Here at Sonoma Partners we have a program called Sonoma Labs where Sonomans can work on whatever we would like for 24 hours and then the next day, present what was accomplished. This allows us to take the time to learn something new or maybe improve a process that we’ve always wanted to improve but never had the time.
Last week we had a Sonoma Labs and my co-worker, Mike Dearing and I, decided to work on a project with our favorite past time, Golden Tee. In our Chicago office we have some friendly competition trying to break each other’s scores in our resident Golden Tee arcade game. I always thought it would be great to integrate the leaderboards into our internal system, which is of course none other than Microsoft CRM.
In the past, Mike and I did some quick googling to see if there was an easy way to access the GT scores with no luck but this time we decided to dig deeper on our own. With a keyboard we were able to access the BIOS of the GT machine and discovered that booting from a USB drive was disabled. This gave us the idea to load up Ubuntu on a USB drive and boot from it instead of the hard drive of the machine.
Sure enough after a reboot, Ubuntu loaded and we were able to access the machine’s hard drive through the Ubuntu interface. We plugged in a network cable to hop on our internal network and copied over the database backups which were PostgreSQL files. With the hard part over, we were able to restore the database and write an app to retrieve the data and then push it into our Microsoft CRM org using some custom entities we created.
Lastly, we were able to quickly whip up a dashboard with some views to easily see the best records.
Now that's what I call XRM!
Font Awesome is a great set of free icons that utilize font files. It is a nice addition to any page, including custom pages hosted in Microsoft CRM. Unfortunately, CRM only supports a handful of web resource types and font files (such as .eot or .woff) are not on the list. Luckily though, we have an easy workaround to spoof CRM into allowing us to upload font files as well as being able to successfully reference them from our custom page.
First, simply rename the font files to add ‘.css’ to the extension.
Next, upload the font file (with the .css extension) to CRM as a CSS file type but remove the ‘.css’ from the web resource name.
Once the web resource is saved and published, we can now reference the font file that is hosted in CRM.
And there you have it. We can now utilize any font files or the sleek Font Awesome icon library from within CRM!
Update Rollup 14 for CRM 2011 has now been released. This update only contains bug fixes and no new functionality. The good news is that there is a long list of bug fixes. Greg Nichols and Ryan Anderson from the Premier Field Engineering team covered a few of these fixes in more detail on their podcast that aired today. Some of the more notable fixes are better performance around User and Team caching as well as a few Outlook client fixes related to memory issues and crashes.
As always, make a backup of your database and perform proper testing in a test environment before installing the rollup in production.
The full list of fixes can be found below:
- Better performance around User and Team caching. For example, a user is a member of 15,000 teams. You login as this user and it takes a long time to cache all the data. If you login as another user, you see the same problem due to clearing the cache.
- "Show Selected Views" does not work in CRM Dashboard.
- Description field in activity views shows HTML style information.
- Description field and notes are not displayed correctly during Print Preview after Update Rollup 12.
- When you perform a Quick Find search in Outlook, the columns shown in the view are the intersection of the columns from the previous view that was shown in Outlook and the Quick Find view definition. This differs from what you see when you do a search in the web client. After the search is run, no columns are displayed because the specific column is not included in the Quick Find view.
- WRPC token is missing when you use SharePoint Integration.
- Adding a mail template in CRM after Update Rollup 12 causes errors.
- Rich Text Editor errors occur when you paste content during creation of mail merge templates in CRM 2011 online.
- My Team Members' Activities view displays incorrect results through CRM for Outlook client.
- AddressBookMaterializedViewsEnabled triggers a crash if entity does not have an email address.
- Outlook folders are filtered only per the user’s security, and does not take into account the security of the team the user is a part of.
- SQL CE connections in 32-bit versions of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Client for Outlook are not being released.
- Memory errors in 32-bit CRM for Outlook when you go offline.
- Templates are applied to distributed campaign email messages despite being deselected.
- Formatting exceptions occur during data import.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Reporting Extensions Data connector platform traces are not written when SSRS is on a separate computer from CRM.
- Double quotation marks are changed to single quotation marks in KB articles.
- When OverrideTrackInCrmBehaviour is enabled, you can't untrack email in CRM Outlook Client.
- "Show only my records" in lookup dialog box doesn't always show just my records.
- When you click View existing record in CRM in the Outlook client, nothing happens.
- Errors occur when you send direct email in CRM outlook client while you're offline.
