CRM 2013 Tool Review – Solution History for CRM 2013


This blog post is about history, so I shall with this quote

Guido tweeted a link to this tool and the title interested me

Solution History for CRM 2013 click the link below to download it

What does it do

The tool shows a historical view of all the solutions and their components which have been imported into a CRM organization

How does it work

It’s an add in into the excellent XRMToolBox written by Tanguy and others.  You get the latest version of the XRMToolbox and drop in the dll.  This will then load up a new tab in the toolbox.

You may not know but when ever you import a solution into CRM it creates a importJob record

I have written a blog post on follow the progress of a solution import by doing a query on the importjob table.

CRM 2011/2013 – Progress of solution import


The CRM Solution History tool doesn’t show the progress of a job importing, I just thought I would add that as a bonus topic on the subject of importJob.  The CRM Solution Hisotory tool displays the contents of importjob table and split the data up into nice GUI format, which shows you when solutions were important, the components inside the solutions and who imported them.

below is the screen shot from codeplex


Why is it useful

In most/all CRM projects you will have a DEV, TEST, PROD environments as a minimum, I have  worked on projects where we use to have 3 DEV environments, 2 Test environments, PREPROD and PROD.

The challenge when you have lots of environments is keeping track of what

Who and when imported solutions

The tool shows you who and when a solution was important. This can be useful to allow you to work out if certain changes were included in the solution and if one solution has overwritten another solution.

When working on CRM projects with multiple developers, it’s important to be able to see what developers have been importing solutions

What files were included in the solutions

The tools show what type of components were included in a solution and what individual files.

Unmanaged solutions

Unmanaged solutions can be used to sneak across some changes between Dev and Test were forgetten.  This can either happen in a temporary unmanaged solution which is subsequently deleted or it can be the same umanaged solution but the number is incremented.

It also shows unmanaged solutions, which can often be used to sneak things across you forgot or for quick fixes.

Fragmented CRM environments

Different systems can get fragmented and it can be hard to know what components have been imported, who imported them and when they were imported (overwriting each other)

Solution hiding

Sometimes the same solution can be imported multiple times without the version number being bumped up.  This can make it difficult to keep track of different environments (this usually happens internally between Dev and Test).  This tool will allow you to see the date of the last import and give you an understanding what was included in the solution and if certain changes were brought across.

Potential Uses of the Tool

Production Deployment

It’s always a nervous time when you press the “Import” button and kick off a solution import on a production server and the last thing you want to do is have to do things wrong and have to import an older solution.

This tool would give you a method to check what has been deployed before and compare it with other servers.


In development environments with multiple developers working, it can be hard to keep track of what has been imported, particularly between the DEV environment Test environment.

In DEV you can also see that sometimes things get forgotten and get brought across as an unmanaged solution or another mini solution.

This tool would help keeping track of what has been brought across and if your latest code has made it across.

It would also help you to see what components you need to include in the managed solution to production and avoid missing out a key component.

Does it work with CRM 2011

The importJob table hasn’t changed (to my knowledge) from CRM 2011 to CRM 2013 so luckily the tool works fine with CRM 2011 (well it worked with my CRM org).

So the good news is YES it does work with CRM 2011 and it will should work with CRM 2015 I’m guessing.

More Tools

If you want more CRM tools why not check out my list


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