CRM MVP Question and Answer – Carsten Groth

This week we are hop from Finland to Germany to celebrate Bayern Munich being thrashed in the Champions League (that’s proper football american readers, where the ball is round and not egg shaped) and the Hosk questions Carsten Groth

If you want to know what Carsten Groth looks like here is a picture

oh a man of mystery hey, lets try again.  ahh there he is, I would recognize that eye anywhere.

I looked at the MVP biography, it’s fairly standard stuff

Currently I am a Technical Product Manager at FLS and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Microsoft Dynamics CRM since 2012. I am responsible for the CRM Partner Program and developing the roadmap for our portfolio around ISV Add-Ons. Prior to FLS, I worked for different CRM Silver and Gold partners as Consultant/Developer. Since the beginning of CRM 4.0 I blog as well as joining different communities, like xRMVirtual.So I am part of the Microsoft Dynamics Developer Family for over 14 years now – designing and building solutions on top of the xRM Framework.  Specialized:Developer, Technical Design, Pre-Sales Consulting

but of interest it has his recent activity and we can see Carsten has been doing quite a bit of speaking, MVP’s love speaking, they often do this in front of crowds of eager CRM users but if you monitor a CRM MVP in the wild you will often find them talking about CRM to themselves

Recent activities
Date Activity Type
4/28/2014 Big year 8 releases and 8 questions to MVPs Articles
3/23/2014 MVP talks about BPF in CRM 2013 Speaking (User group)
3/22/2014 Curah! Microsoft CRM Customer Care Blog Site Posts
3/4/2014 Convergence Atlanta Conference (booth presenter)
2/11/2014 Ask the MVP Experts Speaking (Conference)
2/10/2014 BPF Do´s and Don´ts Speaking (Conference)
2/3/2014 BPFHelper Library for CRM 2013 Code Project/Tools

below is the Rockstar 365 highlights

Carsten mvp 1

Carsten mvp 2

If you want to read previous CRM MVP Q&A by clicking the link on the header – HOSK’S CRM MVP Q&A

Thanks for Carsten for answering Hosk’s questions and if you do come into virtual contact with Donna Edwards, Scott Durow or Jamie Miley please feel free to remind them they haven’t answered the questions yet and we want to know how they would answer



Name, current job title and social media links please

Carsten Groth, Technical Product Manager at FLS GmbH, Germany



What different roles/Job titles have you had whilst using CRM

Starting as a Consultant I worked for different Silver and Gold Microsoft Dynamics CRM Implementation Partners in northern Germany specialized in multiple industries. I was engaged in Enterprise Deployment projects, before finally I switch sides and went over as a Technical Product Manager at FLS GmbH an ISV specialized on Field Service- and Workforce Management.

What was the first version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you worked with and how long have you been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM

I was actually starting using CRM in version 1.0 which probably most of the users didn´t ever see. I´ve been working with CRM since then. So I´m a long time fellow…

How do you stay up to date with the CRM

I do have a single dashboard actually build inside my own Microsoft Dynamics CRM system which helps me aggregating multiple informations and keep up to date with all the news and ongoings inside CRM systems. The other part is basically a mixture between joining different events and participating in a great community in which we share our knowledge.

How do you find time to contribute to the CRM community whilst doing your job

This, of course is the most challenging, right? But I’m not gonna share my secret I manage this…

What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a successful career in Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Actually, starting a career with MSDynCRM is pretty easy. First of all keep an eye on the different MS Academic Alliance proposals you have. This could be your first moment dealing with MSDynCRM. It then depends on the different roles you might want to start your career in, but it is for sure best practice if you´re following a goal. Think of “Where do I want to find me in 5 years?” – Don´t think this won´t change. In fact – you might find up yourself in a total different role in 10 or more years you never thought about.

What where your first impressions of CRM 2013 and what do you think now.

I do think it was something around… Sorry I don´t remember, cause I do work for a long time with CRM2013 right now. But I can share a personal story as we´re still dealing with multiple 2011 organizations as ISV solution. And if you ever return to that UI you will notice how much better the new UI and form extensions are – promise.

What one feature would you add to CRM 2013

I already added this one – a much more flexible and precisely scheduling engine. So check out our ISV solution FLS VISITOUR.

