Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19 Blog Review

Welcome everyone! This is the last Blog Review of 2015! Where did the year go??

To start off, everyone must be sure to check out the Q4 CRMUG Magazine (look at page 33 especially)! I was honored to have been chosen as the volunteer of the quarter because of this very blog!

This week Hitachi Solutions continued their 12 Days of CRMas discussing CRM 2015 features. Here are a few days to check out:

Stop Sync Grinch – In CRM 2015 you can configure the sync pipe so you can control which fields sync between CRM and exchange. This can prevent CRM data from being overwritten by incorrect phone data. Keep in mind that with Server Side Sync, changes to the appointment will automatically be sent out to the customer. That means your notes could be sent out, even those recorded after the meeting. This is also discussed in the CRM Tip of the Day (Prevent meeting notes from going to customers).

Business Process Flows: The Gift that keeps on Giving! – this talks about the enhancements to Business Process Flows including improved look and feel, branching, and being able to loop back to entities multiple times.

Rollups Help Santa with Naughty/Nice Conundrum – This works through an example of using Rollup fields to compare the number of good things you did this year to the number of bad things. You can continue to learn about Rollup Fields in Jukka Niiranen’s Analyzing Customer Behavior Data with CRM 2015 Rollup Fields.

Related to Rollup fields are Calculated Fields. To learn more check out Leon Tribe’s MVP Blog – CRM 2015 Calculated Fields.

PowerObjects released a good tip – Email Attachments Related to an Opportunity Record in Dynamics CRM. This walks through how to use the Sales Literature area to store documents at the Opportunity level.

CRM Tip of the Day posted a few good tips as well. Check out Security Needed to Pick and Route Queue items which discusses the change in 2015 from “Work On” to “Pick”. Pick does not just changed the Worked By field but also updates the Assignment of the item. Also take a look at Going Personal with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing which talks about the MDM product and data security.

The Microsoft CRM Team Blog released the CRM Basic Training ebook this week. This is a downloadable ebook that quickly teaches users what they need to know. You can download this and customize to fit your business needs.

For those upgrading to CRM 2015, be sure to read Sonoma Partners’ blog on Unsupported Customizations in CRM 2015. This gives you some things to check for in your system before you upgrade.


That’s all for today. Have a great weekend and happy holidays!

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 12 Blog

Keep warm by the fire tonight and read up on the CRM blogs of the week.

PowerObjects had a good tip in Setting Visibility of a Business Process Flow with JavaScript in CRM 2015. This allows you to show and hide the Business Process Flow ribbon by using a yes/no field.

PowerObejcts also gave on overview of the Enhanced Business Rules for CRM 2015. This includes the addition of branching and a change so the rules are executed server side so that workflows and plugins cannot get around your logic.

Hitachi Solutions has been working through the 12 days of CRMas to go through CRM 2015’s new features, I will just highlight a few here. On the 2nd day they discussed Hierarchical Security which allows you to define your security based on position, moving a user to a new position can then impact their security. On the 3rd day, we learned about CRM 2015 Custom Help. This talks about the new customization options to provide help and instruction for your users. On the 5th day of CRMas my true love gave to me EASIER SEARCH OPTIONS. This is talking about the new Global search feature and how to configure it as well as how the Advanced Find button is now included in the top navigation ribbon.

Finally, we have a few quick tips from the CRM Tip of the Day. Check out Entities not available for CRM for Tablets to get a good list of what you can and cannot display and edit through the tablet interface. They also presented the idea of Creating a Limited Customizer Role. The example discusses creating a role to allow users to create system charts but not touch other customization but this same principle can be applied in other areas. You can create roles to allow certain users to view/manage processes and system jobs but not do any customization or you can allow users to view everything in “Customize the System” but not allow them to delete or modify anything. It’s great to limit these permissions especially in your production environment. You don’t need to worry about them messing something up if you don’t give them access to!


Have a great weekend folks!

Friday, December 5, 2014

December 5 Blog Review

Welcome back to the CRM Blog Review. Only a few more editions until the end of the year!

While all of us were away eating turkey CRM 2015 was released here are all the blogs to tell you what to do:
First, get all the links and information from either Hitachi Solutions (CRM Server 2015 Released and Available for Download) or Chris Cognetta (CRM 2015 has been released)
Then look at scheduling and your upgrade options with PowerObjects (Scheduling you Dynamics 2015 Online Update) and Hitachi Solutions (CRM 2015 Upgrade Options)
Next learn more about the new features with Chris Cognetta (Training & Adoption Kit for CRM), Microsoft (MDM 2015 Update Content is here!) and Sonoma Partners (CRM 2015 Sales Module Enhancements).

