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CRM Online Spring 2015 – OneNote Integration

Microsoft recently announced the CRM Online Spring Release ‘15 and subsequently lifted the NDA around the release and therefore it’s time to start posting about all the great new features coming!

This post will cover the new OneNote Integration feature that Microsoft is rolling out.

How it Works

Now with the new release, there will be a new OneNote tab that’s part of the activity Social Pane (posts / activities / notes / OneNote).  This functionality isn’t limited to only the web, but is also available on the Phone and Tablet clients as well.


A few key features and benefits of the OneNote integrate with CRM are:

  • You can take photos, record voice, manage to-dos, preserve HTML & hyperlinks, use handwriting, have tables, embedded Excel docs, etc.
  • Uses the native CRM Security Model for access
  • Allows version history
  • When performing a search, it actually searches the content of the note, and not just the title like traditional notes
  • Stores notes in SharePoint not in CRM Database
  • Each record in CRM has a dedicated notebook in SharePoint
  • SharePoint Notebook name = CRM Record name
  • Each notebook can have multiple sections with multiple pages
  • All users share the same notebook
  • Web Client: opens OneNote Online in a separate tab
  • Tablet Client in Windows: opens OneNote app in the side-by-side experience with CRM
  • Phone Client: opens OneNote App
  • Notebook can be auto created when OneNote tab clicked (in the Web Client only)
  • Navigate to OneNote to add new notes

Best Practices

There are some best practices that you should be aware of if you’re interested in using the OneNote integration with CRM.

  • Pin notes on your device.
  • Use side-by-side experience for windows
  • Take notes quickly using Quick Notes and move to page later
  • Close notebook when not using it to save OneNote performance and search results

Setup and Requirements

The OneNote integration currently is only available for CRM Online.  Also, you must have the SharePoint integration enabled as the OneNote notebooks are stored in SharePoint.

You need to enable the SharePoint integration (Document Management) for the specific entities that you’re interested in storing OneNote documents for.  Once you enable this on the entity definition, you then have to go into the OneNote Integration settings area, and enable OneNote for those entities.  The list of entities that appear in the OneNote Integration settings are those entities which have SharePoint enabled.

Note that the OneNote integration can also be enabled from the entity itself once Document Management is enabled.  So you can go to a global area to see all the entities where OneNote is enabled, or you can do it from a single specific entity.




Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Chatter Licenses and Record Type Defaults

I recently ran across something odd the other day that took a bit of investigation to figure out: if you have record types enabled for an object, and you also have chatter enabled, when you go to delete an old record type you no longer need you may not be able to. Let’s say I have an ‘Original’ record type defined for my Account object that I want to remove. To remove it I would go to Setup > Customize > Accounts > Record Types > Edit Original > Deactivate. Once deactivated, I could delete it. However, if Original was the first record type I had created and I set it to the default record type for all profiles before enabling chatter, I would receive the “This record type cannot be deactivated because the following profiles use this record type as default.” error message:


Normally this would be no problem, as we could just go in to the offending profile (Marketing User for example), scroll to the Record Type Settings section and click Edit next to the Account record type to choose a new default:



However, if we try to do this with one of the Chatter External or Chatter Free profiles, we find there is no record type section!


This is unfortunate, since it means there is no native way to change the default record type for these profiles.

Working around the problem

Warning: the work around below is undocumented and technically unsupported, use at your own risk.

After doing a bit of searching, I found this idea on the IdeaExchange which deals with this shortcoming specifically. (You should up vote it so we don’t have to do work arounds anymore). In the same idea, someone else posted a work around which involves manipulating the URL to be taken to a native page which will let you set the default record type. The url has the form:


The instance is the instance your organization is on (na1, eu1, cs1, etc.) and you can get it from the url in your bar:


If you have My Domain enabled, you can use your domain name in its place.


The profile id is the id of the profile you want to edit the default record type for. You can get this by navigating to the details of the profile in the setup menu and grabbing the ID from the url:



This part is a little trickier, and how it works depends on if you’re using a native object or a custom one.

Native Objects

For native objects, object name is just the API name of the object. For example, for Accounts it would just be Account.

