CRM 2011 – Setup guide to Administrating an organisation

Whilst searching about Subject tree’s I stumbled upon this page hidden with the CRM 2011 resources. It’s exteremely useful for new Admin users to CRM 2011 but it is also a good check list for new organisations for developers and of course diagrams are always good.

It’s from the Microsoft CRM online resource centre but I have never come across it before, you can go here to read the article

it has a good explanation of the diagram as well.  I would say it sounds easier then actually doing it.  You would really need to plan these steps before you actually fire up CRM.  Things like getting the data ready to import, the sales information and getting the business units defined would all be done before you started using CRM.   I think this is a good list for people to look at so they know what they need to do to get CRM up and running for an organisation.  You would also need to setup user roles and not just people, this is quite an important step in a business and one that will need a bit of thought because there are a lot of things to consider like viewing data, who can edit data/delete and create data.

here is the article

 

There are basic tasks that you must complete before you can invite users to use your new Microsoft Dynamics CRM organization.

  1. Set up the framework of your business. These steps set up how Microsoft Dynamics CRM is organized. It should reflect how your organization does business. The subject tree allows you to organize cases and knowledge base articles. Security roles and business units help control who has access to customer and business information, and who can perform certain tasks.
  2. Set up the organization. By setting up your organization, you set how your records are numbered, regional formatting, such as dates and numbers, and other items that everyone uses. You can also customize forms and record types to match your organizations terminology.
  3. Import your data. If you keep your contacts in Outlook, you can use the Add Contacts Wizard. You can import other data from your old system using the Import Wizard.
  4. Set up for sales. If you are using the sales features, you can set up products, a product catalog, a list of competitors, and sales literature. You could also delegate these tasks to a sales manager.
  5. Set up for marketing. If you are using the marketing features, you can set up marketing lists and campaigns to manage your advertising events. You could also delegate these tasks to a marketing manager.
  6. Set up for custom service. If you are using the customer service features, you can set up queues for activity and case routing, contract templates, and services to offer to customers. You could also delegate these tasks to a customer service manager.
  7. Add your people. Add your people and send the invitations to join. You can also organize them into teams and assign them territories.
  8. Work smarter. You can help your people work smarter by creating workflows to automate business processes, create duplicatedetection rules to keep your data cleaner, standardize communications with templates, and create reports to track your results

 

Diagram of initial Administrator tasks

 

CRM 2011 – Importing and Exporting the Subject Tree

The subject maps in CRM 2011 and any version of CRM is a complicated business.  For some reason it is extremely difficult to get out and put in data into the subject map.

I needed to create an import for the subject tree, so the first thing I tried to do was an advanced find so I could export the current data to see what format it is in but you can do an advanced find using the Subject Tree.   To make matters worse when you type in import/export Subject Tree or any of those words in any order you like you don’t get much information, a few scraps, a couple of forum posts but not many articles.

The Stupid thing is you need to export the current data if you want to import some data using the hierarchy structure in your current subject tree.

The way I found out how to get the information out of CRM 2011 was to write an SQL select against the SubjectBase table

SELECT [SubjectId]

,[Title]

,[Description]

,[ParentSubject] ‘Parent Subject’

,[FeatureMask] ‘Feature Mask’

FROM [hosk_MSCRM].[dbo].[SubjectBase]

This was the data I got out

SubjectId Title Description Parent Subject Feature Mask
9BFDDA0E-DC2E-E011-9645-00155D106B02 Construction NULL NULL 1
CD0DC51E-DC2E-E011-9645-00155D106B02 Finance NULL NULL 1

I have changed the column names for ParentSubject and FeatureMask because you can save the results and headings into excel, save it as a csv file and then you can import this and use default mappings.    You will have to do a search and replace on the NULL values  if any.

Title Description Parent Subject Feature Mask
Utilities 1
Food & Drink 1
Automative, Transport 1
Medical & Pharmaceutical 1

To import some data into the root of the Subject Tree I imported the above (I removed the subjectID because this would be created when it was imported.

To import with parent values you will need to export the data again to get Parent Subject values that you want to use as parent.  The easiest way to do this is to create the import files one level at a time I think.  Here you can see I have done the second level, I got the parentId values from export the data.

Title Description Parent Subject Feature Mask
Service Level 1 7718110F-AE2F-E011-AB7E-00155D106B02 1
Utilities level 1 C0CE2263-955F-E011-82A4-00155D10A60A 1

You can see that because I have named the column headings the same as the subject tree heading, CRM 2011 automatically maps to them.  I found the heading names by going into Settings/System/Data Management/Templates for Data Import.  You can then select the Subject to see what headings it is expecting.

