Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

Poodle and your CRM

Today I am co-blogging with Blake Scarlavai, Development Principal and Microsoft Dynamics blogger at Sonoma Partners.

Nathen:

Recently a vulnerability in SSL 3.0 known as “Poodle” gained some significant attention, with many companies responding in various ways to ensure their customers’ data is protected. It can be confusing to keep track of what companies are doing what, and what is expected of you as a customer to ensure you are not vulnerable. Below are the summaries of the responses that Salesforce and Microsoft have taken.

Salesforce’s Response

Salesforce is in the process of disabling SSL 3.0 on their platform. By the end of December, you will no longer be able to use SSL 3.0 visit Salesforce’s platform. For the most part, we don’t expect this to affect our clients as the browsers which needed SSL 3.0 still enabled (IE 6 mainly) are already not supported by Salesforce. You can get the full list of the disable schedule and more information about the changes on Salesforce’s help page.

Blake:

Microsoft’s Response

Microsoft is in the process of remediating their online services for the SSL 3.0 vulnerability.  Below is a time table for each of the CRM services:

Service

SSL v3.0 Mitigation Status

Microsoft Dynamics  CRM Online

7-Dec

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

7-Dec

Microsoft Social Listening

Completed

Parature for Microsoft Dynamics

Completed

Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services

7-Dec

Online Services for Microsoft Dynamics

7-Dec

 

Microsoft also recommends disabling SSL 3.0 in your browser.  The following resources can be used for your respective browser:

For more information on Microsoft’s response, click here.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Salesforce

Dynamics CRM 2015 SLA Enhancements

Microsoft recently announced new features coming out with their next version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 (previously code named Vega).  Check out the Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide to see what features are coming with 2015. 

Next up for our review are the SLA enhancements being made. Pre-CRM 2015, users could take actions if First Response By and Case Resolved By aren’t met.  CRM could also be setup to send warnings if First Response By and Case Resolved By are approaching.

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With 2015, a few new enhancements have been made to make the SLA experience a bit more rich.

Automatically Pause/Resume the SLA time Calculation:

Now with CRM 2015, administrators can setup specific Active Case Status values that will automatically pause the SLA timer if the Case is moved into one of the statuses selected.  When the Case is moved out of that status, the timer will resume and continue.  This is configured from Settings –> Service Management –> Service Configuration Settings.

In the example below, if a Case is moved into On Hold or Waiting for Details, the SLA timer will pause (and this will reflect on the Case form).  When the Case is moved back to In Progress or Researching, the SLA timer will continue where it left off.  This functionality is only available with Enhanced SLAs (described in more detail in the next section).

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The On Hold time is tracked per Case record so you can get a glimpse of how long a case has been on hold to follow up and provide better service to your customers.

There may be scenarios where you don’t want your KPIs to be paused, and this can be turned off at the SLA level.  Therefore even though the Case moves to one of the statuses to pause the timer, cases using those SLAs will continue to count down and will not be paused.

Success Actions:

Success actions are new with 2015 and are only available for Enhanced SLAs (described below).  The Success Action can be defined by an administrator, and indicates a set of actions that will be executed whenever the success criteria of a Service KPI is met before the failure time.

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Enhanced versus Standard SLA:

In Spring 2014, the SLA functionality that was delivered with Leo was Standard SLA functionality.  Now with 2015, you have the ability to define an SLA as Enhanced.

With the Standard SLAs delivered with Leo, you cannot use the new pause/resume functionality of the timer, and you cannot define Success Actions.  Standard SLAs cannot be converted to Enhanced SLAs.

Also, with Standard SLAs, all data is tracked on the individual case record (First Response By, Resolve By, etc.).  With Enhanced SLAs, this information is all tracked on a related SLA KPI Instance records, and quick view forms are used to show specific information directly on the case (e.g., the First Response In and Resolve In timer controls below).

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If you wanted to create additional KPIs that your business tracks in addition to First Response By and Resolve By, you can do this by creating new SLA KPI relationships to the Case.  Doing so will automatically allow you to create SLA Items against your SLA, and define the Warning / Failure / Success criteria and actions for the new KPI.

