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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft CRM Freelance Developer’

Auto Complete Recursive/Waiting Workflows – Microsoft CRM 4

Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides very powerful workflow designer tools to create workflows for various business scenarios. Waiting workflows are one of them. Very often, it is required to create waiting workflow on dates. So if a date is changed the waiting workflow remains in waiting state and date change executes another waiting workflow. So this aggregation of workflows affects CRM Server performance and application functionality.

Recently I have created a custom workflow activity to kill these waiting workflows in a recursive workflow. So I would like to share my experience with all of you.

I am in a condition to create a waiting workflow to reschedule my activity periodically i.e. recurring appointments, Auto Reorder (Sales Order) etc. My workflow is fired on Create of activity/Order and on change of Next Due date/Next Order Date. So if the user has changed Next Due Date or Next Order Date, the workflows in waiting remains in waiting and also a new Waiting workflow is fired. My aim is to kill the existing workflow as it is invalid now and start a new waiting workflow with updated information.

My workflow name is Auto Reschedule Activity. Here is the description of my workflow:

Start:
                Wait for Next Due Date == Today
                                Reschedule Activity Accordingly
                                Recursive Call: Auto Reschedule Activity
End

What i am looking for is:

Start:
                Check if there is an existing workflow with same Workflow ID, Entity ID and in Waiting State.
                                Then Kill that workflow.
                Wait for Next Due Date == Today
                                Reschedule Activity Accordingly
                                Recursive Call: Auto Reschedule Activity
End

So I started with a custom Activity to fetch workflows in waiting state with same name and regardingobjectid:

I created a query object in my custom workflow activity:

QueryExpression query = new QueryExpression();
query.EntityName = “asyncoperation”;
 query.ColumnSet = cols;

And created 3 conditions as below:

ConditionExpression c1 = new ConditionExpression();
c1.AttributeName = “name”;
c1.Operator = ConditionOperator.Equal;
c1.Values = new Object[] {‘My workflow Name’}; //Workflow
ConditionExpression c2 = new ConditionExpression();
C2.AttributeName = “statecode”;
C2.Operator = ConditionOperator.Equal;
C2.Values = new Object[] {1}; //Waiting
ConditionExpression c3 = new ConditionExpression();
C3.AttributeName = “regadingobjectid”;
C3.Operator = ConditionOperator.Equal;
C3.Values = new Object[] {context. PrimaryEntityId}; //Waiting

So now I have all the waiting workflows regarding my activity. Ideally there will be only one workflow in waiting state all the time. This workflow will be responsible for rescheduling.

So now is the time to kill the outdated workflow. So here is the code for setting that workflow complete/cancelled.

foreach (BusinessEntity be in bec.BusinessEntities)
{
                    asyncoperation async = (asyncoperation)be;
                    async.statecode = new AsyncOperationStateInfo();
                    async.statecode.Value = AsyncOperationState.Completed;
                    service.Update(async);
}

You can improve this workflow utility to add lot more functionality to workflow designer.

HTML Content Editor in CRM4

It is often required to format and validate HTML contents in CRM 4. Here is a quick way of integrating a JavaScript WYSIWYG Editor. You can find many open source as well as 3rd part JavaScript WYSIWYG Editors. The editor I have used in my post is from TinyMCE – Javascript WYSIWYG Editor.

TinyMCE is a platform independent web based JavaScript HTML WYSIWYG editor control released as Open Source under LGPL by Moxiecode Systems AB. It has the ability to convert HTML TEXTAREA fields or other HTML elements to editor instances. TinyMCE is very easy to integrate into other Content Management Systems

So here is a step by step process to integrate this editor to CRM4.

Step One:

Create an ASPX page with only one HTML TEXTAREA control and a Submit Button. TextArea control will hold the content editor and button will move the generated HTML to crmForm Controls.

<asp:TextBox ID=”Content” runat=”server” TextMode=”MultiLine”></asp:TextBox>

    <div>

        <asp:Button ID=”btnSubmit” runat=”server” Text=”Submit”

            onclick=”btnSubmit_Click” OnClientClick=”javascript:OnSubmit();” />

        </div>

    </form>

 And copy the script as provided below:

This Script can be found at http://tinymce.moxiecode.com/examples/full.php#

<script src=”<your installation path>/tiny_mce/tiny_mce.js”></script>

<script>

tinyMCE.init({

                // General options

                mode : “textareas”,

                theme : “advanced”,

                plugins : “safari,spellchecker,pagebreak,style,layer,table,save,advhr,advimage,advlink,emotions,iespell,inlinepopups,insertdatetime,preview,media,searchreplace,print,contextmenu,paste,directionality,fullscreen,noneditable,visualchars,nonbreaking,xhtmlxtras,template,imagemanager,filemanager”,

