Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

SharePoint list WebPart not working? We might know why...

Last week we posted about the new Microsoft CRM list web part for SharePoint, and one of the commenters on the post asked:

We are having an issue with the CRM List Webpart. The webpart works for system entities, but when we configure it to show the grid for any custom entities, it only shows one line, regardless of how we have sized the webpart. Did you run into this problem at all?

Since our list web part worked fine for custom entities, I assumed that the commenter had misconfigured something and I didn't spend a ton of time researching this issue. However, Jim recently encountered this same type of failure (where the list only displays one row) on one of our other records.

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Looking very carefully at the screenshot, you can see that there is some text in the "Estimated Dev" column. Carefully highlighting and copying/pasting this text reveals the following:

An error has occurred. This Web part could not be displayed.

Specified cast is not valid.

It turns out that ANY list web part with a float column displayed will generate this same error! So if you toggle between views (on the same entity) you may or may not see this error depending on the view columns you selected. We're pretty confident that the float column is causing the error because in a weird twist of fate, we reported this exact same error back in March 2006 when Microsoft released a different version of the list web part. So circling back to the commenter who asked the question about our post, I would bet that his custom entity is displaying a float column in the view.

So the next question is...how do I fix this? Well, I am not aware of any workaround if you NEED to display a float column but we'll submit this to the Microsoft people we know and maybe they can release a fix and/or updated version of the web part. In the meantime, you can modify your views so that they don't display the columns that will cause problems.

The Forrester Wave: Midmarket CRM Suites, Q1 2007

Ok, I know this is old news (from way back in February 2007) but we just posted the Forrester CRM Study file to SonomaPartners.com, and I thought it was worth sharing this chart that shows how Forrester viewed the various CRM applications. As you can see, Microsoft Dynamics CRM received the best rating on "Current Offering" and the best rating on "Strategy" as well. Can't argue with that!

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ExactTarget - Microsoft CRM integration webinar recording posted

We conducted our webinar titled "Advanced E-mail Marketing within Microsoft Dynamics CRM Using ExactTarget's E-mail Platform" this morning and it was a success. If you're interested in watching the recording of the event, we posted it here.

In addition, we updated the www.SonomaPartners.com website with an Events page so that customers can easily view all of our upcoming and prior webinars in one spot. For the upcoming webinars, we posted the DRAFT topics, and we'll be working the agenda and details over the next few weeks. Please let us know if there is something specific you want to see!

Reporting, Analysis and Dashboards in Microsoft CRM
More details to be announced
Thursday September 27, 2007
10:00am Central Time
Check beck for details and registration information

Empower Your Sales Team with Remote and Mobile CRM solutions
More details to be announced
Thursday October 25, 2007
10:00am Central Time
Check beck for details and registration information

At the same time, we posted the new Events page we also included a link with all of the news references to Sonoma Partners over the past few years. Check out Sonoma Partners in the news here.

Microsoft CRM Web Part for SharePoint/MOSS 2007 Configuration

We recently installed the Microsoft CRM web part for Sharepoint/MOSS 2007, and we're excited to share our findings with everyone. First, let's show the finished product (screenshot below). By installing this web part, you can display Microsoft CRM grids/views directly within Sharepoint! As the screenshot shows, you can even access all of your views and the "quick find" features from CRM. This particular web part is displaying our custom entity "Item" that we use to track work assignments related to each customer project.

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So the good news is that this integration provides tons of great functionality for your users. The bad news is that it can be a bear to setup! Consequently, we asked our guru system administrator Neil to tackle this ball of wax to get it working. He documented everything he did so that I could share it on the blog, so I want to make sure that we give him credit for all of his hard work!

