• Girish Raja's Blog

    How to become a Microsoft Dynamics CRM ‘App’ Partner – Basic Steps


    Several startups and ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) in the bizapps market have recently asked me about the basic steps they need to complete, in order to become an official Microsoft Dynamics ISV partner, so that they can build apps and services that connect to Dynamics CRM Online. Becoming a Microsoft Dynamics partner provides you with an opportunity to bring your solutions to Dynamics customers along with a number of other benefits including a free 12-month demo/development instances, access to PartnerSource portal and many other benefits.

    Below are the two basic steps you need to complete in order to become a registered Dynamics CRM partner:

    1. Microsoft Partner Network (MPN): The first step for any new ISV partner is to enroll in the Microsoft Partner Network. The Microsoft Partner Network is a single, integrated membership that focuses on your ability to serve your customers. To enroll, please visit: When you join the Microsoft Partner Network, you receive a set of core benefits that help you to save time and money while you strengthen your core capabilities and portfolio pertaining to Microsoft. If you have any issues during the sign-up process, please visit the Regional Operations Center Support website ( to contact a support professional or call 1-800-676-7658.
    2. Partner Registration Agreement (PRA): The second step is to sign the Partner Registration Agreement (PRA). This document must be received via postal mail from the ISV partner. Electronic copies will not be accepted. You can get a copy of the Partner Registration Agreement by emailing The Microsoft Dynamics PRA provides partners with the following benefits:


    These steps are part of the broader Dynamics CRM ISV playbook/guide with lot more details on partner programs, ISV partner types (reselling, non-selling, etc), App Store listing with PinPoint, GTM (Go-to-market) guidance and many more important details. You can download the playbook from PartnerSource here: But the catch is that you have to be a registered Microsoft partner before you can access PartnerSource. I’ve mentioned this catch-22 situation to our partner team and I’m sure they’ll be fixing this soon.

    I swear I didn’t come up these steps but I’m just the messenger here trying to share information that I could discover. Many thanks also to Kasara D’Elene who had meticulously put the ISV playbook together, gathering resources from several Microsoft properties and teams. See you soon on the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem!

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    “Mobile Strategy with Dynamics CRM” session at eXtremeCRM2014



    Next week at extremeCRM2014 conference, I’ll be presenting a session on mobility with Dynamics CRM. I will be co-presenting with Richard Dickinson from the CRM engineering team, so you can expect a wide variety of mobile topics to be covered in the session. Besides a showcase of first party apps and partner solutions, you will also see some of the Mobile Helper Code for Dynamics CRM in action during the session. Here is the detailed abstract of the session.

    Mobile Strategy with Dynamics CRM

    Level: 200 - Intermediate
    Day: 10/07/2014
    Time: 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
    Room: Octavius 7

    Mobility can make or break your CRM business but are you confident about your mobile pitch and skillset? In this session, we’ll showcase the breadth of Microsoft Dynamics CRM mobile offerings and discuss how partners can take advantage of our mobile strengths to redefine your strategy and discover new opportunities.

    Also later in the day, there is also a mobility Q&A panel featuring Richard Dickinson along with CWR Mobility and Resco, so don’t miss it if you’d like to discuss further on mobility.

    See you in Vegas!

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Mobile helper code for Dynamics CRM - A new journey


    We’re happy to release mobile helper code for Windows that will assist you in building universal Windows apps that span both the tablet (a.k.a store apps) and phone. But I want to assure you that this is just the beginning of a new journey and there are many more wonderful things to come.

    BTW download links for the mobile helper/sample code for Windows and other technical details are available here: Many thanks Kenichiro Nakamura from Microsoft who single-handedly built and pioneered this in his spare time!

    What’s Next?

    As a mobile-first organization, we will be delivering a whole lot more. Amazing new capabilities on our CRM for tablet & phone apps as well as more guidance on custom apps including cortana sample, iOS sample, Android sample, mobile framework guidance, reference documentation, presentations and much more are yet to come. But as with every mobile platform, true innovation will come from all of the developers, partners and customers that implement mobility with Dynamics CRM in ways we couldn’t have imagined. I’ll be there with at the upcoming Convergence, extremeCRM conference, and many more events to talk about this.

    Why are we doing this?

    While we have fantastic first-party apps with CRM for Tablets and CRM for phones, available across a wide variety of devices and consumed by several users, our customers have asked us for guidance on building task-specific apps for certain personas. As you evaluate your mobility needs for your users, you’ll realize that mobility isn’t one-size fits all. Great mobile implementations go beyond just apps and deliver purpose-specific high-value mobile experiences that target specific roles. This will also help you to expand CRM to other users in your organization who wouldn’t otherwise think of using CRM. Remember, mobile access (regardless of the apps/devices) is free for all Dynamics CRM users!

    Help us help you

    Many of our customers and partners are building amazing mobility solutions and high-value experiences with Dynamics. New Belgium Brewing, Reliance Home Comfort and Metro Bank are just a few examples. What are the cool things you’ve built with mobility and Dynamics CRM? We would love to hear from you and share your stories on bigger stages.

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Mobility with Dynamics at WPC 2014


    We had a fantastic kickoff to Worldwide Partner Conference this week at Washington DC and CRM Online was all over the vision keynote this morning. We have a lot of content to share and discuss about Dynamics CRM this week. On Wednesday, I’m presenting a breakout session on Mobility with Dynamics. The core of the session is reviewing our mobile strategy and talking about how partners can take advantage of our offerings to provide a mobile-first experience for our customers. The session will also feature customer demos from Sonoma Partners, Hitachi Consulting and Mazik Global to showcase how partners can lead with mobile in Dynamics deployments. Below are the session details.

