Hello Dynamics CRM 4.0, Long Time no See

Today I started a project on a client that still use Dynamics CRM 4.0. It’s been a while since I developing and navigating through this wonderful CRM back from 2007-2008, when I was still in uni.

Getting accustomed to the great enhancement from Update Rollup 12 of Dynamics CRM 2011 (Cross-Browser capability), I felt a bit unproductive just to be able to use only IE. Again another problem, CRM 4.0 only supports up to IE 9 (ref: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2669061) and my working machine is using IE 11.

So, for a better productivity working with pre-Dynamics CRM 2011 UR 12. I came up with a couple tips:

Tips#1: IE 11 Compatibility Mode

This is the basic requirement to work with CRM 4.0. To set this up on IE toolbar, click on Tools > Compatibility View Settings

Compatibility View IE

Then add the Web address of the CRM 4.0 server

Compatibility View Settings

Tips# 2: Open Pop-Up Window in New Tab

Note: This method is still useful when working with Dynamics CRM 2011 as well.

To enable this, click the “Gear” symbol on IE > Click on Internet Options

Internet Options

Under General Tab and under Tabs Section, click on Tabs button

Internet Options Tabs Behaviour

Then under “When a pop-up is encountered:” Section, select “Always open pop-ups in a new tab

Open Pop-up in new Tab

Tips #3. IE Tab on Google Chrome

When working with multiple organisations of Dynamics CRM, it’s inefficient to open everything using single browser. Especially when we need to do comparison between two different orgs. Alternative way is to install Google Chrome extension called IE Tab, download link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ie-tab/hehijbfgiekmjfkfjpbkbammjbdenadd?hl=en


I hope it helps anyone who are still using the older version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. And I now really appreciate the hard work of the Dynamics CRM product team to deliver multi-browser compatibility enhancement to Dynamics CRM.


Standalone WcfTestClient

Recently I have to work on a client to do some WCF configuration update to conform with their new IFD Deployment. The first tool that I’m trying to find to test WCF Services is WcfTestClient. However I only have the WcfTestClient on my own machine (with Visual Studio installed). While, client’s machines do not have Visual Studio. After doing some quick research, I found out that WcfTestClient can be made “portable”. So, I made my own “portable” WcfTestClient. The only requirement is to have .Net Framework installed (most of the client’s machine usually has .Net framework isntalled).

I shared the WcfTestClient on my OneDrive:


Dynamics CRM 2013 SP1 SDK – New Tool: Configuration Migration

Following up my previous post on the Revamped Plugin Registration Tool, I explored the new Tools folder in the latest Dynamics CRM 2013 SP1 SDK. There is a new tool called “Configuration Migration”.

This tool will make our life easier, especially in migrating some basic data from one org to another (e.g: Dev to Test to Prod).

So, this is how this now tool looks like:


There are 3 options available:

  • Create Schema
  • Export Data
  • Import Data

Create Schema

Let’s run through the first option (as this is the basic foundational usage of this tool). Again, it has the same Login layout as the Revamped Plugin Registration Tool:ConfigurationMigrationToolLogin

It will then open the Schema Builder window. This tool is really useful as it could picks up the configuration records that usually not picked up by CRM Solution. In my example is the Duplicate Detection Rule:


Once finished building the schema, click on Save and Export button. It will then open the window to save the schema file (XML) and prompt whether we want to Export the data. (I pressed no, to explore the second option, export data option above)



Export Data

When selecting the Export Data, it will ask the previously generated Schema File and the location where the data will be saved (the data will be in Zipped format):


The successful export will display the following result:


Import Data

The last option is Import Data, again it will prompt the login to the destination org, establishing the connection threads and prompting the data source zip file.


Click on Import Data to proceed…


Once it’s finished, the new record is migrated to the destination org. This is a really handy tool for system admin/customizer when deploying the configuration, records, sample data, etc from one org to another.

Edit on 23/05/2014: found the guide provided by MSDN for more thorough High-level purpose of the usage of this tool. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn647421.aspx


Important information about supported configurations in the next release for CRM

The CRM Product team recently released the latest updates on supported configurations in the next release for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

It includes removal of their supports for the popular Windows and SQL Server 2008 (time to upgrade!)

And also completely removes some of the deprecated javascript functions:

  • GetServerUrl()
  • IsOutLookClient()
  • IsOutlookOnline()

Full post: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2014/05/14/important-information-about-supported-configurations-in-the-next-major-release-for-crm.aspx

Update Rollup 17 For Dynamics CRM 2011 is Released

Following up my previous post on the compatibility issue of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 with Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11 here. Microsoft recently released Update Rollup 17 that addressed those issues.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 17 is compatible with Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 11. This includes the following supported configurations.

  • The web application running in Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 or Windows 7.
  • CRM for Outlook when you run Office 2013 on Windows 8.1.

Other than the above major fix/update, it also fixed some issues that I encountered:

  • Reports cannot be executed once the default filter form the report is removed and the update is saved. The execution fails with the following error on screen. “Reporting Error: The repot cannot be displayed”
  • Advanced Find date range with “last-x-fiscal-years” is wrong when exported to a Dynamic Worksheet

Complete list of issues addressed in this Rollup is available on the KB Article:





Set Filter Attributes – Update Plugin – Dynamics CRM 2013 Upgrade Gotcha

Recently I upgraded one of my virtual machine with Dynamics CRM 2011 to Dynamics CRM 2013. That instance contains my old solutions from previous learning and testing. One of the solution contains several plugins to be triggered on Update request.

With the new auto-save feature in Dynamics CRM 2013, any modification to the form will be automatically saved every 30 seconds or when the user navigated away from the from (click other records or navigate to different page). 

There was an unexpected performance issue every a couple seconds (30 seconds to be exact) when I was working with the new CRM 2013 form. After I traced the source of the problem, it was coming from the plugin that triggered every 30 seconds by the auto-save. The new auto-save functionality will trigger the plugin because I was not filtered the plugin on the required fields (attributes). This problem never happened on CRM 2011 as the update request will only be triggered through “Save” button with manual user interaction.

I think it is a best practice to filter the update plugin to only be triggered on the related attributes, to achieve that:

Method 1: through Plugin Registration Tool, on the step registered:



Method 2: through Developer Toolkit in Visual Studio, on the step registered:



This would be a lesson learn in future to do the due-diligence in selecting the correct filter attributes for the plugin.


Set Dynamics CRM Settings as Default Landing Page

The new navigation on Dynamics CRM 2013 is quite annoying for system admin/customiser/developer, as the default landing page is set to Sales (Compared to Dynamics CRM 2011, where all navigations are on the left hand side of the screen so this is not an issue).
It requires extra clicks to navigate to Settings, the place where system admin/customiser/developer care the most, by clicking Dynamics CRM Symbol > Settings, and if the mouse pointer hovered out of the navigation pane, it collapses and requires user to click the Dynamics CRM symbol again.

Getting frustrated with the non-productive time with extra clicks, I tried to look into the option and found the way to set the default landing page:
1. Click on the Gear Symbol next to user detail, click on Options (to set Personal Options).


2. Set the Default Pane and Default Tab to the required one (As Developer I prefers to go to Solutions tab, As System Admin I will go with Administration tab).

I hope this will help anyone, especially fellow developers/admins/customisers to be able to navigate in Dynamics CRM 2013 more fluently.