CRM 2013 Tool – Easy Navigate lets you design your own metro like start page

I saw a tweet from CRM MVP Jukka Niiranen @jukkan mentioning there was a new tool on codeplex which allows you design your own start page.

This sounds interesting particularly as I still find getting around CRM 2013 a little bit on the slow side but this could be because I have been conditioned to go to use the left hand menu which is no more.

There is already a tool called quick navigate which does almost exactly the same thing except it doesn’t let you edit what you show on the start screen.

I have done a quick video looking at the tool and going through the process of installing and uninstalling

Here is what Easy Navigate looks like

It’s easy to install and use.

There is a little trick to uninstalling it, you have to uninstall it inside the easy navigate solution first before you delete the solution.  I was momentarily dumbstruck when it wasn’t letting me delete the solution.

It makes navigating CRM a lot quicker when you first open CRM, particularly if you want to go to Solutions or customizations because I can get there in one click rather than the two or more in the default navigation method.

If you are not a CRM Admin (which automatically gets all new security roles ) then you need to assign EasyNavigate security role to any users who want to use it.  I haven’t got any other users in CRM 2013 trial so I’m not sure how it works with regards to security privileges of the user and if they can view only the entities they are allowed but it wouldn’t really matter because if they clicked on it they couldn’t see anything so why would they

Here is my new default start, got rid of marketing and service and moved case to sales.

The only down side I can see is it isn’t easy to add the tiles back once you have got rid of them.

Here is the link to the codeplex project page so you can download it yourself

CRM 2013 Top Tools

There have been a few blog posts about CRM 2013 tools, so I thought I would cobble this information together in one fine blog post for you dedication.

First Tanguy (the CRM Tool Guy) is obviously starting to get fatigued writing lots of tools for CRM so has started coraling other developers to write tools and then snaffling them into his increasingly useful CRM 2011/2013 toolbox.  His recent blog post say’s DamSim – known as Damien to his mum has add a view transfer tool, he has created a nice superman/DamSim icon to go with it.

  • A new tool developed by my colleague Damien (DamSim) that will allow you to copy a view from one organization to an other. This is the View Transfer Tool.


You can get the toolbox at codeplex on the link below (but you knew that already)

Tanguy also adds a teaser saying a developer from a well known Microsoft CRM partner is planning to join Tanguy’s toolbox revolution and add some more tools to the toolbox and if Tanguy is excited about this then we should all be exited.

One thing to note I was playing with the XRMToolbox with my CRM 2013 trial, I couldn’t connect to begin with when I had select Use CRM online checkbox but it did connect when I chose the Office 365 checkbox.

Tools recommended from The Dynamics Team in the field

The CRM in the field blog (Microsoft’s developer troubleshooters) released a blog saying what tools they use on the job.  You can read the blog post here but I have listed the ones I think are most useful below (they mention the SDK and code legacy checking tools)

Name URL
Xrm Toolbox Download
CRM 2013 Quick View Menu
CRM 2013 Dupe Detection Download
Odata Query Designer Download
Trace Reader for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Download
Sparkle Xrm (CRM 2013 Start Menu navigation)


I would also add the Scott Durow’s excellent Ribbon Workbench solution

brief Hosk Description of the tools

Xrm Toolbox 

Excellent, has loads of tools inside

CRM 2013 Dupe Detection

CRM 2013 has removed the duplicate detection because it is constantly saving, this solution can allow you to add that functionality back in.

CRM 2013 Quick View Menu

Fantastic windows 8 style navigation display.  It allows you to see all the entities, which is great if like me it takes you some time to navigate around in CRM 2013

Trace Reader for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

if you are having problems then you need to turn on some tracing and get into the log files

Ribbon Workbench solution

This is a fantastic tool that will save you hours/days/weeks/years if you have to do any editing of the Ribbon.

CRM 2011/2013 – Tool – New XrmToolBox plugin : Form Parameter Manager

Tanguy is never a CRM MVP to rest on his laurels has been busy adding more tools to his Toolbox.

