CRM 2011 – You can rename and delete business units

CRM 2011 allows you to rename and delete business units, this can be very useful if you have spelt something incorrectly.

To rename a business unit

Settings –> Administration –> business units

click on the business unit you want, change the display name and press save

You can also delete a business but you must have one business unit.

to delete one of the child business units you go to business units

Settings –> Administration –> business units

click on the business unit you want to delete.

First you must disable the business unit by going Actions –> disable

you will then be able to delete the business unit

CRM 2011 – Free Twitter Integration for the Account entity

I saw this project on codeplex

MS CRM 2011 Twitter Integration

and thought this might be interesting.

It could be useful to some people but when I looked into the project it left me a little bit baffled.

When I saw project, this is actually a link to an html page

Twitter.html


 

<HTML><HEAD>
<META charset=utf-8></HEAD>
<BODY contentEditable=true>
<SCRIPT src="http://widgets.twimg.com/j/2/widget.js"></SCRIPT>

<SCRIPT>
var search = parent.document.forms[0].all.name.DataValue;
new TWTR.Widget({
version: 2,
type: 'profile',
rpp: 10,
interval: 2000,
width: 630,
height: 300,
theme: { shell: { background: 'transparent', color: '#333' },
tweets: { background: 'transparent', color: '#333', links: '#c10000' }
},
features: { scrollbar: false, loop: true, live: false, hashtags: true, timestamp: true, avatars: true, toptweets: true, behavior: 'default' }
}).render().setUser(search).start();
 </SCRIPT>
</BODY></HTML>

There doesn’t seem to be hardly anything in the page and then I released most of the work was being done by the Javascript page

http://widgets.twimg.com/j/2/widget.js

 

It all seemed a bit weird and the thought of my CRM running external javascript files which could get changed to do something completely different didn’t really appeal to me.

 

If they are giving the solution away they should package this up into a managed solution.

I’m also not sure how the twitter integration works because I can’t see where you put in the

twitter address so I’m guessing it works by looking up the company name, which doesn’t seem

logical to me.

 

To summarise I think this is a great idea but I don’t like the way it has been done


CRM 2011 Tool – Document Generator

The CRM tool master and worthy of a double MVP Tanguy or Toolguy as I think he should change his name to has once again made a great new tool for CRM 2011. not happy with creating this amazing list of tools for CRM he has created a Document Generator

The Document Generator can only be used on premise, Online and IFD and can create documents in Word or Excel format.  It’s also a gui tool and not a command line
here is a screenshot
you can get the tool from  CodePlex link
Also if you go to Tanguy’s blog you can thank him for his hard work and give him some money via PayPal.
Good work Tanguy the Toolguy

CRM 2011 – Interesting CRM articles for the 27th January

There has been some excellent blogs and articles released today so I thought I would create a quick blog post with some links to them.

Enjoy


 

CRM 2011: How to launch a Dialog on click of custom ribbon button?

http://ankit.inkeysolutions.com/2012/01/crm-2011-how-to-launch-dialog-on-click.html

New tool : Documentation generator

http://mscrmtools.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-tool-documentation-generator.html

How to colorize grid rows…

http://mscrmtools.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-to-colorize-grid-rows.html

 

Activity Feeds Solution & Development Environment

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2012/01/26/activity-feeds-solution-amp-development-environment.aspx

Calculate the Time an Incident Took to Resolve in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Using .NET or Jscript

http://mileyja.blogspot.com/2012/01/calculate-time-incident-took-to-resolve.html

 

CRM MVPs on Marketing Automation Best Practices

CRM 2011 – SQL error while importing solution in crm 2011

I tried to import a solution today and go an error, an SQL error similar to the one below

The culprit in my situation was I had a field which the field was of type int

I then had deleted the variable and created a new one with the same name of type picklist

When you try and import the solution I received an SQL error

To resolve the error you have to delete the variable in the CRM organisation you are trying to import the solution to.  Then you will be able to import the solution.

The best way to find the variable is to use WinMerge and compare the customization.xml files in the previous solution file and the new solution customization.xml.  You can get the solution file by exporting it if you don’t have one to hand.

This makes sense because SQL will have a column with incompatible data and a column with the name you are trying to create a new column for.