- Sum of currency type field displays an incorrect currency symbol.
- Outlook Quick Find displays Filter Criteria incorrectly after Update Rollup 12 is installed.
- User can publish articles without the Publish article permission.
- Email router stops processing email messages after it encounters a message that does not have a From field value.
- Printer prompts for 8.3" x 11" paper when you print a report that was created in the report wizard.
- Deleting entity triggers System.Array.Copy throws ArrayTypeMismatchException.
- Base64 attributes are returned as MemoAttributeMetadata instead of as StringAttributeMetadata.
- Excel sheet name isn't shown correctly on Update Rollup 12 when Advanced Find results are exported to Excel.
- Microsoft CRM ribbon disappears in Outlook 2007 clients.
- Process with condition on email recipient fails if recipient is unresolved.
- Tasks tab is blank in the Synchronizing dialog box when you go offline.
- Updating individual occurrences of a Recurrence Meeting breaks recurrence.
- Outlook client crashes when you try to add email activity to order from outlook client.
- "Error in LoadSiteWideSettings" error when you start Deployment Manager.
Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) kicked off today in Houston and Microsoft used that conference as a chance to announce a more flexible way to buy Dynamics CRM Online that will be available with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 – currently scheduled to release in the Fall of 2013.
The big piece of this announcement is the change from having one license type available for Dynamics CRM Online users, to a more flexible model of three licenses that mirrors the licensing model of Dynamics CRM On Premise. Customers can also mix and match licenses allowing them to have a more personalized and customized solution that fits their specific CRM Online needs.
The details of Microsoft’s new three license model for Dynamics CRM Online are as follows:
- Professional ($65 per user per month): Full capabilities of CRM including SFA, Marketing, and Service.
- Basic ($30 per user per month): Manage accounts, contacts, leads, cases and access custom apps as well as reporting capabilities. .
- Essential ($15 per user per month): For light-weight users who need to access custom applications.
Another big announcement that Microsoft made was that they plan to include access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM through their soon to come mobile applications at no additional cost. Microsoft definitely sees the power of mobility and believe people should have the ability to access their CRM data on a variety of devices without being charged on top of their base user licenses.
Finally Microsoft announced that in the upcoming months, they’ll be adding flexibility to their support offerings (which currently only allow Basic Support and Premier Support). Look for more information on these changes in the next few months.
It’s exciting to see Microsoft offer greater flexibility in their product, especially around licensing options for Dynamics CRM Online as we hear many times that our customers would like to have more options with how they use the product. Once again Microsoft listened to the end user and modified their product offering to match what customers were looking for.
The internet is abuzz today with the official announcement of the next version of Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM solution. Microsoft has confirmed that they’re going to deliver the next version of their software in the fall of 2013. And according to this official announcement, the company is naming this next version of the product Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. The online version of the product will be aptly named Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13. No more will Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 be the latest and greatest version of Dynamics CRM. Orion has officially been dubbed the next major release of Dynamics CRM.
As a reminder there are a lot of great new features coming with Orion…err...Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013:
- Yammer Integration
- MarketingPilot Integration for more robust and complete marketing project tracking
- Skype Integration
- Bing Maps Integration
- Windows 8 and iPad Apps
The new enhanced process-driven UI are some of the most anticipated new features that customers and partners are looking for. This blog post goes into some detail and shows off some of the new flashy UI that we’ll all get once Dynamics CRM 2013 hits the shelves in the fall. Below I provided one screenshot so you can wet your appetite for what’s to come.
We posted about this recently but there are also a couple of features that will be removed with Dynamics CRM 2013 so please plan accordingly before moving forward with this latest functionality:
- Functionality Removed
- Microsoft Lync Presence
- Duplicate Detection during Record Creates & Updates
- 2007 End Points
- CRM 4.0 JS Form Scripting
- JS DOM Manipulation
- ISV Folder Support
- 4.0 Plugins
- 4.0 WF Activities
- Some Ribbon Controls
- Workplace & Personalization Options for New Orgs
Bob Stutz, Corporate Vice President of Dynamics, also recently posted about the new major release of Dynamics CRM. You can easily see that a lot of thought has gone into this release around streamlining the user experience, mobility, social, and marketing capabilities. You can learn more about the vision of Microsoft Dynamics CRM via their CRM Vision page.
It’ll be exciting to see the new UI and features of Dynamics CRM when the new 2013 version becomes available in the fall. And to think that’s at most 6 months away!