Dynamics CRM in the Field

Information from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM PFE team working in the field

Podcast and Overview: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1

Podcast and Overview: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1

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We're proud to announce that all packages for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1 were released on Monday, December 16th 2013 to the Microsoft Download Center!  The Update Rollup 1 packages should appear on Microsoft Update in January, 2014.

Update Rollup 1 Build number:

6.0.0001.0061

Update Rollup 1 Microsoft Download Center page

Here's the "Master" Microsoft Dynamics Knowledge Base article for Update Rollup 1: (KB 2891271). Going forward, the plan is for the Master Knowledge Base article for CRM 2013 Update Rollups to be published a bit in advance of release to aid planning.

On Thursday December 19th 2013 at 12:30 PM Pacific Time Greg Nichols and Mike Gast from the Microsoft CRM Premier Field Engineering Team provided information about:

  • The release of Update Rollup 1 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
  • What's new and very cool in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
  • New fixes made available In Update Rollup 1
  • Collateral available about Update Rollup 1 and CRM Update Rollups in general

on BlogTalkRadio during their Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1 Podcast

BlogTalkRadio and Internet Explorer 11 compatibility

If you're having trouble viewing the podcast when using Internet Explorer 11,

  • View the Podcast in Compatibility View
    • in IE 11, select Tools (the upper right "Gear" icon) -> Compatibility View Settings -> add the blogtalkradio.com website, or
  • Use the "New Window" link on the Blogtalkradio page

Note regarding Podcasts: You can make our CRM Premier Field Engineering podcasts available on Zune by using the RSS feed below.  In the Zune software, go to Collection -> Podcasts and click on the Add a Podcast button on the lower left, then enter the url for the RSS feed: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pfedynamics.rss. After that, you can adjust the series settings like any other podcast, so you can sync with your smartphone or Zune.

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The "CRM Update Rollup Collateral Page"

For pointers to download locations, release dates, build information, and CRM Premier Field Engineering blogs and podcasts for all Microsoft Dynamics CRM Update Rollups, visit the "CRM Update Rollup Collateral Page" 

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RAMP UP ON CRM 2013!

As we're just getting started with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, I'll provide some pointers to directly accessible ramp-up resources and some insight into what people are most excited about regarding this new major release:

Recommended Ramp-up materials:

 Most Popular Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013!

  • Flat User Interface (modern look UI)
  • Process driven UI
  • Quick create and quick view forms
  • BingMaps / Skype / Lync integration
  • Social and mobile integration
  • Server side sync

Business Process UI

  • Rich and guided UX to implement end to end business scenarios
  • Reduced number of clicks and pop ups to complete transactions
  • Ability to span the process UI across entities
  • Security modelling and ability to assign processes to security roles
  • Ability of accessing the UI using MoCA clients

 The new ‘skin’ of CRM 2013

  • Flat and modern UI avoiding frequent pop ups
  • Inline editing
  • Quick view form enabling parent entity details in child record
  • Form level notifications where errors, warnings and information can be viewed inline in the field
  • Avoiding redundant ribbon buttons thus showing only which is really required
  • Header controls to highlight the most relevant data of the entity
  • BingMaps embedded control

Configuration & Customization

  • Synchronous Workflows will help developers to quickly configure workflow instead of using a plug-in (writing code/deploying)
  • Actions enable multiple operations which are frequently used to be created as single action and can be re-used to minimize Dev cycle
    • Power to create custom actions such as schedule, Escalate and Route Lead are highly beneficial as well
  • Portable Business Logic This easy way avoids lots of scripting for easy validations and enables CRM functional analysts to quick add validations without touching the code base

 Yammer Integration

  • Native integration with Yammer and thus enabling social collaboration
  • Private and Public settings to control the activity feed stream

 Mobility

  • MoCA (Mobile Client Application) clients and Mobile clients make the long awaited dream a reality
  • Support across expected devices and browsers
  • Availability of process bar and new UI in the tablet clients
  • UI in MoCA clients is highly appreciable, survey shows many of them like the MoCA UI more than the native web UI

 General

  • Quick create forms to accelerate the record creation
  • Light weight command bar UI
  • Multi activity support in the collaboration area 

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Important CRM 2013 Update Rollup considerations!

