CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration Exam notes – Entities and fields

Here are my study notes regarding entities and fields in CRM.  I hope you appreciate the picture of a field (entities and fields, get it?)

Entities and fields are probably an error where most people will have a good starting knowledge of and some experience with.  Don’t get fooled into not studying the topic because there is a difference of using fields and entities and having enough knowledge to answer certification question on entities and fields.

It’s important to understand how entities and fields work and the limitations of them, e.g.

  • What entities values cannot be disabled once you have enabled them?
  • How does the new functionality like Image work?
  • How do entities which are activities work?
  • Can you delete fields referenced in a workflow?


Whilst studying these two areas I did improve my understanding of the core functionality of CRM and wrote these two blog posts

CRM 2013 – When should you create a custom activity entity?

CRM Entity ownership – How do you decide?

These notes will be added to the other study information I have created, which you can find here – MB2-703 – CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration Certification

Even if you are not studying for the MB2-703 certification, it’s interesting to have a quick read of the notes and I bet you find a fact you didn’t know


  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM default instance starts with more than 260 systems entities but which many are hidden from the UI
  • There are two types of entities – Custom entities and system entities
  • More than 90 system entities can be customized
  • Some system entities cannot be customized e.g. system job
  • Entities can be created by the UI, importing records or via code using the SDK
  • Entities which can be customized (system and custom) are known as customizable entities
  • Not all components of a customizable entity can be customized e.g. system fields like created on cannot be deleted
  • Ownership can be either user/team or organisation
  • Organization ownerships does not create an owner field, there is no owner or business units
  • User/team ownership adds lookup fields for business unit, user lookup, team lookup
  • Entities can be owned by users or teams
  • You can create custom activity entities
  • Activity entities have common fields – planned started date, actual start date, actual end date, description, subject and duration
  • All activity entities have a link to the ActivityPointer and can be used in the ActivityParty class
  • The activityPointer allows different activities to be viewed in one view.
  • Custom Entities when created by default are not viewable/usable to any users apart from System Administrator and System customizer roles. Other security roles will have to add the entity.
  • Display name is the name used for the custom entity which the users will see
  • Plural name is the name seen in views etc
  • Name (schema name) is the customizer name, not seen by end users
  • Primary image selected will add a field called image and will allow one image to be added to a each record of the custom entity.
  • Primary image, once ticked cannot be unticked
  • IF an entity is selected as an activity this cannot be undone
  • The primary field is always a single line of text
  • Entities in a lookup field will display the primary field value
  • Areas that display this entity are areas where the entity will be visible. Changes will be written to the sitemap not part of the entity.
  • Additional entity options
  • Business process flows – this will create extra fields and cannot be turned off
  • Notes, activities, Business process flows, connections, Queues, sending email cannot be disabled if selected
  • Allow Quick Create – allows quick create forms which are minimized forms with important fields
  • Some default entities have Allow quick create disabled and cannot be enabled.
  • CRM For Phones, CRM for tablets, if selected the entities will be available on phones and tablets.
  • Renaming entities is not straight forward, labels, reports and views will also need to adjusted
  • Custom entities can be deleted if all dependencies have been removed
  • System entities cannot be deleted


  • CRM 2013 has a maximum of 1023 fields
  • For some fields Microsoft adds other fields e.g. currency adds extra fields for Base Currency, exchange rate, currency value and base currency value.
  • IN CRM 2011 and earlier the SQL structure was held in two tables. The base table holds the system fields and the extended tables holds the custom fields.  A filtered view was created to show both tables in one view.
  • CRM 2013 the two tables are merged but the filtered view is the same.
  • The filtered view has been persisted to support reports written using it.
  • The filtered view takes into account a user security roles and permissions
  • Be careful adding lots of fields to an entity, there are constraints on the SQL database table and views.
  • Single line of text can have the format of Email, Text, Text area, Url, Ticker Symbol, Phone
  • Single line of text can be between 100 characters to 4000
  • IME mode is for Chinese, Korean and Japanese characters
  • IME Mode has four modes – Auto, Active, Inactive, Disabled
  • Option set – Use Existing option Set if set to yes uses a global option set values
  • Two options are always stored as 0 = no – 1 = yes
  • Two options will always have a value and cannot be null
  • Two options can be formed on the form to be Two radio buttons, Check box or list
  • Whole numbers are the SQL server equivalent of an integer (no decimal)
  • Whole number format = none, Duration, Time Zone, Language
  • Whole number duration is held in minutes
  • Floating points can contain a decimal
  • Floating numbers are rounded, which means they can be rounded up/down and liable for small rounding errors.
  • Floating number precision refers to the number of digits after the decimal, max = 5
  • Decimal number is not rounded
  • Decimal number precision max = 10
  • When a currency field is added to a form, if it’s the first currency field then additional fields of exchange rate, currency, price and base price are also added.
  • Currency precision is between 0 and 4.
  • Multiple line of text field max length is 1048576 characters
  • Date and time field can have the format of Date only or date and time.
  • 24 system entities can have the new image field
  • Account, Contact, Lead, Product, Competitor, resource, publisher and user have image enabled by default.
  • You can add a maximum of one image field to a custom entity
  • It is not possible to add an image field to a system entity.
  • The entity image will always have the default schema name of entityimage (with no publisher prefix)
  • The fixed schema name – entityimage stops more than one image field being added to a custom entity.
  • Image field max size is 5 Megabytes
  • Image file extensions supported are jpg, jpeg, gif, tif, tiff, bmp, png
  • Uploaded images are resized to 144 x 144 pixals
  • Field requirement levels are – optional, Business recommended, Business required.
  • Requirement levels are form validation only. Importing and plugins do not have to supply data to business required fields
  • Fields have a searchable property, if this is set to know the fields will not be displayed in advanced finds
  • Auditing for fields can be turned on or off at any time.
  • You can bulk edit fields to set Field requirement, Searchable and auditing properties
  • Local option set is only available on one form
  • Global option sets can be used in multiple forms.
  • Custom and system entities have Status and Status Reason fields
  • Status is active/inactive
  • Status reason (schema name statuscode) has the reason for the status
  • Status reason is an optionset of values for each status
  • Fields dependencies will not show references in Javascript or web resources.
  • You cannot delete a field without removing all the dependencies first.
  • System fields cannot be deleted.
  • Fields which are referenced in workflows or dialogs cannot be deleted.

