CRM 2011 – How to apply a security role to multiple users

sometimes when you create a new entity and access the system as Admin you forgot you need to change the security roles to add access to the new entity.

it can be quite a hassle to edit all the security roles to add the correct privileges to all the different security roles.  So you might find this tool useful – Role Updater for Microsoft Dynamic CRM 2011.  This tool and the other CRM 2011 tools shows the value of allowing developers to access values through code, they end up creating lots of free tools for you.

there is another way around this, you can create a new security role and then add this security role to the users you want to access the new entity or you might want to apply this security role to everyone.

I was in this scenario because I wanted to give everyone the new Activity feeds role but how can I give multiple users the same security role.

The answer is

Go to SETTINGS -> Administration -> Users

You will then see a list of users and at the top of the screen you can see a manage roles button

If you press the manage roles you can then select the security roles you want to give to all the selected users.

Click here to visit the Metaphorix homepage to see how Metaphorix uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NAV and other products and services.

CRM 2011 – 73 Percent of CRM 4 deployments to be upgraded to CRM 2011 in the next 6 months

I have been working with CRM 2011 for 3 months and during these time I also have been some work on some CRM 4 developments.  The changes between CRM 2011 and CRM 4 are quite signnificant.  CRM 2011 has a lot of excellent new features but it also looks and feels different and from a developers perspective the changes are quite dramatic, which is why it can be quite confusing when you flip between CRM 4 and CRM 2011.

The main changes in CRM 2011 from a developers perspective are

  • Javascript – it has changed from using crmForm to using the new functionality added in.
  • plugins – You now can use early bound entities and Linq.  The dynamic entity is now called entity.
  • Javascript soap – the urls have all changed.
  • you also have things like oData, silverlight and jquery.
  • The Ribbon – to add a button into CRM is much more complex because the ribbon means everything is context related.


After thinking about these changes I wondered over what time period companies would change from CRM 4 to CRM 2011.  CRM 2011 is great from a sales point of view because it has a lot of juicy things to interest potential clients with.  It also has a lot of functionality which you had to pay for add ons or develop them yourself, so upgrading would certainly be tempting.

I found a survey on Mitch Malam’s blog, which you can see here.  Although he has only got 142 votes (although that is actually quite a lot), I would also suggest the people who read his blogs are probably CRM developers.  His results suggest that 33 percent of companies are going to use CRM 2011 straight away and 73 percent are going to move to CRM 2011 in the next 6 months.  This is a very impressive speed of uptake.    Interesting stuff.


When are you moving to CRM 2011

  • Immediately (33%)
    You Have Voted For This Choice  - Immediately -> 33% (47 Votes)
  • 6 Months (27%)
    6 Months -> 27% (38 Votes)
  • 12 Months (14%)
    12 Months -> 14% (20 Votes)
  • 3 Months (13%)
    3 Months -> 13% (19 Votes)
  • More than 12 months (13%)
    More than 12 months -> 13% (18 Votes)

Total Votes: 142



Connections in CRM 2011

I was in meeting/discussion about CRM 2011 and we were discussing how to view accounts in a list, should we use the owner of the account or maybe add a new field onto accounts.

then someone said lets use connections.  Now at this point connections to me were one of the new features added in to CRM 2011.

there are lots of new features added into CRM 2011 which I am not quite sure how they work….yet.

The person linked the account to a user using connections and then we viewed the accounts connected to the user. pow.  It’s one of the new features in CRM 2011 which when you see what it does you think “that’s really useful, nice one microsoft”.

so connections are really relationships between two entity records in the system.  It’s a way to create a relationship (link) between two entities records

entity’s like Accounts and contacts

here is how the SDK describes the benefits of Connections

Connections provide the following capabilities:

  • An easy and flexible way to make a connection between two records of most Microsoft Dynamics CRM entity types. All customizable business and custom entities can be enabled for connections.
  • An option to add useful information, such as description of the connection and the duration.
  • An ability to create connection roles that describe the relationship between the two records, such as a relationship between a doctor and a patient, or a manager and an employee.
  • A quick way to create multiple connections and roles for a particular record. For example, a contact may have many relationships with other contacts, accounts or contracts. In each relationship a contact may play a different role.
  • Information for building queries and creating graphs. You can search for all connections and connection roles for a particular record and create graphs and charts for visual representation of the connections.
  • Support for workflows and auditing for automating and improving the business processes.

