CRM 2011 – Problems setting a manager for a user

I knew of the manager setting on a user and it’s theorecitical use because I learnt it whilst studying for one of the CRM exams.

You basically have use a manager role to escalate messages, warnings, noticiations in CRM.  So rather than hard coding a particular user you use the manager role and then in your workflows etc you use this role rather than hard code it to an individual.

I had problems today whilst trying to  set a manager for someone, in fact it was greyed out.  This had me puzzled for a while and then I managed to figure it out.

You can’t set a manager to someone who is a  manager.

which doesn’t sound like real life because most managers have managers.

This is a bit quirky but if you run into this problem one day I hope you will remember this.

CRM 2011 – Frequently asked questions from Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers

I read an interesting blog post from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Team Blog today which had a link to CRM Frequently asked questions.

This interested me two fold, firstly I was interested to see what the FAQ were and it’s also a good resource for solutions to these common problems.

If you want to read all the FAQ’s then go to the web site here

The document has these main headings with lots of more detailed problems below

On This Page

Work with records and features

Work with Outlook

Mobile Express

Work with Data Management

Work with Reporting

Work with Workflow

General Administration

E-mail and E-mail Router Administration



Additional Resources


I have to admit I found the FAQ very interesting and useful, it often has quick answers with links to more in depth documents, here is an example

How do I install and configure Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online E-mail Router?

For information about installing and configuring Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online E-mail Router for use with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, see Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online E-mail Router Installing Guide for use with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online


Is there a guide available for Administrators?

Yes. The Administrator’s Guide describes the initial tasks that must be done while setting up Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and also the customizations that can be made any time after you set up Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. For more information, see Administering Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online




Is there a lack of Dynamics Consultants

I read this article today on the revamped dynamics world website, which is a lot greener but some of the pictures don’t seem to load is my first thoughts.

They had an article with the title of Lack of dynamic consultants

There has been a lack of Dynamics Consultants and Developers for some time. Microsoft in the UK has attempted to make small steps to combat the issue with little success.

Today, basic development isn’t the issue. Huge teams outside of the EU can complete implementations quicker and cheaper than UK and other Northern European based companies. This is largely due to excellent, cost effective training programmes, which are often run by large resellers. The aim of these facilities is to train new staff, often just managing to break even, not to make a profit. Something I thing the European market could learn from.

Consequently, face to face Consultants are in high demand across Europe and the US, which inevitably drives up rates. Partners spend millions of pounds on implementations and upgrades and need the work completed properly. They are feeling squeezed between lack of affordable resources and the need to have the work completed to the standards they require. A complaint that has been put to Microsoft.


The article isn’t really focused on the number of CRM consultants in a company basis but more a global problem.  I was thinking about the number of CRM consultants and if Microsoft’s sales figures are to be believed (and I have no reason to think otherwise) then there has been a great deal more CRM work done over the last year and there will be in the future as well.

You should also take into account the CRM cloud offerings might not need much consultancy or development work because I guess a lot of these will be standard deployments without much customization.

Looking towards the future I think there will be more Microsoft CRM work in the future as Microsoft gains more market share from it’s rivals, I also think the customers which took the standard CRM offerings in the cloud will start to push CRM more and once they are used to CRM they will start to extend it.

I suppose in the short term this will push up prices for CRM work whilst the industry increases the number of CRM specialists

CRM 2011 – Tool – Ribbon Browser for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

The excellent CRM tools creator Tanguy has woken from his slumber and created another interesting tool to make our lives easier in CRM 2011.

He has created a tool to browse the Ribbon in CRM 2011.  I have to admit the Ribbon is a bit of a tricky beast to get used to, so any help with working with it is very welcome indeed.

you can find the tool at his blog (where you can also donate some money if you are feeling generous) here

or you can go to codeplex and download it

Project Description
This tool helps developer to browse ribbons in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

It makes easier to identify ribbon controls properties.