CRM 2013 – MB2-703 – Quick Fire Security Test Questions


I have been working on creating some questions for all the security section for the MB2-703 -CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration certification.

I have created some quick fire – True or False questions to test your knowledge on the security section of the certification.

I have already created some questions for Solutions which you can find on the link below

Blog – Solution Test Questions

Video – Solution Test Questions


I have uploaded a power point file into slide share because this is a really easy and quick way to do the question. The security section was so large there are 27 questions and doing these should take you more than a few minutes.  So test your knowledge



I go through the questions with some explanation in the video below


Don’t forget all the MB2-703 studying information can be found here

CRM 2013 – MB2-703 – Security Exam Cram Notes

This blog contains the study notes for the MB2-703 – CRM 2013 Customization and configuration exam and for the area of Security.

Security covers a lot of topics and is worth 10-15 percent of the final exam marks, so you definitely need to know the functionality and limitations of security.

I have gone through the separate parts of security in the blogs below and there are videos going through these which you can find on the youtube playlist

All the study notes for the MB2-703 exam can be found on the page link above or clicking the link below

These notes are the to revise the key concepts of security for the MB2-703 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration certification

There is a video going through the list below with some explanation

Business Units and Security Roles

  • When a business unit is disabled the users in that business unit cannot access CRM
  • users of a disabled business unit will still consume a CRM Licence
  • child business unit users will also not be able to access CRM
  • the records of a disabled business unit user are not disabled.
  • To delete a business unit you must remove all child business units and any users or teams linked to the business unit
  • To delete a business unit you must disable it first
  • Each business unit has a default team of the same name
  • you cannot add users to a default business unit team
  • you cannot delete a default business unit team
  • Equipment/Facilities and Resource Groups do not need to be removed before you can delete a business unit
  • business units can have separate security roles, even with the same name!
  • Disabling a business unit (and child business units) will mean all the users in that business unit won’t be able to login to CRM.
  • moving business units is done by changing the business units parent
  • The Root business unit is a default business unit which has the same name as the organisation.
  • You cannot delete the Root business unit, you cannot disable it
  • You cannot create a business unit above the Root business unit, e.g. you cannot give it a parent.
  • Business units are used to create a hierarchy and this is in a tree structure.  The Root business unit will be at the top.
  • none of the data is affected by disabling business units, its only the users who cannot then log in but it is important to take into account all the child business units will also be disabled.  This only applies to inherited roles. Roles that are created in a BU explicitly will move with it
  • The users are not disabled but cannot login into CRM whilst the business unit is disabled.  As soon as the business unit is enabled they will be able to log into CRM again.
  • if you want to delete the business unit then you will need to change all the users/teams that are assigned to that business unit.  You also need to disable the business unit before you delete it.
  • You cannot delete the default business unit team but it won’t stop you deleting the business unit because this will be deleting automatically when you delete the business unit.
  • When you disable a business unit, it disables all child business unit.  The users in these business units will not be able to login
  • When you change the parent of a business unit, it removes and rebuilds all the security roles of the inherited security from the parent business unit.  So all the users in the business unit will have no security roles and they will not be able to login
  • Users can login if they are part of a team which has security roles.  They won’t be able to set any personal options.
  • You can change the Name of a business unit.
  • You Can change the name of the root business unit.