If you still want to learn more – PowerObject’s is offering a Webinar Series: Get Ready for Dynamics CRM 2015

Hitachi Solution also provided a great reference for people just setting up their CRM or those determining if they need to make a change in their post CRM – Online vs. On Premise Decision Matrix.


That’s all I have for today. Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 21 Blog Review

It was a fairly quiet week in the CRM world. Everyone is busy working to be done before the holidays. Let’s take a look at some of the top posts.

PowerObjects taught us about Calculated Fields in Dynamics CRM 2015. This walks through an example to show you how to set up Calculated Fields.

Adam Vero posted a blog about his experience as a CRMUG member. Take a look if you are interested in what it means to be involved with CRMUG, lead a chapter meeting, and be an MVP at Summit.

CRM Tip of the Day also posted several helpful tips:



That’s all I have for today. Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 14 Blog Review

Let’s jump right in to the CRM news of the week!

PowerObjects posted Keeping Afloat with CRM System Requirements for Dynamics CRM. This goes through the dynamics related products and the support dates that you need to be aware of.

PowerObjects also blogged about Understanding Global Option Sets. This describes what Global Option Sets are and how to create them.

Several new videos were highlighted this week. Adam Vero takes a look at CRM 2015 videos from the MS Product Team. These are more technical videos focusing on new functionality available in CRM 2015. Hitachi Solutions also highlighted a video, CRM 2015: Every Interaction Matters. This is an ad from Microsoft showing the value of using the integrated Microsoft products and what we can expect in the future.

Adam Vero also blogged about Modifying Dashboard properties in CRM 2015. In CRM 2013 the properties button was removed when editing dashboards so you could not change the description once the dashboard was initially created. This is corrected in 2015 and you have the option to enable multiple dashboards for tablets.

Jukka Niiranen recapped his top 2013 blogs in CRM 2013 in Retrospect. This is a great way to remember the most-exciting features of 2013 before our focus shifts to 2015.

Let’s finish off with some CRM Tips of the day:



Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 7 Blog Review

It was a busy week in the CRM world so let’s jump right in.

First of all, Microsoft published the CRM 2015 Prerelease content. This will give you all the information you need to start planning your 2015 update.

Hitatchi Solutions was also talking about CRM 2015. They blogged about the CRM for your Business ad which shows how you will be able to use CRM along with the social listening and marketing components in the future.

Hitachi Solutions also showed us how to create Duration Calculations in CRM with Little or No Customizations. This utilizes a new custom entity and a workflow to calculate the days or minutes between two dates.

PowerObjects highlighted Marketing features in What’s New for Marketing in CRM: Fall 2014 – Part 2. (We looked at Part 1 last week.) This looks at Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Microsoft Social Listening.

McGladrey discussed CRM 2013 errors in Google Chrome. This is related to Google Chrome no longer supporting the JavaScript method showModalDialog(). Their recommendation – “when in doubt, user Internet Explorer.” I tend to agree.

Finally, CRM Tip of the Day posted a few great tips to keep in mind. Globally Manage User Setting in CRM discusses how to use the XRM Toolbox to easily manage user settings all in one place. Prevent Export to Excel By Entity talked about using the Ribbon Workbench to essentially prevent users from Exporting to Excel for specific entities.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, October 31, 2014

October 31 Blog Review

Happy Halloween! It’s time for some CRM Treats and hopefully no tricks.

PowerObjects posted about What’s New for Marketing in CRM: Fall 2014. Read to learn about the new CRM features coming for marketers.

CRM Tip of the Day wrote a tip about Updating Fields on Disabled Records. This describes how you can update disabled records using Export for re-import.

CRM Tip of the Day also posted about Unconditional Business Rules. This talks about how you can make Business Rules that always fire.

Exciting tip from Julie Yack – You can now disable the First Things First lady.

Just a quick recap today so we can all go eat some candy!

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24 Blog Review

Everything is settling back in after the excitement of CRMUG Summit last week. If you were not able to be there, make sure you check out my recap blogs (Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3). Let’s see what happened over the last few weeks in CRM.

PowerObjects talked about CRM 2013 Data Import Templates. This walks through how to export the desired import template and import it back into CRM. This is a great way to get data into your system quickly and easily.

PowerObjects also posted about Assigning System Views Based on Security Roles. This talks about a codeplex toll that allows you to set which views are visible by Security Role.

