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CRM - Dynamics GP Connector Guide UPDATED

Earlier today we blogged that we uploaded the Microsoft CRM to Dynamics GP User Guide. Literally 30 minutes after we updated the website, Microsoft re-released the Dynamics GP Connector software and user guide! So please download the latest guide (dated October 2006) instead of the one we posted earlier today (that was dated March 2006).

Key upgrades in the re-release version:

  • Support for integration to both US versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP as well as international versions.
  • Support for Microsoft Dynamics GP eConnect 9.0 SP1 and SP2. (Dynamics GP SP2 will be released this quarter but it should be compatible)

The Microsoft CRM Connector for Microsoft Dynamics GP Guide is divided into three parts:

Part 1: Overview and Installation

  • Chapter 1: Introduction.
  • Chapters 2 and 3: Overview and installation of Microsoft CRM Connector for Microsoft Dynamics GP. These chapters cover the supported server platform configurations and installation procedures.

Part 2: Integrating Entities

  • Chapters 4 through 6: These chapters are designed to help you understand how entity data transfers occur with customers, accounts, contacts, products, orders, invoices, and pricing.

Part 3: Customizing, Operating, and Troubleshooting

  • Chapter 7: Microsoft CRM Connector for Microsoft Dynamics GP tools. This chapter details how to use each tool that is included with Microsoft CRM Connector for Microsoft Dynamics GP.
  • Chapter 8: Customizing Integration. This chapter explains how to customize integration and provides examples.
  • Chapter 9: Operating and Maintaining. This chapter describes best practices on how to maintain your integration system.
  • Chapter 10: Troubleshooting. This chapter describes the issues that may occur when you install or use Microsoft CRM Connector for Microsoft Dynamics GP and the steps to take to resolve those issues.

You can obtain the actual connector software here:

CRM - Dynamics GP Connector Guide

We just uploaded a copy of the 171 page document "Microsoft CRM Connector for Microsoft Dynamics GP Guide". This guide provides details about every nook and cranny of how to connect Microsoft CRM with Microsoft Dynamics GP using their free connector software. You can download this file from our Microsoft CRM downloads page. Enjoy!

Advanced Find for Service Activites with a Case

Someone asked this question on one of our previous blog posts:

Is there a way to use Advanced Find to display all Service Activities and which Case (if it is a case) the service activity is associated with?

The answer to this question is "of course!". Here is how you would configure an Advanced Find per this request. I also assumed that the customer only wants to see Open or Scheduled Service Activities so I included that in the Advanced Find too. Then you have to remember to "Edit Columns" and select the Regarding field so that it appears as one of the colums in your view.

CRM here, CRM there, CRM everywhere

I stumbled across this fun little book today. It turns out that Microsoft sold the localized rights to the Working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 book to Japan. If you want to learn about CRM in Japanese instead of is your chance!

I tried to buy one, but I was not able to navigate the check out process since I can't read Japanese. We would love to get our hands on a copy, so if anyone has any suggestions we'll gladly reimburse you for the cost of the book and shipping.  

Office 2007 available on MSDN downloads!

Microsoft posted Office 2007 to MSDN today! We are downloading everything right now, and I'll be running on Office 2007 RTM version within an hour. My wife is looking at me strangely because I am somewhat giddy about this news, and I'll admit it is kinda weird to get fired up about a software download. However, I have been patiently waiting for Office 2007 for well over a year so cut me some slack.

Hopefully the Microsoft CRM product team will release the new version of the Outlook client soon so that I can use Outlook 2007 with the CRM Outlook client installed.

Why you shouldn't believe everything you read in the press

Just saw a story from ENT News yesterday:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2007 will be released at the same time as the 2007 Office release, which is slated for volume license customers on November 30, and will ultimately be available in 18 languages for small, midsize and enterprise customers, the company said.

This is not quite accurate. Microsoft will release a new update of CRM that will enhance the user experience when running with Windows Vista, Exchange 2007 and Office 2007...but it will still be officially named Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. There is no such thing as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2007.

Some people informally refer to the upcoming compatibility update as Microsoft CRM V3C to differentiate it from the original Microsoft CRM 3.0 release.

IE 7 officially released and CRM support

In the past few weeks, Microsoft officially released Internet Explorer 7. I had downloaded and played with a beta version a few months ago and even though it worked fine with Microsoft CRM I had some browsing issues with other websites that I use frequently such as Newsgator. Consequently, I uninstalled IE 7 and decided to wait for the official release...and that time is now!

The first thing you will notice after you install IE 7 is that everything is "fuzzy". Microsoft calls this ClearType, but I call it fuzzy. They claim it is better for users and easier to read but I don't get it. It is also frustrating that I disabled ClearType on the operating system level, but IE overrides the Windows XP setting and turns it back on. Therefore I immediately dug through the IE menus to figure out where to disable ClearType again (Tools -> Internet Options -> Advanced -> disable the Always use ClearType for HTML). Ahh, much better.

Then of course I tried to browse to a Microsoft CRM site. At this point, you will get this prompt.

If you say yes, it will close the original window and then you'll see that it launches a second IE window with Microsoft CRM in it. If you don't like this behavior with the second window launching you can always browse to the infamous loader.aspx page (http://<yourcrmserver>/loader.aspx). The Microsoft CRM team blog tackled this topic back in September before IE 7 was officially released. Once I was into Microsoft CRM everything seemed to work fine after playing with it for just a few minutes, but I obviously wasn't able to test the entire system from start to finish.

Out of curiousity, I contacted Microsoft CRM support with the following questions:

Is Internet Explorer 7 officially supported by Microsoft CRM 3.0? The system requirements page does not list it ( but we have customers asking if they can upgrade. If it isn't supported now, when should tell that it will be officially supported? If it is officially supported, would someone plus update the appropriate documentation?

 Their reply:

The documentation should be out soon. I did find a couple of tidbits for you.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 is compatible with Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP. However, to run Internet Explorer 7 correctly in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, you may have to turn off the application mode setting for the Microsoft CRM Web site.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
911328 Internet Explorer 7 closes unexpectedly when you export records to Microsoft Excel in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0

The KB article they reference shows you how to turn off application mode for Microsoft CRM and it is easy enough to do. However, one thing you should consider is that the Application Mode setting is a GLOBAL configuration. Changing this value will apply to all of the users on your system, not just those running IE 7. Therefore if you have some users running IE 6 and some running IE 7 you will have to make a decision on how you want to proceed. You can not turn off application mode for just IE 7 users.

Despite the KB warnings, I tried to export records to Excel in IE 7 with Application Mode turned on and it works fine on our installation.

I was also glad to hear that Microsoft will update their system requirements list to reflect that IE 7 is officially supported with Microsoft CRM 3.0. We have fielded this IE 7 support question a few times over the past several weeks.