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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Upgrade Scenarios

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Upgrade Scenarios

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With the recently announced Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 beta (sign-up at www.crm2011beta.com) there naturally comes questions about the upgrade paths from one version to another.  Microsoft invests a significant amount of time and effort to ensure that the upgrade path from one version to the next version is as smooth as possible, even across major changes to the product.  As Microsoft Dynamics CRM supports the Power of Choice for customer, there are separate paths available for on-premises and CRM Online deployments.

A quick baseline on acronyms:

  • Release To Web (RTW):  This refers to the point in time when CRM Online is ready for production use by customers.
  • Release To Manufacturing (RTM):   This refers to the point in time when CRM on-premises is ready for production by customers.

Beta is NOT for production use

For those of you building out your plans for the CRM 2011 beta, the first consideration is that it should not be used in production.  The beta release is not fully supported release and any issues experienced during beta will not be directly supported by the technical support team.  All beta support issues will be supported through a Microsoft Forum.

The beta is a great environment for you to kick the tires of the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM release, start learning more about how it can benefit your organization and begin the effort of building out proof of concepts and design work for when you go live on the production bits of CRM 2011, either online or on-premises.   For those of you who decide to start your configurations and customizations with the beta release, there are upgrade paths for your solutions from one version to the next.  Let me walk you through a few key scenarios for those of you interested in the CRM 2011 beta.

  • Upgrades from CRM Online Beta to CRM Online RTWUpgrade is available through an opt-in process for customers wanting to continue with CRM Online in a production environment.  All supported customizations and configurations will be upgraded from Beta to RTW for customers who decided to sign-up and move forward with CRM Online.
  • Upgrades from CRM 2011 Beta to CRM 2011 Release Candidate and then to CRM 2011 RTM – Upgrade capabilities are included in the product for on-premises customers, but limited support is provided through the beta support process (Microsoft Forums). 

The upgrade process is fully supported moving from production environments to production environment, so moving from CRM 4.0 (both on-premises and Online) to the same CRM 2011 deployment is fully supported.  For those of you interested in migrating your current CRM 4.0 environment to CRM 2011, here are the scenarios where it is possible, but please be aware that while the capabilities are there, support will be provided through the standard Beta support process on a best effort basis through Microsoft Forums.  Technical resolution to challenges will likely be released in subsequent versions (e.g. issues with upgrading your CRM 4.0 on-premises to CRM 2011 beta will likely not be resolved until the Release Candidate or RTM release). 

  • CRM Online (4.0) to CRM Online Beta (2011) -  This upgrade path is not available. 
  • CRM Online (4.0) to CRM Online RTW (2011) -  This upgrade path is fully supported and will be available to customers shortly after CRM 2011 is released to RTW.  Customers will be able to schedule their upgrade time through a schedule tool and will be given up to 1 year to upgrade.  This will help fit the upgrade cycle to your business cycle and give you time to train and prepare for your upgrade on your schedule. 
  • CRM 4.0 on-premises to CRM 2011 Beta and Release Candidate - Upgrade capabilities are included in the product, but limited support is provided through the beta support process (Microsoft Forums).  For on-premises deployments, CRM 2011 requires 64-bit hardware and 64-bit software (Windows Server 2008/2008R2, and SQL Server 2008/2008R2).  Please see the requirements list for a full description of infrastructure requirements.
  • CRM 4.0 on-premises to CRM 2011 RTM - Upgrade capabilities are fully supported for production use through standard support processes. 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is a significant upgrade from an already great solution with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, these upgrade scenarios will help you get the most out of your preparations to move to this new release, which is being called a “game-changer” by customers, partners and the press. 

Thanks,

Bryan Nielson

  • Excellent CRM 2011 Upgrade scenario coverage write!  I had shared this with our Microsoft CRM customers.

  • It is probably worth noting the following:

    If you have CRM 3.0 there is no direct upgrade route. You have to upgrade to V4.0 first, then move to CRM 2011.

    In addition for anyone with the 32 bit edition of CRM 4.0 you have to go through a slightly more convoluted process as you cannot perform an in-place upgrade with 32-bit versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Server.

    To upgrade from 32 bit, you have to run the Import Organization Wizard to import the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 organization to the newly installed Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 system - this is all covered in the installation guide but worth a heads up.

    One final note - whilst not a pre-requisite for core CRM make sure you patch SQL 2008 to the SP1 edition befoire the upgrade. The reporting extensiosn will not install without it and the process is far smoother.

  • Good Article.

  • Jim, this is an OUTSTANDING article, you explained the issue with crystal clarity in a way that anyone can understand and anticipated peoples questions perfectly.

  • Bryan wrote this and we need to have him write more. Thanks David.  :O)

  • Bryan

    Good article. One question:

    Is there a planned upgrade path (or conversion process) for CRM 4.0 on prem to CRM Online?

    Thanks

  • I have the same question as FredB above.  What is the supported path from CRM 4.0 on prem to CRM 2011 Online?  For example, which of the following paths would be better?

    Option 1

    Migrate to CRM 4.0 Online, then migrate to CRM 2011 Online.

    Option 2:

    Migrate to 2011 On Prem then migrate to CRM 2011 Online.  

  • I have similar question as Fredb/spencer. My customer currently has CRM 4.0 on-premise version and wants to upgrade to CRM 2011 on-premise beta by Jan! Customer also wants to upgrade to CRM 2011 online by end of Jan (I presume on CRM 2011 online beta). What are the risks involved in these?

    Could we attempt customization on the beta version of CRM 2011 on-prem (for e.g. adding custom fields to Leads, Activity, Opportunity, Account etc.)?

    What is the time frame for RTM - CRM2011 on-prem?

    Appreciate your response

    Thank

    Eric      

  • There will be a number of customers who will want to make sure that data integrations, JScripts and any other configurations/customizations will work properly.  We also will have customers who will want to “replace” some of CRM 4.0 Online functionality with CRM 2011 Online functionality before doing CRM 2011 training.  Does MS plan to provide an option to upgrade CRM 4.0 Online to CRM 2011 Online Dev (while keeping 4.0 in production) before a full upgrade?

    Rokas

  • There will be a number of customers who will want to make sure that data integrations, JScripts and any other configurations/customizations will work properly.  We also will have customers who will want to “replace” some of CRM 4.0 Online functionality with CRM 2011 Online functionality before doing CRM 2011 training.  Does MS plan to provide an option to upgrade CRM 4.0 Online to CRM 2011 Online Dev (while keeping 4.0 in production) before a full upgrade?

    Rokas

  • Does anyone know how to get hold of the planning, procedures, & processes for such migration? I have googled but no help. If any could direct me to the right location will be much appreciated.

  • Hi, can anybody tell me if and how it works to migrate from CRM Online Beta to the 30 day CRM Online TRIAL??

    I have a client who wants to go from Beta to Trial and then maybe to a paid subscription...

    Thanks!

  • Can anyone tell is possible to migrate all customizations from crm 4.0 online to crm 2011 online beta ? is there any blogs for migrating crm 4.0 online to crm 2011 beta?? plzz help its urgent.

  • CRM 4.0 Online services use different endpoint(URL) than CRM 2011. Can I keep using the 4.0 online service to connect to 2011 online and create/update/retrieve entities?  Thanks

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