CRM Tip of the Day asked Where do you see Advanced Find View? A commonly forgotten system view is the “Advanced Find View”. This is used to customize what is see when a user opens up Advanced Find for that entity (if not opening from an existing view of course). This can be a great way to help users save time when they are building their views.

Jukka Niianen posted this blog – Don’t Merge your Forms in CRM 2013. This discusses the issues with the Merge form features and encourages you to use this opportunity to optimize your forms for 2013 instead of just matching your old forms.

C5 Insight wrote about their white paper: 4 Reasons your CRM is Failing. This describes the common reasons CRM projects fail and what to do about it.


Have a great weekend folks!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Summit 2014: Day 3 Takeaways

Last day! So much information! There is no way to capture all the important information (especially since I can only be in one place at a time), so be sure to review the slides if you have access and watch the encore webinars when they occur.

Charting you Can’t do out of the Box – Adam Vero
Before you start working ask: Who? What? When? Where (Device, Resolution)?
Tools: Blank paper and pencil or white board and colored pens (get buy-in, determine how it will look); Notepad, Notepad++ or Visual Studio
Goal: “Use simple charts in clever ways”
Method: build what you can with out of the box tools, export, edit, reimport and repeat. Keep in mind if you “Keep Both” on your initial import you will need to export the newly created chart because it has a new GUID.
To save space, make the chart title descriptive so we can remove the axis labels.
You can easily change colors in the XML by listing the RGB values, if you give 4 numbers instead of 3 the first number will set the transparency.
Errors on chart import: Invalid XML means missing < > or similar issue, Specific error probably means a property name is incorrect (generally must be Camel Case).
Use ToolTips to display data on demand. Can be used for information or values. Keep in mind the values cannot be formatted.
“Palette Shift” – colors are assigned in order, not related to the data. You can fix this by using multiple series rather than 2nd category. Filter each series by value.

Upgrading CRM Panel – Chris Cognetta, Bob Kanzler, David Goff
Scope
You can postpone updating your 2011 forms but it is recommended that you do this with the upgrade so you do not need to train twice. The forms must be updated before moving to SP1.
Form merge feature will include all default fields plus your form. Recommendation is to start with blank new form and add all your fields to it.
Do not add new functionality with the upgrade. Wait before deploying Business Process Flows. You can use new functionality to replace existing code (replace JS with Business Rules) but do not add new features.
When going live, go right to the latest!
Business Process rules will probably continue to be improved and eventually replace dialogs.
Test ISVs and Integrations in Dev/Test environments.

Outlook Add-in
CRM 2013 for Outlook does not support Citrx (may work but not supported, no longer part of documentation)

Resource Challenges
Need FULL TIME Project Manager
IT must be involved in day to day, do not just let partner do it. They must be able to provide support starting day 1.

Requirements
Try to freeze development during the upgrade. If fields are added in both places, those fields are NOT the same (different GUIDs). This can cause an error when importing solutions.

Testing and Training Plans
Use front-line users as testers.
Custom security roles will not be upgraded (they will not include new 2013 permissions). Recommendation to resolve is remove custom roles, go back to Out of the box roles and trim down permissions as necessary.

Tips from the CRM Tipsters – George Doubinski, Gus Gonzalez, Joel Lindstrom, Jerry Weinstock
Check out the daily tips at www.CRMTipOfTheDay.com and submit your tips at jar@CRMTipOfTheDay.com
Tip #92 – review cascading relationships to evaluate and understand behavior.
Tip #158 – review Security Roles when you upgrade. Do a full review. Start with Out of the Box roles and trim them down. There is a codeplex tool to determine what roles people have. May want to hire a developer to write a tool to replace old roles with the new roles. Do NOT ever modify built in roles, make a copy and edit there.
Tip #121-125 – Workflows and Wait conditions. Be careful using “waiting” workflows because these are always running. When using wait, separate into parent/child workflows where the Child is called after the wait condition. Also be careful with “Canceled” – only use when something must be done.
Tip #84 – To resolve date issues across multiple time zones set the time to 10:59 AM UTC. This will cover most of the world.

The Confidence Code – Kelly Rosvold
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Sit at the table – be a participant not a spectator
Don’t leave before you leave – commit until you can’t, don’t step back too soon
Making your partner a real partner – give up control and let your partner support and help you
Check out: Lean In Circles to find support in your community

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay, Claire Shipman

Learn to be confident by: Failing Fast (take risks, fail smaller), Acting instead of holding back, practice making decisions, self compassion for missteps, move on!, banish negative automatic thoughts, reframe

Summit 2014: Day 2 Takeaways

Sorry for the delay in Day 2 and 3 takeaways, I determined sleep was slightly more important. So let’s get caught back up.