With the new SLA KPI Instance records, you can create charts and dashboards to be able to quickly get counts of cases based on the KPI Status, and have a better understanding of how your service department is performing at a high level.

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Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Dynamics CRM and Chrome v38 Lookup Issue Fixed!

You may have heard about an issue with Lookups not working correctly with a recent version of Chrome (v38).  Microsoft documented the issue here in a KB article earlier this month.

Last week we noticed that in a new CRM Online trial org with a version of (6.1.1.1621) (DB 6.1.1.1610), the Chrome v38 Lookup issue was resolved so it seems that Microsoft was working on a patch.  Today though we have noticed that with the latest version of Chrome (v38.0.2125.111) the Lookup issue is fixed across the board in CRM Online, CRM 2013 On-prem and CRM 2011 On-prem. 

So if you or your users were stuck on v38 of Chrome then be sure to go to Settings –> About and make sure you’re updated to the latest version to fix the Lookup issues.

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To check your CRM Online version, click the Gear icon at the top right and then click About.

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Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

CRM 2013 Navigation: Easily Find the Tile You Are Looking For

One of the biggest pain points in CRM 2013 for an organization with a lot of custom entities, is the navigation.  The user can only see a few navigation tiles per Site Map area depending on their resolution.  This requires the user to scroll horizontally to find the desired tile.  Being able to use the mouse wheel to easily scroll through the list of tiles is definitely nice but sometimes, with a lot of tiles, it is easy to miss the one you are looking for. 

Thankfully we are here to help ease your pain!  Follow the steps below in any browser for a quick, easy, and native way to find the tile you are looking for.

First, click on the main area that your desired tile is in, such as “Sales”.

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Then hit CTRL + F to use the browser’s search function.

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Then type in the display name of the tile you are looking for such as “quick campaigns”.

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And there you have it!  The browser finds the text of the tile and takes you right there so you can easily click on it and navigate to that Site Map area.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Server Side Synchronicity 2

Today's guest blogger is Ross Talbot, a Development Principal at Sonoma Partners

In the continuing discussion regarding Server Side Synchronization in Dynamics CRM 2013, we previously detailed some of the gotchas we had encountered with upgraded orgs and some added fixes with communication between Exchange web services and CRM. We also expanded on a few permission issues we noticed after an upgrade from CRM 2011. The focus of today’s episode revolves around an addition in CRM 2013 SP1 involving communication between CRM and Exchange.

When you set up Server Side Sync and create your Email Server Profile, you are detailing the connection between CRM and Exchange so that when CRM Emails, Appointments, Contacts, and Tasks need to be updated, each server knows where to go find the other. What happens, though, when you have an Active Directory user who is a member of more than one CRM organization? Well from the CRM side, we are identifying the Exchange server web service address in the Email Server Profile record, as shown below.

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What about the reverse direction though, from the Exchange side? When you set up the architecture for your CRM environment, do you only have just one CRM org or do you develop and test in separate organizations/servers for these environments? The Exchange mailbox identified for the user can only synchronize appointments, contacts, and tasks with one CRM organization, so how can the Exchange Server tell which CRM org is correct? It is pretty easy to see how a user can be tied to multiple CRM orgs, but it is much rarer to have multiple Exchange server environments (unless you are an IT Administrator, but the overlap in this case is pretty small). Prior to Service Pack 1, it was unclear how this worked. It was unclear which CRM org the Exchange server was synchronizing to (the first one that was configured, or the last). This makes it difficult to tell if the setting that tells Exchange to send everything to a specific org was ignored or overwritten.

In CRM 2013 SP1, a new option is available when setting up the user’s mailbox to force sync on a specific user account for a specific org and Exchange mailbox pairing. From the Email Server Profile record in CRM for the Exchange server, click the Ribbon button Test & Enable Mailboxes.

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This opens a dialog to test your configuration for email, and the key here is the checkbox to Sync items with Exchange from this CRM Organization only, even if Exchange was set to sync with a different Organization. This helps clarify the expectation of which CRM Organization is tied to the Exchange Server for records to sync and cleared up the issue we had encountered.

