Posts Tagged ‘Configuration & Deployement’

VPC Development Environment for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Projects

After collapse of my QA server, I have been searching for various developments environment options for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 projects. As per my findings and discussion with other peer developers, most of them are using Virtual PC images for their development tasks. This is also recommended by Microsoft and a download at Microsoft website regarding VPC image is also available.  This will benefit in various ways: 

  1. Developers will not be dependant on other developers in performing their Customization tasks at the same time. In this way overlapping of customizations done by developers can refrained.
  2. In case of multiple clients, it’s the ideal option as we are not going to setup our QA server and Development Server for every client.
  3. Building new test environment will be a Zero copy deployment.
  4. One has the options to cut down Development Server cost by just adding more RAM to developer PCs.
  5. One can test various components developed by other vendors with no impact over our QA server and Development server.
  6. One can test various integration scenarios with no impact over QA and Development Server.
  7. Maintaining Microsoft Dynamics CRM server would be just as easy as importing and exporting Customizations to fresh VPC image.

If you have any issues regarding VPC please do comment. Thanks!

Snap-ins for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0

Snap-in applications enable you and your people to work within the familiar environments of Microsoft Office applications, such as Microsoft Office Outlook, Word, Excel, and SharePoint Server. Microsoft Dynamics Snap is a collection of products for Microsoft Office 2003/2007 users to work with certain Microsoft Dynamics applications. Snap-ins allow Microsoft Office users to interact with data and business processes from Microsoft Dynamics applications as they create documents, collaborate and manage their calendar—all without having to leave Microsoft Office.  The following Microsoft Dynamics Snap for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 applications are available today in Technical Pre-release and are distributed under the Microsoft Permissive License.  Microsoft partners can easily extend and customize the applications, and even use components within applications they’ve developed. 

  • Business Data Search
  • Business Data Lookup
  • Custom Report Generator
  • Customer Journal

For more information, please look at: 

MSCRM – External Connector License

Integrating your CRM system with external world is a tricky business.  For example if you need to gather customer information from your website and populate in your CRM system as leads you need an external connector license. This License is required to view, manipulate and query data by non-CRM user. 

If you want to share Microsoft CRM data with external users such as your customers or partners, you can purchase an External Connector License that allows you to share Microsoft CRM data with an unlimited number of third-party users and systems.  

By using the External Connector License, you do not need to purchase a user license (create an Active Directory Account) for each external user. For example, you can create and external Web Site that lets customer log on and retrieve Microsoft CRM data real time. You could also create a special Web site for your partners to enter and update Microsoft CRM data. You need and External Connector license for every server required to support external access.

For more information, please look into this post:

Are you ready for daylight saving time changes?

This year, daylight savings time in the U.S. and Canada will start earlier (March 11, 2007) and end later than years past.  

You may face following problems in your MSCRM Server:

  • When you view appointments or tasks in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web client or in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM client for Microsoft Office Outlook, the appointments and the tasks may be scheduled one hour ahead of or one hour behind the actual scheduled time.
  •  Some activities and some resources in the service calendar in Microsoft Dynamics CRM may be may be scheduled one hour ahead of or one hour behind the actual scheduled time.
  • You may experience an issue when you schedule resources by using the service calendar. For example, a resource that is listed in the calendar may be scheduled one hour ahead of or one hour behind the actual scheduled time.

For complete steps to successful implementation of DST changes at Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, please look into details at: 

Followings are the Product listing affected by DST changes: 

Product Family No Update Needed Update Available
Windows Server   Windows Server 2003 SP1
Windows Server 2003
Windows 2000 Advanced Server Service Pack 4
Windows Embedded for Point of Service
Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs
Windows Client Windows
Windows XP Home SP2
Windows XP Professional SP2
Exchange Server Exchange Server 2007 Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2
Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1
Exchange Server 2003 Lotus Notes Connector
Exchange Server 2000
Exchange Conferencing Server 2000
Outlook   Outlook 2007
Outlook 2003
Outlook 2002 (Outlook XP)
Outlook 2000
Windows SharePoint Services Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Windows SharePoint Services 2.0
SQL Server Notification Services   SQL Server 2005 Notification Services
SQL Server 2000 Notification Services
Office Live Meeting   Office Live Meeting
Dynamics CRM   Dynamics CRM 3.0 (as of March 2007)
Visual SourceSafe   Visual SourceSafe 2005 and 6.0d
Windows CE   Windows CE-based devices
Entourage   Entourage

For in detail solution to your product please look into this MSDN support center:

Callouts Vs Workflows?

Following guidelines can help you decide when to use a callout versus a workflow assembly:

Use callouts

  •  To alter data prior to submission to the platform.
  •  To take action after an update to an entity. (Workflow does not provide an easy trigger mechanism for the update event.).
  • When you need a synchronous transaction and an immediate response.
  • To take action before or after the merging of two records or the deletion of a record.
  • When accessing custom entities that are organization-owned. Workflow can be used only on entities that have user ownership.

Use workflow

  • For all asynchronous actions—transactions that can be completed without having the user wait for their completion. A typical asynchronous action might be to send an e-mail message after some condition is met. The user usually wouldn’t have to wait until the system created and sent the message.
  • For simple common tasks. The Workflow Manager has a list of actions, already built and available for use, that requires no custom application development. Available actions include creating new records (such as Activities or Notes), sending e-mail messages, and updating values on related entities.
  • To allow more configuration options to the user who is creating the workflow logic. Because the user builds the workflow rule with the rule editor, he or she can also alter it without necessarily requiring programmatic interaction.
  • When you need a user to manually execute the necessary logic.