    MD333 - Mobile Revolution in Microsoft Dynamics

    Time: Wednesday July 16 2:30pm - 3:30pm
    Location: 152B

    We all live in a mobile-first world but as a partner, are you ready for this new reality yet? BYOD, BYOA and IOT go beyond buzzwords and are critical strategies that can make or break your business. In this session, we’ll share the Microsoft Dynamics mobile strategy and discuss upcoming mobile technologies like Project Siena and Azure Mobile so you can be better prepare for the future. Finally, you will hear from other partners on how they transformed their solutions to lead with mobile.

    Of course you’ll see Dynamics at other WPC mobility sessions as well . In Erwin Visser’s Mobility keynote and other mobility sessions, you’ll see concept demos highlighting the potential with Dynamics CRM and other upcoming technologies like Project Siena.

    If you are at WPC, I’d love to see you at session and I’m also happy to sit down and chat about your mobile stories. I’m also told that most of the WPC content will be available on-demand later, so please do checkout even after WPC.

    Go Mobile!

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Dynamics CRM at SharePoint Conference 2014


    While most of the Dynamics world will be tuning to Convergence conference (#CONV14) in Atlanta during March 1st week, I’ll be in Vegas representing Dynamics CRM at SharePoint Conference 2014 (#SPC14).

    I’ll be presenting a breakout session on harnessing social technologies with Dynamics CRM. You can find the full session detail below.

    Harnessing social technologies with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

    The way that people and organizations interact is changing with the explosive growth of social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Learn how to harness the power of social technologies in your sales, service and marketing strategies. We'll spotlight Yammer for social collaboration and the exciting Netbreeze social listening and analytics solution. We'll demonstrate how these solutions fit into a comprehensive social CRM program. We’ll also provide insight into future social CRM investments.

    One of the highlights of the SharePoint Conference this year is the keynote by Bill Clinton on Monday, March 3rd 2014 8:30 am PST. Even better, the keynote will be streamed live for free, so you can checkout the keynote even if you’re not attending SharePoint conference. Details of the keynote webcast are available here:

    I also found out a little while ago that Jason Bullock from Microsoft will be presenting a breakout session titled “Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online - better together”, doubling the CRM coverage at SharePoint Conference! Of course, I’ll be in the audience for that session and you can find the session details here:

    I’ll be there in Vegas from Monday till Thursday afternoon, so if you are around, please feel free to reach out if you’d like to meet up during the conference.

    So where do you think all the action will be, Atlanta or Vegas? Winking smile

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Connecting SharePoint Online and CRM Online using BCS - 2013 Edition


    Update 2nd February 2015: For using this article with CRM 2015, please follow steps mentioned by Andrew Robinson in the comments section.

    This blog post is a simple step-by-step walkthrough on connecting SharePoint Online (SPO) to CRM Online using the Business Connectivity Services (BCS). This can be useful in a number of situations including self service portals, executive dashboards, etc. The end goal for this post is to have CRM account information displayed within SharePoint as illustrated below (nothing fancy) but you can easily extend this sample to include additional scenarios such as pulling additional entities/tables, create/update CRM data, charts/dashboard, mashups with ERP and much more.


    Note: SharePoint Online in this example uses SharePoint 2013 and CRM Online is the December 2012 release. Steps are subject to change for future releases. This walkthrough uses the App model for SharePoint instead of the classical BCS settings managed in the admin center.

    Architecture of the solution

    Below is a quick diagram showing the architecture of the solution we’re going to walkthrough. As you can see from the diagram below, we do have a shim sitting between CRMOnline & SPO. The reason for us to have a shim/proxy web service is because, external authentication is not enabled on CRM Online’s REST endpoint today.  CRMOnline’s REST endpoint today is only available for use by JScript and web resources within the CRM application however you can expect that limitation to change in the future.


    Enough with the talk, let’s get to the code.

    Building the Proxy OData Service

      1. Download and extract the latest CRM 2011 SDK if you don’t have it already. If you're using CRM 2013, please ensure that you're following this article with CRM 2013 SDK. While you could build the proxy web service in several ways, we’re going to use an approach that creates a REST/OData service that involves very minimal custom code!
      2. Once you have extracted the SDK, goto the folder “\sdk\walkthroughs\portal\webappwalkthrough\” and open the webappwalkthrough.csproj project using Visual Studio (2012 in this case)
      3. Open the web.config file and change the connection string to your CRMOnline credentials as shown below. In this post, we’re using the same identity for all CRMOnline calls and we are not impersonating the SharePoint user.
      4. Open the CrmData.svc.cs file and modify it as shown in the snippet below. Essentially we’re modifying the code to make the OData endpoint just pull accounts and contacts from CRM instead of pulling everything.
      1. Right-click on the project and “Add Reference” to the Microsoft.IdentityModel.dll (v3.5). Make sure you set it’s copy local property to true.
      2. Set CrmData.svc as the start page and hit F5 to verify that the OData endpoint is working locally. You can browse to http://localhost:<devport#>/CrmData.svc/ContactSet to verify that the proxy OData is indeed pulling data from CRM Online.
        Note: For the purposes of quick illustration, the code in this blog post doesn’t apply any security on the proxy OData service. Please refer to Marc Schweigert’s blog post and Steve Fox’s BCS security post for details on implementing security for proxy services.


