Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and Google Chrome 39 Compatibility

Microsoft introduced cross-browser support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM way back with Update Rollup 12 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, including support for Google Chrome. However, we at xRM (www.xrm.com) and others have discovered compatibility issues with Google Chrome that persist in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.

Presently, Dynamics CRM 2015 is supported on the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari

For more details about other supported browsers and operating systems, please see Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 System Requirements.

When Google Chrome reached version 37 back in September 2014, many CRM users reported issues such as an inability to export data to Excel, system settings not being saved, the Form Editor not accepting changes, and errors when modifying Status Reason fields.

The root cause of these issues is that Google deprecated the showModalDialog API in Chrome. Basically, showModalDialog allows applications to show a dialog of HTML content while simultaneously freezing all other content. By default, showModalDialog is turned off in Chrome. However, Google has added a “temporary Enterprise Policy setting to re-enable showModalDialog. In May 2015 this setting will be removed and showModalDialog will be completely removed from Chromium,” per the Chromium Blog. (Chromium is the open source browser upon which Google Chrome and some other browsers are built.)

The following explanation is found on http://www.chromium.org/administrators/policy-list-3#EnableDeprecatedWebPlatformFeatures:

EnableDeprecatedWebPlatformFeatures

Enable deprecated web platform features for a limited time

Data type:

List of strings

Windows registry location:

Software\Policies\Chromium\EnableDeprecatedWebPlatformFeatures

Mac/Linux preference name:

EnableDeprecatedWebPlatformFeatures

Supported on:

  • Chromium (Linux, Mac, Windows) since version 37
  • Chromium OS (Chromium OS) since version 37
  • Chromium (Android) since version 37

Supported features:

Dynamic Policy Refresh: Yes, Per Profile: Yes

Description:

Specify a list of deprecated web platform features to re-enable temporarily. This policy gives administrators the ability to re-enable deprecated web platform features for a limited time. Features are identified by a string tag and the features corresponding to the tags included in the list specified by this policy will get re-enabled. If this policy is left not set, or the list is empty or does not match one of the supported string tags, all deprecated web platform features will remain disabled. While the policy itself is supported on the above platforms, the feature it is enabling may be available on fewer platforms. Not all deprecated Web Platform features can be re-enabled. Only the ones explicitly listed below can be for a limited period of time, which is different per feature. The general format of the string tag will be [DeprecatedFeatureName]_EffectiveUntil[yyyymmdd]. As reference, you can find the intent behind the Web Platform feature changes at http://bit.ly/blinkintents.

  • “ShowModalDialog_EffectiveUntil20150430” = Enable ShowModalDialog API through 2015.04.30

Example value:

Windows:

Software\Policies\Chromium\EnableDeprecatedWebPlatformFeatures\1 = “ShowModalDialog_EffectiveUntil20150430”

Linux:

[“ShowModalDialog_EffectiveUntil20150430”]

Mac:

<array>

<string>ShowModalDialog_EffectiveUntil20150430</string>

</array>

Microsoft Support provides its own instructions on how to resolve the issue:

  1. Download ADM Policy Templates for Windows
  2. Extract the downloaded files, then navigate to Start | Run: gpedit.msc
  3. Navigate to Local Computer Policy | Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates
  4. Right-click Administrative Templates and select Add/Remove Templates
  5. Add the downloaded chrome.adm templates of Windows via the dialog for the specific language
  6. Once the template is added, a Google Chrome folder will appear under ‘Classic Administrative Templates’
  7. Select EnableDeprecatedWebPlatformFeatures setting in the right column. Right-click the setting and select Edit
  8. Edit the EnableDeprecatedWebPlatformFeatures as shown below:
    1. Paste in the following string value: ShowModalDialog_EffectiveUntil20150430
    2. Click OK on the Show Contents dialog
    3. Click Apply and OK on the Enabled Deprecated Webplatform Features dialog
  9. Restart the Google Chrome browser and type chrome://policy in the address bar
    1. You should observe that this deprecated feature is now enabled.