A common question I get is “if I either upgrade from CRM 2011 or install the RTM version of CRM 2013 (build 6.0.0000.0809), what is the equivalent CRM 2011 Update Rollup level I have?" The answer is: essentially Update Rollup 14.

Some specific port requests for post-Update Rollup 14 fixes for CRM 2011 were included the original (RTM) release of CRM 2013, and port requests for other post-Update Rollup 14 CRM 2011 fixes can be requested via the normal Support process.

One set of port requests that you may be wondering about are the dramatic changes to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Client for Microsoft Office Outlook

  • They were released via CRM 2011 Update Rollup 15 and the Critical Update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 11 CRM Server and CRM for Outlook Client
  • These post-Update Rollup 14 changes WERE included in the RTM version of CRM 2013, and include:
    • A feature that moves the CRM client-specific workload into its own process so that it no longer shares memory with the Microsoft Office Outlook process
      • This feature is also known as Process Isolation
    • An upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server for Windows CE 4.0 for better memory management, better caching, and connection enhancements
    • Updates to CRM for Outlook configuration files to make the CRM for Outlook SDF files compatible with SQL Server for Windows CE 4.0
    • Materialization of the Address Book Provider to reduce performance issues that are caused by large address books
    • Limits to the amount of active open forms
    • A MAPI Lock time-out
    • Hard coding of a previous registry setting that prevented pinned views from pulling down information to local SQL CE cache

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General Upgrade Rollup Notes:

  • Testing CRM 2013 Update Rollups: Best Practices
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Premier Field Engineering recommends doing all the standard testing you generally do for all Update Rollups, which could be the functional and performance testing that you would do with a new major release or a subset of that test plan
    • The “general rule of thumb” for test plans for Update Rollup installs are:
      • Test any changes in a pre-production environment BEFORE introducing into your production environment. Manage your risk!
      • Consider using the Performance Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM to simulate your production user load in your testing environment, to shake out any performance-related issues early. The CRM 2011 version is currently being evaluated against CRM 2013
      • Test using the permissions your most restrictive end-user roles have. Testing with CRM Administrator permissions, for example, does not give you the complete picture
      • Concentrate on your SDK customizations, JavaScript, ISV add-ons – basically anything that’s not OOB functionality or customizations done from within the UI

 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Custom Code Validation Tool

  • Consider familiarizing yourselves with this tool!
  • The Custom Code Validation tool for CRM 2013 is mostly the same as the Code Validation Tool for CRM 2011 UR12; the 2011 version has been deprecated and is no longer available. We added some additional checks for code that references the 2007 endpoint or other functionality that has been deprecated in CRM in 2013. And, most of the checks in the tool were built into the CRM 2013 Server installer as validation checks
  • Note that the URL for the CRM 2011 version of the tool now directs to the CRM 2013 version
  • Use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Custom Code Validation Tool to identify potential issues with custom JavaScript in JavaScript libraries and HTML web resources. When using JavaScript code in Dynamics CRM, it is possible that some code will stop working or cause an error when you upgrade. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Custom Code Validation Tool helps identify potential problems so that a developer can fix them

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NEW RELEASE REGARDING OrgDbOrgSettings!

You're probably familiar with the OrgDbOrgSettings command line tool (mentioned above) released by the CRM Product Group in the "Tools" package that is updated and released with each set of Update Rollup packages.  With it, you configure some .xml and call your .xml with the command line utility described in KB 2691237. However, you may be daunted by configuring this .xml, to the point that you may not use the tool, or use it minimally - not exploring the many options outlined in KB 2691237 that may be of use to you.  Well, the Microsoft Dynamics PFE team now has another option for you!  By popular demand, our esteemed CRM PFE colleague Sean McNellis has developed a tool  - a CRM 2011 / CRM 2013 managed solution - that provides you with an easy-to-use GUI with which you can configure all of the options outlined in the Knowledge Base on a per-tenant basis.  Feel free to download it, install it, and check it out... I sure use it!

This is a FREE downloadable tool - the "Dynamics CRM 2011 Organization Settings Editor".  Check it out; the download page has screenshots and information that will help you make good use of the tool.  Sean has also published a Premier Field Engineering blog: "Azure Mobile + JavaScript + WebResources = Easy Editing of OrgDBOrgSettings in Dynamics CRM 2011!" to share more details on the tool. It is currently updated with settings for CRM 2011 Update Rollup 16 and CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1, and he takes pride in keeping it updated as new Update Rollups are released. Thanks, Sean!