      1. The service now needs to be deployed publically in order for SharePoint Online to consume it. Here, we’re going to deploy the OData service to the *free* Windows Azure websites. Once you have signed up for Windows Azure, login to your Azure account and hit the “New” button followed by the steps illustrated below to quick create a website. Hint: Use the region closest to your CRMOnline datacenter. The unofficial way of finding this out is documented here.


    1. Once the site has been created, download its publishing profile from the portal.
    2. Back to Visual Studio, right-click on the project and click “Publish”. In the publish dialog, choose Import –> “Import from a publish profile file” –> browse to the publishing profile you downloaded earlier –> OK. You can run through the next few steps or hit publish button directly.
    3. Once the site has been published, browse to the public URL for the service (say and ensure that the endpoint is able to pull data from CRM Online.

    Creating the SharePoint Online App

    Now that we have the proxy OData service up and running, it is time to create the SharePoint App.

      1. In your Office365 admin center, click the Admin dropdown followed by SharePoint. Create a new private site collection with the “Developer Site” template.
      3. Open Visual Studio as admin or better yet follow this hack to always run Visual Studio 2012 as admin. If you’re going to spend a lot of time building SharePoint apps, the hack will save you a lot of time and pain.
      4. Create a new “App for SharePoint 2013” project.
      5. Enter a name for the app, the URL of the site collection you created earlier and choose “SharePoint-hosted” followed by clicking the Finish button.
      6. If Visual Studio prompts you for Office365 credentials, enter them so that the project is connected to your SPO site.
      7. Right-click on the project –> Add –> “Content Types for an External Data Source”.
      8. Enter the URL for the custom OData proxy running in Azure website and specify a name. Click Next.
      9. Choose both AccountSet & ContactSet and hit the Finish button. Visual Studio automatically generates the ECTs (External Content Types) for both accounts and contacts.
      10. Within Default.aspx (under Pages), change the code within the head and body sections as listed in the below snippet. Essentially we’re creating the links for account and contact ECTs along with a placeholder for some custom javascript. Make sure that the version of jQuery referenced in the code matches the one within the Scripts folder of your app.
      1. Next up, let’s write some jQuery to select the AccountNumber & Name and display it in a simple HTML table (sorry web designers)! Open the App.js file (under Scripts folder) and replace it with the code below. If you’re familiar with javascript and jQuery, the code should be pretty easy to follow.
    1. Right-click on the project or solution and click Deploy. Visual Studio automagically installs the app to your SPO developer site.
    2. Open the SPO site and you should see your app under “Apps in Testing”. Click on the app and make sure it works as expected.
      image image

    Now that you have the base connectivity between CRMOnline and SPO through BCS, the possibilities are endless. You can bring data from other CRM entities, apply security trimming, have users update CRM data directly from SharePoint, use for pretty charts and dashboards, mashup CRM data with other OData data sources and much more depending upon your needs. If you end up building interesting SharePoint-CRM apps, please do tell us through comments below.



  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Watch Dynamics Convergence 2013 session recordings for free


    If you didn’t attend Convergence 2013, you can still watch the recording of the keynotes and breakout sessions by registering for the Virtual Convergence. Best part is that it is completely free! You can signup for Virtual Convergence here:


    For attendees of Convergence 2013, there is a better experience to catch-up on all the session content that you might have missed or slept through Winking smile. Besides the virtual convergence website, if you log back into the Convergence attendee website, you can see the session recordings along with PowerPoint presentation decks in the Schedule Builder which also allows you to nicely slice and dice through all the content!


  • Girish Raja's Blog

    What’s new with SharePoint 2013 and Dynamics CRM


    Recently an analyst asked us what is new in SharePoint & Dynamics CRM with the December 2012 service update. I wrote the below note as a quick summary of what’s revolutionary and evolutionary with SharePoint (specifically SP 2013) & Dynamics CRM.

    1. Self-Service BI with PowerView

    Excel 2013 introduces the ability to create PowerView charts for advanced data analysis by combining a variety of data sources. With the new December 2012 Service Update, data from Dynamics CRM Online can be included as one of the data sources for PowerView. SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online’s new release provides the ability for customers to render PowerView charts (including bubble animations) from Excel workbooks through Excel Web App. This allows professionals to analyze their CRM Online data in a self-service manner with just a browser (no need for everyone to be running Excel 2013). For example, in the below figure you can see that the customer service data from CRM combined with call metrics from IVR systems to produce a report rendered right within the browser.


    2. Self-service Portals with BCS

    Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in SharePoint 2013 has been enhanced to natively consume OData endpoint making it easy for customers to integrate Dynamics CRM data within SharePoint. For example, customers can now easily build an internal SharePoint portal for casual CRM users. This is very useful in many enterprise scenarios such as help desk ticketing, vendor portal and many more. SharePoint 2013 also introduces the new notion of SharePoint ‘Apps’ that can bundle such customizations and provide developers with the ability to sell them through the Office marketplace. You can find a simple step-by-step walkthrough on Connecting SharePoint Online and CRM Online using BCS here.

    3. Document library integration enhancements

    With the December 2012 service update, the document library integration with SharePoint has now been enhanced to support SharePoint 2013 along with rendering on multiple browsers including Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE. SharePoint 2013 also has improved eDiscovery for legal compliance and built-in Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) compatibility for interoperability with other applications (like Adobe Bridge and Photoshop) making it easier for customers to manage their CRM digital assets with SharePoint.

    4. Identity alignment

    Office 365 and CRMOnline have shared the same identity platform for some time now. The same identity platform now has been extended to developers for their custom apps as well through Windows Azure Active Directory. This simplifies the user provisioning and administration of joint solutions spanning Dynamics CRM, Office 365 and other applications within an organization.