Here is a picture of the subject tree

CRM 2011 Wiki is created

I saw an interesting article today about the creation of CRM Wiki by the revered MVP’s.

You can read the article here

or you can go and check out the wiki.  They have split it into some logical sections.  The developer link is very useful because it lists CRM 2011 tools.

There is some very useful information but not a great deal at the moment but it’s a good start and hopefully the CRM community will join in and add some useful links

  • Dynamics CRM Overview
  • Dynamics CRM Online
  • Dynamics CRM 2011
  • Dynamics CRM for Developers
  • Dynamics CRM 4.0
  • Dynamics CRM 4.0 for Developers
  • CRM 2011 – CRM Survival guide

    I saw this link on twitter today and I liked the idea of a CRM survival guide and this would be very useful to someone starting out with CRM 2011.

    You can find the link here

    It has a good guide to finding information and resources in CRM 2011 but this is really for people who are just starting with CRM 2011 so I put that information here.

    I was interested in the resources and help from the CRM community.

     

     

    Finding Help From The Community

    If you have questions which you cannot answer using the resources within CRM, my next port of call would be ‘The Forums’. These are online discussion areas full of people who use, make money implementing or design Dynamics CRM (yes, the teams at Microsoft involved with Dynamics CRM are active participants on the forums). This is as good as it gets in terms of free, professional support for Dynamics CRM.

    The forums are also one of the measures used in determining whether a Microsoft MVP is actively engaged in the community so us MVPs have a vested interest to ensure we are active in the forums and providing good answers in a timely fashion (because if we don’t someone else will).

    Activity in the forums is so good that if you are asking a non-technical user kind of question e.g. “How can I add an attachment to an email?” you are likely to get a response within hours, if not minutes, not days.

    The CRM Forum (http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/crm/threads )

    This is arguably the most popular and most active of the forums. There are actual three main forums (CRM, Deployment and Development) therefore CRM tends to get more user-type questions than the other two, although the rule is not hard and fast and you will sometimes get dev-type questions posted.

    Dynamics ‘Ask the Community’ page (http://community.dynamics.com/product/crm/f/117.aspx )

    This is not as active as the main forum but does still get some activity and worthy of a search if the main forum does not come through with the goods. There is talk of this being rolled into the main forum but nothing has happened as of yet.

    CRM Online Forum (http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/crmonline/threads )

    I did not mention this before as I am mentioning it here. The main CRM forum is for any question on Dynamics CRM regardless of deployment, the CRM Online forum is specifically for online deployments of Dynamics CRM 4, although questions do arise on there which apply to CRM in general. If your question is online-specific, this is a good place to go.

    CRM 2011 Beta Forum (http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/crm2011beta/threads )

    This is similar in purpose to the CRM Online Forum, except specifically for Dynamics CRM 2011 beta. If the new version is of interest, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the online beta at http://www.crm2011beta.com .

    CRM Public Forum (http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.crm/topics?hl=en )

    Microsoft have made it clear that they no longer are active in the public forums and encourage people to go to the main CRM forum. Certainly the main activity on the public forums these days are non-CRM related advertisements. However, as a historical resource for Dynamics CRM it is worth a search if others have failed you.

    Blogs and Twitters

    There are many, many blogs and twitters out there dedicated to Dynamics CRM. Here are a couple whose content is often not as technical as others.

    Dynamics CRM Team Blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/MSDynamicsCRM)

    Yes, this is the blog and twitter of THE Dynamics CRM Team at Microsoft HQ in Redmond. While technical articles do appear, there are also plenty of ‘how to’ and ‘here is a feature you may not know about’ type of articles which can keep you using Dynamics CRM to its full potential.

    Leon Tribe’s Blog (http://leontribe.blogspot.com) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/leontribe)

    The focus is on the functional aspects of CRM. It has articles on codeless solutions to common problems or general CRM-related articles of interest. It is rare to see code or discussions on things like plugins on my blog.

    Tweets are designed for broad-audience appeal. Often they are links to interesting videos, the latest service pack or industry analysis on the CRM market. Check them out and if they’re not to your liking, there are many, many others out there, some of which got plugged in my blog post from last year.

    Return to “About This Guide”

    Dynamics CRM 2011/Online Resources

    The following resources are specifically geared toward CRM 2011 and/or CRM Online.

    Return to “About This Guide”

    Dynamics CRM 4.0 Resources

    The following resources are specifically geared toward CRM 4.0.