Application Prerequisites
This application requires the following components installed:

  • Framework .Net 4
  • Windows Identity Framework

Application Screenshot

Ribbon Browser

CRM 2011 – How to increase the records per page to more than 250 rows

I had an unusual problem today, I wanted to delete 3000 accounts which I had imported into a test organisation (to import them again without the missing data)

I thought I would do this using the advanced find but I could only delete 250 at a time.  So I decided to increase the row limit.  Unfortunatly there is no way to do this using the system so you have to adjust the setting on the SQL database table directly.  This is obviously unsupported so I would definetly think carefully about doing this on a customer site, also if you extended this value you will be retreiving more rows of data when using CRM and this will put more strain on the SQL server.

What I am saying is if you were to change this value for some end users CRM might start to work slower because you will be retrieving more records when you are viewing accounts, contacts, orders etc in CRM.

you need to open SQL Server Management Studio and then create a new query for the organisation database


here is the sql you need to run

SELECT SystemUserId, FullName FROM SystemUser WHERE FullName = 'your name'
SELECT SystemUserId, FullName FROM SystemUser WHERE FullName = 'Ben Hosking'

then you use the guid value you have just retrieved and run the sql below
UPDATE UserSettings SET PagingLimit = WHERE SystemUserId = ''

UPDATE UserSettings SET PagingLimit=1000 WHERE SystemUserId = '2A01D976-322E-E011-9645-00155D106B02'

You can set back the rows returned by using CRM and going into


and then on the General tab you can set the Records per page

CRM 2011 – Using Dialogs and Dialog gotchas

I read a good blog entry by Gareth Tucker about Dialog gotchas.  Dialogs are a fantastic addition to CRM 2011 and a really powerful way to interact with the user, get values and respond.

There is a couple of quirks with Dialogs

Dialogs – You can’t save dates or bits

I have written a blog post – Dialogs can’t store dates, which basically tells you can’t stores Dates, bits or lookups.  I do love dialogs and they are a great improvement it just seems the functionality needs a bit of polishing.

if you want to learn about CRM 2011 – dialogs, here are some links

Video – how to create dialogs

Dialogs – using variables

there is also a couple of good dialog entries here Dialogs Part 1 and Dialogs Part 2

Gareth has also written a good blog entry on Dialogs here

anyway here are the gotchas from Gareth’s blog entry

  1. If your Dialog has branching logic make sure you don’t use the Responses from those branches in any later actions after the branching as those Response values will not be available in those scenarios when the user branches the other way, and CRM doesn’t like that.   To get around this make use of Variables within your Dialog.  Initialise a Variable at the start of your Dialog, update it within your branch and then you can happily refer to the Variable later in the script.
  2. Beware of placing actions such as creating records and sending emails in amongst Pages of your Dialog, they’re better placed at the end of your script firing only after the user has clicked Finish in the Dialog.  Reason for this is the Dialog UI happily allows users to navigate backwards and forwards within the Dialog.  If you have a record creating firing between pages 4 and 5 of your script that record creation will happen not only the first time the user progresses to page 5 but if they hit previous, go back to page 4 and then progress on to page 5 again then yeap you guessed it you will get another record created

CRM 2011 – CRM online diagnostic tool

I saw this article today  talking about an inbuilt CRM 2011 online Latency tool, you can read the original link here

it basically does a diagnostic to check things are working and in a timely fashion.

CRM 2011 Online latency tool

If you are running CRM 2011 Online we might ask you to provide us some additional information regarding our environment. This tool improves our capabilities for gathering data. It is located at the same relative path off of every organization:

OrgURL = The URL that is used to sign into your CRM 2011 Online organization


The tool collects the following data (it has no impact on the client machine):
It runs a couple tests, measuring latency to the datacenter, bandwidth, and performs a few Java script performance tests to measure the CPU/browser performance of the machine.
Steps that need to be performed

  1. Launch the tool (via https://OrgURL/tools/diagnostics/diag.aspx) as a user in an Admin role in Dynamics CRM.
  2. Click the Run button for All Tests.
  3. When the tests are complete, click E-Mail Results.
  4. Use the button Copy to Clipboard on the page to paste the results into the E-Mail message that is displayed.
  5. Before you “click send” we strongly recommend that you modify the recipient email address. The information / data makes most sense if it is collected / analyzed in combination with an open support ticket. Therefore we strongly recommend to enter the email address of the support engineer you are working with.

Tool screenshot below