    5. Social enhancements

    Last but not least is the social enhancements in December 2012 service update powered by Yammer which becomes the social layer for Dynamics CRM. We are also heavily investing in unified identity, integrated document management and feed aggregation among SharePoint, Yammer and Dynamics CRM for the future.


    The list is just a sampling of what I have been able to do discover so far and I’m sure there are a lot more cool integration scenarios that we’ll discover together as a community.  Things like FAST search, SharePoint for Internet Sites connecting to CRM and many more scenarios were possible earlier with SharePoint 2010 and they are enhanced in many ways within SharePoint 2013.

    If you’d like to see some of these scenarios in action, please check out one of my presentations at the upcoming Convergence conference:


    Developer's Guide to Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM & Microsoft SharePoint 2013

    Session Code



    Many organizations use both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint and are increasingly looking for ways to integrate these two technologies. With the new wave of SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013 suites, it is now even easier and compelling to integrate them with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for collaborative cloud solutions. Come learn some of the developer patterns and practices you can use when building apps using technologies such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SharePoint 2013, Office 365, and more.




    Thursday, March 21


    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    Add to Calendar


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  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Technical Decision Maker (TDM) deck for Dynamics CRM


    TL;DR version: Dynamics CRM ‘TDM’ presentation deck is now available for download here: It is a must have resource for all sellers of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.


    TDM deck is a popular Microsoft lingo for a technical presentation deck that is used by the sales folks in the field. It is content that gets used when you’re presenting to technical folks at a prospect looking to buy CRM. A technical decision maker (TDM or ITDM) could be someone like a CTO, CIO, CIO Board Member, Enterprise Architect, Solutions Architect, IT Manager or other similar roles within the prospect organization.

    However in real-life, you’re not going to be just presenting to a room full of TDMs alone. Of course there’ll be non-technical decision makers, also known as Business Decision Makers (BDM in Microsoft lingo), in the room along with TDMs. So use this deck in conjunction with the Dynamics CRM BDM deck when presenting to prospects.

    Dynamics CRM TDM deck is an all-encompassing presentation providing a technical overview of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Further sections within the deck drill into specific topics that contain detailed technical information needed for influencing the technical audience. However the current version of the deck is just a beginning and we’ll strive to include new topics and keep it update to date with latest Dynamics CRM features. Upcoming sections of the deck include User Experience, Extensibility, Security and much more. Below is a sampling of some of the slides you’ll find within this presentation deck.

    Updated 18th March 2013: New section includes presentation slides with speaker notes on the multi-instance capabilities of CRM Online.


    Finally, this deck has been made possible by a number of folks both inside and outside of Microsoft. I’m not going to name them all as the list is pretty long but you know who you are and we sincerely thank you.

    Happy selling!

    imageFrequently asked questions:

    Q: Why was the TDM deck not posted publicly on SlideShare or Skydrive?
    A: Some of the content within the deck are not suitable for public posting due to legal limitations, hence we’re posting this to PartnerSource wherein all Microsoft Dynamics partners can easily access it.

    Q: Can I share this TDM deck on SlideShare or any other publicly downloadable location?
    A: No

    Q: Can I share this with my prospects and customer?
    A: Yes, but please exercise caution when sharing. Your prospect may not want to sift through hundreds of slides, so only share slides that you feel are appropriate, preferably in PDF format.

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    How to print a PDF file in Windows 8



    I’ve seen many people that are wondering where the print menu went in Windows 8 especially when trying to print a PDF file they’re viewing in the Reader app.

    With Keyboard

    If you have a keyboard attached to your Windows 8 machine, it is as simple as pressing Ctrl+P in the Reader app which will bring up the list of printers that you have installed and you’re two clicks away from printing your document.

    Without Keyboard

    If you don’t have a keyboard, don’t worry as you can do this easily with touch. Swipe from the right to bring up the charms.


    Tap on Devices which should show you the list of printers you have installed.

    image  image


    Select the appropriate printer and choose other options (like page size, etc) and print away! BTW be responsible and print only if you must absolutely do so. Vast majority of things you can do on paper (such as reading, highlighting or adding an annotation) can be done directly within the Reader app in Windows 8.


  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Dynamics CRM Identity Federation Demo Setup



    One of the benefits of the new CRM Online identity platform is the ability to federate user identities so that end users can use their Active Directory (AD) credentials to logon to CRM Online without having to use a separate set of username and password. This is also referred to as single sign-on (SSO) wherein a user signs in once and can access many applications including CRM Online, Office 365, local on-premises applications and more.

    I often get asked how can one setup a demo/test environment to showcase this functionality with CRM Online so I spent a little bit of time putting together the list of steps required to have a CRM Online demo environment with federated identity. In the end, it is a "no drama" demo as all you are doing is just signing in but there are plenty of things happening behind the scenes to enable this magic!

    The list of steps might seem long because I cover everything from setting up active directory from the ground up to adding users in AD. End-to-end, it'll take about 2 to 3 hours to setup. . I pretty much followed the video walkthrough by Planky to put together my demo environment however there are few steps missing in planky's videos that I've included here. Please note that these instructions are strictly for demo environments and not recommended for production environments. In typical production environments, much of this would be done in advance and you'd need backup/redundant servers for failover, etc. In short, you're better off following the official documentation for production environment setup

    The post assumes that you have already created a new CRM Online trial and have a fair bit of knowledge on Windows Server and Active Directory setup. If you don't have that background, you can easily search the terms I mention on your favorite search engine and you can find plenty of articles to help.