Here is a video on youtube about connections in CRM.

There is another video called – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 – Connections

Finally there is a good blog post on Connections here

The interesting aspects of connections is you can have a time span for the connection and you can also report on the connection.

I have to say I’m not sure how it does it behind the scenes but it’s quite a cool little feature to be added.

It’s basically a loose relationship between entities.

The article mentions something I didn’t know about you can have connection roles for frequent connections

Documenting connections using connection roles

If certain users connect frequently to certain records, or if certain records are frequently connected, we can use connection roles to formalize this. Connection Roles are defined under Business Management under Settings

The article also concludes with a good summary

Comparing with normal relations between records, it has the following advantages:

  • We don’t need to customize the system for every type of relation that could occur
    • This makes the system more flexible when processes change
    • And we don’t bother the user with all the possible fields/lists for these relations
  • We can add a lot of detail to these Connections. Description texts are already better than only providing a link. With Roles we can add even more depth.
  • Adding these Connections is faster than adding a true relation with the special button on the ribbon.

JScript Libraries and Web Resources

This is one of the big improvements in CRM 2011.


Richard Knudson who has a great blog and I am always getting great articles and videos from his site.  He has an article and 12 minute video explaining web resources

This is a great improvement for CRM 2011 because now we will be able to use the same javascript in multiple forms without having to duplicate it everywhere.

Another thing I noticed from the video is how much easier and faster it is to get customising the forms.

It is quite different from the previous way of working but I don’t think that is really a bad thing.

Richard also wrote another blog entry on Re-usable JScript Libraries

both of these blog entries give you a great introduction to these new features in CRM 2011

The top Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 features by the 10 top CRM people


Although it seems rather odd to get these CRM titans to woodenly describe a different feature of CRM 2011, you can’t argue that they certainly have picked the best enhancements.

It’s worth watching the video.  I have read lots of articles about the favourite features and using the new features but this video is only 7 minutes long and gets right to the heart of the matter.

It’s also interesting to see some of the people by the blogs I have read many times.

So that’s what the Yack looks like!!


CRM 4 interview questions

Whilst looking for other CRM related things I saw this article on CRM 4 interview questions

I have also found some good interview questions on this blog –

I have interviewed people for development roles before and technical interview questions are usually a tricky topic.  Usually with technical questions regarding programming you are wanting the person to give you an exact answer but they don’t always know what you are asking.

The big problem is even if they do know some of the technical answers it doesn’t mean they are going to be a good developer.

Looking at the CRM questions if you want someone with at leasts a years experience then they should know a lot of these. If someone had done one of the CRM certifications then they would know a lot of these but that doesn’t mean they have much experience working with CRM.

Still these questions are quite useful and I think it would be worth asking someone to answer these questions before you interviewed them because it would give you a good idea of their CRM knowledge and if it then matched the experience they have put on their CV.

I would also like to say that Nitin Dhawan has an excellent blog and is well worth checking out for more CRM information, here is a link to his blog –

1 What is CRM Service of MSCRM?
2 What is Metadata service of MSCRM?
3 What is discovery Service?
4 What is a Plug-in?
5 What is a Workflow?
6 What are the differences between Plug-in and a Workflow?
7 What are the differences between Asynchronous Plug-in and a Workflow?
8 When will you use a workflow and when will you use a Plug-in? Give some Real-lifescenario? 

