Join me at CRMUG Summit 2014!


summit

 

 

 

 

It’s that time of year again, when all the CRM User base gets together for the biggest CRM user group event of the year. CRMUG Summit is a great place to learn, network and do all things CRM! Some details to the event can be found here.

If you’re attending, see my schedule below. Stop by to ask a question or just say hello!

Dynamics Partner Conference Oct 13-14

DynamicsPartnerConfernence

CRMUG Summit 2014 October 15-17
cmrug

Please note the 2:15 session has been moved to 8am that morning, giving you plenty of time to catch your flights.

I will be at both the MVP sessions.
mvp

mvp1


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


Upgrade from CRM 2011 to 2013 fails with “Subquery returned more than 1 value. Not Permitted CRM 4.0″


We recently stumbled upon an issue when upgrading a customer from CRM 4.0 to CRM 2013. As is required, you must first upgrade the 4.0 database to 2011 and then from 2011 to 2013. The 4.0 to 2011 upgrade succeeded without error but threw an error when going from 2011 to 2013. 2013 was on update rollup 2. The error thrown was:

Error| Installer Complete: OrganizationUpgrader – Error encountered
14:56:47| Error| Exception occured during Microsoft.Crm.Tools.Admin.OrganizationUpgrader: Error.ActionFailed Microsoft.Crm.Tools.Admin.InstallDatabaseUpdatesAction
InnerException: System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): Subquery returned more than 1 value. This is not permitted when the subquery follows =, !=, <, <= , >, >= or when the subquery is used as an expression.
Subquery returned more than 1 value. This is not permitted when the subquery follows =, !=, <, <= , >, >= or when the subquery is used as an expression.

The statement has been terminated.

We upgraded the database from 4.0 to 2011 one afternoon and then tried going from 2011 to 2013 the following morning. As it turns out, CRM 2013 contains a query that checks to see if an organization is a new organization or an upgrade by checking the CreatedOn field of the system solution. It does this by seeing if the CreatedOn date/time is within one day (24 hours) of the current time. If the CreatedOn date of the System Solution is within 24 hours, it is considered a new organization. Here is the query:

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM SolutionBase WHERE SolutionId=’FD140AAD-4DF4-11DD-BD17-0019B9312238′
AND CreatedOn >= DATEADD(day, -1, GETUTCDATE()))
BEGIN

(This query goes on to Update prvAppendToOpportunity depth to global on sales person role and update prvAppendToQuote, prvAppendToOrder, prvAppendToInvoice to local on sales person role.)

When the 4.0 database is upgraded to 2011, it sets the CreatedOn date/time to whatever the UTC date/time is of that upgrade. So when going from 2011 to 2013 it sees the new date/time resulting from the upgrade to 2011 and considers it a new organization and errors out on the above query. Below is the query that can be run to check the CreatedOn date of your 2011 database.

crmquery

The easy solution to this is to just wait 24 hours between the upgrade stages but if you are in a time crunch or minimizing down time for a go-live, you can update the CreatedOn date/time of the system solution directly in the 2011 database. Remember that the time is in UTC, changing the date back one day should be easier than trying to figure out the time difference in your time zone. However, keep in mind that updating fields directly through SQL is not a change supported by Microsoft so this is done at your own risk! Not sure if this issue is isolated to just Update Rollup 2 or if this occurs with 2013 RTM, Update Rollup 1, or Service Pack 1 yet.

Thanks to my young CRM Jedi Gage Pennisi for putting the details together!


Need to build a CRM 3 VM to Upgrade to CRM 2013? Here’s how.


We have a few customers still running CRM 3.0 after all these years. With the excitement of CRM 2013, they have decided to upgrade at one shot. Dynamics CRM 3.0 can upgrade to CRM 4.0, or one version at a time. The users don’t have be aware of this step, only the end game which is CRM 2013.

In order to process this change, and migrate the customer to the cloud, we need to upgrade their systems. In order to do this, I decided to build a VM in order to upgrade CRM 3.0 to 4.0, and then will use my 2011 VM to upgrade to 2011, then insert DB into the new CRM 2013 development system.