CRM 2011 – Windows could not start the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Asynchronous Processing Service

I had a red alert today when a customers recently live CRM installation completely stopped working.

It stop working so badly that no one could even log in and when you tried to the screen just mentioned a Generic SQL error.

When ever you cannot login into CRM the first thing to check is Microsoft Dynamics CRM Asynchronous Processing Service because if this has stopped so has CRM.

I tried to restart the service and then it complained it couldn’t logon.

I wasn’t sure what had happened here, it was one of those times when no one had touched the system and it had just gone down.

I tried to repair CRM 2011 by going to Add Remove Programs, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, Repair.  This gave me the exact reason it wasn’t working, which is a nice surprise because most error messages point in some vague direction of the problem or sometimes in completely the opposite direction.

Basically the password for the user I set up to run the web services part of CRM (App pools) and the CRM ASync services needed to change his password because it had expired.

To resolve this problem you need to get the IT person to change the settings on the active directory user to make the password never expire (otherwise CRM will stop working every month\couple of months).  The setting is in

Account–> Account Options –> Password never expires

I confirmed this by trying to log onto the CRM Server as that user and it asked me to change my password.  DON’T change the password because then you will have to change the password in all the places the user is used or run the CRM Repair to do it for you.

 

once the option for the password to never expired is ticked, the CRM Async services should magically start to run again and CRM will be back and working.

Luckily for me I managed to do this before the customer had time to call in and complain.

 

CRM/NAV connector – Feature Pack 7 is available

I’m a bit late reporting this (because I wasn’t aware) but there has been a new release of the CRM/NAV connector and we are now on Feature Pack 7.

You can find all about the release on the Microsoft blog site here

if you just want the download link then you have to partner source member but go here

https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource/deployment/resources/productreleases/MDNAV2009R2_CRMConnector

They have also updated the connector documentation

Connector for Microsoft Dynamics installation guides

The high level summary taken from the blog site above.

  • Source level filtering (ability to limit the integrated records retrieved from the source based on user defined criteria)
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 adapter – this adapter now supports Internet Facing Deployment / claims-based authorization / SSL / Office 365 CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 adapter (supports Contacts and Customers)
  • Splitting of documentation into install and deployment and ERP specific customization documents
  • Changing the EULA to allow for integrations to and from a single microsoft Dynamics product (previous versions required that two Microsoft Dynamics products were being integrated using Connector for Microsoft Dynamics)

CRM/NAV Connector suddenly stopped working

The CRM/NAV connector always likes to keep me on my toes and today it achieved the feet but suddenly stopping working.

One minute it’s working and the next minute none of the maps are running.

So what happened.

Looking at the logs (a NAV/CRM connector users best friend) I noticed there were some errors about a field I had deleted  on the CRM entity but was still mentioned in one of the maps.

Oddly it wasn’t a map that was running and the field didn’t have a value being mapped.

I restarted the CRM/NAV Connector and then looked at the event viewer applications log.  When you start and stop the connector it writes a value to the log.

Here I found an error

An unexpected error occurred while loading maps for site [Metaphorix \ Metaphorix]. Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Now if you read my blog or have been searching for CRM/NAV connector errors then you will know I have seen this error before

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/crmnav-connector-object-reference-not-set-to-an-instance-of-an-object/

This highlights the confusion you can have when using the connector the same error can mean something different has broken and the error messages are not easy to understand.

What I think this error was complaining about  a field which was mapped which no longer existed.

To resolve this problem you have to run the configuration tool again to remap all the fields correctly.

I will add a word of warning, the connector configuration tool might forget if you had added entities to the mapping, so check to make sure they are ticked.

So there we go another error and another solution.  hopefully if the Dynamic community can keep blogging solutions to the CRM/NAV connector problems then it will make using it easier.