    CRM Online Identity Federation Demo Setup Steps

    1. Create a Window Server Hyper-V Virtual Machine with external network connectivity. I generally use the Windows Server evaluation VMs provided by the Windows team. In this setup, I'm running the VMs locally on my machine but you could also host the VMs in the cloud with Windows Azure
      1. Rename the machine appropriately, say CRMOFedDC
      2. I generally disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration (IE ESC) for administrators & users within the server manager for my demo VMs.
      3. Run windows updates to install all the updates
    2. While the updates are installing, register for a new domain name at your favorite provider. In this example, I'm using and the new domain name I registered for the purpose of this demo is
    3. Promote the VM to domain controller using dcpromo
      1. Pick an FQDN of the forest domain. The one I use in this guide is and you need to pick your own. Optionally you can also use crmpmg.local but you'll have to add the .com UPN suffix at a later step.
      2. Chose Windows Server 2008 R2 and above only
    4. Add the "Active Directory Certification Services" role and set up the VM as the Enterprise Root Certification authority as per the instructions here:
      1. Choose "Certificate Authority" in Role Services screen
      2. Choose "Enterprise" in setup type
      3. Choose "Root CA" in CA type
      4. Choose all the defaults in Private Key and database locations screens and finish the wizard to configure the machine as the enterprise root certification authority.
    5. Download 64-bit ADFS 2.0 setup for Windows Server 2008 R2 (RTW\W2K8R2\amd64\AdfsSetup.exe) and install as a stand-alone federation server
      1. This will automatically install IIS, PowerShell, Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) and other required components
      2. Restart the machine at the end of the ADFS 2.0 setup if prompted.
    6. Open "ADFS 2.0 Management" under administrative tools and run the ADFS 2.0 federation server configuration wizard.
      1. Choose " Create a new federation service"
      2. Choose "Stand-alone federation server" since this is a demo environment.
      3. New SSL certificate will automatically be created and displayed for you since the same machine is the certificate authority. Click next a couple of times and complete the wizard.
    7. Download and install the Microsoft online services sign-in assistant:
    8. Download and install the Microsoft Online Services Module (64-bit):
    9. If you used a local name for the AD forest domain (like yourdomain.local) and haven't added (for example as the forest domain in dcpromo setup earlier, go to "Active Directory Domains and Trusts"
      1. Follow this article ( and add a UPN suffix for

      Note: Do the above setup only if you haven't added as the forest domain in AD. For example if you added crmpmg.local during dcpromo, this UPN addition is necessary, otherwise not required.

    10. Login to the Microsoft Online services portal ( with the administrator credentials of your demo account. This is typically the first user that was used to provision the trial such as
    11. Add the (e.g., domain name to the "Domains" under Management.
      1. This can be done using the portal web UI or using PowerShell command New-MsolFederatedDomain:
      2. See godaddy specific steps here:
      3. A visual walkthrough of this specific step is available in this youtube video:
      4. Create a TXT entry in the zone file within with the values provided for your subscription in the portal.

      5. Wait for a few minutes and go back to the Microsoft online portal and click "Verify" button at the bottom of the instructions page.
      6. Select Exchange Online & Lync Online in the "Specify domain services" step.
      7. If you choose SharePoint Online, it is primarily for the public website hosting on as explained here.
      8. Also see "Specify the services you'll use with your domain name" within
    12. Add a user in the Active Directory Users and Computers ensuring that the UPN suffix is the FQDN suffix (for example
    13. Enable Remote Desktop on the box and add the above user to Remote Desktop users.
    14. Open Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) and allow login through terminal services for remote desktop users as shown in the screenshot below.

    15. Go into the online services portal and manually add domain users like It will provide a temporary password but you won't use it as you'll use the domain credentials after next step.
      Note: Manually adding domain users is not recommended however the reason we're doing this is because we can test and verify identify federation with just one box without setting up directory synchronization. If you don't add this user now, the only way to add domain users after federation conversation is through directory synchronization.
    16. Next step is to convert the domain name to federated (Convert-MsolDomainToFederated -DomainName by running the set of commands in
    17. Remote desktop into the VM using CRMPMG\testuser and login to CRM or the portal ( When a domain user tries to sign-in, the office365 login page, automatically redirects to the federated login page.

    18. Active directory then prompts for credentials
    19. Once you sign-in using AD, you'll immediately login to the portal/CRM.
    20. You can disable this secondary authentication prompt by doing the below steps.
      1. Disable Anonymous Authentication and enabling Windows Authentication in IIS as shown in the below screenshot. Restart IIS to ensure the changes have been refreshed.


      1. Add to the "Local Intranet Zone" within IE for the windows credentials to be passed automatically.
      2. Now if you visit the portal (or CRM), you just enter your username and you'll be automatically signed-in using your domain credentials.
    21. You can also create single sign-on URL that allows users to login to CRM directly without even entering the username. This is done by appending the CRM URL with whr query string:


    1. Note that once you've enabled federation, you cannot add AD users through the portal UI. AD users have to be synchronized from AD to the online portal through a tool called DirSync.
    2. Visit and click "Activate" (step 3) to active directory synchronization.
    3. Create a second virtual machine (Windows Server 64-bit image) and join the VM to the CRMPMG AD domain. As always it is certainly a good idea to install all the latest windows updates before proceeding further.

      Note: In Hyper-V, you might want to create an additional network switch (Internal or Private) to bridge the VMs together to able to domain join. This network setup is similar to the 2010 IW VM.