Security Roles and Teams

  • if a user doesn’t have a security role he cannot access the system, so every user must have at least one security role.
  • Security roles are linked with the user business unit to calculate what records the user can access.
  • Users receive their permissions to work on records or use features based on the combination of Security Roles they are assigned and the Business Units to which the users belong.
  • Security roles can also be assigned to teams and if the team a user is a member of has higher security privileges then this will override their individual security roles.  The user will also use the highest security levels it is assigned, whether that’s from a security roles assigned to the team or individual security role
  • Users can be assigned multiple security roles, this means it’s possible to create security roles just for single purposes.
  • There are 15 default security roles in CRM
  •  The default security roles are all created in the root business unit.
  • A security role stays in the business unit it is created in and they copy down to any child business units.
  •  if you create a security role in the root business unit then the security role will be copied to all the child business units below it.
  • User can be assigned any security role which exist in their business unit.
  • only security roles which exist in the root business unit can be added to a solution file.
  • it’s quicker to modify existing security roles than create new ones
  • All security roles are the same except the System Administrator role which is a super role.
  • The System Administrator role automatically has access to all records and entities, including all custom entities.  It has the default access level of organisation for all privileges.
  • At least One user must have the System Administrator role, this is by default given to the user who installed CRM
  • Multiple users can be assigned the System Administrator role and you can remove the role from users but you cannot remove the role if that user is the only user who has the System Administrator role.
  • The System Administrator role also is given the System Admin field level security role, which as I’m sure you can guess gives them access to all field level security.
  • It’s possible to copy the System Administrator role and it will create a security role but the security role will not automatically have access to any new custom entities added and it basically won’t have the special powers of the System Administrator role.
  • Teams have security roles (this can affect which form is used)
  • There are some privileges which do not have organisation levels these are always show under miscellaneous privileges and these are either true or false.  These are things like

Go Offline

Export to Excel

Publish articles


Manage user access, Teams and sharing

  • The security authentication in CRM is not really handled inside CRM.  A bit like the way CRM lets outlook/email router do all the emailing, CRM also gets another piece of software to do the authentication of users.
  • the most common authentication method is active directory
  • You can also used Internet facing deployment (IFD) where the authentication is either AD FS (active Directory Federation Services) or STS (Secure Token service)
  • Online security – Microsoft Online Subscription Program (MSOP)
  • A user can have one manager which is a user lookup field on user record

Functionality to manage users and you can find these by going to Settings – Administration

  • Creating users, teams, Security Roles
  • assign/move users to teams, assign security roles to teams and users
  • Disable business units
  • Delete Security roles, Delete teams
  • Move users between teams
  • Manager


  • You cannot delete users in CRM you can only disable them
  • If you disable a user the user won’t be able to log into CRM
  • a disabled user doesn’t use a CRM license
  • The records assigned to the user are still active.  Best practice is to assign all the records assigned to the disable user to another enabled user.
  • You need to work out if the user is used in the workings of any workflows, these will still work but it’s not good practice to assign records etc to an disabled user.
  • Users must always be assigned to business unit and can only be assigned to one business.
  • Security roles and teams security roles are additive, so adding a user to a team won’t remove any security privileges to the user


  • Teams are optional
  • Two types of teams Access teams and owner teams
  • Owner Team can own records
  • Owner Teams can be assigned security roles
  • Access teams cannot own be assigned security roles or own records.
  • An owner team can be converted to an access team
  • An access team cannot be converted to an owner team
  • Each business unit create a default team which you cannot delete and you cannot add members to
  • Teams can be assigned security roles
  • Team and users can be the owner of records


Business units and default owner teams

  • Business units have a team created automatically, the team name will have the same name as the business unit.  Any members created and assigned to the business unit will automatically be added to the default business unit team.
  • It’s a dynamic team which CRM keeps up to date.
  • It cannot be edited but you can assign security roles and these security roles will apply to all members of the business unit.
  • default business unit team cannot be re parented, deleted or renamed and it’s members cannot be modified.


  • In CRM you can share records between users and teams.  Sharing gives the user being shared to the same privileges to that individual record as the user who is sharing.
  • Sharing bypasses business unit – access level parts of security because when you share records it basically ignore the level (organisation, business unit, user)
  • Sharing records to a team is like sharing the record with every member of the team, except in the PrincipalObjectTable this is only one entry
  • using the business unit default team you can share records to all users in different business units.
  • You can share more than records, you can also share Charts, Views and Dashboards.
  • Users can only share their personal views, charts and dashboards.
  • When a user shares the components (charts, views and dashboards) they also choose what privileges you want the user/team to have with the component

The privileges you can share are








Re-parenting users/teams

  •  Re-parenting a user/teams business unit has a drastic effect on the security roles the user or team had, it REMOVES THEM ALL.
  •  So if you ever change a user/teams business unit you will need to assign the user or team some security roles in the new business unit.
  • This sounds drastic but it actually makes sense if you think about it logically.  Each business unit has it’s own set of security roles, these are usually copied down from the parent business units.  So when you move business unit, it removes all the security roles and it can’t automatically add them all back because not all the security roles may exist in the new business unit or the security roles could be vastly different with completely different privileges, so the user must add new security roles.
  • This is also true if you re-parent a whole business unit because all the users will have had all their security roles removed.
  • Remember users without security roles cannot log into CRM.
  • If a user is re-parented they lose their security roles but they won’t be removed from any teams, this would probably allow them to login to CRM but the user won’t be able to change any personal settings, or view any components the user created.
  • If a team is re-parented then every member of team will lose all their security roles because the team will have had all it’s security roles removed.
  • An efficiency trick is if you want to remove all the security roles for a user or team is to move business unit