Note: there is a code issue with the CRM Client for Microsoft Outlook that was resolved in Update Rollup 16 Client packages.  Do not set either the AddressBookMaterializedViewsEnabled or DisableMapiCaching settings in the Organization entity metadata via the OrgDbOrgSettings tool in the Update Rollup Tools package or the Organizational Settings Editor on Codeplex if you are not running CRM 2011 Update Rollup 16 or higher on the Client.  Also, do not set this key prior to the next major release of CRM 2013.

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 Update Rollup 1 packages are available for download via: 

  • The Update Rollup 1 Microsoft Download Center page (released December 16th, 2013)
  • The Microsoft Update Catalog  - all packages should be released in January, 2014
  • The Microsoft Update detection / installation process
    • Note: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Updates will be pushed via Microsoft Update as Important updates
    • Client packages installed manually by downloading the packages and running install will require local administrator privileges. If the client packages are installed via Microsoft Update or SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager), they will not require local administrator privileges
    • Consider using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or similar software distribution technologies to distribute Dynamics CRM Update Rollups internally.  WSUS is a locally managed system that works with the public Microsoft Update website to give system administrators more control. By using Windows Server Update Services, administrators can manage the distribution of Microsoft hotfixes and updates released through Automatic Updates to computers in a corporate environment
    • For help with installation please see the Installation Information section of the Update Rollup 1 "master" Microsoft Knowledge Base article
    • Please review my former teammate Jon Strand's blog posting "CRM 2011: Silently Installing Update Rollups" which provides details on installing CRM Outlook client update rollups "silently" in order to limit end-user interruption, which also applies to CRM 2013 Update Rollups

for these CRM components:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2013

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office Outlook (Outlook Client)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Email Router

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) Data Connector

  • The SSRS Data Connector is not available as an individual download. It is included in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2013 download. When you extract the Server package (CRM2013-Server-ENU-amd64.exe /extract:path: extracts the content of the package to the path folder), you’ll find the Data Connector in the SrsDataConnector folder

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Language Packs

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1 Prerequisites:

  • Essentially the prerequisites listed in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Implementation Guide download for the various CRM components serviced 

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Issues resolved via Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1: 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 1 is the first of a series of cumulative Update Rollups that include fixes for the issues that are or will be documented in the "Master Knowledge Base Articles" for CRM 2013 Update Rollups.  As they are cumulative, Update Rollup 2 will contain all fixes shipped via Update Rollups 1 and 2... you get the idea.

Hotfixes and updates that were released as individual fixes before the Update Rollup 1 release:

No issues were fixed and delivered to requesting customers prior to Update Rollup 1 release as Critical On Demand (COD) fixes.

Fixes released via CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1: 