Easier said than done Right? I really had to dig into my memory banks to remember the process, and thought it would be helpful to others to have it accessible. So Here we go:

1. Build a Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard build VM
2. Make sure you add enough disc space to cover the size of your production database, zipped and unzipped together. I’m using 60 gigs, 2 processors and 2.5 gigs of memory in the VM.
3. Add the Domain Controller and Application Server Roles (select ASP.NET as well).
4. Reboot
5. Install SQL Server 2005 with reporting services. You must configure reporting services as well.
** CRM 3.0 started on SQL2000, and was commonly upgraded to SQL2005. The CRM 3.0 installation download includes the fixes to work with SQL2005. In the past we had to install it on SQL 2000, upgrade SQL2005 after.
6. Test Access to Reporting services once completed.
7. Copy the production CRM 3.0 database and unzip on this VM.
** Make sure you copy both ORGNAME_MSCRM and ORGNAME_METABASE as these were separate DBS in CRM 3.0
8. Restore CRM 3.0 database to the SQL Server.
9. On the CRM 3.0 CD, explore and run the redeployment tool .MSI.
10. Run the CRM 3.0 redeployment tool, enter server name localhost and select the production DBs.
11. Choose to manually map, and find a user account of administrator, mapping your VM admin id.
12. Let redeployment complete.
13. Launch the CRM 3.0 installation, and proceed with setup. When you enter the SQL Server (localhost) you will be able to connect to an existing deployment. Choose your databases here.

That will get CRM 3.0 running again in your VM. Please note that all ISV’s etc should be removed as they will no longer work. You could have manually cleanup unless you run the uninstallers of these applications in production.

You might also want to consider using a P to V technology (Physical to Virtual) to build the VM exactly as it is in production but Virtual.

Enjoy!


CRM 2013 Upgrade Flurry has Started! Upgrade Checklist


Microsoft has begun switching over many of our Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers to CRM 2013.

Here’s some things you should know about the overall process:

1. Ensure you have another environment (test/dev) that matches your CRM production setup.
This is a best practice by far. Not having a test environment, makes troubleshooting and changes in your production environment almost impossible to manage. This is no different for which deployment model you have choose: Online, On-Premise or Partner Hosted.

Ensure this environment has a copy of the latest customizations, solutions, ISV’s etc. Data can also be replicated from production, using tools like the CRM 2011 Instance Adapter or tool like Scribe.

If you do not have a CRM 2011 instance for test/dev. already, its now too late to create a new one as only CRM 2013 instances are available as of Nov 4th. You will have no choice but to create a test CRM 2013 trial and import your 2011 solution which if fully supported. This will provide you with what your system will look like after the upgrade.

You should also push out your production CRM Online date as far as possible. Today, the last date available to upgrade is 2/14/2014. For other implementations, you still have some time :).

2. Understanding your Environment
Ensuring that your understand all the components that have been deployed with your CRM system is critical to the success of your upgrade. You will need to review all your Solutions, Web Resources and Custom Code to ensure that your and your ISV’s are prepared for the upgrade.

Microsoft has provided a tool to help pin point this issues.
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30151

The information provided by the tool will be a roadmap for your upgrade. Check with ISV’s website’s for their plans in regards to CRM 2013.

3. Fixes Issues
It’s very important to record and fix your issues and test them fully before User Acceptance Training (UAT). Errors with the application can quickly kill your user adoption. If you’re not ready, wait! Once the issues have been resolved your ready for testing!

4. Testing your Upgrade
Once you have all the customizations, solutions and errors fixed in your development/test server, you can now perform your User Acceptance Training (UAT) and overall product training. Please note that even with no errors, your users will need training for CRM 2013’s completely redesigned interface.

Make sure you have a strong test plan, allowing users to fully test all of their daily functions. This should also include processes they don’t often run. This should include the Outlook and Web Clients as well as desktop versions Win7/Win8 as well as Office versions (2007/2010/2013) or the combination that is being deployed by your organization.

Once you have signoff, you will want to take the solutions and ISV’s files and you will need to deployment them in the production environment the night of Production Go-Live.