  • Auditing has three levels – Global, Entity, Field
  • Auditing is enabled in System settings and then for each individual entity
  • Any entity can be audited
  • if auditing is not enabled at organisational level, it doesn’t matter if auditing is turned on at an entity level, nothing will be audited.
  • audit logs are partitioned every 3 months.  These can be  deleted in the audit log management screen
  • User has to have the View Audit History privilege
  • when you turn on auditing for an entity, all the available fields are by default enabled for auditing
  • Audit logs management is done by a system job
  • Some System fields are not applicable for auditing

Owning Business Unit
Owning User
Customer AddressId


Access Teams and Access Team Templates

  •  Access teams are new functionality added in CRM 2013 (so expect some questions)
  • Access Teams and Access team templates are a method to share permissions and records, which is easier to manage, quicker to add/remove users/teams because Access team templates will applying a standard set of privileges (read, write, delete, append, append to) rather than having to set this up for each individual user/team.
  • Access Team templates are enabled on an entity basis and you have to enable Access Teams on the entity in the communications and collaboration section
  • Access teams can be ticked and un ticked on an entity (unlike Queues)
  • You need to customize the form of the entity you want to add the Access Team Template to and in my case it’s the account form
  • You need to add a sub grid to the form
  • Records – All TypesEntity – UsersDefault View – Associated Record Team MembersTeam Template – Hosk Account Access Team – this is the team template I created in the step before, yours is probably called something different.
  • When you add a user to the user grid it will automatically create an Access Team but the odd things is you can’t view this team in the Teams section in Administration
  • You can view access teams by using the advanced find, search for Teams and choose of type Access.
  • You add users to the access team via the sub grid on the record.
  • you can add users directly to the access team.
  • You can more than one Access Team template for each entity
  • The default number of access teams templates for each entity is two
  • The number of access team templates you can have for each entity is controlled by theMaxAutoCreatedAccessTeamsPerEntity deployment setting.
  • MaxEntitiesEnabledForAutoCreatedAccessTeams deployment setting has a default value of 5.  This controls the number of entities it’s possible to enable for auto-created access teams.
  • You can change the MaxEntitiesEnabledForAutoCreatedAccessTeams , MaxAutoCreatedAccessTeamsPerEntity  only on Premise installations and you cannot edit them for Online.
  • A system generated Access Team isn’t created for each record until you add a user to the sub grid on the entity.
  • if you delete the team, this is the same removing all the members in the sub grid on the record.
  • if you change the access rights on Team Template this will only change the access right to new entity records/access teams.  Any records already created will use the previous set of privileges.
  • Access teams with Share access right ticked will mean any user who is in access team will be able to add (share) others to the access team for that record.
  • Users cannot grant privileges they do not have.  So a user can only add new members to an access team where the access team template has delete privilege only if that user has the delete privilege for the entity.
  • Access Teams created automatically by adding users to them are not shown in the system team views
  • If you want to delete a Access Team Template you will need to remove all the sub grids using that specific Access Team Template before you can delete it.


Owner Team

  • Owner teams in Microsoft Dynamics CRM can have security roles
  • Team can own records

Access Team

  • Access teams cannot be granted security roles
  • Access teams cannot own records
  • Accesses records through sharing
  • Sharing privileges are defined by an access team template but don’t change dynamically for existing records if the template changes
  • Access teams are not displayed in most system views
  • You can add/remove users directly on the subgrid of the record you want to share access to.


Field Level security

  • Enabling or disabling of field level security by setting the IsSecured attribute cannot be audited.
  • System Admin is has all privileges on all field level security fields, the user has a System Administrator field security profile where all values are set to yes and will be for any fields checked for field level security.
  • Every field enabled for field level security is added to all field level security profiles
  • when you turn on field level security for a field, it will automatically be added to all Field Level security roles with Read, Create and Update all set to No.
  • New field level security fields can only be seen by users with the System Administrator role, so you have to go and configure the field level security privileges.
  • Every field level security profile will include all fields with field level security enabled.
  • Fields that are ticked for field level security will be added to field security profiles but with Read, Update, Create all set to No, so you must go in to configure
  • users/teams can be added to more than one field level security profile.
  • *** asterisks show if a user does not have read access to a field
  • *** asterisks show even if the field is null/blank
  • You cannot delete the System Administrator field level security profile
  • You can only set field level security on custom fields!


CRM 2013 – MB2-703 – Customization and Configuration Certification Solution Test Questions

The best way to prepare for an exam, is to take practice questions and test your knowledge with questions in a similar way the exam will.

I have created a YouTube video where I go through the questions and explain the answers, I would definitely recommend watching that for the first time at least

So with this in mind I have created some questions for you.