BPM and Process Automation in CRM 2013 – Gus Gonzalez
Always keep in mind the following: (Admin rule #1) keep it simple and (Admin rule #2) check if something already exists before creating a new one.
Sales teams that adopt a sales process experience a 35% higher win rate than those with a random process.
Think about bottlenecks in your current process to find ways to automate.

Business Process Flows
Microsoft has provided Business Processes for download that you can use as a starting point (Settings -> Data Management -> Add Ready to Use Business Processes).
Required fields in the Business Process are only required to pass that stage. If they are passed that stage when the change is made, the field will not be required unless they go back.
2011 BPFs do not upgrade to 2013. In2013, you can only move to child records and then back to the parent as the last stage (closed loop).
There are many enhancements in 2015 including Conditional Branching.

Real-Time Workflows
You can leverage the “Run as” option to run as either the owner of the workflow or the user that caused the workflow to fire. Keep in mind that they will need to have access to do what the workflow is doing.
If the workflow is stopped as canceled you can return a message to the user.
Best Practice: always start workflows with a check condition.

Business Rules
Limited to one entity (cannot search parent records like in workflows).
Benefit over JavaScript is that the dependencies are automatically tracked.
If an error is returned it is displayed in a small bar, Real Time Workflows display a large pop-up error.

Actions
Actions are like workflows but called from code.
Easy to administer, allow changes without a developer.
Can be created to be used on multiple entities.

Bonus: for Duplicate Detection check out Jason Lattimer’s tool that will prevent duplicates from being created.

Partner Showcase: FastPath – Security, Audit and Compliance – Andy Snook, Nate Boettcher
FastPath provides a variety of tools to check who is editing or even just viewing data. They also have tools to help standardize and automatically assign security roles and teams.
They handle the auditing using SQL triggers on tables and add this to a custom table on the CRM server which is moved to their database overnight.

CRM 2013 Email Architecture – Gustaf Westerlund
If you have questions about your sync options check out this whole presentation for the pros and cons of each method.
Server Side Sync – [Incoming Email] cannot do “Set Regarding” so Outlook Client is still required; uses exchange web services; part of Async service; probably future investment. [Appointment/Contact/Task] filters are hard to set, some scenarios not supported, still a new technology and tracing could be better.
Custom/3rd party program – keep in mind this will need to keep up with Microsoft Development
Note – beware of blacklisting. This can be a problem if you are sending large volumes of emails from your personal Outlook or the CRM server.

Outlook Client Troubleshooting – Derek Braun, Jon Bimbaum
When tracing the Outlook client the following types of traces can be generated: (1) OUTLOOK-CLIENT (Outlook Nav, Manual Tracking), (2) WebFormsHost-bin (web forms in Outlook), (3) crm-addin (Background synchronization), (4) ETL Tracking (event tracing) and (5) Configuration Wizard (more details than config log file).
If duplicate items are being created check the crmid (text) and crmlinkstate (number) in Outlook.
If an issue with Appointment/Contact/Task – check the SubscriptionSyncIssue table using the Outlook sync subscription ID.
If an email appears tracked but is not in CRM, use the “View in CRM” button to determine if it has been deleted.
Tools you will need: Fiddler, Debug Diagnostics (automated crash/hang analytics), Diagnostics Tracing, Notepadd++

Resources you can use for the Spring ’14 Release – Jackie Smith, Jim Daly
All help for CRM 2013 and beyond can be found at www.CRMCustomerCenter.com
On Tech Net pages there is an “Other Versions” selector near the top of the page if you want to see the page for a different version.
Through the customer center you can download training and adoption kits. These are customizable presentations, quick videos, etc.

For developers, all resources are linked to the CRMDeveloperCenter.com

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Summit 2014: Day 1 Takeaways

I am going to try my best to summarize what I learned on Day 1 of Summit. There was so much more information but I could not possibly process it let alone try to put it into coherent sentences. (But of course the most important piece to note is that Tony Stein called me out in the CRMUG General Session and told everyone to read my blog!!!)