It is important to emphasize that this temporary solution will only be available until May 2015. At that time, showModalDialog will be completely removed from Chromium (and therefore from Google Chrome which is based on Chromium). Presently, it is not clear how Microsoft Dynamics CRM will function when running in Chrome after that happens.

Another issue is that Google Chrome does not allow the rollback to an older version of the browser.

To avoid these issues altogether, users can sign into Microsoft Dynamics CRM in either Internet Explorer or Firefox. On a side note, Firefox does keep a public archive or their builds available. If Firefox ever releases a version that is not compatible with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you will be able to roll back to the previous version that does work.

Technically, Microsoft Dynamics CRM supports browser compatibility for Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and even Chrome (assuming you make the registry changes). But it’s unclear at this time how that will change in May 2015, if it even does change. Be sure to plan ahead and stay tuned.

Meanwhile, xRM recommends that customers avoid Google Chrome 39 with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.

If you would like to learn more tips, tricks, and tutorials such as this one, please check out our xRM blog and our Success Portal. If you would like to receive training from our team of experts, please inquire about our QuickStart Training.

Read More

Troubleshooting Data Import Errors

Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides some useful tools for importing your data, such as templates, the Import Data Wizard, and data maps. These features are designed to make the import process as pain free as possible. However, we at xRM (www.xrm.com) know that complications and errors can still arise, and it can be frustrating if you aren’t able to locate the source of the problem. In this post, let’s examine two of these common errors, how we find them, and how we resolve them.

First, let’s take a look at the data that we want to import. It’s in a .csv file we created in Excel:

Troubleshooting Data Import Errors

This is a simple list of Contact records we want to bring into our CRM database. It has just five attributes: First Name, Last Name, Title, Business, and Business Phone. Let’s proceed with the import and see what happens. One way of doing this data is by navigating to Settings > Data Management, and then clicking Imports. Next, click the Import Data button in the command bar and proceed through the Import Data Wizard that appears.

Troubleshooting Data Import Errors

Now, it is time to map the fields. As you can see above, I’ve mapped the “Business” column to the Company Name field of the related Account record. Let’s finish the import and then examine the results.

Troubleshooting Data Import Errors

Why did we have five errors and zero successes? Rather than trying to import the same document again as is and running into the same problem, let’s first locate the issue. To do this, we can open the record of the import itself. In this example, we can click “Client List.csv.” When the record window opens, click the Failures label in the Related pane on the left of the form.

Troubleshooting Data Import Errors

In the Import Log, we can see a description of why each record was unsuccessfully imported. The first four records could not be brought in because a lookup reference could not be resolved. This is a common mistake new users to Dynamics CRM encounter when bringing in new contact records: trying to import new records from two different entities in a single file.

The Excel document shown above represents both Accounts and Contacts. The “Business” column references the Account records. If those records do not already exist when bringing in the related Contact records, the lookup reference error occurs. To avoid this error, we can copy and paste the Business column into another Excel file, along with any other data relevant to the Account records. We then import the Accounts before we import the Contacts. This time, the lookup reference error won’t trigger because there will be existing Account records with which the Contacts can be related.

What about the duplicate error for the last record? In the ImportLog Associated View there is a column called “Original Row Number.” This helps us locate the exact record in the spreadsheet that is causing the error. In this example, it’s row 6, “Becky Miller.” Let’s say we know for a fact that Becky does not already exist in our database. So how could a duplicate have been detected? To find the answer, let’s navigate to Settings > Data Management > Duplicate Detection Rules.

In a nutshell, a Duplicate Detection Rule in Dynamics CRM helps maintain the integrity of our data. When records are imported or created, the system will use any published rule to verify that the incoming record does not already exist. An example of such a rule is “Contacts with the same first and last name.” By default, Dynamics CRM comes with nine published Duplicate Detection Rules. Any of them can be deactivated and new ones can be created. Let’s take a look at the published rules for Contact records.