The latest tool is Form Parameter Manager

This plugin helps you to create and delete form parameters in bulk. Without this tool, you should open each form properties panel to create the parameter required. The same operation apply when you need to delete them.

You can download the tool from codeplex using the link below



CRM 2013 Tool – CRM 2013 Duplicate Detection

So I recently learnt Duplicate detection had been removed from CRM 2013.  I was thinking about this and I guess you could add functionality to check this with a plugin yourself but this would of course mean you have to store configs and etc code and testing, which is quite annoying for functionality that use to be out of the box.

Then I saw that someone else has already created a solution to do it, yippeeee

It’s called CRM 2013 Duplicate Detection and is on codeplex, click the link to have a look

I will say I haven’t check it out myself yet but I’m blogging it here for future reference, just in case I need some duplicate checking in CRM 2013 project.  Also I want to let the CRM community know that someone has created a solution that might save you doing it yourself.
Below is the description and details from the codeplex site


Provides the ability to show potential duplicate records on the client side when creating or updating records.


Uses the native duplicate detection rules

Works on standard and Quick Create Forms*

Not available for the tablet client

Configuration allows preventing save when potential duplicates exist

CRM 2013 Tool – Sync Filter Manager

I (and everyone who uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM) subscribe to Tanguy Touzard’s excellent blog Dynamic CRM Tools .  For those of you who don’t know about Tanguy he is a CRM MVP and has created many many tools for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

In fact when I think we  should get Tanguy to change his surname to TOOLzard

The best thing about Tanguy’s tool is it’s completely free and available on codeplex, click here to get it, it has the catchy name

He has created a swiss army knife tool, which has all these tools/plugins inside it

Solution Transfer Tool
Access Checker
Attribute Bulk Updater
Audit Center
FetchXml Tester
Metadata Document Generator
Privileges Discovery
Role Updater
Script Finder
SiteMap Editor
Solution Import
Easy Translator
View Layout Replicator
Web Resources Manager

but today people he has added another tool to the growing list and he calls it

The Magical Sync Filter Whizzbang Manager

well actually he didn’t call it that but I think if he did it would definitely make it sound more exciting, the real name is

Sync Filter Manager

Here is a picture of the tool

The next question you are asking yourself is what does it do and why is it good.  Well the tool allows you to globally manage users filters and this very useful because usually each user has to manage their own filters but in reality what this really means is a CRM person has to go to every laptop and setup and manage the filters which can take quite a lot of time and involve synchronizing schedules so people are in the office etc.

here is what the tool can do

With this tool, you can:

  • List and delete System Synchronization filter: These filters applies to all users and users can’t change them.
  • List, delete, define as default and apply Synchronization Filters Templates to users: These filters applies to users you choose and users can delete these filters if they want to. (Note: Although there can be multiple filters per entity listed in the Default Local Data Rules, CRM only allows one rule per entity to have the “Is Default” attribute set to “True” – Only Default Local Data Rules where the “Is Default” attribute is “True” will be copied to the selected user when a user is ‘created’ or ‘reset’)
  • List, enable, disable and delete Users synchronization filters: They are the filters currently in use for users.
  • List System views. You can also create a system rule or a rule template from a system view. It is also possible to update an existing system rule or rule template from a system view.
  • List users: This action will replace all synchronization rules for the selected user(s) with the organization’s default local data rules. Any user-created rules will be removed.


If you have used Tanguy’s tools and it has helped you out then you can thank by giving him some money via paypal on his blog



CRM 2011 – CRM Command Line Utility

I saw this nice and simple command line utility today for CRM 2011, which you can access using the url below

Initially I wasn’t sure what the purpose of the command utility was, why would I want to access CRM via the command line

Then I saw the commands

/C: – the command you wish to perform

  • I – performs an import operation
  • E – performs an unmanaged solution export to the file specified with the ‘F’ flag
  • EM – performs a managed solution export to the file specified with the ‘F’ flag
  • U – performs a solution uninstall to the solution specified with the ‘S’ flag


So what you could use this for is to create a bat file which exports CRM and once you have a bat file you can then setup a windows scheduled task.