I have also created the questions as slides, which you have seen in the video

Multiple choice questions

Quickfire Yes/No Questions




  1. Which statements are true about solutions?
    1. Saving your changes in a solution is mandatory
    2. It’s possible to export the Default Solution
    3. You cannot create more than 50 solutions
    4. Publisher is a mandatory field on a solution
  2. Which components can be added to a solution
    1. Team
    2. Message
    3. Business Rule
    4. Business Unit
  3. Which components cannot be added to a solution
    1. Subject
    2. Service Endpoint
    3. Goal
    4. Site Map
  4. What is true about solutions
    1. Deleting an unmanaged solutions doesn’t delete the components if there is data for them.
    2. Deleting a managed solutions deletes the components and the data
    3. You can only export the default solution as an unmanaged solution
    4. You can add plug-in assembly to a solution
  5. What is development and not customization or configuration from the list below
    1. Create a plug-in to run on the creation of an account to set reference number
    2. Create a custom entity to hold venue information
    3. Javascript validation on a phone number field
    4. Creating a business rule to disable a field until another field has a value
  6. What is removed when you delete an unmanaged solution in CRM 2013
    1. Just the solution record
    2. The solution record, the components and all the data
    3. The solution record and the components
    4. The solution record, it’s components and dependant components.
  7. What does the Version number show
  8. you import a managed solution which contains the account entity, you then import an unmanaged solution which also contains the account entity, both solutions change the Account Number field to have a different name, what name is on the account form
    1. Account Number, you cannot change the name of the account number
    2. The name given to Account number in the managed solution
    3. The name given to the Account Number in the unmanaged solution
    4. The name given in the solution which was imported last
  9. Which of the below is true
    1. You cannot export the Default Solution
    2. You can export the Default Solution from CRM OnPremise to CRM Online
    3. You need a special security privilege to import solutions
    4. Unmanaged solutions have to be published
  10. What is false about managed solutions
    1. Managed solutions can only be changed or altered by the publisher
    2. importing a managed solution is automatically published
    3. Managed solutions have versioning, unmanaged solutions do not.
    4. managed solutions are additive, you cannot remove any components by importing a managed solution





  1. b,d
  2. b,c
  3. a,c
  4. b,c,d
  5. A,C
  6. A
  7. D
  8. D
  9. C, D
  10. C




  1. Can you export a managed solution
  2. Can you export an unmanaged solution
  3. Can customization and configuration be used and refer to the same components.
  4. The correct format for version is
  5. Subjects can be added to a solution
  6. There is no limit to the number of solutions you can create
  7. The prefix in the publisher is added before schema name for entities, fields
  8. The changes to components when importing an unmanaged solution cannot be undone
  9. Queues can be added to solutions
  10. managed properties are customizable by default
  11. It’s not possible to export  an unmanaged solution
  12. managed solution must be published after importing


  1. false
  2. true
  3. true
  4. false
  5. false
  6. true
  7. true
  8. true
  9. false
  10. true
  11. false
  12. false




CRM 2013 – exams are released and links to training material

I have been seeing more and more tweets and blogs about people passing the CRM 2013 exams, I am just starting to study for the CRM 2013 Customization and configuration exam.  Below are the links to prometric exams

MB2-700 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Applications

MB2-701 – Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

MB2-702 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deployment

MB2-703: – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customization & Configuration

There is also some CRM Online specific certifications that I have heard about but I’m not sure when they will be released and I can’t see how different they are going to be from the normal certifications in terms of configuring and customizing CRM.

  • MB2-721: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall Customization and Configuration
  • MB2-722: Deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online


There is some student training materials available for those with partnersource account.  The download link is at the top right of the page.  I find the training below the most useful, it’s free and goes through all the main criteria in the exams

Sales Management in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

This course introduces the capabilities of Sales Management in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 that allow you to track and manage the sales process from potential to close. This course provides insight on sales process information, and introduces the tools available to analyze and report on sales information.

This course guides you through the tools that help make the internal processes simpler and easier so your sales force can focus on what is important—creating a differentiated experience for your customers

Customer Service in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

This course focuses on how an organization can nurture customer satisfaction through automation of business processes within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.  This course provides an insight into all of the powerful Customer Service and Service Scheduling functionality capabilities within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

Additionally, this course guides you through the process of working with your customers in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, including: resolution of customer complaints and services issues cost effectively, and provides insight on managing  all related correspondence, documents, contacts and conversations. This course demonstrates the rich and relevant view of your customer that provides your team with actionable insights, including the use of knowledge management in a centralized knowledge base.

Customization and Configuration in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

This course describes the techniques required to customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM to meet the specialized needs of businesses. The topics covered include security; creation and configuration of entities; design of forms views and charts; auditing and solutions. The course describes each topic and how each topic relates to the other topics to produce a full configured, effective solution.

Installation and Deployment in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

​This two-day training course provides individuals with the skills to install and deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. The training material focuses on the components used within a Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment, the hardware and software requirements needed to successfully deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and the installation instructions for the primary Microsoft Dynamics CRM components: the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server, the E-Mail Router, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Office Outlook. The course also covers upgrading from earlier versions,  configuring an Internet-facing Deployment and administration tasks.

Extending CRM 2011 study information and partner source links

I am (still) studying for my the Extending CRM 2011.  The links below are for people who have access to partner source, reading the courses below and the CRM 2011 SDK should definitely prepare you for the exam.