Custom Objects

For custom objects, object name is actually the id of the custom object. You can get this by going to the setup details for the object (Setup > Create > Objects > (your object)) and grabbing the id from the URL:


Once you have constructed the url, enter it in to your browser to be taken to the same type of page as you get for the other profiles:


Switch the record types around and set the default as needed, then click save. Repeat as necessary for any other profiles you cannot edit natively.

Once this is done, you will be able to disable and delete the offending record type.

If you have any questions feel free to leave us a comment below or contact us.

Topics: Salesforce

CRM Online Spring 2015 – Office Groups Integration

Microsoft recently announced the CRM Online Spring Release ‘15 and subsequently lifted the NDA around the release and therefore it’s time to start posting about all the great new features coming!

This post will cover the new Office Groups Integration feature that Microsoft is rolling out.

Office Groups

First off let’s discuss what Office Groups are.   Office Groups are a new space to collaborate with a group of O365 users.  These don’t have to be CRM Users, but instead just users of O365.

With Office Groups, you easily indicate what content from different Office products should be shared with other O365 users.  This can be content from Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive. 

To be more specific, the following content can be shared from these Office products:

  • Outlook:
    • Calendar (Outlook Appointments)
    • Conversations (Outlook Emails)
  • OneNote:  Notebooks
  • OneDrive:  Documents

CRM Integration

Now that we know the basics of what Office Groups are, how does it integrate with Dynamics CRM? 

For each CRM record identified to have an Office Group created, an Office Group will be created behind the scenes for that record.  The CRM Record Name will become the Office Group Name.

Then, on the CRM record form itself, there will be a tab “Items Shared with Group”


This tab will allow you to collaborate with non-CRM users who are O365 users.  On this tab you’ll be able to:

  • See across the various office products (Outlook, OneNote, etc.) items shared to the specific office group
  • See Yammer like conversations for emails
  • For Opps Only, adding people to the Sales Team will automatically add the person to the O365 group


Currently this is a solution that’s available on the O365 Admin portal. In order to take advantage of this functionality, you’ll need to download and import this solution to your CRM organization.

Once the solution is imported, it’s as simple as typing in the entity name that you want to enable Office Groups for, and then also indicate if you want an Office Group automatically created for new records that are created of that entity type.

A new Security Role is provided in the solution that you’ll have to assign out to your users to take part in this new functionality.  This role provides access to create/view the Office Group entities that are provided in the solution.



Currently this functionality is only available on CRM Online and Office Online.  I can see down the road this being applied to CRM On Prem, and Office On Prem so that users could have a hybrid of CRM and Office solutions and still take advantage of this functionality.

Also, the functionality of Office Group emails on the record form are very similar to Yammer.  There may be an opportunity here for the Yammer and Office Group teams to talk and consolidate products.

Finally, the functionality to have people automatically added to the O365 group from the Opportunity Sales Team, would be beneficial to have extended to other entities and not just Opportunities

So when would you use this new Office Group functionality?  When you need widespread collaboration for people that are internal that don’t have access to CRM with those that do have access to CRM

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

New Login Pools coming to Japan

We at Sonoma believe user experience is one of the key drivers towards user adoptions of your CRM platform. We also understand the pain that users face when a system they expect to be working suddenly becomes unavailable or unresponsive. Because of this, when we recently received communication from Salesforce about a new login pool coming to Japan, we felt it  important to do our part to help the message reach as many people as possible. We are glad that Salesforce is continuing to invest in their infrastructure, improving resiliency, and we also want to help ensure that everyone is able to make changes as needed to prevent any down time.

Below is the body of the communication sent by Salesforce, please read it carefully to determine if any action needs to be taken in your organization. If you have any questions, always feel free to contact us and we can help determine your best course of action.

At Salesforce, trust is our top priority and we’re working to improve your login performance, regardless of which instance you’re logging in from.

Last year, we further improved the resiliency of our infrastructure by adding additional login pools to our midwest and east coast data centers. On April 11, 2015, we are adding a login pool in Tokyo, so if your end users are accessing Salesforce from the APAC region, they will authenticate via the new login pool in Tokyo, thus reducing the time it takes to login.

In order to take advantage of this improvement to the login experience, please take the actions below to prepare your organization.