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Clicking What’s this? opens a detail page explaining cases where you may need to select the option. Similar options are also available on individual Mailbox records in CRM, where you can test an individual mailbox as opposed to modifying all mailboxes connected to an Email Server Profile.

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Having trouble getting server side synchronicity wrapped around your finger? Contact us before you are driven to tears…

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Dynamics CRM 2015 Enhanced Business Processes

Microsoft recently announced new features coming out with their next version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 (previously code named Vega).  Check out the Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide to see what features are coming with 2015.

Next up for our review is reviewing the enhancements that are being made to Business Processes (the new feature added in Dynamics CRM 2013).  This amazing feature add from 2013 is being improved to be even more amazing.  Also, all of the enhancements below will work on MoCA!

With 2015, the following enhancements have been made to close the gap on those limitations:

  • Support for multiple entity loops to return to a previous entity in the process
  • Support to add entities to your BPF that don’t have a relationship to the entity you’re coming from.  If your rule requires it, you can choose the relationship on the Stage tile using the “Select relationships” link, although this is now optional with 2015 and can be left blank.

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  • Client API Programmability
    • Access to available processes, active process, active stage, and active path
    • Move stages, change active process
    • Hook into stage selection, or changing active stage
    • Hide the Process Control completely from the form, or toggle whether or not the Process Control is expanded or collapsed on the form
  • Rule Based Branching Support (If / Else)
    • Decisions made to branch to different stages
    • Defined in a single UI for rules, stages, steps, & branches
    • Evaluated Real Time
    • Branches on a single entity, cross entity, merge branches back to the main flow
    • Branching rules must be based on steps in the stage immediately preceding it
    • Can combine multiple conditions in a rule using AND/OR

In order to use Rule Based Branching, when you’re editing your Business Process flow, you can click on the “Add Branch” from any stage to indent the flow to add your conditions and additional stages.  If you want to have an “If” “Else If” branch, then simply click “Add Branch” to the parent stage and the new stage will be added under the other stages in that branch (e.g., if creating an Opportunity for a New Customer, then we should capture information about that new customer.  Otherwise, if it’s an Existing Customer, we should select the customer from our existing Account list).  You can also have a default “Else” stage by clicking “Add Branch” and not adding any conditions to the branch.  The example below shows the configuration of an “If” “Else If” Business Process.

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Now when I’m on my Opportunity in CRM, if I indicate that Existing Customer = No, then I get the New Customer stage where I can enter some quick details about the Customer that can be used later to create an Account record (or could be coupled with Workflow to automatically create the Account and associate it to the Opportunity).

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And when I indicate that Existing Customer = Yes, I get the Existing Customer stage where I can select the account I want to associate to this Opportunity.

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With all these enhancements that were made in Dynamics CRM 2015, there are still some limitations to Business Processes that you should be aware of:

  • Processes can only span across a maximum of 5 unique entities
  • Maximum of 30 stages per process, and 30 steps per stage
  • Each branch can be no more than 5 levels deep
  • Only one active process per record
  • Can only leverage 1:N entity relationships (even though this is optional)

If you have any questions regarding any of this functionality, contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Dynamics CRM 2015: Social Insights & On Prem

Microsoft recently announced new features coming out with their next version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 (previously code named Vega).  Check out the Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide to see what features are coming with 2015.  Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll slowly reveal this functionality one by one and show some of the key highlights of these features.

Next up for our review is reviewing the changes with Social Insights from Microsoft Social Listening.  Previously only CRM Online orgs had access to embed components of Microsoft Social Listening within Dynamics CRM, but now with Dynamics CRM 2015, CRM On Prem customs will also be able to enjoy the benefits of the social data without having to leave Dynamics CRM.

Using a simple wizard based approach, Social Insights can be added to the following:

  • System Dashboards
  • User Dashboards
  • Entity Forms

In order to have both your Dynamics CRM On Premise organization and your Social Insights environment talking to one another, you need to:

  • In CRM, navigate to Settings -> Administration -> Microsoft Social Listening Configuration
  • Copy the Domain URL
  • In Social Listening, navigate to Settings -> Allowed Domains
  • Add the Domain URL copied above to the Allowed Domains
  • Copy the Social Listening URL
  • Paste the Social Listening URL back into CRM

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As stated above, Social Insights can bee added to System or User Dashboards by selecting the Insert Social Insights components when on a dashboard section.