The task I have in mind for the tool is to setup a regular windows task which exports the solution on a daily or weekly basis.

Also if you are doing regular imports or solution imports then this tool can make it easy for you.


CRM 2011 Tool – Iconator will speed up the icon adding process

I sometimes still use the CRM 4 demo application to create icons for CRM 2011 organisation, other times you might find some free icons and then have to go through the process of adding them as web resources in CRM 2011 and then linking them to the entity.

but now that’s to the CRM Tool guy, icons can be easily added to CRM 2011

For those of you who want the tool now, go to CodePlex

below are the features taken from Tanguy’s blog post, once again excellent work from Tanguy


  • Connect to any type of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 deployment (OnPremise, IFD, Online, Online with Office 365)
  • Apply icons to multiple entities in a single action
  • Load new image web resources
  • Reset entities to default icons




CRM 2011 – Tool – Export Web Resources

CRM MVP Mitch Milam has created a useful CRM 2011 for exporting web resources out of CRM 2011.  This link will take you to the blog page where you can read about the tool in more detail.  Once again Mitch is showing why he is a CRM MVP

click here to download the tool

This screen shot gives you a good idea of what the tool does

Mitch also has a few other free tools which are worth checking out.  Click the link below to see all of his tools for CRM 4 and CRM 2011

CRM 2011 – 66×48 Icons not used in CRM 2011

Whilst reading Jamie Miley’s blog post this week which was primarily linking to the 100 CRM videos from slowxrm which you can find here but he also added a paragraph about 66×48 icons which I didn’t understand at first but then thought, WHAT, imagine all the time that has been wasted with with people creating this extra images

So how have we got here, well Jim Daly at MSFT pointed out to Jamie Miley that the 66×48 icons you upload to entities are not actually used for anything.

Anyone who has added a new entity and wanted to make an icon for it would have had to do some extra work to get it into the odd shape of 66×48 and it now turns out that it was all for nothing.

Initially I thought this can’t be true but Jamie had a link on his site

Which says about the icon
This size icon is not used in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. The application incorrectly labels this as the Icon in Entity forms.
talking of icons, there is a great post with links to royalty free icons, you can get to it by clicking the link below
There is also CRM4 there is a tool called MSDYCRM40_Demonstration Tools which you can download and this allows you to choose an image and it creates the icon images of the correct size for you.

CRM 2011 – a tool to help you run IE and CRM as another user

I saw this blog post with a nifty little tool to help you run Internet Explorer (and subsequently CRM) as another user.

Before I talk about that tool I would say the blog CrmXpress has some very good blog posts and some other tools you might find interesting

Releasing CrmXpress TraceHelper v1.0

Releasing CrmXpress SmartSoapLogger v1.0

Releasing CrmXpress TraceHelper v1.0

so great work Chinmay and now back to my original blog about running IE as a different user.

I often have to do this for testing functionality, like testing security roles for different users or testing different forms or workflows etc.

You can just hold shift and right click on internet explorer and choose run as different user.  If you want to do this read my previous blog which explains how to do this –


you can use this tool from CRMXpress, the cleverly named RunAs Gui Tool, the blog post is here

if you want to download the tool click here

the instructions are pretty simply but here you go

  1. Launch CrmXpress.Win.RunAsGui.exe
  2. Click on Add. It will auto fill current user name and domain/workgroup name.
  3. Enter password.
  4. Click on Save. Your default user profile is now created.
  5. Click on Add again. It will auto fill current user name and domain/workgroup name. Change the name with any other domain/workgroup user name of your choice.
  6. Enter password for the user name that you have entered.
  7. Click on Save.
  8. Now you will have two profiles and you can access them via Profiles drop down list.
  9. Drag any application shortcut on to the CrmXpress.Win.RunAsGui’s User Interface.
  10. The application will be added to the applications list for a given profile and it will be launched with credentials of whichever user profile you have selected.