Presentation at IAMCP Tampa – The Genesis of the CRM/ERP Revolution


I had a wonderful time this Tuesday presenting the Evolution of Dynamics 365 at Tampa’s IAMCP lead by Jon Rivers and Beth Burrell. Jon asked me to present on  the history of Dynamics CRM/ERP for people that might be new to Dynamics thru season veterans so they could understand how we evolved into Dynamics 365. At first, I didn’t really fully understand the request, but as I started to think it about how to present it, it was a great, engaging topic. I hope to represent this at at Future CRMUG Summit or Webinar. Another interesting part was this was geared towards other partners.

It was a great journey taking everyone from the core purchases of Microsoft, Project Green all where we are today with AI, Azure, D365 and the common data model.  I wanted to share with all of you, as it really helped explained the Digital Transformation that we, our customers and Microsoft are all going thru. It’s real and it’s here. We are digital transforming customers on a daily basis at Tribridge, now A DXC Company!

I would also like to thank someone special who helped me with the presentation. They know who are they are. Thank you 🙂

Enjoy the Presentation!


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


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 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, Azure and Me… A new journey has begun.


As I look forward into the future and beyond 2016, I have taken notice of what Microsoft is doing with Azure, and how they are positioning their products CRM, AX and others to leverage Azure services. Many people think Azure is nothing more than a private cloud or Rackspace and Amazon competitor. They couldn’t be more wrong.

A few weeks ago we hosted a AzureCon.com web event at our Tribridge Office’s in Tampa. In little over 1 hour, many people, included myself were blown away. Of course, at first thinking, this is not real, or how can I build a data warehousing infrastructure, setup azure machine language and get English like responses in less than 15 minutes. This had to be vapor ware right? WRONG.

After the video, which can be found here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/azurecon/, I immediately spun up an Azure free trial. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/free/ I proceeded to walk thru the steps I had recalled and replayed the video. In approx. 25 minutes I had exactly the same setup configured and running. Amazing.

This is truly the next generation of not only cloud, but a complete cloud application development platform, that simply cannot be competed against or ignored. Another example in the video above is Azure Auto scaling capabilities. We have all had that performance challenge at the end of the month processing, needing more bandwidth, or end of the quarter, or even holiday sales event, where the hardware solution purchased couldn’t keep up with the demand.

This is now no longer an issue. With Azure Auto scaling, Azure systems can scale to meet these demands and give you the extra horsepower needed. Pay for only what you need, when you need, not all year long. Truly this is very innovative. We are not talking about adding extra VM’s, web servers etc, this is actually scaling the size of the physical machine, for memory, bus, data, a complete virtual computer. Very neat indeed.

Over the next coming year, I will be working across both CRM and Azure Product Lines, and hope to provide the same level of experience on both platforms with posts that can help everyone. Time to study….

 

 

 


CRM 2016 General Availability Announced at Convergence EMEA!


I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 has been released. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 will be available in the Microsoft download center on December 15, 2016. Thank you to Jujhar and the entire CRM team for putting extra hours to make this release so special.

Don’t forget the What’s New page at: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/what-s-new.aspx

As well as the Dynamics CRM Customer Center for all your help and training needs. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/default.aspx

 

 

 


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

 

 


Microsoft Officially Announces Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016!


Microsoft Officially took the warps off the fall release, which will be known as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016.  Key updates will brought to the on premise version, previously only available on CRM Online.

Updated Features include an enhanced excel experience, next generation CRM for Outlook App, Office Delve integration, Share documents across One Note, Office 365 Group and One Drive for Business, tighter Cortana integration and slew of other fixes and updates waiting for you.

The official release annoucement can be found here:

https://community.dynamics.com/b/msftdynamicsblog/archive/2015/09/08/microsoft-dynamics-crm-2016-delivering-the-next-generation-of-intelligent-customer-engagement

Based on past releases, we can expect to see this hit the shelves end of November, beginning of December. Stay tuned for more updates.

 


Microsoft Announces Release of CRM 2015 Spring Wave


This is going to be a great release. Online only for now, provides updates to navigation giving a 3rd layer of breadcrumbs similar to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. New email folder based routing, faster form loads just to name a few. Here’s all the details.. Enjoy!

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/get-ready-for-the-next-release.aspx

Note: We expect OnPremise and Private cloud users to get this release in Fall 2015 (December).