CRM/NAV Connector – Video – Connector for Microsoft Dynamics – Upgrading versions

A very thorough video showing you how to upgrade the connector.

Microsoft have done a really good job with this video and it made doing an upgrade a lot easier having watched someone do it.

it’s interesting that you only need to run the upgrade and not have to change anything for the upgrade to work.

Key take aways for this process include:

  • Valid settings only need to be supplied for the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 adapter if you are changing your Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment to one that was not previously supported. If you are only upgrading your installation you can simply click the “Apply” button when propted for new adapter settings after luanch the client again after an upgrade.
  • If you are changing your Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 deployment you will need to create a new integration using the latest template for your ERP
  • This new integration can start over and sync all of your data again, starting from 1/1/1900, or it can be be set to query into the source with the last run time from the old version of a given map

CRM/NAV Connector suddenly stopped working

The CRM/NAV connector always likes to keep me on my toes and today it achieved the feet but suddenly stopping working.

One minute it’s working and the next minute none of the maps are running.

So what happened.

Looking at the logs (a NAV/CRM connector users best friend) I noticed there were some errors about a field I had deleted  on the CRM entity but was still mentioned in one of the maps.

Oddly it wasn’t a map that was running and the field didn’t have a value being mapped.

I restarted the CRM/NAV Connector and then looked at the event viewer applications log.  When you start and stop the connector it writes a value to the log.

Here I found an error

An unexpected error occurred while loading maps for site [Metaphorix \ Metaphorix]. Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Now if you read my blog or have been searching for CRM/NAV connector errors then you will know I have seen this error before

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/crmnav-connector-object-reference-not-set-to-an-instance-of-an-object/

This highlights the confusion you can have when using the connector the same error can mean something different has broken and the error messages are not easy to understand.

What I think this error was complaining about  a field which was mapped which no longer existed.

To resolve this problem you have to run the configuration tool again to remap all the fields correctly.

I will add a word of warning, the connector configuration tool might forget if you had added entities to the mapping, so check to make sure they are ticked.

So there we go another error and another solution.  hopefully if the Dynamic community can keep blogging solutions to the CRM/NAV connector problems then it will make using it easier.

NAV/CRM Connector struggle – Customer No was not found

The NAV/CRM connector is such a painful piece of software to use and configure, I usually shudder when I know I have some connector work to do.

What makes it worse the connector is sold as an easy way to integrate NAV and CRM.

I had a problem today which sums up why the connector is so annoying and difficult.

When trying to sync a customer card in NAV to an Account in CRM I was getting an error saying Customer Number didn’t exist.

Initially I thought this was the customer number on the customer card but I could see that existed and I could see it existed in the webservices.

I created  a brand new map between customer card and account with the minimum amount of information.  It was still complaining about the customer no not existing.

I eventually found this page

http://www.matt-parkinson.co.uk/notes/2011/nav-2009-crm-2011-integration-requested-value-customer_no-was-not-found/

It was going on about a customer number not existing in the ship to address.  I thought this can’t possible be the reason why my simple integration which only had one map which did the customer card and the account.

ooh how wrong I was, it was the exact same problem but WHY WHY WHY.

I when I added the customer_no onto the ship to address (page 300) and then run the configure microsoft dynamics nav utility in the adapter settings (to refresh the mapping files) it then worked

this highlights the problems with the connector, things which are not relevant cause problems.

NAV/CRM Dynamics Connector – Error – Object reference not set to an instance of an object

I got this error today

NAV/CRM Dynamics Connector – Object reference not set to an instance of an object

this was very frustrating because I hadn’t changed anything, literately tried to turn on the connector to make some changes.

I’m not sure what had happened but the connector had got itself into a right mess.  I tried to repair it and it couldn’t write any values to the MSDI database.

It was complaining about the user privileges but the user had admin rights on the machine and the database.

I tried uninstalling and reinstalling but this didn’t work at all because then the service was appearing in the list of services, the database was still dodgy.

In the end to resolve this problem I had to delete the MSDI database in SQL Server management studio.

What I surmise was the problem was the database had for some reason become corrupted and if you don’t delete the database I think it still leaves it there to use, so when I reinstalled the connector it was still using (or trying to) the corrupted database.

I did find a couple of other blog posts which put forward different answers but they seemed like more effort than deleting and starting again (make sure you back up those maps)

but I will paste them below if you need to try them

this one seems quite promising but it didn’t work for me

http://nav-connector.com/?p=88

 

http://community.dynamics.com/product/ax/axtechnical/b/axsupport/archive/2011/05/24/object-reference-not-set-to-an-instance-of-an-object-while-testing-the-settings-or-running-maps-in-the-ax-crm-connector.aspx

 

CRM 2011 – NAV Connector Gotcha’s

I had to use the CRM/NAV connector this week.  I have to admit I have a heavy heart when ever I have to use the CRM/NAV Connector, it is never easy and amazingly frustrating.

The main problem I have with the connector is the complete lack of examples and documentation and when you start using it, it feels like the connector is a black hole.

Things go in and out but you are never really sure what is happening in the middle and usually why things are not working.

I had to Synchronise the Account entity and two custom entities.  The connectors tool for making custom entities available inside the connector mapping tool is very good.

When you get to the NAV side you have to change the integration table and the best instructions I have found on this is this fantastic blog post which steps through what you have to do.

I had one odd problem, even though I chose not to map contacts and removed all mention of contacts on mapping, if a contact was selected on the account primary contact, it would not sync the account.

even though I didn’t want to sync the contact, it still wouldn’t sync.

After mucking around for a few hours I found that you have to set the dynamics integration field on the contact, if you do this when the account will sync.

another NAV connector gotcha is if you are mapping new entities and non standard tables in NAV then you need to make sure you set the Intergration ID value

I had an entity called Project and on the mapping from CRM to NAV you have to set the Integration ID with the Project\ID

if you don’t set this it will map the change for the first time but then any changes will fail because it can’t link to the entity in CRM without the Integration ID being set

Metaphorix Gold ERP Status with Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Metaphorix the company I work for and which you can read more about here on their homepage or you can read their excellent blog here and yes it’s me who keeps this up to date.

After passing a few people at the company passing some sure step exams and already having the relevant NAV exams passed we retained our Gold Partner status for ERP with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, you can read about this in more detail on this blog page

Gold partner status is worth a bit more these days with Microsoft bumping up the number of certified professionals needed, so well done to everyone involved.

 

 

A Interesting blog on Microsoft Dynamics from Metaphorix

[tweetmeme source=”BenHosk” only_single=false]

I thought I would just let people know I have started to write blog entries for my company blog, which I have set up this week.

The blog will be about CRM, NAV on the technical side and with articles about Metaphorix and the people who work for Metaphorix.

It might be worth adding the blog to your RSS feeds because I other wise you might not come across the articles because it’s a new blog the blog posts appear very far down the google search rankings.

It’s quite a challenge to began a blog from scratch again but it is interesting to write about other things other than just CRM.

I will of course keep writing this CRM blog.

You can read the Metaphorix blog by clicking here 

there are two blog posts of interest (currently there is more on the way)

SQL Optimization

and

a blog entry about the new starters at Metaphorix which you can read about here of which I am one.

if you want to learn more about Metaphorix than you can have a look at the website which you can find here or you can have a look at the company and the employees by looking on linkedin here