The courses will lead you to a site where you can download the course in pdf files and then work through them.  These courses are usually the only thing I use when study for a CRM exam

Exam MB2-876:

Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Course Number 80295

This training offers detailed and interactive information on how to develop extensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, with focus on extension methods documented in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK. It provides details on the use of a number of Common Platform Operations, on how to query and execute these operations, as well as on developing a concise understanding of business process implementation and workflows. In addition, the training describes the use of Plug-ins, application event programming, client extensions and web resources. Finally, it includes a summary overview of the integration between Windows Azure and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

  • Describe how Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is extended and the core extensibility features.
  • Use common methods to access system and custom entities, including the Security Model, business logic, xRM Framework and exceptions.
  • Execute queries in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM database including QueryAttribute, QueryByExpression, LINQ, FetchXM, filtered views and OData.
  • Explain how the Organization Service web service interacts with Microsoft Dynamics CRM metadata.
  • Develop custom workflow activities for use within Microsoft Dynamics CRM that run code when configured workflow or dialog rules are created.
  • Debug custom workflow activity code and use declarative workflows for On-premise deployments.
  • Use Plug-ins to extend the functionality of events for any entity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
  • Understand the integration between Windows Azure with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
  • Use the built-in features of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM application and understand how the Dynamics CRM application behaves when forms are loaded or saved, field data changed, tabs change state, and when IFRAMES are loaded.
  • Add custom buttons, menu items and modifications to the navigation areas, including interaction with the Site Map and the Ribbon.
  • Add custom web content (for example HTML, Images, Silverlight, JavaScript) to CRM forms.
  • Use web resources to enable the storage of shared blocks of code or resources for reuse across the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web application.

Workflow and Dialog Processes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Course Number 80444

A customer source license is required to access this material.

Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Course Number 80445

A customer source license is required to access this material.

CRM 2011 – Study Guide for 2011 Presales Assessment – Customer Relationship Management

since I blogged about passing the 2011 Presales Assessment, I have had a few emails and comments asking about where people can find information regarding this exam.

The reason quite a few people are interested in the exam is because Microsoft have started to insist a certain number of people pass the certification to have silver or gold partner status.

Microsoft are also a bit cheeky because the best sources of information are class led lessons which you have to pay, so not only are people wanting to learn how to sell Microsoft products but Microsoft want people to pay them to learn how to do so, Clever but cheeky.

All of the source material is on partner source but the test might not be

The test can be found here

you can take this test as many times as you like.  It’s 50 questions long and it probably has 100 different questions (at a guess).  One tip I used was to screen shot a correct answer (it shows the correct answer straight away) and then you can check the answer on the next test run.

You won’t be able to guess all the answers, you will have to watch, read some of the study material for the exam.

here is the preperation guide

On Demand Presentation: Microsoft Dynamics Presales Exam Preparation Web Seminar | Downloads PDF – 2.50 MB

2011 Sales Assessments:



Published in February 2011

ERP Standard Sales Preparation Guide
Sales Specialist Preparation Guide
Presales Preparation Guide
CRM Standard Sales Preparation Guide
Sales Specialist Preparation Guide
Presales Preparation Guide



This page is fantastic, probably the most useful link on this blog page.  You can see below it basically shows you all the links to the free online videos.  My personal recommendations is you will definitely need to know about sure step and how it’s used in presales, the video 65 minutes long but very interesting and a good introduction to Sure Step 2010 for those who need it.

Good luck and keep practising that test.

Presales Courses

Course Name


Deployment Type


Assessment Preparatory Course*

Aware Level
How to sell Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

ILT (8 hrs)

On-premise, Online



How to Upgrade Existing Customers to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 (available in April)

(1 hr)

On-premise, Online



Selling the Business Value of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

(1 hr)

On-premise, Online



Application: What’s New in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

On-demand (5 hrs)

On-premise, Online



Proficient Level
Click-through demos for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 On-demand
Overview Free No
Compete to Win: Microsoft Dynamics CRM against

(1 hr)

On-premise, Online



Managing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 Trials from “Click to Close”

(1 hr)




Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011: Pricing and Licensing

(0.5 hrs)




Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: On-premise Pricing and Licensing

EL (0.5)




Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Data Management New Features

(1 hr)

On-premise, Online



Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 E-mail New Features

(1 hr)

On-premise, Online



Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Mobile New Features

(1 hr)

On-premise, Online



Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Outlook Client New Features

(1 hr)

On-premise, Online



Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Reporting New Features On-demand
(1 hr)
On-premise, Online Free No
Partner Sales Opportunity with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

i hr




New Prices for Microsoft Certifications Exams from July 1st 2011

I got an email today from Microsoft, I say I got an email, me and thousands of others saying they had some important news, they were going to increase the cost of their exams.

This is a bit cheeky and a clever move from Microsoft.  Earlier this year they increase the number of certified people companies need to retain their gold standard and then a few months later they increase the exam prices, easy money.

The old price was £88 pounds and I believe it’s going up to £99.  So this is 11 pound increase for every person doing the exam and the price changes come into affect on July 1st.

if you consider the number of certifications need to be a CRM gold partner.  You need 6 separate people certified in CRM certifications, as well as 3 certified in Sure Step and I believe it’s one person certified in selling CRM.

