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 – http://crmtipoftheday.com/.  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 – http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/121813-microsoft-year-end-277000.html, 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 Salesforce.com, 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 Salesforce.com, 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

http://leontribe.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/microsoft-giving-it-salesforce-treatment.html

and a look at Salesforce

http://leontribe.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/salesforce-unloved-company.html

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

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

https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/training/trainingmaterials/student/course80295.htm?printpage=false

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

https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/training/trainingmaterials/student/course80444.htm?printpage=false

A customer source license is required to access this material.

Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Course Number 80445

https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/training/trainingmaterials/student/course80445.htm?printpage=false

A customer source license is required to access this material.

CRM 2011 installation error – SQL Server: The instance name must be the same as computer name

I got this error on a recent CRM Install.

The reason for this error was because the name of the SQL Server machine had been changed after SQL Server 2012 had been installed.

So what I think basically happens when you install CRM it creates the default instance with the same name as the computer – server name.

So I believe the CRM 2011 installation was looking for the service name which is the same name as the server and couldn’t find one.

luckily there is a couple of good blogs written on this

http://community.dynamics.com/product/crm/crmtechnical/b/zhongchenzhoustipstricksandportaldevelopment/archive/2012/04/28/dynamics-crm-2011-installation-error-the-instance-name-must-be-the-same-as-computer-name.aspx

http://mscrmuk.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/sql-server-instance-name-must-be-same.html

The answer to this problem is to rename the instance name with some SQL commands I never come across before.

Open up an SQL Query window and type

sp_helpserver 

This will give you the name of the current server instance and a bunch of other values (but don’t worry about those)

We now need to drop this name by running the SQL command below, You put the value of the incorrect server name in the quotes  (where I have INCORRECT SERVER NAME”

SP_DROPSERVER “INCORRECT SERVER NAME”

now run the command below and the name in the quotes is the name of the server, don’t forget to add the comma local at the end otherwise the sql statement will error.

SP_ADDSERVER “DATABASE-1″, local

After you have done the change you can run

sp_helpserver 

It should return the changed value.

You now need to run restart SQL Server and try the CRM install verification again