5. Planning your Upgrade
Once you have completed your testing, you can now select to move in your production upgrade date from the CRM Online System. This will allow you to choose the next available date. Once the upgrade starts, you will not be able to access the system for a few hours, and as long as 24 hours.


ADFS 2.1 Mex Endpoint Errors with CRM 2011 & Windows Server 2012. Here’s your fix.


When you install ADFS on a Windows Server 2012, the built-in ADFS role included is ADFS 2.1. When setting up Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 (UR13+ required), you will get an error message that tells you that IFD Authentication fails when trying to access the discovery service by external applications.

Apparently the documentation for update UR13 says this has been fixed, but not 100% true. There is still the manually steps shown below.

So, when you try to access this via your browser: https://crm.yourdomain.com/xrmservices/2011/discovery.svc?wsdl=wsdll, you will see within the XML a metadata node that contains the following:

<wsx:MetadataReference>

xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/2005/08/addressing“>https://adfs.yourdomain.local/adfs/ls/mex</Address>

wsx:MetadataReference>

Comparing that our Production CRM 2011 Server running on ADFS 2.0 you will see:

<wsx:MetadataReference>

xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/2005/08/addressing“>

https://adfs.yourdomain.local/adfs/services/trust/mex

Solution:

The current solution is to run the PowerShell script provided in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2828015.

A power shell script will fix the problem with ADFS 2.1 having a known issue publishing metadata for mex endpoints. After configuring claims based authentication in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, mex endpoints are not reachable.

Step 1: Start PowerShell Console

Step 2: Execute the Script contained in KB Article

Step 3: Either Restart both the CRM and ADFS Servers, or restart the ADFS Service, IIS on both machines.

Make sure with all ADFS adventures that your browser cache is clear.

The current solution is to run the PowerShell script provided in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2828015.

My fellow MVP from down under, George Doubinski ran into this issue late last night, as has now offered to move from Australia, take up US citizenship just to vote for me if I ever decided to run for President!  Thanks George but I might be headed your way!

Update: here’s the new KB link for Windows Server 2012. I have confirmed this is fixed in ADFS 2.1
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2827748


CRM 2011 Installation Error – SQL Server is unavailable


While working on a routine CRM 2011 installation, all system checks passed except for Microsoft SQL Server’s. It failed with “The SQL Server ‘Server Name’ is unavailable. Gut instinct was firewall issues here.CRMInstall_SQLServerUnavailable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disabled Windows Firewall on SQL an CRM servers but still received the same error message. Error logs did not provide much to go on here. Ports and connectivity all checked out fine – even added the config database into SQL manually and the system checks were able to determine that the database already existed, throwing the error for that (then deleted it).

Thinking the error may be a bogus one, I set the Ignore Checks key in the registry to bypass the error. This let the installation proceed but ended up failing during the creation of the organization database (e.g XXX_MSCRM). CRM itself installed, created the MSCRM_CONFIG database, and I was able to pull up the Deployment Manager to see the organization state as ‘Failed’. This was the confusing part – how was one database created but the other failed? Rechecked the error log on the installation and was provided with:

Error| Install exception.System.Exception: Action Microsoft.Crm.Tools.Admin.CreateDatabaseAction failed. —> System.IO.IOException: The network path was not found.

After uninstalling CRM and doing a little research on this, it seems similar errors are thrown when drives are not shared appropriately. On the SQL server, I opened a command prompt to run a net share on the drive and was rejected with the “The Server service is not started.” When prompted to start it, system error 1508 was shot back stating that Server service was disabled.WindowsServerService

Opened up services, went down to the Server service and did see that it was disabled. Enabled the service and started it, and ran the system checks for the CRM installation again.ServerService

Voila! All green. Installation proceeded normally and finished successfully.

Thanks to Gage Pennisi, my fellow Tribridge Co-Worker for spending the hours to determine what the issue was. This issue does not happen on a fresh install of the OS, following best practice. The customer’s servers were built from an “image” that had the service turned off.

 


CRM 2011 Ribbon bar Missing after applying update Rollups? Here’s your fix.