Troubleshooting Data Import Errors

We know Becky does not have the same first and last name as anyone in our system. We also know that we’re not importing email addresses in this import, so that rule couldn’t have triggered the error. So that leaves “Contacts with the same business phone number” as the only rule preventing the successful import of Becky’s record. This is actually a common misstep in imports. What happens is users attempt to import a group of contact records that work for the same company. Oftentimes, the business phone number will be the same for all of the contacts because it is the company phone number, not a direct line. This triggers the Duplicate Detection Rule and prevents all but one of the Contact records from being created. Becky already has a coworker in the system with the same business phone listing. Therefore, the system sees this as a duplicate record.

To prevent this from happening, we can simply select the rule, and then click the Unpublish button. We’ll then be able to import Becky’s record successfully. We can even Publish the rule again once the import is complete.

The lookup reference and duplicate detection errors are common in data imports, but they certainly aren’t the only problems that can occur. Be sure to check the record of import in CRM, especially the listed failures to locate the source of the problem and hopefully find a solution with as little headache as possible.

If you would like to learn more tips, tricks, and tutorials such as this one, please check out our xRM blog and our Success Portal. If you would like to receive training from our team of experts, please inquire about our QuickStart Training.

Read More

Changes Coming to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

If you are a current Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscriber, you have undoubtedly noticed the Update scheduled message appearing immediately under the navigation bar when you log into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. While the update is optional, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 is a worthwhile upgrade that adds several welcome features, including global search, improved Products, and more powerful Business Process Flows.

Changes Coming to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

However, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 also removes support for old versions of Internet Explorer, several client SDK APIs, and a few other deprecated features. You should make sure that any customizations you have deployed to your CRM organization don’t depend on these features before you complete the update. You will also want to make sure that compatible web browser versions are in place before you update. You can reschedule your update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 to give your organization time to update any custom applications and upgrade any user workstations.

Changes in browser support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

One obvious change is that Microsoft is removing support for Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015. You will need to make sure that all user workstations have IE 10, IE 11, or the most recent version of Mozilla Firefox before you update to CRM Online 2015. Please note that even though Google Chrome is listed as a compatible browser, we still do not recommend it due to compatibility issues.

API Changes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

Microsoft has also removed support for several JavaScript APIs, and if you use any of these APIs in your code, your code will likely break once you update to CRM Online 2015. The deprecated APIs are as follows:

  • · context.getServerURL (Microsoft recommends using getClientURL instead.)
  • · context.isOutlookClient (Microsoft recommends using client.getClient instead.)
  • · context.isOutlookOnline (Microsoft recommends using client.get instead.)

Other Deprecated Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

  • · Support for the Kit type of Product has been removed.
  • · Microsoft Dynamics CRM Email Router support for Exchange 2007 has been removed.
  • · Support for the 2007 SDK SOAP Endpoint has been removed.

You can learn more about the changes coming to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 by visiting the Get ready for the next release page.

Are Your Ready for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

If you are unsure if your custom code is ready for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, xRM can help. Our expert CRM consultants can examine your custom code and determine what steps need to be taken to ensure your code’s readiness for CRM 2015. Schedule your complimentary Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Code Readiness Analysis today.

Changes Coming to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

Read More

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

If you are a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscriber, you may have noticed a curious new message appearing when you logged into your CRM organization recently: “Update scheduled Your update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 is now scheduled for x/xx/xxxx. Please approve or reschedule.”

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

This message indicates that Microsoft has tentatively scheduled a window during which your CRM Online organization will be updated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015. The Update scheduled message began appearing shortly after the announcement that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 had been released to the public. Not only does the message let you know that your update to CRM Online 2015 has been scheduled, but it also gives you the option to reschedule your update by clicking the Manage Updates button.

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

Clicking the manage updates button will take you to the Manage your Dynamics CRM updates page in the CRM Online Administration Center. This page displays a great deal of information about your CRM organization, including the current version you are running, the date and time of your scheduled update to CRM 2015, and the status of your update.