If you do not take action, your end users may not be able to log in, and your inbound integrations may stop working starting on April 11, 2015.

What does this mean to me?
Login pools only affect you if both of the following apply:

1. Your end users or inbound traffic integrations use to access your production instance.
2. Your IT department has set up your corporate network settings (ie. proxy settings or firewalls, etc.) to restrict access to only certain Salesforce data centers or instances (ie. whitelisting certain IP addresses or ranges, hard-coding references to your specific instance, etc). Please note: This is not done in the Salesforce app, but in your corporate IT network settings.

If both of the above criteria do not apply to you, then you do not need to take action to prepare for the additional login pools.

What action do I need to take?
If your IT department has set up your corporate network settings to restrict access to only certain Salesforce data centers or instances, you will need to update your corporate network settings to allow access to all Salesforce data centers.

If your IT department currently restricts access by certain IP addresses or ranges, please refer them to the the full list of Salesforce IP ranges available in the What Saleforce IP ranges should I whitelist? Knowledge article.* If you would like to confirm that your corporate network settings are prepared for login pools, please see the How to Prepare for Additional Login Pools Knowledge article referenced below. Please note: You will need to allow access to all of the ranges for every data center, regardless of where your instance resides.

*For security purposes, you will need to login with your Salesforce credentials to view the list of IP ranges.

What if I do not update my IP ranges to include all Salesforce data centers?
If you do not update your corporate network settings to allow access to all Salesforce data centers, and your end users and integrations reference, your end users may not be able to log in and your inbound integrations may stop working starting on April 11, 2015.

When is this change taking effect?
We’re adding a login pool to the Tokyo data center on April 11, 2015. Please check for further updates.

What are login pools?
Login pools process all login requests when end users or inbound-traffic integrations attempt to access the Salesforce app. Once enabled, end users and integrations will be sent to one of our login pools across our data centers, which then verifies credentials and forwards to the appropriate instance.

Why am I receiving this information?
As an administrator of a Salesforce org, if you have end users with multi-national internet entry points, then you should whitelist all IP ranges. This includes remote offices and end users trying to access Salesforce while traveling. (For example, if you have an employee traveling to the APAC region and you do not whitelist the IP ranges as outlined in the What Saleforce IP ranges should I whitelist? Knowledge article, the employee would not be able to log in as our login pools would not be able to process their authentication due to whitelist blocking.)

Where do I get more information?
To help answer your questions, we have prepared this How to Prepare for Additional Login Pools Knowledge article & FAQs.

To learn more about this maintenance and how it will impact you, watch this recording of the New Tokyo login pools webinar:

You can also reach out to Customer Support by logging a case via the Help & Training portal.

Topics: Salesforce

CRM Online Spring Release ‘15 - Theming

Theming is a brand new feature coming in the Spring Release ‘15 which has been requested by many organizations for many years now. Themes can be created to change the colors of certain UI elements as well as add a logo to the navigation bar. Multiple themes can be created which is managed through a view in Settings –> Customizations as shown below.

theme grid

When opening a theme record, you will see a variety of options for UI elements as well as the navigation logo and colors. The logo is a Lookup to a web resource image and can have a custom tooltip for when a user hovers over the logo.

Theme form

Below is a custom theme in action with a custom Excel logo. As you can see the navigation bar, grid row selection and even the Command Bar buttons can all be customized.

ribbon theme

Here is what a record form can look like with a custom theme. Header fields and Business Process Flow links can be customized as well.

Process Flow theme

Themes can be built brand new or there is an ability to clone an existing theme and make changes. They can also be previewed before publishing to all users. Unfortunately themes are not solution aware at this time but can be exported and imported into a new environment using native record export / import.

Besides branding your CRM system, theming can also come in handy when trying to distinguish your many different environments from DEV to QA to PROD by creating unique themes for each environment.

Happy Theming!

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

CRM Online Spring 2015 – USD and Parature KM

Microsoft recently announced the CRM Online Spring Release ‘15 and subsequently lifted the NDA around the release and therefore it’s time to start posting about all the great new features coming!

This post will cover the changes coming to Unified Service Desk around Parature Knowledge Management.