    4. Install the pre-requisites for dirsync tool
      1. .NET 3.5 SP1
    5. Note: Office 365 supports synchronization of up to 50,000 objects (users, groups, etc). To synchronize more than 50,000 objects, contact Office 365 Support.

    6. At the end of the install, make sure that the configuration wizard checkbox is selected to start the configuration right after the install.
    7. Enter the online services tenant administrator credentials ( followed by domain admin credentials (CRMPMG\administrator).
    8. Leave the "Synchronize directories now" checkbox as check and finish the wizard.
    9. After a few minutes, you can see that users from Active Directory are now available within the Microsoft Online Services users. You can also verify directory synchronization by following the steps here: You can easily distinguish domain users as they have a special "Refresh" icon next to them. Select the synchronized users and active them. You'd also want to assign them security roles with CRM for those users to access CRM Online.

    10. You will also see an error email regarding stating that there is conflict during directory synchronization. This is expected since we manually added testuser instead of synchronizing from the directory. You can delete the user within the portal and it'll get added back to CRM after a few hours via synchronization.
    11. You can also force directory synchronization using PowerShell (Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync) or using configuration wizard as per the instructions here:

    12. And you're done! You now have CRM Online demo environment with federated identity and directory synchronization.


  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Authentication with Dynamics CRM Online on Microsoft online services environment(Office 365)


    Since July 19th 2012, all new sign-ups for Dynamics CRM Online have been switched over to the Microsoft online services environment which is the same subscription/billing platform used by Office 365 and many other services from Microsoft. Among many new things with this switch over, one significant technical change is that it allows CRM Online customers and partners to use the same identity platform as Office 365. This means that users of CRM Online & Office 365 will have the same set of username/password to access various services and it also helps administrators to manage their users in an effective way.

    If you are a Dynamics CRM developer or partner developing with the CRM Online web services, you might want to update your code to support the new identity platform (now called as Windows Azure Active Directory - WAAD in short)

    For .NET developers, this page on MSDN shows you all the details on updating your code: Also the downloadable SDK code samples have been updated to reflect the various authentication options.

    For those that are writing code in platforms other than .NET, you might want to checkout the updated SOAP-only web services sample posted here:

    You can sign-up for a trial account in the new platform at and manage your subscription at the Microsoft Online Services Portal – Existing users of CRM Online using Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID) will eventually be migrated to the new environment and the timelines for this migration is still TBD.

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 UR9 (a.k.a “R8”) Beta is here!


    Today I’m proud to announce the availability of beta version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 UR9 or Q2 2012 Service Update or “R8”. Call it what you want but it is here! The beta release only includes on-premises version of the next release of CRM. This release includes support for multiple browser types and many other great features that you can find in the Release Preview Guide.

    This beta release is primarily targeted at developers and partners. We want you to make sure your solution and custom code works as you expect with the upcoming release. Please be sure to ready yourself, your peers and solutions for the release coming up in just a few short weeks.

    What does the beta include?

    • A test only on-premises build
    • Pre-recorded feature overview sessions and power point presentation files
    • Pre-release implementation guide
    • SDK and readme.

    Again we’d like to emphasize that the beta release is for test purposes only, and not for production usage. There is no migration path from the beta to the final release, so please plan accordingly and use appropriate test environments. There are elements of upcoming release that are not included in the beta, for example Mobility or CRMOnline specific features are not offered as part of the beta but will be available in the final release.

    Where can you get the beta release?

    The bits are available on Microsoft Connect site. Please follow the steps below to get access.

    1. Please provision an account on the R8 Beta Connect site by clicking on this link.
    2. Please complete the R8 Beta Access Survey using this link. (this link will not work until you complete step 1 above)
    3. Please access the R8 Beta Package using this link. (this link will not work until you complete steps 1&2 above)
    4. Please pose any questions about the R8 Beta using this R8 Beta Discussion Group here. (this link will not work until you complete steps 1&2 above)


    Post all questions on the Connect discussion group linked above in step #4. If you are having trouble accessing the connect links above, please send an email to

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    BCS with SharePoint Online & CRM Online


    Click to go to the SharePoint 2010 product marketing siteMicrosoft is bringing new capabilities faster than ever to our cloud offerings including SharePoint Online and CRM Online. Case in point is the Business Connectivity Services (BCS) that was introduced in SharePoint Online last fall as part of the recent service update. The biggest ask I’ve had since the service update was examples of surfacing CRM Online data within SharePoint Online through BCS.

    Having worked with BCS in SharePoint 2010 along with CRM Online, I chatted with the BCS experts at Lightning Tools to pick their brain on this topic. Nick Swan from Lightning Tools was really excited about building a connector to integrate the two cloud platforms. Nick also published a blog post which has a detailed walkthrough on setting up basic integration between SharePoint Online and CRM Online through BCS. You can check out the post here:

    It is a great sample for the community to get started on this topic and Nick also addresses some of the popular questions and concerns you might have. If you are looking for a full-fledged integration solution, please reach out to Nick directly by emailing him at

    Happy SharePointing!

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Book - Professional SharePoint 2010 Cloud-Based Solutions


    imageHappy New Year! Over the holidays, a book I co-authored with my former colleagues at evangelism group was published by Wrox : Professional SharePoint 2010 Cloud-Based Solutions (Wrox Programmer to Programmer).

    This is my first book and the whole experience was pretty daunting, humbling yet really fun! Seeing one’s name on the bookshelf is truly rewarding and I’d encourage everyone to try it at least once in your lifetime.

