Hosk’s Top CRM Articles of the week – 21st September

Lets start with a quote

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

I have got two articles of the week this week (it’s a fluid system) and neither of them are really articles.

Article(s) of the week

CRM Developer Extensions v1.2.0.0

The alternative to CRM Developer toolkit created by Jasson Lattimer CRM Developer Extensions is improving rapidly.  If you wondering why this is important then read where is the CRM developer toolkit for CRM 2015 and CRM Developer toolkit alternatives.

CRM Developer extensions has added some great new functionality

  • 1 click deploy plug-ins and custom workflow assemblies from Visual Studio
  • 1 click deploy reports from Visual Studio without having to go through CRM
  • Added CRM TypeScript template
  • Web Resource deployer

Importantly this works with CRM 2015 and it’s free

Podcast of the week

CRM Podcast TypeScript and JavaScript with David Berry

When ever I read or hear Dave Berry talk about CRM or TypeScript I learn something new and this podcast is full of interesting views and opinions.  It’s quite a long podcast about an hour long

Below we have some more Dave information and Links

Dave Berry MVP Q&A

Dave also did a great Q&A, easily the funniest one

Dave has a great article on Typescript and CRM
Introduction to TypeScript for (Xrm) Developers

What is TypeScript and how does it work with CRM 2011/2013

This article is the one I wrote, it’s more an introduction to typescript and where to find some more information

Best of the rest

Why the advanced find is a CRM Developers best friend

The Advanced is awesome, find out why

Why CRM Developers should always start with the CRM SDK

Always start with the CRM SDK, it will help you learn new features and functionality.

Undocumented Useful Script Functions in Dynamics CRM

Microsoft has a bunch of inbuilt script functions used by Microsoft Javascript code.  You can use those functions in your own code, you do need to be aware this is unsupported and Microsoft could change the Javascript at any moment

Just because everyone is talking about CRM 2016 don’t forget CRM 2015 Patch

There is a new CRM 2015 patch

Understanding levels of abstraction can improve your code design

Improve you code design and consider the levels of abstraction in your code

How to free storage space in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Some great tips on reducing storage space on CRM online instances

Are your CRM plugins creating technical debt?

Is the way you write plugins causing technical debt in your CRM solutions?

5 Ways To Improve Microsoft Dynamics CRM Performance

Some tips to improve performance

Should you hire a Rockstar developer for your CRM project?

Do you want to put all your CRM development eggs in one basket?

Why you shouldn’t put unsupported customizations in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Some reasons why you shouldn’t write unsupported customizations

Great Tool – OrgDBOrgSettings tool for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Useful tool to tweak the CRM DB settings

CRM 2015 – How to Diagnose plugin errors

How to diagnose plugins errors, tips and good practices.

White Paper – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Performance and Scalability Documentation

Fantastic white paper on performance and scalability.

CRM and SQL Tip #01 – How to find out the Security Roles assigned to the user

SQL query to find security roles assigned to a user

13 signs your project is doomed

Signs you CRM project could be about to hit trouble.


Why Other Tech Talent Gets Paid More Than You by Lane Campbell 

The Myth of the Rockstar Programmer

good developers vs bad developers


A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Charlie Munger about Inversion (including the Importance of being Consistently Not Stupid)

4 easy ways to communicate more clearly in writing

I have 75k saved up in my bank account. I’m 24 years old. I want to generate passive income and retire by 30. What should I do with the money or how should I invest it?

Book Lovers Alert: 8 Of The Most Spectacular Libraries In The World

How netflix reinvented HR

Netflix slideshow on HR

Good introductory article on machine learning

28 ideas to become 5 times more productive

Elon Musk’s First Wife On What It Takes To Become A Billionaire.

Disney’s $4 Billion Steal

Previous top picks

Hosk’s Top CRM Articles of the week – 1st September

Useful Hosk Links

Hosk list Of CRM 2013 Tools

A list and review of CRM 2013 tools, this will probably work in CRM 2015 as well

Hosk’s CRM Developer Articles

A collection of my favourite CRM Developer articles I have written

MB2-703 – CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration Certification Information

All the CRM 2013 content to help you pass the exam

HoskWisdom – Hosk Developer Quotes

 Words of Wisdom from the Hosk.  I have written over 900 articles, surely I should have said a few memorable things


Microsoft Cloud Certification could allow complex CRM solutions to go online

Complex customizations can be difficult to implement in CRM On-line instances, so the announcement from Microsoft this week offering cloud certification offers a route complex CRM solutions can now be done in the cloud.

Microsoft Announce Cloud Certification

Bob Stutz wrote an interesting and potentially very significant blog this week

Cloud Certification now available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The blog post seemed to slip under the radar of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community, producing little discussion or retweets, which I found surprising.

A possible reason for the muted response could be the title of blog post, using the term Cloud Certification doesn’t make the subject of the article clear.  The term cloud is completely overused, my default response is to ignore articles with the term cloud in them.