Upgrading CRM – Chris Cognetta
 2015 is more like an R2 version of 2013. It is just additional features so more like an update than an upgrade.
Today 95% of CRM deployments are virtualized. This is great for Security, Disaster Recovery, etc.
Upgrade Checklist:
1.      Review upgrade path
2.      Review infrastructure set up, current users, DB Size, etc.
3.      Review User Access (web, Outlook Client, Mobile, IFD)
4.      Review usage of Jscript for security, sub grids, and web service calls
5.      Review SDK enhancements for plugins or workflow assemblies
6.      Review integrations with 3rd party IVS
7.      Review data integrations with scribe, SSIS, etc.
8.      Review data for decision on upgrade or reload
Rollup Rules: Read (make sure there is something you want), Wait (stay 1 behind)

Opening General Session: CRM 2015 – Jujhar Singh
Product Growth – Customer Service, Social Listening, Marketing and acquisition of Capptain (mobile marketing)
Sales productivity solution from Microsoft: Zero In -> Win Faster -> Sell More
Check out these slides about the future enhancements:





Techie Talk: Upgrading Complex Systems –Alex Fagundes, Jerry Weinstock
Upgrading is not a strategy, it’s a tactical exercise
CRM 2013/2015 is about 40% more efficient than CRM 2011 because of the consolidated tables.
On Premise Upgrade Scenarios: (1) In Place, (2) Connect to existing, (3) [RECOMMENDED} Side by Side
Some codeplex tools to check out to enhance your 2013 experience: (1) One Click Navigation, (2) Quickview Menu, (3) Quick Navigation

Partner Showcase: Resco Glass, wearable CRM – Ivan Stano
They have a working version of a CRM App for Google Glass – so cool!

Security and Performance – Adam Vero
Try to use a layered security model – start with a base role for all users, add roles for specific functions that ONLY contain the additional privileges
Security Roles assigned to teams are giving access based on the team (BU access would be the BU of the team NOT the user)
Access Teams are still regular teams and sharing but they remove the admin overhead of team creation. They are easier for users because they do not need to use the Share dialog and choose permissions.
Owner teams have security roles. Access teams do not have security roles.
If the Access team template is modified, this will not change any existing shares. It will only affect shares from that point forward.
When creating new lookup fields remember you are creating the RELATIONSHIP. You must think about and configure the cascading behavior.
Cascading Options for Delete:
1.      Cascade All – Kill all the orphans
2.      Remove Link – create orphan records
3.      Restrict – prevent orphan records

Friday, October 10, 2014

October 10 Blog Review

There are only a few more days before CRMUG Summit so next week will be full of news! Let’s see what has been going on this week.

The CRM Team posted – Looking for help for the CRM product family. This has lots of links to help, information and blogs about the different Dynamics CRM products (CRM, Marketing, Social Listening). This is a great resource to keep handy.

McGladrey posted two blogs about their takeaways from eXtream CRM 2014. What to Expect for CRM 2015 goes over the key features and functionality we can expect to be seeing in the next version. Then Looking beyond CRM 2015 talks about Microsoft’s vision and the things we can expect to see highlighted in the development of future products.

There were two CRM Tips that I would like to highlight today:
  • The Undo Button – this discusses the functionality of Jason Lattimer’s Audit undo solution which allows you to roll back changes on your form to an earlier audit record.
  • My Workflow is my business – here you can learn about the impact of the scope field on a workflow to segment your business processes or for use in testing.


CRM in the Field posted CRM Outlook Client Performance Troubleshooting and Optimization Guide. This goes through everything you need to look at and know when troubleshooting problems with CRM for Outlook.

Donna Edwards started her compilation of CRM 2015 Helpful Resources. Refer to this when you begin the process of upgrading to 2015 and find all the information you need.

Adam Vero posted a compilation of CRM 2015 YouTube Videos. This features three videos from Microsoft about what to expect in CRM 2015. The topics consist of Upgrading (must be on CRM 2013 SP1 to upgrade), Field Level Security (now for built-in fields!!), and Business Process Flow Improvements.

Finally, PowerObjects talked about the CRM 2013 Performance Center. This describes how to use this new functionality (2013 SP1) and how to review the data.


That’s all for today. Have a great weekend and I hope to see you at Summit!

Friday, October 3, 2014

October 3 Blog Review

Somehow it has become fall. Even though it is getting colder, the CRM news keeps coming. Let’s take a look at the news and blogs from this past week.

PowerObjects discusses Importing and Updating Records in CRM 2013. This talks about how to update records if you cannot use the Export/re-import functionality.

Hitachi Solutions also talked about CRM 2013 in The Best Little CRM 2013 Feature you might not Know what to do with: Timers. This discusses the timer feature release with 2013 service pack 1 and how to use it.

The CRM in the Field Blog blogged about Table Bloat Due to Workflow Log Entries. This talks about issues related to workflow history retention and what you can do about it.

Leon Tribe discusses Bringing Graphs Down to the Record Level. If you have ever wanted a graph on a record form – now you can learn how to do it!