    With CRM systems being a major workload in the cloud, the book has a chapter on managing customer information in SharePoint Online using CRM Online as the backend (of course)!

    <Cross posting from donovanf’s blog>

    Steve Fox was the driver behind this and it was a great opportunity to team up with him and my other colleagues Paul Stubbs and Donovan Follette to write this book.

    Professional SharePoint 2010 Cloud-Based Solutions is primarily for IT Pros, SharePoint Developers and enthusiasts who want to better understand how to leverage the cloud in/from their SharePoint solutions/installations. Each chapter is designed to expose some form of integration with SharePoint and the cloud. This includes Web 2.0 technologies, Windows Azure, CRM Online and other cloud-based services.

    What I believe is most helpful in the book, is that each chapter provides a conceptual overview of the technologies used in building cloud-based solutions. It then provides a high-level architecture for a solution and then lays out the practical step-by-step instructions to walk through a sample concept-to-practical solution. Our intent for the book is not to just talk about what you might do, but to describe the concepts and then show you how to do a small project and get you rolling.

    Thanks again to Steve, Paul and Donovan for the opportunity to work with you on this.

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Slides from “Technical Overview of CRM 2011 R7” Webcast


    As promised, here are the slides from my webcast earlier today on “Technical Overview of CRM 2011 R7“. You can also access the recording of the webcast on here:

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Role change for me at Microsoft


    I’m returning back to Dynamics CRM world after a small hiatus! I joined our Dynamics CRM group as a Technical Product Manager last month. Even though I’ll be working with most people I already knew and same set of technologies, every job change at Microsoft is challenging. That’s not bad though, since the constant change and new challenges are essential parts of being at Microsoft and is actually quite fun.

    For those that aren’t very familiar with me, I was a Technical Evangelist in the DPE group for the past 4 years evangelizing Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, and the Microsoft platform to our developers and ISV partners.  In that role, I had the opportunity to create vast amount of technical content, demos, present at various conferences world-wide and most importantly blog about all of those great things.

    Though my new role is slightly different from my previous one, I’ll continue to evangelize Dynamics CRM and other great Microsoft technologies, so stay tuned for more blog posts!

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Slides & Demos of “Extending SharePoint 2010 with HTML5 and JavaScript” at SPSTCDC


    As promised, below are the slides and links to demos from the “Extending SharePoint 2010 with HTML5 and JavaScript” talk that I gave at the SharePoint Saturday Conference in DC.



  • Girish Raja's Blog

    SharePoint Saturday Conference


    Sharepoint Saturday Conference

    “SharePoint Saturday - The Conference” is coming up next week in the DC area and I’ll be there presenting a few sessions and we’re also hosting an amazing workshop that you don’t want to miss. First off here are some details about the conference

    When: Thursday, August 11 – Saturday, August 13, 2011 8 am – 6 pm
    Where: Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus, Annandale, VA

    SharePoint & Windows Azure Workshop

    As part of the conference, we’ll be holding a one-day workshop on August 11th covering one of my favorite topic - SharePoint & Windows Azure Integration. You can register for the workshop here: and there is no additional cost for the workshop.

    This action packed workshop will include presentations, demos and hands-on lab content walking through various aspects of integrating SharePoint 2010 and Windows Azure together. Please bring your laptop for this workshop to run through various hands-on lab materials. We’ll provide you credentials for a remote virtual machine to run thru the labs. You’ll also receive a free Windows Azure account (no credit card required) to help you develop Windows Azure applications while at the workshop.

    Plus few of the early birds attending the workshop will receive a free copy of the book Developing Microsoft SharePoint Applications Using Windows Azure by Steve Fox. Steve himself will be kicking off the workshop, so make sure you get a copy of the book signed by him if you can!


    My team will be delivering three sessions at the conference besides the workshop.

    1. Keynote: SharePoint and the Cloud
      Steve Fox will be delivering this keynote on Friday morning and below is an abstract for his keynote speech.
      Everywhere you turn, you hear about the cloud. But what is the cloud? And why should we as SharePoint professionals care? Collaboration in the cloud is a growing area, and if you don’t take notice then you may be left behind. From foundational capabilities to custom solution, across SharePoint and SharePoint Online, this keynote session will show you how the cloud is changing the game for you and the SharePoint industry as a whole.
    2. Session: “Going Hybrid” with Windows Azure and on-premises SharePoint 2010
      Windows Azure along with SharePoint is redefining business applications moving them to the cloud, however the transition as we all know cannot happen overnight. With so many options in the Windows Azure Platform such as AppFabric Service, Azure Connect and Virtual Machine roles, many developers are trying to figure out the best strategy to bridge both worlds. In this session we provide an overview of these technologies and show demos on how developers can use these Azure technologies in conjunction with SharePoint 2010 to enable the transition to the cloud.
    3. Session: Extending SharePoint 2010 with HTML5 and JavaScript
      We have all heard the facts and speculations about HTML5 being the development platform of the future. As modern browsers evolve at a rapidly increasing pace, standards based web development is becoming more common and easier than ever. Of course it is not an overnight change but it doesn’t hurt to brush up on your long forgotten JavaScript skills! In this primer session, we take a look at some of the basics of HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript that SharePoint developers need to know. We’ll discuss how SharePoint can take advantage of HTML5, JavaScript and show how you can use some key libraries such as jQuery to enhance SharePoint 2010 applications.

    The conference is a community event with over 280 sessions from over 190 speakers that are world renowned SharePoint experts and executives covering a wide range of technical and business topics.