There are three important points that you should know about this update. First, it must be approved before your CRM instance will be upgraded to CRM Online 2015. Unlike several previous updates, the CRM Online 2015 update is optional, and you are not forced to upgrade at this time. However, you will not gain access to the new features unless you approve the update. Second, Microsoft has removed support for Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015. Additionally, Microsoft has removed support for several JavaScript APIs. If you have custom code deployed in your CRM Online instance, you will want to verify that your code is compatible before you update. Third, you can reschedule your update to give your organization time to upgrade user workstations and update your custom code.

How to Reschedule Your Update to CRM Online 2015

In the screenshot below, you can see that our update is currently scheduled for 5/13/15, but we’d actually like to receive the update much sooner than that. Fortunately, we can click Reschedule update on the right of the screen choose another date for our scheduled update.

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

Clicking Reschedule update takes us to the Schedule your update page on which we have the option of choosing both our Preferred date and time and an Alternate date and time, which is a backup window during which the update will be performed in case the update is not completed successfully the first time.

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

Update windows for existing CRM Online subscribers begin in January 2015. At the time of writing, the earliest available date is January 7, 2015. Once you have chosen a date for your update to CRM 2015, you will notice that the earliest available slot for your Alternate date and time will be at least 14 days after your Preferred date and time.

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

The final steps in the update scheduling process are to verify that your scheduled update windows are to your liking and then to approve the update. Please note that your CRM organization may not be available during the scheduled update window.

Missing Update Scheduled Message

If you do not see the update scheduled message when you log into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, you can still manage your update by visiting the Office 365 admin center. From the Office 365 admin center, click the arrow next to ADMIN in the navigation pane on the left side of the screen, and click CRM, which will take you to the CRM Online Administration Center.

Disabling the Update Scheduled Message

The Update Scheduled Message is controlled by a cookie that is stored in your browser. One easy way to disable the message is to click the Manage Updates button. Once you do so, the message should disappear.

Conclusion

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 boasts a number of extraordinary new features and enhancements that make the update a no-brainer. These enhancements include global search, visual hierarchies, enhancements to the mobile client, branching Business Process Flows, improvements to the Product entity, calculated fields and rollup fields, and more. While the update is optional, you will not receive any of the new features and enhancements released as part of CRM 2015 until the update is completed. Just make sure that your custom code, if you have any, is ready for the update and that none of your user work stations are still running IE 8 or IE 9.

Finally, if you are looking for cost-effective training so that your organization can make better use of all the features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, including the new features of CRM Online 2015, check out the Enhanced Training Package from xRM. The Enhanced Training Package features a cost-effective combination of live online training and on-demand training delivered by the Learning Management System hosted by xRM.

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

Read More

10 Steps to CRM Implementation Success

Introduction:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) deployments can be complicated endeavors. Large companies can afford to make big investments in strategic analysis, customization, and training, but smaller companies typically don’t have the budget for these endeavors. Instead, they try to deploy a CRM application on their own with limited guidance. But, with even a small investment of time and money, any company can boost its ROI and achieve a successful deployment.

10 Steps to CRM Implementation Success

Successful CRM Deployment Steps

1. Ensure that you have the support of senior management and IT. Without their support, your deployment will never get off the ground. The rest of the company will typically fall in line once leadership has declared its intention to adopt a new CRM solution.

2. Gather requirements. Make a list of business requirements that your CRM system needs to meet and prioritize them. This effort will help you determine which requirements are absolutely necessary and which fall into the wouldn’t-it-be-nice category. Ideally, a CRM consultant will help you gather requirements as part of a Strategic Analysis (SA) effort, but if SA is out of the question due to budgetary concerns, you can complete this process internally.

3. Identify and document all existing processes. All companies rely on a set of processes that help move business forward. Part of initial deployment process will consist of asking yourself a series of questions:

o How do we collect leads?

o How are deals guided through the sales process?

o How do we maintain relationships with existing customers?

o How do we identify our most important clients?

o How are customer service inquiries handled?

o How are contacts stored and shared?

The answers to these questions and others will help you gain an understanding of your current business processes, and allow you to begin to imagine how a CRM solution can improve and automate portions of these business processes.