If you want to find more about the prices increases then you can do by clicking here  where you can read the FAQ on the subject

Seven Steps to Certification Success

I bumped into this forum posting today about the right way to prepare for the Microsoft Certifications.  I will paste the forum post here but I recommend you go to the forum to read the follow ups because it sparked a very interesting debate.

I talked about passing the CRM Dynamics 4.0 customizations and configuration certification, it had some similar advice but I would say my blog entry wasn’t as detailed as the forum post written by Michael D. Alligood

You can also read Microsofts’s reasons for passing certifications here

Here is the forum post in full, very well written and it will hopefully help lots of people to pass what ever certification they are studying for.

Seven Steps to Certification Success

Before writing this article, I posed a question to many certified individuals. The question I asked was, “What was the hardest part of your certification journey?” You would expect to hear that the hardest part was the exam(s) themselves. However, many people responded that the most difficult challenge was that they simply did not know how or where to start. They would describe how they heard of a certification, bought a book and started studying. There was no research performed, no plan established, and no evaluation afterword to debrief and learn from the experience.


When I created the seven steps to success outlined below, I did so to help guide myself through my day-to-day activities and work; certifications played no part in the creation of any of these steps. However, over time I noticed that these steps could be applied to the achievement of I.T. certifications. Although these steps can be used with any day-to-day activities, it is my goal to provide you with a structured agenda to assist you in the achievement of your certification goals.

It should be strenuously noted that nothing compares to actual hands-on experience. Studying using books, computer-based training videos, and even instructor-led training should only be a supplement to working with the product and technology you are hoping to be certified on. Certifications are designed validations only. Being certified in a specific technology only means that you have successfully negotiated the required exam(s) as prescribed by the vendor. In short, your certifications should compliment your proficiency, not substitute for it.

One question you should ask yourself before traveling down the long and costly road of I.T. certification is, “Why do I want this certification?” What is the end result you desire? Many individuals new to the I.T. field hear about certifications and seek to acquire them, with little thought about why they are doing so. Without asking this basic question, you run the risk of wasting valuable time and resources on a certification that may not serve your needs. This pattern can prove detrimental to both yourself and the certification program. Certifications do not carry any promise. By achieving them; you are not guaranteed a job, a promotion, or even respect. Your proficiency (combined knowledge and experience) is your money card. Without that, certifications are only worth the paper they are printed on.

The second step of this process will help you determine if you qualify for your desired certification. Almost every certification vendor lists an audience profile on their website. This profile provides information to candidates outlining recommended experience in order to see if they are qualified. If you do not have the recommended experience with this technology, it is possible to still pursue it, but it is not recommended. Remember, experience leads to certifications – not the other way around. With that said, let’s begin reviewing the seven steps to certification success.

1.)Start. How often have you said, “I’ll get around to it”? How many times have you procrastinated in doing the things you actually want to get accomplished? Starting is a huge step and one that many people fail to do. Ironically, your chances of failure are the highest during the Start and Finish steps of this agenda. The failure rate is high during these stages because we try to Start and Finish everything in one enormous motion. We look at a single ominous task and come up with every excuse in the book to not get started. These are normally excuses made out of laziness or fear of failing, because starting something means you’re committing yourself to a project.

2.)Research. I spend a great deal of time in the public and moderated Microsoft newsgroups. Many individuals new to the certification world post the same questions day after day. I do not mind answering these questions, but the questions baffle me because it is so much easier to review a vendor’s website than to post questions on a newsgroup. I highly recommend that you visit the vendor’s website for the certification(s) you are interested in achieving. By doing so, you can obtain key information such as recommended experience, required exams pertaining to your desired certification, and other vital information to help you make an informed decision. Do the research beforehand, and then ask questions to confirm your findings or clear up confusion.

A popular question that floods the newsgroups is, “What is the best study material?” This is a question that is open to interpretation and opinion. What works for one may or may not work for another. Some individuals can read through technical books without much effort, while others cannot get past one chapter without rereading it three times. If you are interested in technical manuals or training kits, visit or your local bookstore and examine the differences between the publishers of training kits. Keep in mind that books contain errors. It would be wise to visit the publisher’s website to check for an erratum. An erratum is a list of errors and their corrections inserted in a book or other publication, usually on a separate page or slip of paper.

Classroom instruction is always an option. However, there is the issue of time, cost, and what institution to consider. If Instructor-Led Training (ILT) sounds appealing to you, open the yellow pages and see what centers are in your area. Visit these facilities and talk to some of the students, instructors, and Account Executives. Make sure that these centers are accredited or certified learning partners with the vendor of the certification you are interested in achieving.

There are also “virtual classrooms” known as CBT (Computer Based Training) videos. With CBTs you can learn at your own pace and on your own timetable, revisit lessons that you did not fully understand, and skip lessons that you already understand. Although you can enjoy the comfort of viewing the courses ‘on demand,’ they can be the same cost as classroom training without the benefit of a live instructor to answer questions. Visit the websites of a number of CBT providers and check out their demonstrations. If they do not offer demonstrations you need to decide whether you want to invest your money in a product that you cannot sample first.