Finally, Jukka Niiranen talked about 10 tips for Designing a Great User Experience in Dynamics CRM. Use these tips to increase user adoption and help your users enjoy the system experience.

That’s all for today. Have a great weekend!


Originally posted here:

Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26 Blog Review

I feel there are so many versions of CRM being discussed currently, we need to break up all news by version.

Applies to All Versions

CRM Tip of the Day discusses how to keep your users from becoming Overwhelmed with Reminders when first setting up CRM for Outlook.

CRM Tip of the Day also talked about how to use Privileges to Hide Site Map areas. This can be used to hide a particular entity from the Site Map, or a whole area (such as Settings).

CRM 2011 News

Rollup 18 was announced for CRM 2011. Please review the Knowledgebase, Download Page, and Blog.

CRM in the Field discusses Troubleshooting Workflows. This gives an overview of processes in CRM 2011 and then lists the steps to work through when you are having issues.

CRM 2013 News

Rollup 1 for CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 was announced. Check out the Knowledgebase, Download Page,
and Blog.

CRM 2015 News

PowerObjects discusses SLA Enhancements for CRM 2015 focusing on the ability to pause the SLA when the case is put on hold

PowerObjects also posted CRM 2015 to Feature Improved Search Capabilities. This goes over the new Multi-entity search which will be available in the web client (not just mobile as before).

CRM Team blogs talks about Creating Custom Help for your Users. In CRM 2015, instead of linking to the Microsoft help we can link directly to internal help sites allowing users to see what to do within our business processes.

Sonoma Partners shows of the CRM 2015 Calculated and Rollup Fields. Quick Note before you get too excited is that the field type of simple (regular), Calculated or Rollup must be set when the field is created. So if you want to migrate some existing code to use this instead you may need to migrate some data as well. There is a great list of limitations at the bottom of the blog to help give you a well-rounded view of the feature.

Sonoma Partners also discussed the CRM 2015 Enhanced Business Processes. This goes over the changes and also the limitations to keep in mind.


There was lots of news this week as the CRM 2015 announcement began to sink in. Hopefully I captured the highlights today. Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, September 19, 2014

September 19 Blog Review

Welcome to another CRM Blog Review. Remember today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day so read up and then go get your Free Donuts!

The biggest news this week was the announcement that CRM 2015 will be available early next year! To get all the information you can read the Announcement, Blog and read the Release Preview Guide.

While the presses were still hot with the news, several blogs were published showing off the new features. Check Out:


Amid all of this excitement the Premier Field Engineers of the CRM in the Field blog still managed to post Administering Dynamics CRM. This goes through many resources to help you maintain your CRM system.

Leon Tribe talked about Seeing your CRM 2011 System in CRM 2013. This describes how to set up a CRM 2013 environment and get an idea for how your customizations will look there.


That’s all I want to highlight tonight. Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2014

September 12 Blog Review

We are now almost less than a month away from CRMUG Summit. My CRM Nerd self has been already reviewing the Agenda and planning the sessions I will attend. You do not need to register for each session but you can mark the ones you plan on attending for future reference. It looks like a good variety of sessions and technical levels. I hope to see all of you there!

Now to the topic at hand – CRM news of the week!

We will start off with PowerObject’s, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Dynamics CRM Implementations. This goes over the things you need to get in order as you plan your CRM implementation. This can apply to new implementations or upgrades. It focuses on planning, security and movie references.

Hitachi Solutions discusses Microsoft Dynamics CRM Rapid Release Cycle and Why you Should Try to Keep Up. This talks about Microsoft’s update plan, why you should keep your system up to date, and some items to keep in mind when you do. One interesting comment is in regards to how upgrades have changed over the years and how CRM 2013 may be the last “traditional” upgrade. We may continue with incremental updates as the system continues to adapt to support new technologies instead of large new versions every few years.

Also there are a few Tips of the Day to check out:



That’s all the news I have to pass on today. Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5 Blog Review

Apparently it is September. So now it is back busy fall work, even though I believe the summer was just as busy but more sunny. Let’s see what was happening in the CRM world this week.

PowerObjects posted Create a List of Values for Workflow Check Conditions in CRM 2013. This talks through the different options you can use in workflows to set up an OR condition. This is especially helpful when working with long lists of values that need to be “OR-ed”.

Hitatchi Solutions wrote CRM 2013 Performance: Form/View Load Analyzer. This discusses the new analyzer included in Service Pack 1 that allows you to track form loads.