Most annoying feature of CRM 2013

There isn´t one I´m aware of

You favourite 2 CRM blogs (I have filled the first one in for you)

1. Hosks Dynamic CRM blog
2. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Tips & Tricks (

Even though I´m writing in native german language – you can actually take translation engine of your choice to translate it and I promise content will make sense and bring value to you…
What year will Microsoft Dynamics CRM have more customers than Sales force

Sorry but I´m going for quality not quantity. So actually having customers loving their CRM system is more important than dealing with a couple of seats that might be sold, but actually those are not using their CRM.

Are you doing more CRM projects with CRM online? Do you think it will all be online in the future

Because of working together with multiple Implementation Partners across EMEA I would bet that the amount of online organizations compared to OnPrem might have switched. If you do think from developer perspective being online is not that bad, cause you do not have to deal with different technology issues you might run into. Unless there´s a way to make it available “offline” as well.

What is the best tool/solution you have used recently

There´re multiple “best” tools I´m using as an ISV/MVP – so I cannot highlight one only. But if you´re up for tools, visit and you´ll find multiple tools MVPs are sharing with the community and we love to get feedback from you to improve…

What CRM certifications do you have, do you try and keep up to date with CRM certifications
I do have all CRM possible pre-sales/consultant 2011 certifications and will take the personal challenge to take all 2013 certifications as well. 3/4 are actually done the moment I´m answering this.

How important is it to have good business analytical skills working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

That depends on the job role you´re working in. I won´t say it is not important, but there´re a bunch of situations where you do not need BA skills.

How useful is it to have programming knowledge to become a good Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

Again, this depends on the job role you´re seeking for. I do know a lot of customizers who actually don´t have programming skills, but do a really good job just by customizing the system with OOB features.

What knowledge/experience do you have with software/systems which integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM e.g. (sharepoint, SQL Server, Scribe, Etc)

I do know a lot of Integration software solutions around MSDynCRM. So where should I start?

How often do you travel as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

Not gonna sharing this…

Can you see yourself not using CRM in your career in the future

…mmh… I don´t think so.

What is favourite part of being a CRM MVP

Getting in touch with a great community – YOU and sharing knowledge, pains, opinions – to improve, grow and making things easier

Who is the first CRM MVP you remember reading/seeing

Jürgen Beck

Tips for someone who wants to become a CRM MVP

Think of becoming an MVP is an honor. It is not something as collecting titles just as collecting “friends” inside your favourite social community. Start sharing knowledge and someone will recognize and honor this. Always “give first” to get something back.
Quickfire questions (choose one option and no explanation)

Steve Jobs or Bill Gates

Javascript or .NET

Internet Explorer/Chrome/Firefox/Safari

Wine/Beer/Soft Drink

Certifications or Use CRM

twerking or tweeting

books or ebooks

save or autosave

OnLine or On Premise

Windows 7/Windows 8/Linux/Mac/Other

work from home or work from office

Miley Cyrus or Billy Ray Cyrus


Zero Inbox/Overflowing Inbox

Early Bird/Night Owl

Do Today/Do Tomorrow

CRM Developer/CRM Consultant

Hot Weather/Cold Weather

Half Full/Half Empty


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 2011/2013 online – you can change the base language but it will cost you money and data

I read a forum question this week, where the user asked if it was possible to change his base language from French to English and he was a CRM 2011 online user.

It was quickly explained to the user that it’s impossible to change the base language.

This is a commonly known fact for experienced CRM users and might even be one of the questions on one of the CRM exams.

Suddenly from out of no where a CRM Support engineers flies in with this answer

  It is correct that in the past changing the Base Language was not possible. I must inform you though that it can be achieved now by opening a Support Ticket with the Technical Support team. The base language change has it’s cost though, it can only be achieved by de-provisioning/re-provisioning your organization (deleting/recreating) which means that any data or customizations you have on the organization will be lost during this process. You will need to take care of backing up the data yourself if that is needed.

you can click here to read the forum post

So now it seems if you are willing to give Microsoft some cold hard cash they can change the base language but it will remove all your data and customizations will be lost.  This sounds suspiciously like they are just creating a new blank CRM to me and getting paid for it.  This is a rather drastic measure which I can’t really see anyone going for but file it away in the good to know (but not that useful) draw.