Installation

  1. Go to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 List Web Part page on the Microsoft Download Center
  2. On the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 List Web Part download page, double-click Download
  3. Save the contents to the Windows SharePoint Services server in C:\Program Files\Microsoft CRM\Web Parts\
  4. In the Web Parts folder, extract the files to your SharePoint Products and Technologies server
  5. Double-click CRMListWebPart.MSI. The List Web Part will install

Our Network Topology

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Configuration

1. Verify Internet Explorer Configuration

By default, Internet Explorer is set up to use Integrated Windows Authentication, which in turn uses Kerberos authentication. However, if you upgraded any of your client computers to Internet Explorer 6 or Internet Explorer 6 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), the upgrade might have changed the security settings so that Integrated Windows Authentication is not used. To verify that Internet Explorer is set up correctly, follow these steps.

For each client computer, verify that Enable Integrated Windows Authentication is enabled

A. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Advanced tab.

B. Scroll down to the Security section, and verify that Enable Integrated Windows Authentication (requires restart) is selected.

C. If it is not, select it, and then restart Internet Explorer.

2. Configure SharePoint site to use integrated Windows authentication

A. On the SharePoint Products and Technologies server, open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

B. Expand the computer name, expand Web Sites, right-click the SharePoint Products and Technologies site on which the List Web Part is being used, and then click Properties.

C. On the Directory Security tab, look in the Authentication and access control section, and click the Edit button.

D. In the Authenticated access section, check Integrated Windows authentication, verify that Enable anonymous access is not checked, and then click OK.

E. Click OK to close the site properties dialog.

F. Stop and restart IIS.

3. Configure SharePoint to use Kerberos authentication

A. Open SharePoint Central Administration.

B. Click Application Management, and then Authentication Providers (listed under Application Security)

C. Choose the Web Application that will be using the CRM Web Part

D. For each of that zones that will be using the CRM Web Part click on the zone and verify that IIS Authentication Settings are configured to use Kerberos

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4. Configure Service Principal Names (SPNs)

5. Use the Setspn.exe tool (available from the Windows 2003 Operating System CD) to add an SPN for the SharePoint Server’s HTTP service. To do so, type the following line at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.

Setspn –A HTTP/<servername> <servername>

Setspn –A HTTP/< server_FQDN> <servername>

6. Set up trust for delegation for the SharePoint Computer

A. On your domain controller, open Active Directory Users and Computers.

Note: If constrained delegation is available, use a computer running Windows Server 2003 to open Active Directory Users and Computers. Otherwise, you will not see the options for setting constrained delegation.

B. In Computers, right-click the server name for the SharePoint Products and Technologies server, and then click Properties.

Using constrained delegation:

  1. Click the Delegation tab.
  2. Select Trust this computer for delegation to specified services only.
  3. Select Use Kerberos only.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Click Users or Computers, click Advanced, click Find Now, select the computer running Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and then click OK two times.
  6. Select the http service, and then click OK.
  7. Click Add.
  8. Click Users or Computers, click Advanced, click Find Now, select the computer running Microsoft SQL Server, and then click OK two times.
  9. Select the MSSQLSVC service, and then click OK.

7. Stop and restart the Sharepoint IIS Server

 

Add the List Web Part to an existing Windows SharePoint Services Web Part page

The following instructions are specific to MOSS2007. Configuration instructions for SharePoint 2003 can be found from the Microsoft website at the end of the document.

After installing the List Web Part, it will appear in the list of available Web Parts on the Modify Shared Web page. To start the example of how you can use the List Web Part for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, add the List Web Part to a Web Parts page.

  1. Open the Web Part page to which you want to add the List Web Part for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  2. Click Site Actions, then Edit Page.
  3. In the portion of the page where you would like to place the Web Part click Add a Web Part.
  4. Under All Web Parts > Miscellaneous select Microsoft CRM List Web Part and click Add.
  5. On the Microsoft CRM List Web Part pane, click the down arrow and click Modify Shared Web Part
    1. Under the Microsoft CRM Node enter the URL of the CRM Server.
    2. Select the Record Type and View, and then click OK.

Most of the information above came directly from http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/crm/using/deploy/crmwebpart.mspx and the documentation (crm list web part.doc) which is included with the installation files.