CRM Tip of the day blogged about Upgrading Behind the Scenes forms. This specifically discusses the importance of updating your Team form when you upgrade to CRM 2013.

CRM Tip of the Day also posted about When CRM for Tablets last Synced Metadata. If your mobile users are not seeing recent customizations, you can follow these directions to determine when they last downloaded customizations and resolve the issue.

McGladrey blogged about the CRM 2013 Data Import Limitations. This article goes over some of the common questions that come up about the built in data import capabilities and limitations. Although it is written for 2013, the same information applies to 2011.


That’s all for today. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 28 Blog Review

It has been a quiet week in the CRM blog world as everyone prepares for the long weekend. Let’s see what has been going on.

PowerObjects wrote about Editing XML Charts in Dynamics CRM 2013. This goes through how to export your charts and update them to fit your specific needs.

Hitachi Solutions blogged about Adding CRM Shortcuts in Outlook in Windows 8 – previously you could simply drag your CRM folders up to the Favorites, since you can no longer do this they developed a workaround to make CRM easier to access.

CRM Tip of the Day posted how to Make Dashboards More Touch Friendly. This gives some ideas on how to help users who use an iPad to look at their CRM dashboards.

If those iPad users are having trouble accessing CRM you should check out Jukka Niiranen’s Troubleshooting CRM for Tablets Login Issues with ADFS.


That’s it. Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 22, 2014

August 22 Blog Review

Let’s check out the CRM news from this week!

CRM Tip of the Day had a series of blogs this week about the Spring ’14 features. They compiled some great videos on: Mobile, Sandbox Instances, Developer Features, Service and Cases, and Other Stuff.

Hitachi Solutions walked through How to Change the Tiles on the Menu using the Sitemap Editor. This shows how to remove tiles you don’t need to make it easier for your users to navigate.

Hitachi Solutions also talked about Lessons Learned using Business Rules in CRM 2013. This walks through situations that are good cases for Business Rules as well as when you should consider a different option.

Also related to Business Rules, McGladrey posted Business Rules in CRM 2013 are missing One Key Feature. This goes of the limitation that Business Rules will only run on forms that have already been saved.


That’s all for today. Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 15 Blog Review

Let’s take a quick look at the CRM news and blogs that came out this week.

Dynamics Café posted 7 Social Listening Tips for Customer Service. Fred Studer talks through tips on how to keep your organization’s social strategy on track including empowering employees and creating a social media policy.

A common trouble administrators have is ensuring their Development environment matches production. PowerObjects talks through How to Create a Copy of a Poduction Instance in Dynamics CRM Online. This describes the process of replicating production in a development environment for CRM 2013 online, through Office 365.

If you need to do more intense analytics than available with the built in options of Charts, Advanced Find, and Reports you can try Exporting Dynamic Pivot Tables out of Dynamics CRM (Thanks again PowerObjects). This walks through how to create a PivotTable from your CRM data and how this can be dynamically updated from CRM.

One of the exciting features of CRM 2013 is the Business Process Flows that can move between entities. Hitachi Solutions discusses Dynamics CRM Cross-Entity Business Process Flow. This discusses a Lead to Opportunity sales process, some items to keep in mind and notes on what the process is actually doing. An important consideration that is highlighted is how this affects your existing records – what will happen for records that are already mid-way through the sales process but at the beginning of the process flow?

Joel Lindstrom of Hitachi Solutions was involved in the CRM 2013 Quick Start book. He posted an excerpt from the book on Quick View Forms on the Hitachi Solutions blog. This discusses the benefit of using Quick View forms and some important information to remember.

All of the new developments in social and marketing are very exciting but it can be difficult to find the information that you need. Leon Tribe compiled all this information into Getting Demos for Social Listening and Dynamics Marketing.

Let’s finish up by looking at a couple CRM Tips of the Day from this week:
  • Don’t forget the Cascading – security is more than the Security Role. Also check the relationship properties on the entity to see what kinds of permissions are cascading.
  • Understanding Upgrade Options – another excerpt from Joel Lindstrom and the CRM 2013 Quick Start Guide. This walks through the CRM 2011 to CRM 2013 upgrade options and the benefits and risks of each.



That’s all for today.

Friday, August 8, 2014

August 8 Blog Review

Two weeks to review this week.  Let’s take a quick look at the tips and tricks that have been floating around about CRM.

PowerObjects posted a great tip to help you tell the difference between your DEV and LIVE environments. Check out How-to: Change the Default Blue Color in CRM.