  • Publishing a CRM report fails as the parent report already links to another report with same name
  • Invalid Argument when navigating to view with related entity lookup
  • The chart (for any other entity) does not display in Korean due to System.ArgumentException: "Value of 'Malgun Gothic, Segoe UI, 9.5px' is not valid for 'units'."
  • Script error occurs when moving from a form. "Unable to get property 'get_filterType' of undefined or null reference"
  • Disabling checkbox fields using the JavaScript API does not work
  • Creating a workflow to update an appointment with fields from the regarding Lead field fails. "An unexpected error occurred."
  • Hiding the last field of a section does not hide the section. Hiding the last field of a tab does not collapse the tab
  • Unable to create automatic full address field workflows, as the spaces and tabs are removed if there are no other symbols like comma
  • Using the Quick Search in Outlook and clicking Advanced Find right afterwards, the Advanced Find filter is populated with irrelevant criteria
  • Re-import of existing solution fails with The label for base language code 1033 is not set
  • Users cannot associate multiple records at once for N:N relationships
  • CRM 2013 no longer warns you when you are about to delete a parent record that child records with cascade delete set on their relationships to the parent will also be deleted
  • Unable to set a web resource to visible in script if 'Visible by default' not set in the Designer
  • You´ve created a new business process flow and assigned that process flow to the security role of "sales manager", "system administrator" and "system customizer"
    • You publish this modification and expect the process the be visible only for these security roles
    • Instead, the BPF business process flow is hidden for all users
  • When data is entered into a form, the Save button can be clicked multiple times which results in multiple of the same record being created
  • For a custom duration field Xrm.Page.getAttribute("durationfield").getValue() method returns a formatted value like 30 minutes instead of 30 as expected
  • When organization is deleted and then immediately imported back, import organization wizard unexpectedly displays a warning about version mismatch
  • Autosave off: Entity form loses command bar after navigating away and re-opening
  • Consider you've created a Business Process for cases having a related task stage with several steps and you'd like to translate all stages to different language
    • Your solution contains task and case entity as well as Business Process
    • You're exporting translation files and try to edit those
    • You'll find all stage names from case entity, but you do not find those of the related task step
    • Therefore you cannot translate those
  • "Email a link" URL does not navigate to the specified entity if opened in existing browser tab
  • Errors occur when using different country formats with currency attributes
  • When browsing to various locations in CRM, a JavaScript exception is thrown that reports "Object expected"
  • The .addCustomFilter javascript function does not work properly
  • Workflow triggered on Before Delete event cannot be imported in a new organization
  • When email activity with unresolved email recipient is created and saved, on load on email, value in TO field is hidden, field is empty
  • Not able to see "Page Index" on subgrids from dashboards
  • Published customization changes do not roll down to mobile client consistently
  • Opportunity closed as won does not take custom status reason while closing
  • Notes control shows time but not date for notes created before yesterday
  • Mobile clients crash with UI Error: "We're sorry. Sorry, something went wrong while initializing the app. Please try again, or restart the app"
  • Access team does not use correct metadata driven by Advanced Find view and hence fails in Mobile Clients
  • If you create a new email message in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 web application, you discover that you cannot modify the Description field when using the latest version of Google Chrome

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Hotfixes and updates that you have to enable or configure manually

Occasionally, updates released via Update Rollups require manual configuration to enable them. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Update Rollups are always cumulative; for example, Update Rollup 2 will contain all fixes previously released via Update Rollup 1 as well as fixes newly released via Update Rollup 2. So if you install Update Rollup 2 on a machine upon which you previously installed no Update Rollups, you will need to manually enable any desired fixes for Update Rollups 1-2:

  • Update Rollup 1: no updates requiring manual configuration

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Mismatched Update Rollup versions within a Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment

In a scenario where you may be running many client workstations with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office Outlook, a common question is whether it is supported to run mismatched versions. For example, where Update Rollup 2 has been installed on the CRM Server but the Outlook clients are still on Update Rollup 1, or where Update Rollup 1 is on the CRM server but due to updates available to the Outlook client you have decided to install Update Rollup 2 on the clients without installing Update Rollup 1 on the server.

The general rule of thumb is to try to keep the versions in sync as much as possible, and deltas of more than one version between client and server are not supported.  So ideally, you would be running Update Rollup 2 (when it is released) on your CRM Servers with Update Rollup 1 or 2 on your Outlook clients. However, it is permissible (though not recommended as a long-term solution) to run mismatched Update Rollup versions on Outlook client and server, as Microsoft does do some testing of such combinations.

However, regarding the other Update Rollups (for example Update Rollups for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Email Router or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 SSRS Data Connector), it is not supported nor recommended to run mismatched versions. A best practice is to update these components at the same time you update your CRM Server.  Do the best you can to keep these Update Rollup versions in sync.

For more information, see the blog posting "User experience while accessing CRM 2011 application servers while Update Rollups are being applied", which still applies to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM compatibility with technology stack components: Internet Explorer, Windows Client and Server, Office, .NET Framework, and more

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Engineering team consistently tests Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 against pre-release and release versions of technology stack components that Microsoft Dynamics interoperates with. When appropriate, Microsoft will release enhancements via future Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollups or new major version releases to assure compatibility with future releases of these products. This compatibility matrix is updated via this Microsoft Knowledge Base article: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Compatibility List.

 

Greg Nichols
Dynamics CRM Senior Premier Field Engineer
Microsoft Corporation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Hi is there any update Performance toolkit availability for 2013? Thanks.

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