VOTE NOW – 2011 TOP 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL MICROSOFT DYNAMICS PEOPLE

I subscribe to the RSS feed of Lion Tribes blog and today I thought it was quite amusing that he was urging people to vote for him in Dynamics world most influential Microsoft Dynamics person 2011.  Then again there isn’t anything wrong with a bit of self publicity and he does have a pretty good blog.

if you want to cast your vote, get over here and cast your vote, they have narrowed it down to 260.

http://www.dynamicsworld.co.uk/2011Voting.php

You have to say with CRM 2011 being released recently then you would probably say Kirill Tatarinov will probably come out on top.

CRM 4 – Debugging Javascript

I was trying to debug some javascript today in CRM 4.  I initially tried to use the brilliant F12 internet explorer (8 plus) web development tool.

A wierd thing happens in CRM 4 compared to CRM 2011.  In CRM 2011 because it is a web resource, it’s that file which is loaded.  This makes it easy to look at the list of scripts and then pick the one you want to debug.

but with CRM 4 it is different because it is a file called FormScript.js with lots of variables after it’s name.  The other frustrating thing is it doesn’t have your onLoad script in it straight away, it adds it later on.  This means you can’t put breakpoints on your code because it isn’t loaded yet.

The thing that really annoyed me was it kept creating a new Javascript file everytime I ran it.  Then once it was loaded and you put a breakpoint in the js file it created a new one.

In the end I did manage to put a breakpoint on the original FormScript.js and then one hit the breakpoint it had loaded my script and I could place some breakpoints in my code.  The only problem is I’m not totally sure I could do it again.

I also tried the debugger method.  This is basically adding the word debugger to your javascript code and then when it hits this, it asks you where you want to debug the code.  You can then choose Visual Studio and step through your code.

The only problem I had with this method is I couldn’t add breakpoints and the javascript I was trying to debug was creating functions and callbacks.  This is why it’s good to do it Internet explorer debugger because you can put breakpoints anywhere.

You should check out this blog post – Tips for productive Javascript in CRM dynamics 4.  It has a few good tips, the tip below shows you the settings you need to debug the javascript in visual studio, there is an internet explorer setting you need to adjust

 

Use the debugger statement in your code if you want to walk through code.  You are able to leverage Visual Studio to analyze variable values as you execute your code.  Very useful!

First, within Internet Explorer, uncheck “Disable script debugging  (Internet Explorer)” and “Disable script debugger (Other)”

Next, add following code before any code you would like to debug.

debugger;

 

CRM 2011 – Three fold increase in CRM jobs this year

If get a number of emails from recruitment consultants each week, most of them are totally inappriopriate to such an extent I wonder why they have sent them to me, did they look at my cv/profile on linkedin?  Usually it smacks  of desperation, recruitment consultants spraying out emails to any email address they can find.

Any today I got an update from recruitment consultant who specialises in CRM.   I thought it was interesting he was sending out emails updating them on the CRM market, it seemed to add some kind of value, which is quite unusual for recruitment consultants.  The email had some observations about the CRM market which seemed to back my opinion of the state of the CRM market.

I figured that since Microsoft has released CRM 2011, which contained a number of popular enhancements like sharepoint intergration/document management, dashboards and a easier to use UI it would lead to more CRM work because they would be new customers and customer upgrading.

I also thought with the big promotion from Microsoft CRM and the in particular the cloud offering, especially consider the very competitive pricing strategy Microsoft is using.  This would also lead to an increase in CRM 2011 deployments, snaffling quite a few customers from salesforce.

Anyway here are some of the comments from the email, I would of course take some of it with a pinch of salt because the goal of the letter is to obviously encourage people to move and apply for jobs and what’s likely to that, it’s by telling you there are loads of jobs and they are paying top dollar, still we can hope

CRM Desk team has noticed a three fold increase in demand for skilled candidates and now is the time that professionals within Dynamics CRM are moving for the increases in salaries, packages, better career prospects and further development training opportunities.

The UK Perm market, this year has been crazy! In the best way possible, candidates are looking at the fastest and largest growing companies and packages than ever before with “paid 2 gain” certifications and extra training also on offer, This may have alot to do with the product growth and the platforms adaptability or as predicted the rise in demand after January’s CRM 2011 product launch,

 

The letter also gave a bit of insight to which sectors are growing


 

Firstly the sectors and verticals that seem to be most profitable for MS Dynamics CRM candidates to be working in are financial, media, Tel-com & Niche Energy. with Legal and Govt looking to be on the increase / growing MS CRM markets. This is due to Central Govt seeing the value of streamline business processes and saving money through investment into cloud or integrated customer relationship management systems.

Microsoft in America are strategically looking to target and dominate the legal sector as large and small law firms often outsource many different ERP & CRM and legal systems when Microsoft’s offerings can be easily and highly bespoken to fit into and benefit them whilst all importantly saving money.


CRM 4 – Ultimate Dynamics CRM Tools List

Although I have been working with CRM 2011, I  still have to work with CRM 4 projects.  It’s quite unusual now because a lot of the tools that worked in CRM 4 don’t work in CRM 2011 so you need to keep two sets of CRM tools

So today I was using the Javascript manager tool to extract the Javascript from an organisation and see what entities had Javascript.