 

                // Theme options

                theme_advanced_buttons1 : “save,newdocument,|,bold,italic,underline,strikethrough,|,justifyleft,justifycenter,justifyright,justifyfull,|,styleselect,formatselect,fontselect,fontsizeselect”,

                theme_advanced_buttons2 : “cut,copy,paste,pastetext,pasteword,|,search,replace,|,bullist,numlist,|,outdent,indent,blockquote,|,undo,redo,|,link,unlink,anchor,image,cleanup,help,code,|,insertdate,inserttime,preview,|,forecolor,backcolor”,

                theme_advanced_buttons3 : “tablecontrols,|,hr,removeformat,visualaid,|,sub,sup,|,charmap,emotions,iespell,media,advhr,|,print,|,ltr,rtl,|,fullscreen”,

                theme_advanced_buttons4 : “insertlayer,moveforward,movebackward,absolute,|,styleprops,spellchecker,|,cite,abbr,acronym,del,ins,attribs,|,visualchars,nonbreaking,template,blockquote,pagebreak,|,insertfile,insertimage”,

                theme_advanced_toolbar_location : “top”,

                theme_advanced_toolbar_align : “left”,

                theme_advanced_statusbar_location : “bottom”,

                theme_advanced_resizing : true,

 

                // Example content CSS (should be your site CSS)

                content_css : “css/example.css”,

 

                // Drop lists for link/image/media/template dialogs

                template_external_list_url : “js/template_list.js”,

                external_link_list_url : “js/link_list.js”,

                external_image_list_url : “js/image_list.js”,

                media_external_list_url : “js/media_list.js”,

 

                // Replace values for the template plugin

                template_replace_values : {

                                username : “Some User”,

                                staffid : “991234”

                }

});

</script>

 

 

Step Two:

Write two JavaScript functions to handle Onload and button submit events:

Onload will load the generated HTML to Editor and On Submit will submit form and load Generated HTML back to crmForm.

function OnSubmit()

{   

    document.myform.submit();   

    window.parent.document.forms[0].all.end_content.DataValue = document.getElementById(‘content’).value;

}

 

function OnLoad()

{

    document.getElementById(‘content’).value = window.parent.document.forms[0].all.new_content.DataValue;

}

 

Step Three:

Place this page at ISV/ folder and use an IFRAME at the form where you want this editor to be visible. Set the IFRAME src to this aspx form and you all set to go.

 aaa

 

 

Generated HTML in crmForm control.

 aa

 

Let me know in case you need any assistance or suggestions.

xRM – Designing Survey Applications in Dynamics CRM

I have seen many people talking about designing survey applications in Dynamics CRM. I have analysed different approaches to design survey application and their integration with Dynamics CRM 4.0 during my stay at OA Systems.
  CRM survey comparison

Using WSS/MOSS 2007

WSS 3.0/MOSS 2007 provides a very comprehensive tool for planning, designing. Executing and analysing surveys. Following feature are provided out of the box in WSS/MOSS:
• Planning/Designing Survey
• Branching Survey
• Various Question Types
• Comprehensive analysis tool
• Executing survey

MOSS survey 1

MOSS survey 2

MOSS survey 3

MOSS survey 4

MOSS survey 5

Pros 

  1. Out of the box tools for Designing, Distributing, Executing and Analysis
  2. WSS 3.0 is Free so no Licensing Cost
  3. No Development Cost as its out of the box

Cons

  1. Data will be saved outside CRM
  2. Unavailability in offline client

WSS/MOSS survey can be integrated with MSCRM using IFRAME. This is a loose integration and data will be saved and presented in WSS/MOSS and not in CRM.

 Using InfoPath
Survey can be designed in InfoPath/Windows Form Server. InfoPath forms can be transmitted and rendered in IE. InfoPath Forms can collect information and save the survey response. This is also not ideal solution as data is saved in InfoPath forms and a comprehensive analysis tool needs to be developed.

infopath survey

Pros 

  1. Surveys can be designed in InfoPath
  2. Can be distributed using Online or by sending emails

 Cons 

  1. InfoPath required for Email Surveys
  2. Analysis tool needs to be developed for Response analysis and reporting

Custom Solution in CRM (xRM)
Custom solution can be developed with enough development effort. In this solution, survey is planned/designed and analysed in MSCRM but executed using Custom web application. This custom web application will be integrated in CRM or rendered online to execute Survey and collect survey response.