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When you click this icon, you’ll be presented with a 3 step wizard.  You can select the specific data you want to display from Microsoft Social Listening including what search terms you want to display, what summary information you want to display (e.g., sentiment, volume, etc.), and more.

Note:  You can have one or multiple visualizations on one of the sections of the dashboard so you can see multiple pieces of social information in each section.

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Now when you navigate to your Social Dashboard, you’ll see the social data from Microsoft Social Listening displayed to you in a summary dashboard directly from within Dynamics CRM.

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Similarly to adding Social Insights to a dashboard, you can add it to a CRM entity form.  From here you’ll be able to see the same social component information that you saw within a dashboard.

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Note:  You’ll need to have a Microsoft Social Listening account and be logged into MSL or you’ll get an error when trying to view the Social Insights within Dynamics CRM.

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A few additional pieces of information to be aware of:

  • Does not require IFD to be enabled for CRM On Prem
  • Will work with Outlook
  • Multiple CRM instances can point to the same MSL instance
  • This is not available on MoCA (as Social Insights is surfaced in CRM through an iFrame, and there is no support for iFrames in MoCA)
  • Users in CRM need a MSL license (these credentials are used to authenticate to MSL)
Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Server Side Synchronicity

Today's guest blogger is Ross Talbot, a Development Principal at Sonoma Partners

If you have been following our adventures with Server Side Synchronization in Dynamics CRM 2013, we previously detailed some of the gotchas we had encountered with upgraded orgs and some added fixes with communication between Exchange web services and CRM. Recently we found another issue related to an upgraded org, this time revolving around permissions.

After we had resolved the previous issue with the web services on the servers having some issues sending data back and forth, we found that tests for the sync were working for all but 20 users when looking at the sync for Appointments and Tasks. Of course, this was now less than 10% of the users but not all so we went looking for more information. We started by checking the sync filters, trying to determine what set these 20 users apart from the others. The error we were seeing this time around was that the mailbox user doesn't have sufficient permissions on this mailbox. We checked impersonation settings, security roles, and client information to rule out differences. That is where we found the difference, and it pointed to the security roles associated to the affected users. The difference between the affected users and those that were working involved native security roles that had been assigned prior to the production environment going live during the initial user import. With no custom roles defined at that time, all users were given a native security role. Users with higher level security needs were given one of the custom roles and the native role was removed. So why were the users with more privileges having issues?

When creating custom security roles, a good habit or best practice is to make a copy of a native CRM security role and modify only the permissions you need to. That is the approach we take on Sonoma projects, to ensure you don’t have to change every single privilege as you might need to if you started from scratch. When you upgrade your CRM org, whether it is a product version update, a service pack, or a UR being applied, the native security roles are updated with security access to new entities and features. Not the custom roles though.

Here is a custom security role, highlighting a section of the Business Management tab in CRM 2011.

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Now, here is a similar look at a role in CRM 2013

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There are now a few new entries, and in fact there is a new Privacy Related Privileges section just below these privileges. With all the new features in CRM, including Server Side Sync, Mobile Client Apps (MoCA), Business Process Flows, not to mention adding more with every release, it is becoming more and more important to review the privileges in your custom security roles when testing a new release and especially the features that come with it.

For the sake of future me and all the others that need to search for the privilege names related to these new to 2013 entries shown above, they are listed below.

Mailbox privileges: prvReadMailbox, prvShareMailbox, prvAssignMailbox, prvWriteMailbox, prvDeleteMailbox, prvCreateMailbox, prvAppendToMailbox, prvAppendMailbox

Email Server Profile privileges: prvWriteEmailServerProfile, prvAppendToEmailServerProfile, prvDeleteEmailServerProfile, prvCreateEmailServerProfile, prvReadEmailServerProfile, prvShareEmailServerProfile, prvAppendEmailServerProfile, prvAssignEmailServerProfile

Got your own issue involving server side synchronicity? Don’t rely on a message in a bottle. Contact us instead.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Dynamics CRM 2015 Enhanced Business Rules

Microsoft has just announced a slew of new features that are coming out with their next version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 (previously code named Vega).  Check out the Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide to see what features are coming with 2015.  Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll slowly reveal this functionality one by one and show some of the key highlights of these features.