So today I found the ultimate list of Dynamic tools for CRM 4, which you can find here

http://vidmar.net/weblog/archive/2010/05/06/ultimate-dynamics-crm-tools-list.aspx

It is a fantastic list of tools for CRM 4, one or two even work with CRM 2011

Here are my are my top five from the list.  I would also recommend looking at the blog because there are some interesting comments as well.

CrmDiagTool4 for Microsoft CRM 4.0

This tool makes starting tracing and turning on DevError for CRM really easy. You don’t need to manually edit web.config files, do it by clicking a button.

Customization Comparison Utility

This utility will do side-by-side comparison between two cusomization.xml files. Useful for documenting changes, spotting bugs and much more

CRM Trace Log Viewer

Simple but very useful tool that lets you filter and resolve users in Dynamics CRM trace files.

Form JavaScript Manager

If you do lots of JavaScript customizations, you know the editing of script is not easy within CRM. Form Javascript Manager is one way of solving those issue. It helps you with export/edit/import cycle of editing.

MS CRM Javascript Intellisense Generator

This tool will generate .js files for all entities. If you edit your JavaScript in Visual Studio, the editor can use this file for autocomplete.

 

 

 

 

CRM 2011 – Javascript examples – How to Updating/Create/Delete OptionSets and creating Entities

James Miley has been writing some good blog posts on Javascript over the last week.  I have noticed that the Javascript blog entries are some of the most popular on my blog.

I think the reason for this is because the sample files are either too basic or very complex and there is no middle ground.  I actually think the main reason is there isn’t enough examples.  For the areas like oData and Link there are lots of examples, so it’s easy to find some code which is similar to what you want and then modify it a bit.

Anyway on with the Javascript. We have two good examples of some useful Javascript.  One of them shows you how to insert, update or delete optionSets using Javascript and the other one shows you to create entities.

Inserting, Updating, or Deleting OptionSet Values in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 in Jscript

http://mileyja.blogspot.com/2011/03/working-with-optionset-values-in.html

Publish an Entity in Jscript in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

http://mileyja.blogspot.com/2011/03/publish-entity-in-jscript-in-crm-2011.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRM 2011 – The Best Weekly CRM articles – March week 3

top ten CRM blog posts for 2010
upgrade gotchas
adding records to queues with workflows in CRM 2011
formatting a currency in javascript for CRM 2011 and CRM 4

Inserting, Updating, or Deleting OptionSet Values in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 in Jscript

http://mileyja.blogspot.com/2011/03/working-with-optionset-values-in.html

Publish an Entity in Jscript in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

http://mileyja.blogspot.com/2011/03/publish-entity-in-jscript-in-crm-2011.html

Introduction to Solutions

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg334576.aspx

CRM 2011 Jscript Soap Request Formatter RELEASED!!

http://mileyja.blogspot.com/2011/03/crm-2011-jscript-soap-request-formatter.html

Microsoft’s Brad Wilson Interviews

CRM 2011 – Formatting a currency using Javascript

I was looking on LinkedIn and then I saw Jamie Miley had replied and then I found my way to his blog.  He had some interesting blog entries on his site.  I saw this one Formatting Currency in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and CRM 4 in JScript.  It was a nice function to format currencies in Javascript.

I though it was useful piece of Javascript although I wondered why you would need it in CRM because you cpuld just format the field.

Still I am always looking to improve my Javascript skills and I thought it was a good example.  also you never know they might be a day when I need to format soem currency using Javascript for reasons that are not clear to me.

//Format currency in CRM jscript

//EXAMPLE USAGE
//alert(FormatAsCurrency(10000));

function FormatAsCurrency(amount) {

var i = parseFloat(amount);
if (isNaN(i)) { i = 0.00; }
var minus = '';
if (i < 0) { minus = '-'; }
i = Math.abs(i);
i = parseInt((i + .005) * 100);
i = i / 100;
s = new String(i);
if (s.indexOf('.') < 0) { s += '.00'; }
if (s.indexOf('.') == (s.length - 2)) { s += '0'; }
s = minus + s;
amount = s;
var delimiter = ","; // replace comma if other mark is desired
var a = amount.split('.', 2)
var d = a[1];
var i = parseInt(a[0]);
if (isNaN(i)) { return ''; }
var minus = '';
if (i < 0) { minus = '-'; }
i = Math.abs(i);
var n = new String(i);
var a = [];
while (n.length > 3) {
var nn = n.substr(n.length - 3);
a.unshift(nn);
n = n.substr(0, n.length - 3);
}
if (n.length > 0) { a.unshift(n); }
n = a.join(delimiter);
if (d.length < 1) { amount = n; }
else { amount = n + '.' + d; }
amount = minus + amount;

return "$" + amount;

 

}

CRM 2011 – 73 Percent of CRM 4 deployments to be upgraded to CRM 2011 in the next 6 months

I have been working with CRM 2011 for 3 months and during these time I also have been some work on some CRM 4 developments.  The changes between CRM 2011 and CRM 4 are quite signnificant.  CRM 2011 has a lot of excellent new features but it also looks and feels different and from a developers perspective the changes are quite dramatic, which is why it can be quite confusing when you flip between CRM 4 and CRM 2011.