CRM Tip of the Day had several great tips worth checking out:
  • Recurring Goal Creation Strategies – Goals are a nice feature but you need to create a new one for each time period, I cannot just say I want this same goal every month. However, there are some ways to make this recreation a bit easier. This post goes through those methods and what each entails.
  • Check your Duplicate Detection Rules after Solution Imports – I have personally needed this tip within the last few weeks. Make sure you check your Duplicate Detection rules after each release to make sure the rules you need published are still published.
  • What does “reparent” Mean? -  This walks through what the Reparent cascading relationship means and the security effect it has on your system.
  • How to Display Entity Image on CRM Form – in CRM 2013 you have the option of adding images to your records. This shows how to take advantage of that feature.


The Microsoft CRM Team Blog posted a video last week – Learn a few new Tricks in Quick Tips for CRM for Tablets video. This goes through some features of the Dynamics CRM Tablet app to help you work more efficiently.

Salentica posted a good blog describing a CRM 2011 Rollup 17 issue – Rollup 17 Breaks Deployment Manager. If you are having an issue importing solutions with plugins into your Rollup 17 environment, check the deployment manager and see if this is your issue.


That’s all the CRM blogs I have for you this week. Have a nice weekend!

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 25 Blog Review

Let’s jump right in to the CRM tips and tricks from the past week.

PowerObjects gave some productivity tips in Tracking Records from Outlook to Dynamics CRM. They talk about how to track, CRM features you can use in your reply and the conversion options.

PowerObjects also wrote Performing Form Merges Like a Pro in CRM 2013. This goes through the process of merging your 2011 forms into 2013 forms. They go over best practices and some tips and tricks. This will be very helpful for anyone upgrading to 2013.

Another helpful 2013 tip from PowerObjects was Four Important Concepts Needed to Understand about Actions in Dynamics CRM. This explains how actions work and how they can be used.

Last one from PowerObjects – Using HTML to Format Text in Email Templates in CRM. As you may know, you can copy HTML e-mails into e-mail templates in CRM, but you may not know that you can actually include raw HTML code and it will be converted when the template is sent.

Hitachi Solutions blogged about Accessing Controls within Composite Control Flyouts Using Javascript. This gives some considerations when using Javascript on fields within the new CRM 2013 flyout fields.

Hitachi Solutions also talked about Naming Records using Real-Time workflows in CRM 2013. This walks through how to create a new process that will fill in the name field for your records. This can be useful when viewing default views and can be configured to fit your business need.

CRM tip of the Day also had a few good tips this week. First of all – Keep Batch modifications Under Control. This describes the importance of discussing the implications of changing Modified By/On with the business and other things to keep in mind.

Also from CRM tip of the Day – Functional Roles all Deployments should have. This describes all the different roles that need to be filled to support your CRM deployment. One person may fill multiple roles, but all these duties must be accounted for.


Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 18 Blog Review

Let’s jump right in to the CRM news for this week!

Hitachi Solutions presented an innovated way to keep users up to date with Sending Text Message Alerts from CRM 2013. This explains how to use regular CRM email to send texts to your users. Use this to notify them of alerts, things that require their attention or goals they have reached.

 Rollup 3 for CRM 2013 has been released. Check out CRM in the Field’s Podcast and Overview for more information. This contains all the links and information you will need to get started with Rollup 3.

CRM Tip of the day had several helpful tips this week to keep us working efficiently. First of all, Do you know what a Wildcard is? This discusses how to use the * as a wildcard when searching in CRM. This is a very helpful feature and is often forgotten or overlooked. Personally, I like to use it on entities that have phone numbers as search fields. That way I can leave off the area code and not worry about formatting differences.

Another tip this week was Understand “First Response Sent” for SLA. This discusses some specific details as part of the Spring Wave enhancements for CRM 2013.

One more helpful tip this week was Adminless Traceless Troubleshooting. This describes how you may be able to use the URL for troubleshooting when you receive the generic “An Error has Occurred” message.

Mitch Milam is helping us this week with Monitoring Prospects and their Email Preferences. This describes the functionality of the “Do not allow Email” and “Do not allow Bulk Email” fields. As well as some discussion on how to review contacts with these fields set and then what to do about it.

Also this week the CRM 2013 Quick Start book was released (only ebook currently). You can get more information and a summary of the chapters on Julie Yack’s blog.

Jukka Niiranen wrote a great blog this week on Update Rollups, Service Packs, Major Releases: Understanding Dynamics CRM Versioning. This goes through what those confusing version numbers actually mean, how to interpret and what to expect going forward. It also has some great explanations of what a Rollup means compared to a Service Pack. This is one to read carefully, not skim!


Thanks for reading! Have a great week!