This solution provides access to survey data using web client, outlook online and outlook offline.

crm survey

Pros

  1. Available web, online and offline clients
  2. Fully supported and upgradable
  3. Executed through Custom Web application
  4. Survey Data and Response will be saved in Dynamics CRM

 Cons 

  1. Considerable development effort is required
  2. License is required in order to expose CRM data to non users

OA Systems Ltd

OA Systems are a specialist supplier of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Business Intelligence and Office Collaboration software and services including Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server.

Whether it’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Business Intelligence (BI), a successful deployment goes beyond just the software and its implementation. It requires a complete business strategy involving a number of factors: processes, technology and professional services.

Please comment or send your suggestions/issues at ayaz.ahmad at hotmail dot com.

Event on Many to Many Relationship (N:N) in CRM 4

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 does not expose any event when records are associated through N:N relationship. So if you want to perform some function when a record is associated to another record in N:N relationship, CRM simply excuses and you have to look into hacks and unsupported solutions.
Hack 1:
Aaron has come up with a solution to expose the Disassociate and Associate event using a SQL script. This is unsupported customization and Microsoft is not supporting these changes.
Hack 2:
Create a flag at the master entity named IsDirty and place that attribute at a hidden tab.
At onload event simply mark this attribute as true.
crmForm.all.oa_isdirty.DataValue = !crmForm.all.oa_isdirty.DataValue;
Now you can have an attribute that prompts user every time to save the form and you can plan a workflow or plugin that executes on update of this event.
This is a supported customization and can easily be upgragable.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 does not expose any event when records are associated through N:N relationship. So if you want to perform some function when a record is associated to another record in N:N relationship, CRM simply excuses and you have to look into hacks and unsupported solutions.

Hack 1:

There is a cool hack by Aaron at http://consulting.ascentium.com/blog/crm/Post533.aspx.

Aaron has come up with a solution to expose the Disassociate and Associate event using a SQL script. This is unsupported customization and Microsoft is not supporting these changes.

Hack 2:

Create a flag at the master entity named IsDirty and place that attribute at a hidden tab.

IsDirtyFlag

 

  At onload event simply mark this attribute as true.

crmForm.all.new_isdirty.DataValue = !crmForm.all.new_isdirty.DataValue;

Now you can have an attribute that prompts user every time to save the form and you can plan a workflow or plugin that executes on update of this event.

This is a supported customization and can easily upgraded.

Synchronous Matchcode Generation – Duplicate Detection in Dynamics CRM 4

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 provides a Duplicate Detection feature to protect the quality of your data. Duplicate Detection rules can be defined for different record types, including custom entities, and can be defined across record types as well.

In background a matchcode service is running and creating/updating matchcode for new/existing records. This matchcode will be matched to detect duplicates. Matchcode service runs asynchronously after 5 minutes and create/updates matchcode. So any record that is inserted within 5 minutes of time will not be detected. This happens only when you insert record within less than 5 minutes of time or before generation of matchcode. This results in no warning message for duplicate records even though duplicate record exists according to duplicate rules.

There is no way to persist matchcodes synchronously when records are created/updated through the UI, without writing extra code. So here are few recommendations to do so.

  1. A workaround is to Import data (Tools->Import), and choose the option to prevent creation of duplicate records. This will create the matchcodes for all imported records synchronously.
  2. You can force the creation of a matchcode at the time of record create/update by including the PersistInSyncOptionalParameter in the Create/Update request and setting its value to ‘True’. A code snippet that includes the optional parameter in a CreateRequest is as follows:
    CreateRequest request = new CreateRequest();
    request.OptionalParameters = new OptionalParameter[] { new PersistInSyncOptionalParameter (true) };

  3. You can write a plugin for this at Create and Update message. Beware to silent your plugin by setting Context to null.

if (context.Depth <= 1)
                {
                    if ((message.ToLower() == “create”))
                    {
                        DynamicEntity entity = (DynamicEntity)context.InputParameters.Properties[ParameterName.Target];

                        TargetCreateDynamic createdynamic = new TargetCreateDynamic();
                        createdynamic.Entity = entity;                      

                        CreateRequest request = new CreateRequest();
                        request.Target = createdynamic;
                        request.OptionalParameters = new OptionalParameter[] { new PersistInSyncOptionalParameter(true) };

                        CreateResponse response = (CreateResponse)service.Execute(request);
                    }
                }
                context = null;

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