9 What is an Email-Router?
10 What are the steps to configure an Email router?
11 How the Plug-in and Workflow will behave in case of Off-line client?
12 What is Metadata?
13 What is CRM Discovery Service?
14 What is Sales and Marketing life cycle in MSCRM?
15 What is Queue entity in MSCRM?
16 What is 1:1, 1:N and N:N relationship in Microsoft Dynamics CRM?
17 How a Plug-in is different from a Call-out?
18 What is ‘Append’ and ‘Append To’ privilege in MSCRM? Give one example of it?
19 How to create a Custom Entity record using SDK?
20 How to join two table using Query Expression?
21 Can we modify the name of Root Business Unit?
22 Suppose if I have 100 user license and I have created 100 users. What will happen if I create 101User? 

23 What are the maximum number of tabs allowed on a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 form?
24 How to enable/disable the form assistant? How to make sure the form assitant is expanded/cllapsedon a form? 

25 What is Filtered Views?
26 Can we change a base currency?
27 Can we remove the root Business Unit?
28 Can we use the same database for different instance?
29 Can we use Oracle in replace of SQL server?
30 Can we add new button in Actions menu?
31 Can we hide Add Existing from Entity?
32 Relationships in MS Dynamics CRM 4.0 (parental, referential, Non Referential)?
33 Relationship Behavior in MS DynamICS CRM 4.0 (Cascading, Cascading to record, Cascading None, SetConfigure)? 

34 How to achieve 1:1 Relationship in MS Dynamics CRM 4.0?
35 How to develop custom WF?
36 How to get parameter for Custom WF from UI of the workflow?
37 How to debug the WF?
38 Regarding Plug In ask what if you want to right some logic on deletion of record referring todeletion for record what he will do like custom entity? 

39 What is the difference in Using CRM Web Service and SDK DLL?
40 What is the benefit of using SDK DLL over web service?
41 Different way of registering plugin(database, file and GAC)?
42 Difference between entity and Dynamic Entity?
43 Field Level Security. People will say using JS and all and then u can ask @ what will happen toviews? 

44 Roles. Different Level of privileges?
45 Web service call through JavaScript. JS Debugging?
46 Different Modules in MS Dynamics CRM and Each Module flow?
47 Difference between Discovery and Metadata Service?
48 DB Structure for MS Dynamics CRM 4.0. What information MSCRM_Config DB will have?
49 How do you move an organization from one server to other server. What all are the steps u willfollow? 

50 What all are the software requires/ prerequisite to install MS Dynamics CRM(SQL, AD, Report Serveretc.)? 

51 How do you build the custom report. How u will you upload in MS Dynamics CRM 4.0?
52 Team Concept in MS Dynamics CRM 4.0. Where do you use it?
53 Give some scenario of SLA and Notification based on SLA + Email to Case?
54 Site Map and ISV Config difference and use in MS Dynamics CRM 4.0?
55 How many tabs you can have on form and how to increase the count of it
56 What all different view in MS Dynamics CRM 4.0?
57 How you will achieve Hierarchal Picklist or Look Up?
58 What is meant by Dynamic Picklist?
59 How many by default reports are there in mscrm ?How many is of case?
60 Difference between outlook client and webclient?
61 Explain Service Life Cycle?
62 Explain Sales Cycle?
63 Memory of SQL Express Edition?
64 Can workflows,CRM Webservice can be hosted on another system?
65 Difference between plugins & workflows?
66 Explain CRM flavours?
67 Explain editions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0?
68 Email Router steps?
69 Plugin registration steps?
70 Email to case creation condition?
71 Features of MS Dynamics CRM 2011 as compared to MSCRM 4.0?
72 Integration?
73 Export data from attribute of one data type to another data type e.g. Float toInteger? 

74 Architecture of MS Dynamics CRM 4.0?
75 Plugin step by step creation procedure?
76 List entities of Service Module?
77 If CRM user is there and if he doesn’t have account in Active Directory will he be able to accessCRM? 

78 Difference between Marketing Campaign and Quick Campaign?
79 How do u track Campaign Response?
80 For Asp.Net integration with MSCRM what are prerequisite?
81 Does MS Dynamics CRM 4.0 works with SQL Server 2000?
82 In Visual studio 2005 and VS 2008 what is the difference while creating plugins /workflows.
What add-ons need to be added while Asp.Net integration with MS Dynamics CRM 4.0?
83 Indexing in SQL Server 2005?
84 What setting has to be done to plugin run in offline mode?
85 Which parameter is passed in Execute Method?
86 Which interface you have to implement in Plugin?
87 Which Method is there in Plugin?
88 Can we create service using sdk and sdktypeproxy dll?
89 How to update Primary Contact in Account using Plugin.Whether single Query Expression is requiredor 2 is required? 