Research can be performed without spending a dime. Asking questions and performing research will save you time, money and frustration. Remember, at this point, you are simply researching – nothing more.

3.)Plan. I am certain you have heard the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Achieving your certification(s) will not happen overnight. There is a lot of information to consume and process. Take the time to properly plan your studies. Unless your employer has set a specific date to achieve your certification(s), there is no rush. So grab a calendar, open up Outlook, or get out your day planner and map out a reasonable timeframe to complete your studies. You might want to consider scheduling your exam(s) at this time. You increase your odds of passing by 50% by simply scheduling your exam(s). One thing to keep in mind concerning your plan is that it should be fluid, meaning it can change and adapt. Allow for this and adjust accordingly, because there will be times when life will interfere. Situations that are not conducive to studying will come up. This is where proper planning comes in. When your scheduled plan hits life’s potholes, do not toss out your entire plan; simply adjust to the changes and keep moving forward.

4.)Perform. This step involves executing your plan. You have started a project, researched your goals and options, created a plan, and now know what needs to be done. Just do it.

5.)Finish. This is another step individuals forget to perform. They may start, research, plan and perform but never finish. One reason people never finish is because they are scared to. If you finish, that means you must “know it all, and be ready to take the exam.” That is when self-doubt creeps in. You begin to question if you can pass the exam(s) because you don’t “know it all.” Therefore you adjust your plan to reflect your fear of sitting for the exam(s). When this happens you begin thinking, “This sucks. I will never learn all of this. I might as well just quit.” By not planning to finish, how can you finish your plan?

6.)Test. Now comes the big day – the event you have been working toward. What last minute advice do you need? Simply put: relax. Remember the Karate Kid, “Win, lose no matter. You make good fight.” Here are the facts – you will either pass or fail. If you pass, congratulations – pop the bubbly. But what if you fail? When planning, you need to consider that you may not pass the first time — and this is okay. You evaluate your score, find your weaknesses and start again. Failing an exam is only truly a failure if you do not learn from it.

7.)Evaluate. This is another step individuals seem to skip. You have started, researched, planned, performed, finished, and tested; now you have to evaluate. Sit back and reflect on what went right and what went wrong. Learn from your experience and use that experience to assist you in your next goal. Evaluating forces you to debrief. Performing this crucial step allows you to review, tweak, change, or adjust your future plan for your next goal.

Well there you go – the Seven Steps to Certification Success. Obviously I cannot promise you that by utilizing this process you will pass every exam every time. However, it will help structure your studies and relieve stress by having an organized process to follow. Each one of the steps relies on the one before it and the one after it.  How you perform each step is up to you; however, I recommend that you use all seven steps in order. I designed the steps themselves as mini-goals for you to achieve – providing satisfaction throughout the entire process.  By completing each step you move closer to your desired certification with the confidence of knowing what has been accomplished and what needs to be done. By using the Seven Steps of Certification Success, you know instantly where you stand on the path to completing your certification.

I truly hope you have found this article inspirational and informative. My goal has been to help you assess and achieve your certification goals by providing you with a structured process to assist you along the way. The road to certification will not occur overnight, and it will not come easy. Remember that certifications are merely by-products of your proficiency. Respect the integrity of the certifications by not cheating the program or yourself by taking shortcuts just to be certified for the sake of being certified. By doing so you devalue the certifications, your trade, and yourself. Good luck and passing scores…


passed – CRM 4.0 Extending Microsoft Dynamics

I took the CRM 4 Extending Microsoft Dynamics certification and passed with a score of 84 percent.

I was mightily relieved to pass the exam.  During the exam I was quite nervous because I wasn’t sure what percentage you needed to pass the exam.

I always believed it was 75 percent, which out of  50 questions means I can get about 12 wrong.

In the exam I was in the situation where I had 15 questions I wasn’t sure about and I was sitting there staring at these questions trying to work out the answers.

It’s always a scary moment when you press the end button on a CRM exam because you get the result straight away.  Then it appeared 84 percent, relief and then joy.  2 months of studying pays off.

I learnt quite a lot studying for these exam, it was the area of CRM where I have not had much actual experience, so studying for these exam really help build up my knowledge and skills.

When the subject of certification comes up, people without them are always dismissive of them.  A month into studying for this certification I then got to work on modifying a custom workflow someone had created.

this turned out to be quite a hassle, I had to build the registration tool and make a few changes to the workflow.

The real problems came with registering the workflow and the other dlls it used.  Luckily I had been reading about this so I had a rough idea of what to do because I had been reading about it.

To describe someone  who has certification knowledge without much practical experience of that area is basically like someone travelling somewhere and having a map, they might now have been to the place before but they roughly know where they are going and then it’s not quite the same as it was described but it’s similar.

It’s also a relief that I don’t have to keep studying CRM 4 development features and can now just look at CRM 2011.  CRM 2011 is quite confusing as it is because things are hidden and work differently (or so it seems) without getting mixed up with CRM 4 at the same time.


Onwards and upwards.