Next up for our review is reviewing the changes and enhancements that Microsoft has made with Business Rules (new for CRM 2013).  The following high level enhancements have been made for this next major release of Dynamics CRM:

  • Business Rules can now be executed on the server (previously client side only)
    • Business Rule Scope should be set to Entity when building the rule
    • Ensures your rule will fire when no matter how records are updated and not only via the form
    • Synchronous and would be visible real time
  • Set default values on record creation (e.g., all your Leads are generated in the United States so you can default the country on the Lead record when records are created)
  • Added If.. Else If.. Else support
  • Ability to combine expressions using And/Or

Here’s an example where you can see:

  • The new option “Entity” in the top right corner for the Scope which would make this a server side business rule. 
  • An example of If/Then/Else support. 
  • How you can use “and” or “or” in conditions to make more complex conditions. 
  • The new “Set Default Value” action that’s been introduced.

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With these enhancements, there are a set of limitations that everyone should be aware of:

  • Cannot support nested if.. else
  • No grouping of expressions in a condition
  • Expressions can be combined either using And, or using Or, but not both
  • Still single entity only (no ability to reach out to related records)

We’re excited to see the continued investment to make Dynamics CRM a more configurable application putting more power in the hands of System Administrators, and decreasing the requirement to hire application developers to extend the application.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Dynamics CRM 2015 Multi Entity Search

Microsoft has just announced a slew of new features that are coming out with their next version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 (previously code named Vega).  Check out the Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide to see what features are coming with 2015.  Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll slowly reveal this functionality one by one and show some of the key highlights of these features.

First up for our review is functionality that Microsoft added to their MoCA product when it was released which is multi-entity search.  This feature has been something our customers have been requesting for some time now and to bridge the gap in the previous product, Sonoma Partners built their own Universal Search solution that we make available on our community site for both 2011 and 2013.  If you look at the Sonoma Universal Search, you’ll see some similarities to the one now available in CRM 2015.

Download our free Dynamic Forms for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 to create complex form rules using a web-based editor.

In order to setup multi entity search, navigate to Settings –> Administration –> System Settings.  In the General tab, you’ll see the section “Set up Quick Find”.

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This section has two settings:

  • Enable Quick Find record limits:  This setting was introduced in CRM 2011 and it uses an organizational database setting to limit quick find search results to 10,000 records to improve performance.
  • Select entities for search:  If you click on the Select button, you’ll be presented the window below where you’re able to select up to 10 entities at a time to enable for multi-entity search.

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Entities that are selected here will be used in the multi-entity search results and be displayed in the order that you see them in this list. 

Users will be able to use the multi-entity search using the magnifying glass in the global navigation bar.

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Clicking on that magnifying glass will bring you to a page where you can enter any search criteria (no minimum number of characters needed meaning you can type in a single letter), and click search do see your results.

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On this search results page, one could:

  • Filter the results to a particular entity using the “Filter with:” drop down on the top right.
  • Create a new record using the + icon next to the entity name
  • Navigate to the record by clicking on the tile

A few things to note about multi-entity search:

  • Uses quick find views to determine the fields to search across
  • Can search activities and notes as well
  • First 3 fields in the Quick Find View are what are displayed in the tiles that are displayed
  • Search from anywhere in CRM using the search icon on the global navigation bar
  • The search results are displayed in the Modern UI

There are currently a few limitations of multi-entity search:

  • Doesn’t work with USD
  • Maximum of 10 entities can be configured for search
  • No hit highlighting and MRU (most recently used) suggestions
  • Only action available on each search result is the ability to open the record

Even though there are a few limitations to multi-entity search, as we expected once the MoCA app was introduced with this functionality, it’s nice to see this much requested feature make its way into the web app. As it stands currently, this is a very powerful tool and key addition to Dynamics CRM.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online