    Don’t miss this great learning opportunity and make sure you register now. I look forward to seeing you in DC!

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    SharePoint 2010 and Windows Azure Training Kit–July 2011




    This week we released the July version of the SharePoint 2010 and Windows Azure Training Kit. If you haven’t looked at this kit before, it is a training course for developers to ramp up on different ways to integrate SharePoint and Windows Azure.

    You can view the online MSDN version of the training course here:
    You can also download an offline version of the kit which allows you to store the hands-on labs and presentations on your local computer:

    SharePoint 2010 provides many ways to integrate with Windows Azure. From simple SQL Azure data-centric applications to complex workflow that leverages custom Azure services, there is great potential to integrate these two growing technologies. The kit contains twelve modules that include PowerPoint decks, hands-on labs and source code that shows how the SharePoint 2010 platform and Windows Azure platform can work together.

    This course is intended for developers and architects who are interested in understanding how SharePoint 2010 and Windows Azure can leverage each other. Knowledge of SharePoint 2010 development or Windows Azure is helpful but not required. Familiarity with general .NET development along with web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript and Web Services is recommended.

    If you’ve downloaded a previous version of this kit, new in the July 2011 release are:

    • Modules on
      • Using Windows Azure Blob Storage with SharePoint 2010
      • Azure Hosted Application Design Pattern for SharePoint
      • Using Windows Azure with SharePoint Event Handlers
      • Using Windows Azure with SharePoint Workflow
    • New videos for various modules
    • Updated Resources
  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Office 365 and SharePoint 2010 SP1 are Now Available


    Big news in the SharePoint world this week with the release of Office 365 (including SharePoint Online) and the ServicePack1 release for SharePoint 2010. I missed all the action earlier this week as I was out sick but I thought I’d summarize it as a simple reference list for me and I hope this is of use to you as well.

    Office 365 is now publicly available in 20 languages and 40 markets around the world at If you’re wondering what Office365 is, it includes SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Lync Online and Office 2010 Professional Plus that you can subscribe to as a “service” hosted and operated by Microsoft.

    Watch the Office 365 Launch Video

    If you want to get a good overview of Office365’s capabilities, you *MUST* watch this video. Steve Ballmer officially launched Office365 on July 28th and did a 30-minute presentation for the press. The recording of his presentation along with demos can be found here:

    Tip: The built-in Silverlight player gave me some errors while trying to watch the recording. I then opened Windows Media Player and did a File->Open URL and pasted this link: The video then played flawlessly!

    Free Training Kit for Developers

    My colleague Chris Mayo has just released the Office 365 Developer Training Course and it is available for free here: You can also checkout the SharePoint Online developer page ( for more articles and downloads such as whitepapers, SDKs, etc.

    Of course if you develop for SharePoint 2010, most of those skills apply for SharePoint Online as well since it is built on the same platform.

    Independent Reviews of Office365

    Read what others are saying about Office 365 in this collection of selected top news stories -


    Two articles that I particularly enjoyed reading were:

    1. NPR on Five Reasons Microsoft Office 365 Should Be Taken Seriously -
    2. Office 365 vs. Google Docs Showdown: Feature by Feature -
  • Girish Raja's Blog

    TechEd NA 2011 Session Recording: CRM and SharePoint


    My session titled “Integrating Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online” from TechEd North America 2011 was recorded and can be viewed on-demand at the link posted below.

    Source code of all my demos in this session is available here: Source Code from my TechEd OSP309 Session.

    I also found out that John Anderson from Bamboo Solution has done a great job summarizing my session in his blog here:

    BTW channel9 has the recordings of all sessions from TechEd North America 2011 and you can watch/download them here: Even if you didn’t attend TechEd, you can watch all the sessions including the keynote, so don’t miss out on your favorite content.


  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Virtual Machine for Dynamics CRM 2011


    Microsoft has released a Virtual Machine (VM) for CRM 2011 for field and partner consumption.  This virtual machine is for demonstration purposes and is pre-loaded with a number of high value scenario demos. It includes CRM 2011, SharePoint, Exchange, Outlook client, SQL Server, and includes xRM scenarios such as portals, facility management, employee management, vendor management scenarios.  With the host of tools available within the VM, it can also be used to kick start your CRM 2011 development if you’d like to build apps for CRM 2011.


    You can download the virtual machine from PartnerSource here:


    If the standard one doesn’t fit your needs, you can always build your own custom CRM 2011 VM.

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    Source Code from my TechEd OSP309 Session


    Below you'll find the source code for various demos I used during my OSP309 session at TechEd NA 2011.

    These source code projects are provided as-is and are for temporary reference only without any support. They will be removed shortly and the final versions will be posted on MSDN Code Gallery. The link to the Code Gallery Projects will be available in this blog post as soon as they're published.

  • Girish Raja's Blog

    CRM 2011 with SharePoint & Azure at TechEd North America 2011


    TechEd North America is a four day event happening May 16-19, 2011 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ll be there presenting a couple of sessions and participating in a few more. Below is a detailed list of the sessions that I’ll be presenting. If you are at TechEd and want to chat more about CRM, please feel free to look me up.

    Given my interest in SharePoint and Azure, I’m also working on creating some new content for the SharePoint and Azure Development Primer as a pet project. You can expect an updated version of the primer on MS Downloads by TechEd, so stay tuned!

    Code Session Room Day Time .vcs

    Integrating Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

    C302 Tuesday, May 17 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

    Building Cloud Apps Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Windows Azure
    Interactive Discussion

    B303 Wednesday, May 18 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
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