4. Conduct a Gap Analysis. Even in completely stock form, a CRM application is a tremendously powerful tool. It is important however, to identify any gaps that exist between a completely stock CRM organization and the requirements that you gathered as part of step 2.

Unless you have a CRM expert on staff, you will likely need the assistance of an expert CRM consultant to perform this analysis for you. While such an effort is usually part of an SA, more affordable options are available, such as the QuickStart Blueprint service from xRM.

5. Draft a configuration plan. Once you have identified any fit gaps, it’s time to create a configuration plan that details any custom entities (record types), fields, workflows, dashboards, reports, and code that need to be created in order to deploy a CRM system that precisely meets your unique business needs.

6. Configure the system. It sounds cliché, but every business is unique. Every industry has its own terminology and requirements, and every company has unique processes honed over time. No CRM application can address the needs of every conceivable organization out-of-the-box. Some configuration and customization will likely be required to address the fit gaps. One of the reasons that we like Microsoft Dynamics CRM so much is that is an extremely flexible platform that can be configured in a myriad of ways without the need for custom coding.

7. Collect and migrate data. Depending upon your current processes and the tools you use to store your data, data migration can be the most challenging and expensive part of the entire deployment. The cost of your data migration effort can be affected by a number of factors, including the size, complexity, and format of your existing backend database, as well as any configuration that must be done to CRM to support the data migration. Depending on the size and complexity of your database, you may be able to simply use spreadsheets to import data into your new database, or you may be looking a more extensive data migration effort. A CRM consultant with experience in data migration can help you understand the challenges and costs involved in migrating your existing data to your new system.

8. Test. The next step in the deployment process is to test the system before it enters into production. It is absolutely critical to budget the time and resources to test thoroughly before you go live to avoid the heartbreak of a production system that doesn’t function the way you expect it to. Once testing is complete and any issues rectified, you can throw the “go-live” switch confidently.

9. Train. You can threaten your end users with all kinds of heinous tortures, but they will be reluctant to adopt a new CRM system unless are comfortable using it. Give them the information they need to succeed. Take the time to show them how the new CRM system makes their jobs easier and consider providing them with both video and print resources that they can refer to as needed while they adjust to the new system.

10. Evaluate. The final step in a successful CRM deployment is to evaluate the system’s effectiveness. Evaluation is a critical and ongoing process that should continue for as long as you are using the system. At set intervals, you will want to ask yourself, “Is my CRM system still meeting my needs?” and “Am I getting the ROI that I expected from my CRM system?” If the “no” is the answer to either of these questions, you will want to investigate the reasons behind the shortfall.

About xRM

At xRM, we live to help organizations deploy CRM solutions that precisely meet their business requirements. We have worked with Microsoft Dynamics CRM since its inception. In that time, we have assisted companies in every industry deploy innovative solutions that increase sales, improve customer service, and boost efficiency. Read about some of our customers’ success stories here.

Our Professional Services run the gamut from Strategic Analysis to Data Migration, Customization to Training, and more.

Every xRM customer gains access to the Success Portal, a free online video training library dedicated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

Read More

Using Templates for Data Import in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Once you have chosen to deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM, one of the first challenges you will face is getting your data out of your existing CRM solution and into your Microsoft Dynamics CRM database for the first time. Most small businesses use some combination of spreadsheets, BCM, or a CRM-like application, such as Goldmine or Act. Fortunately, many CRM systems will allow you to export your data to a spreadsheet in either .csv, .xml, .txt, or .zip formats, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM makes it pretty easy to import these records into your new CRM database using the Import Data Wizard.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Data Management

The Import Data Wizard

To access the Import Data Wizard, navigate to Settings > Data Management, and click Imports. Once the My Imports View opens, you will see an option in the Command Bar labeled “Import Data.” Click the Import Data button in the Command Bar to open the Import Data Wizard.

The Import Data Wizard allows you to import data from .xml, .csv, .txt, and .zip files. Once you have selected the file that you wish to upload, the Import Data Wizard will ask you to choose a CRM record type and then requires that you map the fields in the source file to fields within CRM, which is the most challenging part of using the wizard.