90 Difference between abstract class & Interface?
91 Difference Between value type & reference type?
92 Explain boxing & unboxing?
93 Retreive Contact’s information using Account entity?
94 Types of Joins?
95 How to pass parameters to Report?
96 Types of CRM Service?
97 Can we update Dispaly Name of Entity through MetaData Service?
98 Purpose of Discovery Service?
99 Explain Dynamic Entity?
100 Pre event & Post event Plugin?
101 How to give web link or URL in email activity of MS Dynamics CRM 4.0?
102 Purpose of MetaData Service?
103 Types of WebService?
104 Types of Authentication in MS Dynamics CRM 4.0?
105 How to give windows Authentication in Asp.Net application?
106 Concept of Multitenancy?
107 Deployment of pluign types?
108 Benefit of deploying plugin in Database?
109 Which type of deployment u hav used of MS Dynamics CRM 4.0?
110 Have u used CrmWebservice in Asp.Net application?
111 How we can login in Asp.Net application?

My Journey into Microsoft CRM Dynamics and Certifications


I am continueing my quest to increase my knowledge in the CRM world.

It has been a slow drawn out journey.  In 2008 whilst working on different projects, the company I work for said they were moving in the direction of CRM.  So I studied for Crm 4 Applications certification.  This was quite difficult because I wasn’t using CRM every day but it was also interesting because I was learning what CRM was and how it is used and fits together.

I then passed that certification and the company got some CRM work but gave it to people who hadn’t studied about CRM and knew nothing about it ?!?!?!?!

On the plus side at this point I then got to work on a project which used C# and  This turned out to be some very useful skills to pick up with regards to CRM and in particular CRM development.  As many of you no doubt know Microsoft CRM Dynamics is basically an asp Web site built on standard Meta Data framework.

This year I finally got to work on a CRM project, Hazaar and at the same time I have continued to learn about CRM through passing the 2 more CRM certifications.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Customization and Configuration

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Installation and Deployment

These two certifications have helped build my knowledge about the way microsoft dynamics Crm works and the various components that are installed and which make up the total package. e.g. things like the crm website, Reports services, the web services and outlook.

I am now moving on towards the programming side of CRM.  I am currently studying for the certification

CRM 4.0 Extending Microsoft Dynamics

I have found this very interesting, one reason for this is because I have spent 6 years as a Java developer and then some more years developing in C#, and doing some business objects and other projects which have popped up.

It’s interesting to see how CRM is laid out, it reminds me of when I have developed code which I wanted to use again, you try to modularise the code and make it so you can extend the code without changing it (so you don’t have to test it again).  It also reminds me of my Java days and using frameworks like Spring, Struts and a hibernate (is it a framework? but it is similar to CRM because it uses metadata to access the database).  This is interesting because you can see how Microsoft has laid out CRM, thought it out so people can extend and add to it without too much difficultly.

With regards to Extending CRM exam. I have found the ms courseware very useful and well presented as usual.

I have also been reading the book – Programming Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.  This is also an extremely professional and well written book.  It gives great examples and picks out all the gotchas for you.

The most interesting resource I have been using is the CRM Ramp up course, which I have blogged about before here

It’s really interesting to see the thoughts of one of the developers of CRM 4 and the jokes and etc knowledge he has.  It’s also enjoyable not to be just reading about CRM.

once I have passed this certification, I will then focus my attention on improving and studying my .NET skills and work towards passing the

TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

of course at the same time I will also need to learn CRM 2011.

Still at the start of the year I only had one CRM certification, now I have 3 in the bag, one more I studying for and some experience of actually using CRM on a project.

Hopefully next year I will really make some head way into the world of CRM and get really stuck in to CRM 2011