature, Customer is available as a custom field data type that can be added to any entity, system or custom.

One of our MVP’s Shan McArthur, now with Microsoft leading the the Microsoft ADX Portal development as been fighting for this feature for a long time. In memory of that fight, we will refer to these field type as a “ShanMC Field.”. Thanks for your support throughout the years Shan!


CRM 2016: New Form Rending Engine


With the release of CRM 2016 (2015 Update 1 for CRM Online), comes a new form rendering engine (referred to as Turbo Forms in some circles) was built to provide better performance of form loads. The two main changes are focused around loading process of the form and the handling of the cache.

However, while the new rendering engine was built to help with performance you may actually notice the opposite taking place. In heavily customized environment, you might experience long stalls during form loads with messages reading “requesting data from CRM” and/or “loading business logic”.

render1 Render2

 

 

 

 

If you are currently being plagued by these messages, it may be a good idea to turn the new rendering engine off. To do this, simply go to: Administration -> System Setting, scroll all the way down and you will see the “Use legacy form rendering” option. Turning it to “yes” will disable the new engine.

legacy

 

 

While this will help in the short term, it is advised to figure out what on your form is causing conflict with the new engine so that it can be fixed and the new engine can be turned back on for even better performance. Microsoft is also aware of the issue and is looking at it within the Update Roll-up 1 Time frame.


Join me at CRMUG Summit in Reno NV October 13-16


Join me at the CRMUG Summit In Reno NV. This is the premier Dynamics CRM Event of the year. Don’t miss out, not too late to register below.

renosummit

 

More details..

http://www.crmugsummit.com/home

Here’s my preliminary schedule. Please refer to the website!

Monday, October 12

8:00pm-10:00pm @ Peppermill – Terrace Lounge Chapter Leader Bash

Tuesday, October 13

2:00pm-4:30pm @ Atlantis: Paradise D & E Volunteer Immersion at CRMUG Summit
5:00pm-8:00pm @ Hall 2 Welcoming Expo Reception

Wednesday, October 14

7:00am-8:00am @ Hall 1 Breakfast – Jump Into a Great Day
9:15am-9:45am @ Ballroom Lobby Networking Break
9:45am-10:45am @ D2 Getting Ready to Pull the CRM Trigger
11:15am-12:25pm @ C4 CRMUG Opening General Session – Microsoft Keynote
1:30pm-2:30pm @ D4 The CRM Superhero’s Tips, Tricks, and Toolbox
1:30pm-2:30pm @ D2 Scouting & Preparing as CRM GameDay Draws Near
2:30pm-3:00pm @ Ballroom Lobby Networking Break
4:00pm-4:30pm @ Ballroom Lobby Networking Break
4:30pm-6:00pm @ D2 ADFS & Upgrading with a Mobile State of Mind
6:00pm-8:00pm @ Hall 2 Expo Reception

Tribridge Customer Party – Invitation Only 7pm on..

Please contact me if your a customer or prospect and did not receive an invitation.

Thursday, October 15

7:00am-8:00am @ Hall 1 Breakfast – Jump Into a Great Day
8:00am-9:00am @ D2 Getting that CRM Upgrade to Purr Like a Kitten
9:00am-9:30am @ Ballroom Lobby Networking Break
10:30am-11:00am @ Ballroom Lobby Networking Break
11:00am-12:00pm @ C4 CRMUG General Community Session
12:00pm-2:00pm @ Halls 1 & 2 Networking Lunch and Expo
2:00pm-3:00pm @ D7 Going OnPremise to CRM Online
2:00pm-3:00pm @ C1 Take It to the Next Level with End User Experience Upgrades in CRM 2015
3:00pm-3:15pm @ Ballroom Lobby Networking Break
3:15pm-4:15pm @ D4 Ask the MVPs: Admin-Foundation Edition
3:15pm-4:15pm @ D7 Ask the Experts – User Adoption Edition: Enterprise CRM Strategies and Pitfalls to Avoid
4:15pm-4:45pm @ Ballroom Lobby Networking Break
4:45pm-5:45pm @ D2 Dissecting Multifaceted CRM Upgrades

Friday, October 16 – CANCLLED

8:00am-9:15am @ D2 Deployment Method of Choice  CANCELLED

 

 


CRM 2015 has been released.


The Microsoft CRM team has been hard at work. They have just announced the availability of CRM 2015 for both CRM Online and CRM OnPremise. Don’t worry, this is not the same major upgrade from CRM 2011 to CRM 2013, but rather more like a CRM 2013 SP2/3 release.

As of I have stated before, CRM platform has hit a nice maturity level, in where the interface and back office are very stable, scalable, etc., a lot like ERP system updates. Now, we will see even more new features and innovation for CRM, built on the same common platform. Here’s some great links!

What’s new in CRM 2015:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/what-s-new.aspx

 Mobile Tablet Productivity Enhancements

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsCVyFqGsZA

 

CRM Customer Center:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/default.aspx

 

CRM Online Upgrade Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f3KTlFaQ64

 

Videos and EBooks:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/videos-ebooks.aspx

 

Hierarchical Security Modeling in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx5So32DrCo

 

Mobile Tablet Productivity Enhancements

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsCVyFqGsZA

 


Developer for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and On-Premises (CRM SDK)


Welcome to the developer documentation for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update! You can read all the documentation online in the MSDN library or in the CHM file found in the download package. The download package also includes assemblies, developer tools, and a wide range of sample code and other resources. The download package is available here: Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg309408(v=crm.7).aspx

 

 


CRM 2015 has been announced. Fall Release 2014.


Before you say not again!, CRM 2015 has been announced and should be available by years end. From my initial testing, I can tell you we have reached a very stable, almost turning point with our common CRM platform. Now, like the ERP systems, we are going to see functionality enhancements not system re-designs, while keeping the same interface with some small enhancements around performance and usability. Multi-entity search now available out of the box! 🙂

The CRM team has really delivered, and is keeping the momentum by delivering today. A great way to sum up this new releases to others, its like CRM 2013 R2, but since we had the time, we changed the name too! 🙂

Press Release:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/sep14/09-16crmpr.aspx
Bob Stutz’s Blog:
https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/archive/2014/09/16/marketing-sales-service-one-cloud-for-all.aspx
Customer Center Get Ready Page:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/get-ready-for-the-next-release.aspx