Mapping fields in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Templates for Data Import

Microsoft Dynamics CRM also provides you with the option to utilize one of the out-of-the-box Templates for Data Import to make the initial data importation process more seamless and a little less challenging. Dynamics CRM provides templates for all of the entities in the system, including common ones such as Contact, Opportunity, Lead, Account, and Case records. To access the templates, navigate to Settings > Data Management, and click Templates for Data Import.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Templates for Data Import

The Templates for Data Import work great for importing data and creating standard records in your database because the fields are already mapped for you. An important tip to keep in mind is that you don’t have to fill every column of the template. You can leave columns you don’t plant to use blank or delete the columns altogether. However, you will need to make sure that you don’t have data on your spreadsheet outside of a labeled column. If you do, your import will fail.

Creating Custom Templates Using Advanced Find

You can also create your own customized Templates for Data Import using the Advanced Find tool. This approach is especially useful if you have created custom fields or entities in your Microsoft Dynamics CRM database. The video below walks you through the process of creating your own templates using the Advanced Find tool.

Read More

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Best Practices for Contacts Who Change Companies

People frequently change companies, bouncing from one employer to another within the same or similar industries. If you work within a particularly close-knit industry, you will undoubtedly have Contacts who change from one company with which you do business to another with which you do business. We at xRM (www.xrm.com) answer that question frequently in our Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics CRM webinar.

As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM administrator, you will have to decide how your organization will handle this scenario. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you essentially have two options:

  1. Reassign the Contact to another Account.
  2. Deactivate the Contact record and recreate it under the new Account.

Both options work, but you will have to decide which is better for your organization.
Reassign the Contact to another Account

Your first option is to reassign the Contact to another Account. This process is very easy and only requires that you change the Company Name field on the Contact record.
As you probably know, Contacts in Microsoft Dynamics CRM are typically related to Accounts in the database, although they can also exist on their own. Relating Contacts to Accounts allows all of the Activities, such as Emails, Tasks, Phone Calls, and Appointments, to roll up to the Account level.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Contact Management

If you reassign the Contact to another Account, all of the Activities that are related to that Contact will now roll up to the new Account. Watch what happens when Benedict Arnold moves from Uncle Sam Enterprises to His Majesty’s Royal Army.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Activity Rollup

By reassigning Benedict Arnold from Uncle Sam all Activities related to Mr. Arnold now roll up to the His Majesty’s Royal Army Account record.

Deactivate and Recreate Contact

The second option is to deactivate the existing Contact record and recreate it under the new Account. Watch what happens when we deactivate the existing Contact record for Benedict Arnold. Notice that we aren’t deleting it. We are simply deactivating it.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Contact Activity Rollup

All of the Activities remain related to the Uncle Same Enterprises Account record and we can always Activate Benedict Arnold’s existing Contact record later if we need to.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deactivate Contact

When we recreate the Contact Record for Benedict Arnold under the His Majesty’s Royal Army Account record, none of Benedict Arnold’s previous Activities will follow him. He’ll have a clean slate.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Recreate Contact

Which option is best?

The best practices approach for dealing with Contacts who move from one company to another will depend on your particular business and industry. If your Contacts are the most important entities with whom you do business, and you frequently continue to do business with them as they move from firm to firm, you will want to reassign them. This will allow you to maintain the history of communication with that person on one record. For example, if you are a recruiting firm, people are your most valuable asset and you will want to maintain your communication history with your Contacts as they move from company to company. Similarly, if you deal with consultants who move firms, you will likely want to maintain your communication history with that person.

If however, if your Accounts are the most important entities with whom you do business, you should Deactivate the Contact Record and recreate it under the Account that represents the new company at which they work. This option will likely suit most companies better than moving the Contact because it will allow you to maintain the history of communication, as well as the Case history, that you have with that company.