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.

Would you like A CRM Tip of the day?

If you are of the opinion

A Tip a day keeps CRM at bay

then I have the perfect blog for you, no it’s not mine.  It’s the chaps over at CRM Tip of the Day who also have a lovely logo

It’s a site being run by the crew of

  • Joel Lindstrom. CRM Guru Extraordinaire, father, author, harp virtuoso, formidable cow tipper
  • George Doubinski. Ex-Nuclear ex-scientist, occasional blogger, lousy curling player, CRM Enterprise Academy trainer, consumer of fine foods & liquids

If you haven’t heard of Joel Lindstrom he is a CRM MVP for a number of years.

The tips are quick snappy tips and there are already 40 plus ready for you to enjoy, click the link to go to the site –  It’s a site which does exactly what it says on the tin, if indeed it was a tin with the name of the site on the side.

My only criticism is I can’t see an RSS link to subscribe to the service so you have to follow them by twitter at the moment @crmtipoftheday

here is a sample tip to wet your appetite

Tip #39: Custom indexes in CRM Online

A little known secret for CRM Online users and a good reminder from . If you’ve added additional search fields to your Quick find or other views, the underlying entity contains a large number of records, and the response time is slow, you might need a custom SQL index added to improve the performance. While administrators of on premises deployments of Dynamics CRM can add SQL indexes as needed, there is no direct access to CRM Online database. The good news is that Microsoft Support can add required database indexes for you. Just open a support ticket and make the request (of course, you’d better do your homework and be sure that the index will solve the issue and not leave database performance unaffected or, worse, slow down your CRM)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM making headway agaisnt it’s competitors

I was reading this blog post What Microsoft did right and wrong in 2013 –, below is the part about Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Part of Microsoft’s larger Dynamics offering, Dynamics CRM is finally making headway against its competitors.

It’s been around for years, Dynamics CRM is showing promising growth, up to 40,000 business customers in July, up from 33,000 customers the year before, again cashing in on those customers willing to go to cloud services.

In this case Microsoft has clawed to being fourth among CRM competitors behind No.1, two SAP and three Oracle, Gartner says, pulling in an estimated $1.1 billion in revenues. And analysts say it is growing faster than SAP’s and Oracle’s CRM business.

With a new mobile strategy that has tablets at its center, the service is also poised for continued impressive growth in 2014, still lagging far behind, but moving in the right direction.

It’s interesting because my personal view is Microsoft has been investing heavily in Dynamics CRM and has been catching up on it’s competitors but I guess you have to take into account, Microsoft was starting behind it’s competitors and has been playing catch up.  Let us also not forget it takes a long time to win business and projects take months to complete.

I certainly think the product has been getting better and CRM 2011 from CRM 4 was a great improvement.  I haven’t used CRM 2013 enough to gauge it’s improvement and some of the changes (auto saving) I’m not sure are an improvement but in the same breath Microsoft has now stopped users have lots of new internet explorer pages popping everywhere.

Hopefully Microsoft will continue investing and developing its Dynamic CRM product at the same pace.

If you want a more in depth analysis about how Microsoft is doing then I recommend reading  CRM MVP Leon Tribe’s blog because he often has interesting articles on the subject.

Here is a blog post about Microsoft’s recent performance

and a look at Salesforce

Anticipated Microsoft Dynamic CRM salaries for 2014

I was pursuing LinkedIn yesterday and I noticed an interesting post from an old colleague of mine Helen Artlett-Coe who is an excellent recruitment consultant who works for Crimson..

The link was for anticipated salaries for various Microsoft Dynamic CRM roles, you can read the whole article which makes some good points as to why CRM people will be in demand next year, which in some ways is thanks to the release of CRM 2013

Dynamics CRM Market Analysis Q4 2013

Interestingly Crimson thinks the permanent market will be busier than the contract.

I have copied their predicted wages, although I’m not sure what region of England it is, so it could be London but it will provide you a rough idea of what you the average CRM wages are.  I would recommend reading the whole document because it gives some analysis and explains what the CRM market will be like next year, click here to read it

Anticipated Salaries