CRM 2011 – Rollup 6 is really available this time

The Microsoft Field engineering blog has added the update to the new version of Rollup 6 for CRM 2011.  It also has a list of all the releases so far which is very useful

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crminthefield/archive/2012/01/23/microsoft-dynamics-crm-4-0-and-2011-update-rollup-release-dates-build-numbers-and-collateral.aspx

CRM 2011 UR #

Release date and Download Center URL

Release date – Microsoft Update

Build number

Knowledge Base article

PFE Blog

PFE Podcast

1

4/4/2011

4/26/2011

5.0.9688.1045

2466084

Blog

Podcast

2

6/6/2011

6/28/2011

5.0.9688.1155, 5.0.9688.1157 (server)

2466086

Blog

Podcast

3

7/26/2011

8/23/2011

5.0.9688.1244

2547347

Blog

Podcast

4

9/22/2011

Will not be released to Microsoft Update

5.0.9688.1450

2556167

Blog

Podcast

5

10/25/2011

11/8/2011

5.0.9688.1533

2567454

Blog

Podcast

6

1/12/2012

1/24/2012

5.0.9690.1992

2600640

Blog

Podcast

7

3/8/2012(PROJECTED)

3/27/2012(PROJECTED)

5.0.9688.TBD

2600643

Blog

Podcast

The blog also has instructions for people who had installed Rollup 6, If I understand the paragraph correctly it says you have to uninstall CRM 2011 and then install it again because you cannot patch Rollup 6.

 

If you did new installs with the Update Rollup 6 “slipstream” packages that were released (these would be the packages that include the full install bits as well as Update Rollup 6) you will get an error trying to patch those components to the new Update Rollup 6 build.  This Knowledge Base article describes the issue:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2668504 .  This Knowledge Base article is live, as well as the updated Update Rollup 6 KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2600640.

 

The only workaround is to reinstall if you happened to use the Update Rollup 6 slipstream builds.  For server you can connect to existing databases on the reinstall.  The reinstall goes for any of the components that you installed with the Update Rollup 6 slipstream builds, (Client, Router, etc.).  If you do not reinstall you will not be able to patch to the re-released Update Rollup 6 packages or future Update Rollups, as Update Rollup 6 represents a new baseline.

 

 

CRM 2011 – Free Productivity Pack from Adxstudio

Adxstudio who have a portal product you can use with CRM 2011 are kind generous souls who are giving away a free solution to help developers with the productivity.

To find out more head on over to their webpage but the solution does have a free autonumber, bing maps and a place to store general settings in CRM.  So thanks to guys at Adxstudio.

http://community.adxstudio.com/downloads/productivitypack

 

Rich Text Editor (TinyMCE)
It is often required to format and validate HTML contents in CRM. The Productivity Pack includes a rich text editor that can be used to replace standard textarea fields to provide the ability to edit HTML content.

Auto Numbering
The Auto Numbering solution consists of a custom definition entity ‘adx_autonumberingdefinition’, a custom command pattern entity ‘adx_autonumberingrequest’ and a plugin combined to produce an auto number. This can be used in your own workflows or custom development using the SDK to implement an auto-numbering mechanism on any of your entities.

Bing Maps Geolocation Lookup
The Bing Maps Geolocation Lookup solution consists of a custom command pattern entity ‘adx_binglookup’, several setting ‘adx_setting’ records and a plugin combined to query the Bing Maps REST API and return geolocation information and coordinates. This can be used in your own workflows or custom development using the SDK to implement a mechanism to provide geolocation coordinates on any of your entities.

Date/Time Parsing
Date/Time Parsing solution consists of a command pattern entity ‘adx_dateparserequest’ and a plugin that parses a DateTime value or a DateTime string into its parts; year, month, day, hour, minute, second, millisecond, day of week. This is very useful for working with dates in CRM Workflows where you need to write conditional expressions or filtering based on parts of Date/Time values.

Boolean Parsing
Boolean Parsing solution consists of a command pattern entity ‘adx_boolparserequest’ and a plugin that parses a boolean string into a Two Option attribute value and corresponding integer values. i.e 1 = True, 0 = False | True or true = 1, False or false = 0. Working with CRM Process Dialogs, it is not possible to update an entity’s Two Option attribute value with a value from a Prompt and Response question. This provides a solution to this particular problem.

General Application Settings
Settings are records that provide the generic storage of name/value pairs in the CRM. These generic settings can be used within your customizations to retrieve managed setting values. Storing settings in the CRM will enable you to design customizations that can change behavior based on data from the CRM without having to redesign or redeploy a modification to your customizations.

For complete details on the configuration and usage of these solutions, please refer to the configuration page in the CRM Solution package or download the pdf document listed below.