Microsoft adds inactive date to transcripts and certificates

I have to admit sometimes Microsoft changes things seemingly just for the hell of it and these changes are sometimes plain wrong and illogical.

Today Microsoft proudly announces its going to add the words inactive to peoples certificates if they are in a technology which Microsoft no longer supports.  It seems a pointless thing to do and not really related to the certification.  In my mind people who are certified in a technology which is no longer supported by microsoft might well be more in demand rather than inactive.

you can read more about this on the born to learn blog here, its worth going to the blog to read the comments from angry certification holders, below is the relevant information

3.       Inactive Date – This is a big change: many of our certifications now feature an “inactive date” which signifies either that your certification is no longer in mainstream demand, that Microsoft no longer supports the product on which the certification is based, or that you have not met recertification requirements (if any). You won’t always see this field on your transcript—only if and when we’ve determined an inactive date for that certification. For affected certifications, you’ll start seeing inactive dates show up in June. (You can find more information on inactive dateshere.)

here is some more information about the certification lifespan

Certification Lifespan

The lifespan of a certification varies, based on certification track and certification technology. Some certifications will provide a recertification path to allow you to continuously hold the certification until the certification has been deemed inactive.

Note Certification policies vary by program and may change at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

View all answers

A.

Today, most of our Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) certifications retire when Microsoft discontinues mainstream support for the related technology. The certification will still appear on your transcript but will be listed in an inactive section with an expiration date. In most cases, an upgrade path, which allows candidates to earn the certification with fewer exams (usually one), will be available for individuals who hold the certification on the previous version of the technology.

The legacy Microsoft certifications, such as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), currently do not expire, but some may no longer be awarded because all exams are retired or because Microsoft has ended extended support for the technology. In most cases, individuals who hold the certification on the previous version of the technology can earn the certification on the next version of the technology with one upgrade exam.

To maintain the relevance and value of our certifications and ensure that candidates possess up-to-date skills on technologies that are constantly changing, recertification may be necessary for some certifications. In these cases, the certification will remain valid as long as the candidate continues to recertify at appropriate intervals.

Note that Microsoft reserves the right to change these policies at any time.

A.

A certification is deemed inactive for one of the following reasons:

  • The certification has been retired due to the technology being out of mainstream or extended support
  • The certification has been retired because there are two newer versions of the technology in the market
  • The certification has expired due to the recertification requirements not being met
    • Not all certifications require recertification, and recertification dates may vary by certification

  • Microsoft has determined that this certification is no longer relevant in the marketplace

    We evaluate each certification based on all of these reasons and determine the best inactive date for each certification. If the inactive date is based on the Microsoft technology mainstream or extended support date, the dates may change to reflect the most current date found in the Microsoft lifecycle website.

A.

For those certifications you have achieved, you will see the inactive date on your transcript. If an inactive date does not exist, review the preceding table to learn about the general policy for the certification track. In the case where the certification is due to retire based on technology support end dates, you can view the latest dates on the Microsoft lifecycle site.

Any changes to these policies or certifications that do not follow the preceding guidelines will be updated on this website.

CRM 2011 – Dialogs can’t store Dates!

So we writing a dialog this week in CRM 2011, fantastic stuff, it has some great features allow you to show pick lists of options and getting the user to select one.

but it also has some major weaknesses like the fact you can’t store dates in Dialog, you also can’t store

Bit, Date, Lookups

This seems a bit of an oversight, not to mention you can’t use custom workflow on CRM 2011 online

So to get round this we have stored the dates as text and then convert them into dates.  So I need some code to convert Strings into Dates in my plugin and here it is.

                    newPlac.hosk_startdatetext = "20/04/2011";
                    newPlac.hosk_enddatetext = "21/04/2011";
                    DateTime startDate  = Convert.ToDateTime(newPlac.hosk_startdatetext);
                    DateTime endDate = Convert.ToDateTime(newPlac.hosk_enddatetext);

The import part is using the Convert.ToDateTime();  This is overloaded so you can specify the format if you want.

CRM 2011 – CRM 2011 Online Administrator Guide

The Dynamics team blog put out a great blog post today, called Dynamics CRM 2011 Online – Go Live Checklist.

The Technical team has created a PDF/document with common configuration settings and tasks.  It’s basically an Administrators guide to CRM 2011 Online

You can download the document – DynamicsCRMOnline_UserBestPerformanceCheckList_April2011.pdf

below is the table of contents to see if the document will be of interest to you

Overview ...................................................................................................................................................................... 3
Common Configuration Settings for Internet Explorer ................................................................................................ 4
Increase simultaneous download session ................................................................................................................ 4
Add appropriate URLs to Trusted Sites ..................................................................................................................... 5
Increase Disk Space Size for Temporary Internet Files ............................................................................................. 6
Update LAN settings ................................................................................................................................................ 7
Leave the "Delete browsing history on exit" option UNMARKED ............................................................................ 8
Add Microsoft Dynamics CRM URLs to allow pop-ups ............................................................................................. 9
Ensure CRM Online is “white-listed” for anti-virus or malware applications ............................................................. 10
Ensure you receive important e-mails from CRM Online ........................................................................................... 10
Configuring the CRM for Outlook Client ..................................................................................................................... 11
Ensure the CRM for Outlook Client has the most recent updates ......................................................................... 11
Enabling Automatic Synchronization for Online and Offline clients ...................................................................... 12
Tip for Tracking CRM Calendar Appointments in Microsoft Outlook ..................................................................... 14
RECOMMENDATION: Only synchronize essential data for your Online & Offline clients ...................................... 15
CRM Online Resources Available for CRM Users ........................................................................................................ 18
CRM Online Resource Center ................................................................................................................................ 18
CRM Online E-Learning Catalogs: ........................................................................................................................... 18
Dynamics CRM Training Materials: ......................................................................................................................... 18
CRM Online Team Blog: ......................................................................................................................................... 18
The Dynamics CRM Team Blog ............................................................................................................................... 18
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Community: ................................................................................................................... 18
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Video Gallery: .................................................................................................... 19
Supporting your CRM Online Organization ................................................................................................................ 19
Ask The Community ............................................................................................................................................... 19
Knowledgebase Search .......................................................................................................................................... 19
Advanced Product Support Services ....................................................................................................................... 19
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Support .......................................................................................................................... 20
Maximizing Your Technical Support Experience ..................................................................................................... 20

CRM 2011 – New tool: CrmDiagTool 2011

One of my favourite CRM bloggers and creator of lots of useful CRM tools has been busy updating my one of my favourite CRM 4 tools CrmDiagTool.

you can find some information about the tool here.  The tool is manly used to enable/disable tracing (which you can do without restarting the IIS server).  You can also zip up the trace files

you can download the tool here

The features are the following:

  • Enable/Disable tracing
  • Zip content of Trace directory
  • Open Trace directory
  • Generate diagnostic file in text or html format with components selection
  • Enable/Disable DevErrors

Some screenshots:

crmdiagtool2011_1

crmdiagtool2011_2

crmdiagtool2011_3

crmdiagtool2011_4

Regarding source code: As the previous version had not its source code released, this version does not too.