A co-worker of mine was testing a CRM 2011 On Premise implementation where he had recently updated to rollup 12/13. He started to notice that the ribbon bar was completely missing!blankribbonbar

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first response was to clean out your cache, and try it from another machine, as well as use the IE Private Browsing Session. The IE private browsing session did help resolve the problem, but this was not the solution.

In reviewing some issues further, we found a blog from Ben Klopfer about a similar issue. Ben reported the permanent fix is:

Log in to CRM as an administrator.

  1. Go to Settings > Administration.
  2. Click System Settings.
  3. On the “Customizations” tab, uncheck Load pages in the most recent version of Internet Explorer.

After making the change, Ben’s fix works great and the ribbon bar is now available. Ben’s original blog can be found here: http://thinketg.com/dynamics-crm-2011-ru-12-blank-ribbon-issue-resolution/. Thanks Ben!

 

 


Gearing up for Orion.. Are you ready to take the plunge?


The Microsoft CRM Product Team has been hard at work getting ready to deliver CRM “Orion” to the masses. We have heard we will receive the preview releases to begin testing very soon – (NDA-Safe :). We have also heard that Microsoft support was also training on the Orion Release. From Convergence 2013, there’s a lot of items we need to consider when getting ready Orion!

Remember, if you’re running CRM 3/4 you will still have to upgrade to CRM 2011 BEFORE moving to ORION.

Here’s my short list:

1. CRM namespace (jscript with crm.XXX) will no longer work and has been fully depreciated.)

2. Design Considerations for implementing the Process Flow UI – have you seen the process flow
UI available with (CRM Online code name Polaris)? If not, setup a trial or review my Convergence
debrief for screen shots. Sales users absolutely love the new Process Flow UI, great performance gains,
auto saves and one place instead of navigating to leads, accounts and contacts when working on an
opportunity. But consider how your business process can be revised in your existing CRM solution
to take advantage of this feature and the new form design. I expect that new features would only
be available to these new forms similar to the previous CRM Online Polaris release.

3. Consideration for running on SQL 2012 – CRM 2011 supports both 2008/2012 but for your new launch
consider migrating your servers to the latest releases.

4. Consideration for Windows Server 2012 – CRM 2011 supports both 2008/2012 but for your new launch
consider migrating your servers to the latest releases. ADFS 2.1 is also provided for Windows Server 2012,
but be currently not compatible with Online to OnPremise ADFS Federation if needed. (Use ADFS 2.0).

5. Remember to setup your test and development environments first! You will want to completely test this
rollout before deploying to your production servers. Also keep in mind that you need support your existing
CRM installation so a new development environment would be a good choice while you work thru testing Orion.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements, screen shares and updates as we get closer!


Update Rollup 13 – Self Healing .MSP Patch Location CRM 2011 Install on Windows Server 2012


Installing CRM 2011 on Windows Server 2012 requires to use the Microsoft Self healing Process – manual patch that you download from the Windows Catalog. I searched all over and had a hard time finding it. Thanks to my good friend Corey Hanson at Microsoft for providing a direct link to the patch. The patch is listed on the KB article under manual installation, but its a bit unclear for those looking for the Self Healing Patch.

http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=Setup%20Update%20CRM

Once you download the patch, add this to a directory on the CRM server. You will then run a command line install of CRM 2011 in order to have the installer use this patch. The CRM 2011 setup program will be updated upon release of Update Rollup 14, no longer requiring this manual patch for installing on Windows Server 2012. Instruction on how to create the configuration file and use the patch can be found here:
Example Sample Config.XML File – Save as XML – Do not save as TXT and rename.
 sampleconfig

Running from the command line:
commandline

Some more Gotchas:
Apparently, your must expand/unzip this file on a Windows 7 or Windows 8 machine, and then copy it over to the Windows 2012 Server. I kept getting messages that this patch will not work on this application and the serversetup.log file stated it was an invalid windows installer package.

2012installerror

 

Once I expanded (you can extract via right click too!) on my Windows 8 machine, and copied it over, everything worked like a charm.  This should save some people a few hours of scratching their heads..

Enjoy!