USD and Parature KM

First off are the changes that are coming to USD regarding Parature Knowledge Management. 

Users can now perform actions / automations around the Knowledge Base such as Copy Link, Send Email, Link/Unlink KB Article, Browse web pages, etc. within USD sessions.

Also, the KB Search Panel is now independent, and not tied to an entity form.  Previously you could only perform a KB search when on a specific record / form.  The KB Search Panel can be displayed in different layouts / areas of USD (right panel, pop out, etc.).  This provides a much richer experience with multiple applications and session management for the USD Agents.


USD Technical Updates

There were also a bunch of technical updates applied to USD and what actions/controls are available for use. 

  • A new type of Hosted Control was added for the KM integration (KM Control)
    • Inbuilt Actions:  Search, SetArticleContext, Associate, Disassociate, SetSearchProps
    • Associated Events:  ResultOpen, SelectionChange, SearchComplete
  • Navigate() action now supports Post-Method for Web applications
  • New Actions:
    • SetVisualProperty (automate visual properties such as height, width, color, and background)
    • CopytoClipboard (allow copy/append text data to the system clipboard)
  • New Panel RightPopUpPanel gives an option to display article previews

USD and Parature KM Setup and Install

To install and setup the new functionality for USD and Parature KM, the Package Deployer can be used to deploy all the components needed for the core User Interface Integration (UII) and USD solutions along with sample data to CRM.


Then when in CRM, navigate to Settings –> Service Management –> Setup Knowledge Base Management to setup the record types you want KB management on.  You can also configure your Parature connection details from this location as well.


Finally, you need to configure your Parature KM Hosted Control and you should be set to go!


Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

CRM Online Spring Release ‘15 – Navigation Enhancements

Microsoft recently announced the CRM Online Spring Release ‘15 and subsequently lifted the NDA around the release so we can now blog about all the great new features coming!

This post will cover the feature we’re most excited for in the Spring Release – Navigation enhancements.

New Navigation Bar Shelf

One of the biggest complaints about CRM 2013 / 2015 is that the main navigation was much worse than its predecessors.  Users weren’t able to see many entries at once which required them to scroll horizontally for a long time to find the area of the site map they’re trying to navigate to.  While this was a pain for all users, it was even more painful for those users who had hundreds of sitemap entries, and trust us, we have customers who fall in that camp.  Countless partners and customers started creating their own custom solutions to be able to see more entries at once.

If you’re familiar with the navigation in Dynamics Marketing then you will recognize the new navigation bar that is coming with the Spring Release ‘15. We’re very excited for the new navigation bar as it now provides the ability to see a lot more sub areas on a single screen instead of having to scroll for days if your organization has a lot of entities. Now when you hover over a main tile like Sales, a new shelf will drop down to display a lot more sub sections and links as shown below.



Microsoft is once again listening to the community and adding back features that were in past CRM’s but removed from 2013 (similar to Advanced Find in the global navigation bar). Now Microsoft is adding back the MRU (most recently used) functionality.  An MRU icon was added to the navigation bar to the left of the Quick Create icon that will show you a list of your most recent views and recent records as shown below.



Once inside the MRU pane, you can hover over a recent record and click the pin icon to pin that record to the top of the list so it is always visible and easily accessible.


Quick Create

The Quick Create pane was also updated to be a consistent look and feel. It now has the same pane as the new navigation and lists the entities in a vertical manner to be able to show more entities on a single screen without having to scroll horizontally.

quick create

Form Navigation

A new icon was added to the right of the record name which displays a list of tabs on the form. Clicking a tab name will navigate directly to that tab on the form. This makes it easier to navigate taller forms.  It’s also a great way to quickly navigate back to a tab of the main form if you’re currently viewing a related Associated Grid of the main record.  Previously in 2013 and 2015, once you navigate to a related Associated Grid, you’d have to go back to the top tab of the form, then scroll down to the tab you’re interested in.

form navigation

As stated earlier, we are super excited for these enhancements as they have been highly requested for awhile! The one downside is you can only get your hands on it this Spring if you are on CRM Online.  On-premise customers will unfortunately have to wait a bit longer until Fall 2015.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online