CRM Plugins – Run in User’s Context

I had a problem a couple of week ago about permissions in a workflow.  Basically we had a plugin which was set to run when one entity was saved, if certain conditions were met then we would use the details on this entity to create a new entity.  So for this example you could imagine it if we had an order entity and when we changed the status to deal done then it would create an invoice entity.

We have made a few changes to the plugin and because it was saved on disk, we found the only way to get the changes in was to unregister the plugin and then add it in again.

We then found that some of the users were getting errors when trying to  change the order to deal done.  I looked in the error logs and saw permission errors appearing.  I looked at the user role and found he didn’t have permission to create an invoice entity.

the puzzling thing was this user could create Invoice entity before but how, it seemed impossible when considering his security role
After going through the problem we finally came to the conclusion that before we had set the plugin to run in the context of an admin user but when we had registered the plugin we had chosen the option “Calling User”.
So this explains why we suddenly were getting authentication problems.  It also highlights the potential problems with installing things manually in CRM.  We probably need to automate the process and possibly screen shot the values so we could double check we were putting in the correct details.
Here are some screenshots of plugin register process


Here you can see the setting – Run in User’s Context

CRM 2011 – How to Quickly add sample data

You create a new organisation in CRM, go into the system and find that it’s completely empty.  How are you are meant to practise CRM Development without any information.

CRM 2011 makes importing the sample data quick and easy.  Importing the Sample Data isn’t difficult but it is frustrating when you are not sure where to look

You log in with Administrator rights

go to


Systems/Data Management

Sample Data

it then asks if you want to install it, press Install Sample Data button.


now you can look around CRM, the dashboards have sprung into life and your organisation has enough data for you to do some customer demo’s or practise development.


The feature provides the following sample data:


Entity Records
Accounts 14
Campaigns 8
Cases 14
Contacts 14
Leads 10
Opportunities 15
Phone Calls 10
Subjects 2
Tasks 14
Goals 4


If you want a detailed walk through with pictures then go to this blog post

Sonoma Partners Release the First CRM 2011 Book

The Sonoma partners are an all action bunch.  Days after giving away a free app on the CRM dynamics MarketPlace they are the first people to get a CRM 2011 book out.

Yes CRM 2011 Step by Step book is released today, well it says that on their blog but on Amazon it’s says it isn’t released until the 4th

We used the previous step by step book often to give to users or people who have no or little experience of CRM.


We targeted the material in this book at end users of the CRM system, and it explains all of the basics of working with the CRM system on a day-by-day basis.

The 18 book chapters are:

  • Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Getting Around in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Working with Account and Contacts
  • Working with Activities and Notes
  • Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook
  • Working with Leads and Opportunities
  • Using Marketing Lists
  • Managing Campaigns and Quick Campaigns
  • Working with Campaign Activities and Responses
  • Tracking Service Requests
  • Using the Knowledge Base
  • Working With Contracts & Queues
  • Working with Filters and Charts
  • Using Dashboards
  • Using the Report Wizard
  • Using Advanced Find
  • Reporting with Excel
  • Bulk Data Importing


Talking of CRM books, David Yack has released details of two new CRM 2011 books, you can find more details about that here, the downside is we will have to wait a few months for the Yack attacks new books


clip_image001 Using Silverlight with CRM 2011 – Target Release March 2011

One of the cool new things in CRM 2011 is its support for making Silverlight a first class way to extend the user experience. This book will focus on all the different ways you can extend CRM 2011 using Silverlight including on Forms, on the Dashboard and many other creative ideas. The book also includes enough basic Silverlight information so if you are new to Silverlight you can get started right away.

clip_image002 CRM 2011 as a Rapid Development Platform – Target Release May 2011

A lot has changed since 2008 when the book was first published for CRM 4.0. At the same time, CRM 2011 is even more compelling for building a wide variety of applications that aren’t just limited to CRM. In this update to the popular CRM 4.0 book we will be focusing on providing deep information that developers need to build applications with CRM 2011 and the xRM Application Framework.


I am very interested in these books because they are more focused on developers and the development process.  This is something which I still struggle with a bit because it is quite different from standard programming practices.  Although in some ways I do enjoy that because it means you can quickly build on the CRM 2011 framework and just extend it (rather than spend time on the actual framework).

I would definitely look to buy the Silverlight book (and will probably buy the other one as well) because I haven’t used Silverlight yet, so I think it would be a good way to learn because it would mean I would improve my CRM programming and learn how to add Silverlight applications to CRM.


It’s interesting watching things progress with CRM 2011, I missed this when CRM 4 was released because I wasn’t working with CRM.  It certainly feels like there is a lot of buzz and activity around CRM 2011 at the moment.