Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Implementation Guide available for download

After downloading the CRM 4.0 RTM bits, I took a look at the read me files and noticed that the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Implementation Guide is available for download too. In the 3.0 version, the Implementation Guide was one giant document but for 4.0 they (wisely) split the information into three smaller and more specific documents:

  • Planning Guide: Use this to determine you what you need to plan for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It includes two main aspects , technical and implementation methodologies:

    • Technical. These topics focus on such areas as the supported topologies, system requirements, and technical considerations to address before installation.
    • Implementation Methodology. Learn about the business management, CRM requirements and project-management aspects that are needed when you deploy a CRM system. In addition, there are several documents that you can use as tools to plan the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which are in the planningtools folder where the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Implementation Guide is located.  

  • Installing Guide: Use this guide to learn about what you need to install Microsoft Dynamics CRM, such as step-by-step instructions for running Setup, command-line installation instructions, and guidance about how to remove Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • Operating and Maintaining Guide: You can read this guide to learn how to back up, restore, and perform system recovery for Microsoft Dynamics CRM data. Also, this guide has troubleshooting steps for known issues.

The Implementation Guide documents are a must read for any customer or partner using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.

The Data Migration Manager encountered an error while setting up the temporary migration database

I have been testing the Microsoft CRM Data Migration Manager recently and it's uh...how do I say this...been a little bumpy. Of course we're pretty much flying blind with no documentation so that's added a degree of difficulty to the task. We setup a test Data Migration Manager install on a virtual client machine and spent some time trying to get it to connect to CRM. Unfortunately I kept getting stuck at this error message.

"The Data Migration Manager encountered an error while setting up the temporary migration database. Restart the Data Migration Manager, and then try migrating the data again."

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Considering I am a domain administrator, a local administrator on the client machine and a system administrator in CRM...this error message caused some head scratching. However after reading through the just released Data Migration Manager read me file, I saw that this exact error was listed as a "Feature Area Known Issue". The resolution:

One possible source of this error message may be the UserReplicationID registry key. You can resolve this issue by deleting the registry key, restarting Data Migration Manager, and signing in again. You can find this registry key in the following path (depending on your system type):

  • 32-bit systems: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Data Migration Wizard

  • 64-bit systems: HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Data Migration Wizard

I followed the instructions and deleted this registry key...and now the Data Migration Manager loads like a champ!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 available for trial download

I normally try to avoid the re-post, but this is big news (courtesy of Menno) so I will make an exception! You can download trial versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 immediately on www.microsoft.com/downloads:

I checked MSDN tonight and the bits are not posted there yet, plus I am not sure when our partner license key will be available. I guess we will have to try the 90 day trial license until our partner key is ready.

Very exciting!

Microsoft CRM 4.0 RTM and what it really means

If you're reading this blog, you probably already know that Microsoft announced yesterday that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 was released-to-manufacturing (RTM). Of course, this caused a great deal of excitement around the Sonoma Partners office, and we're already hearing buzz from customers about upgrading. I thought I would try to address some of the common questions I've heard about the CRM 4.0 announcement:

  • While the development team is done with their part, customers and partners will need to wait "7 to 10 days" before they can download the software. I took a peek at the MSDN downloads tonight but of course it wasn't posted yet. I tried to subscribe to a Microsoft RSS feed to notify me of new MSDN downloads but...this thing hasn't been updated since 2006! I guess we'll just login to MSDN everyday and keep checking. Sigh.

  • Yesterday's RTM announcement does NOT apply to CRM Live. Customers who want to get on CRM Live will need to continue to work through the early adopter programs. Expect CRM Live to be ready for public access in the first half of calendar 2008.

  • Even though the main Microsoft Dynamics CRM product is complete, none of the Microsoft CRM add on solutions will be released at the same time. Microsoft has not publicly confirmed which add-ons they will release but we can take a good guess based on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 add-ons. Therefore, we assume (hope) that there will be 4.0 versions of these add-ons released in the coming months:
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Mobile
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Connector for Microsoft Dynamics GP
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 BizTalk Server Adapter
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Sharepoint List Web Part

  • One current Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 user said they weren't sure if it was worth the effort to upgrade to 4.0 because 3.0 works fine. For the next 5 minutes I rattled off about 25 great new benefits and they said "Ok, nevermind. It sounds great!" If you're a current 3.0 customer and you're not sure what benefits 4.0 offers, please contact us and we'd be happy to share our ideas on the upgrade benefits.

Congrats to the product team on all their hard work. After working with the new version over the past 12+ months, I can confidently state that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is an amazing release.

At Sonoma Partners of course we use Microsoft Dynamics CRM for our internal sales, marketing, service and project management. We've already completed a half dozen trial upgrades of our internal system to 4.0 and we plan on upgrading to the final RTM bits as soon as possible after release. Even though I can't definitively prove this, I like to think we were the first company in the world to upgrade to Microsoft CRM 3.0 way back in November 2005. We plan to be the first again on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0!

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Professional Services webinar recording posted, and new events announced

Yesterday we conducted our webinar "Microsoft Dynamics CRM for the Professional Services Industry", and it went off without a hitch! The LiveMeeting recording is posted on our website events page if you're interested in checking it out. As a reminder, you can also view any of the past webinars we conducted as well.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM for the Professional Services Industry
Original Event Date: Thursday December 6, 2007
Duration: 53 minutes
View recording now

I am really proud of this webinar because we show off how our company Sonoma Partners uses Microsoft CRM to manage all of customer projects, in addition to tracking our time, expenses, status reports, employee training and more!

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We also announced the topics and dates for the next three webinars that we'll be hosting, and of course they will focus on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0!

What's New in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 - For Users
Event Date: January 31, 2008

What's New in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 - For Administrators
Event Date: February 21, 2008

Improve Sales & Marketing Effectiveness with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
Event Date: March 20, 2008

We'll open registration for these events in January, stay tuned for details.

Microsoft CRM 4.0 Launch Tour

Microsoft is ramping up the marketing engine for the Microsoft CRM 4.0 launch tour! Here are the planned (tentative) cities and dates:

March 4th, 2008

Nashville, TN

 

Tampa, FL

March 6th

Atlanta, GA

 

Orlando, FL

March 18th

Los Angeles, CA

 

New York, NY

March 20th

Boston, MA

 

Orange County, CA

March 25th

Charlotte, NC

 

Kansas City, MO

March 27th

Indianapolis, IN

 

Minneapolis, MN

April 1st

Dallas, TX

 

Detroit (Southfield), MI

April 3rd

Denver, CO

 

Chicago (Schaumburg), IL

April 8th

Seattle, WA

 

Philadelphia, PA (date may change)

April 10th

San Francisco, CA

 

Washington, D.C.

April 17th

Phoenix, AZ

The event agenda will consist of:

Start End Session

8:00am

8:30am

ISV Sponsor Pavilion/MS Demo Kiosks

8:30am

8:45am

Executive introduction

8:45am

9:30am

CRM Keynote

9:30am

10:00am

Customer success story

10:00am

10:20am

ISV Sponsor Pavilion/MS Demo Kiosks

10:20am

11:55am

Sales, service and marketing deep dive session

11:55am

12:00pm

Wrap-up, Q&A, drawing

12:00pm

12:30pm

ISV Sponsor Pavilion/MS Demo Kiosks

We will notify you once registration opens at these events, stay tuned for details.