The main changes in CRM 2011 from a developers perspective are

  • Javascript – it has changed from using crmForm to using the new functionality added in.
  • plugins – You now can use early bound entities and Linq.  The dynamic entity is now called entity.
  • Javascript soap – the urls have all changed.
  • you also have things like oData, silverlight and jquery.
  • The Ribbon – to add a button into CRM is much more complex because the ribbon means everything is context related.

 

After thinking about these changes I wondered over what time period companies would change from CRM 4 to CRM 2011.  CRM 2011 is great from a sales point of view because it has a lot of juicy things to interest potential clients with.  It also has a lot of functionality which you had to pay for add ons or develop them yourself, so upgrading would certainly be tempting.

I found a survey on Mitch Malam’s blog, which you can see here.  Although he has only got 142 votes (although that is actually quite a lot), I would also suggest the people who read his blogs are probably CRM developers.  His results suggest that 33 percent of companies are going to use CRM 2011 straight away and 73 percent are going to move to CRM 2011 in the next 6 months.  This is a very impressive speed of uptake.    Interesting stuff.

Polls

When are you moving to CRM 2011

  • Immediately (33%)
    You Have Voted For This Choice  - Immediately -> 33% (47 Votes)
  • 6 Months (27%)
    6 Months -> 27% (38 Votes)
  • 12 Months (14%)
    12 Months -> 14% (20 Votes)
  • 3 Months (13%)
    3 Months -> 13% (19 Votes)
  • More than 12 months (13%)
    More than 12 months -> 13% (18 Votes)

Total Votes: 142

 

 

CRM 2011 – Microsoft’s Brad Wilson Discusses CRM 2011 and the Cloud

You will have seen on various CRM blogs, videos featuring a series of interviews with Microsoft’s Brad Wilson and his thoughts on CRM and Microsoft’s strategy regarding CRM 2011.  These interview were done by Software Advice and I thought this was a good way to raise the profile of their company, whilst also creating some interesting videos.

You will have seen the videos featured on many CRM blogs (mine included), how did these interviews managed to be featured on so many blogs I hear you say.  Well Lauren Carlson from Software Advice politly told the various CRM blogs she had done a few interviews with Brad Wilson and would they like to feature some of the interviews on their blogs.  Ha! it’s as easy as that.

Anyway they have finished released all of the interviews and I am linking to them all

“What is the state of the CRM software industry?”


“What’s the strategy behind Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011’s low price point?”


“What percentage of customers choose the cloud?”


“How can Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners survive in the cloud era?”

 


“Is the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace a success?”


“What is Microsoft’s strategy to compete in the marketing automation market?”

 


“What’s New in Dynamics CRM 2011?”

CRM 2011 – The Best Weekly CRM articles – March week 2

Although I tweet some article which I think are interesting or worth reading I often feel that tweets can slip past too quickly and because of the timeline and subscribing to lots of tweets you end up missing or not being able to find the tweet again.

So I thought I would create a weekly round up of some of the interesting articles I have read this week.

Using oData and JSON in CRM – a walkthrough showing you how to set up oData and JSON in CRM 2011

http://crmscape.blogspot.com/2011/03/crm-2011-odata-json-and-crm-forms.html

CRM oData query designer – great tool for creating and testing oData queries

http://bingsoft.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/crm-2011-odata-query-designer-crm2011/

Excel 2010 and Data Import Templates –

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2011/03/07/excel-2010-and-data-import-templates.aspx

Power of blogging – a blog entry by my good self about how companies are using blogging to raise awareness and generate work

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/the-power-of-blogging-why-crm-companies-are-using-blogs-to-get-ahead/

CRM 2011 licensing changes – Microsoft have added a new license, making it 90 percent cheaper to create a portal using the CRM 2011 SDK.

http://www.shanmcarthur.net/crm/crm2011-articles/licensing-changes-for-crm-2011

Video using fetch xml to create reports in CRM 2011

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/crm-2011-video-on-reporting-using-fetch-xml/

Using Plugins to modify views

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ukcrm/archive/2011/03/10/using-plug-ins-to-modify-views.aspx

Richard Knudson – CRM 2011 Goal Management – Understanding Goal Criteria and rollup queries

Richard has written an excellent article explaining goal management.

http://www.dynamicscrmtrickbag.com/2011/03/07/dynamics-crm-2011-goal-management-understanding-goal-criteria-and-rollup-queries/

Adding records to queue’s with workflows in CRM 2011

this article explains how to use queues inside workflows

http://blog.customereffective.com/blog/2011/03/crm-2011workflows-create-new-queue-items.html

Enforce Consistency and Streamline Tasks with Prompt andResponse Dialogs in Microsoft CRM 2011

Using dialogues

http://blog.customereffective.com/blog/2011/03/enforce-consistency-and-streamline-tasks-with-prompt-and-response-dialogs-in-crm-2011.html