If I have understood the article correctly Microsoft are offering the customers the option of deploying an On premise CRM in Microsoft Azure environment and run Microsoft Dynamics CRM using Microsoft Azure infrastructure services.

This is like a having a private cloud or your own personal CRM Online and this seems very interesting because it allows customers not to have buy servers and licences, host CRM in the cloud/Online but have more control over Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Why is this CRM private cloud different from CRM Online

I often read Microsoft Dynamics CRM online is making great strides and Bob Stutz in the article mentions

Last quarter we reported that CRM Online revenue nearly doubled

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online improvement helped Microsoft wnin the CRM Magazine market leader award

Microsoft Dynamics CRM wins CRM magazine Market Leader awards

Microsoft CRM Online is great for smaller companies (save money on servers and licences) and CRM solutions without complex customizations.

My experience with CRM online is when the CRM customizations become complex and a CRM solution has a lot of customizations a CRM online implementation can become extremely difficult.

The limitations of CRM Online makes the On Premise a better choice for complex CRM solutions (which makes it puzzling why Microsoft delay features to CRM On Premise, why punish those users).

A question mark over large CRM implementation (large in terms of data and users) to CRM online because the cost of the database on a monthly basis could prove expensive and performance could be an issue (exactly how are resources shared between CRM organisations online).

There are a number of good blog posts describing the differences between CRM online and CRM On Premise

Comparing CRM On-Premises to CRM Online

Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Online vs. On Premises Decision Matrix

Complex CRM solutions not being the best choice for CRM online maybe just my experience.  Most of CRM projects I work on are based On Premise but this could most of the projects I work on need lots of CRM customizations and these are better suited to CRM On Premise.

CRM Online needs a different attitude towards customizations

The blog post below is regularly in the daily most read blog posts on the Hosk CRM blog

What are the limitations of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and how do you work with them?

I don’t believe CRM developers have adapted their solution design to deliver complex CRM customizations using Microsoft Azure and other Online

The limitation of CRM online (summarized from the blog post above)

  • No Indexing
  • Increasing performance – How?
  • Data privacy
  • Restrictions of sandboxed plugins
  • No Custom ASP.NET pages
  • Reports are FetchXML

These limitations means CRM customizations written for On Premise solutions won’t work with CRM Online.

To deliver complex CRM solutions CRM developers will need to learn and user Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Azure Services but I am yet to read an article featuring CRM Online and Microsoft Azure (even from Microsoft) which leads me to believe not many CRM developers are doing this………yet.

Cloud Certification offers an alternative

Cloud certification seems like a confusing way of saying private cloud, which could be a great choice for many CRM projects and subsequently this is potentially importantly a significant offering from Microsoft.

Cloud Certification advantages

  • Complete control over the IT environment
  • No Limitations on customizations (no limit on workflows, no sandboxed plugins)
  • No need to buy physical servers and licences (but you will need pay for Azure licences)

The Cloud certification offers potentially the best of both worlds, complex CRM solutions, full control over IT environment and data but without having to host CRM on your own servers.


I have used the word potentially because I’m not sure I have understood quite how it will all work and I have some questions

Customers are a single click away from being deployed in the cloud

I have never known anything happen easily and with one click, particularly CRM development.  Who knows what is really involved in moving a CRM project online?

Why is no else talking about this?

I haven’t read many articles talking about Cloud Certification, which makes me wonder if I have understood it clearly.  It seems to suggest a private cloud type offering but is that what really means.

Perhaps the Hosk is quick off the mark!

What’s the catch?

There is always a catch, it might be using Azure services involves customizations being rewritten, I honestly don’t know because my experience with Azure is a free trial.

What’s the real cost?

The article mentions a new special licence Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) but the licencing model for Microsoft Dynamics CRM seems to be getting more confusing with each new release.  I live in fear someone asking me what licences they will need!!!

In the article Bob states

In my conversations with customers, I am hearing very positive feedback for this self-hosted option as they have shared that it’s a ‘great fit with our strategy’. Customers that need to remain on premises like the flexibility that they can start to take some advantage of the cloud by putting a test environment on Azure.

This isn’t appealing to customers but CRM suppliers and definitely CRM developers would think this is a great offering which will allow highly customised CRM solutions to be deployed in the cloud.

One interesting point to consider is Microsoft have a 99.9% uptime gaurantee.  This sounds great consider the potential downtime each year

SLA level of 99.9 % uptime/availability gives following periods of potential downtime/unavailability during the specified period (cf. below):

  • Weekly: 10m 4.8s
  • Monthly: 43m 49.7s
  • Yearly: 8h 45m 57.0s

I’m sure there was a time recently when CRM online was down for a couple of hours at a time.  If you had a critical system then a downtime of 8 hours a year could be significant but most CRM solutions don’t need to be up all the time.