Read More

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Released

Microsoft has released a new connector to allow companies to share data between Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows the transfer of contacts, companies, and sales-ready scored leads from Dynamics Marketing to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, giving salespeople in CRM better insight into their lead channel.

Downloading the connector will also give you the opportunity to download the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Language Packs and Analytic Workbooks. The language packs include user interface (UI) language files that allow administrators to provision additional UI languages for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. The Analytic Workbooks connect to the OData feeds from Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and provide samples that users can use to learn how to use Excel with the Power Query add-in to create analytics workbooks. The sample workbooks are installed on your local computer.

In order to install the connector, you will have to have System Administrator privileges. You will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 for workstations
  • Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2012R2 for on-premises
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, on-premises Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 UR12 or higher, or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.
  • Microsoft Dynamics Marketing subscription

Get the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Development for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

Read More

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring ’14 Release Arrives

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring ’14 Release has arrived for both CRM 2013 and CRM Online customers. The Spring ’14 Release brings a number of enhancements to Dynamics CRM, providing dramatically improved marketing automation, social, and customer service capabilities, as well as platform enhancements. Some of these enhancements are included in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional license, while others require the purchase of the new Enterprise license or additional services.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketing

One of the most prominent changes bought by this release is the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. Among the features of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing are a drag-and-drop visual Campaign Designer, lead lifecycle management, vastly improved email marketing, Power BI for marketing, and an improved Sales & Marketing Connector.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is available as part of a new license level called Enterprise, which is priced at $200 per user, per month, and as a stand-alone product for $125 per user, per month. It can be added to your subscription through the Office 365 Administrative Portal.

Microsoft Social Listening

Social media have dramatically changed the way that consumers and companies interact with each other. Until now, Dynamics CRM has a lacked built-in social media listening and analytics. The Spring ’14 Release finally brings social media analytics to Dynamics CRM. Microsoft Social Listening allows users to track their brands and products across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and forums. It also provides campaign management that provides insight into the effectiveness of marketing, sales, and service campaigns. Microsoft Social Listening also helps you identify influential voices, identify issues as they are developing, post alerts for key words, and get trend alerts.

Microsoft Social Listening is included in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional license for organizations that have at least 10 Professional licenses. It can be added to your subscription through the Office 365 Administrative Portal. Social Listening is available as a stand-alone product for $100 per user, per month. It is also available as an add-on for on-premises Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Professional CAL customers with active Software Assurance for $20 per user, per month.

Unified Service Desk

Microsoft has made a huge commitment to improving users’ ability to provide excellent customer service. Foremost amongst this effort is the introduction of the Unified Service Desk. The Unified Service Desk allows service personnel to handle customer service requests across channels, including chat, voice, and email. It allows users to handle multiple customer sessions simultaneously and supports multiple applications per session, while also providing on-screen call scripting.

The Unified Service Desk is included as part of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise license, which costs $200 per user, per month.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Service Enhancements

The Spring ’14 Release has also substantially improved case management, adding automated case-creation and routing rules, as well as failure and warning actions that execute if Service Level Agreements are not met on time. Users can also define and manage service entitlements and SLAs and create dynamic routing and queuing rules.

The Case form has also been updated. The revised Case form allows users to merge cases, view merged cases, view or add child cases, review entitlements, and add a timer that shows a running display of the time available in the SLA.

The Service enhancements are included at no additional cost for CRM Online Enterprise and Professional users.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Sales Enhancements

Sales has long been the strongest area of Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft continues to add even more value for sales users. In the Spring ’14 Release, the company has introduced Insights, which provides access to hordes of data, including company profiles, financials, industry profiles, social buzz, links to social media profiles, breaking news, and more, all from within CRM.

Insights is available (possibly for a limited time) for no additional charge to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional customers in the U.S. currently with a broader rollout coming later in 2014.

Parature

The Spring ’14 Release also integrates the multi-channel care customer, self-service features of Parature into Dynamics CRM. Parature provides mobile self-service, Facebook portal, real-time chat, and knowledgebase management features.

For a limited time, Microsoft Parature is available for $0 per user, per month for organizations that have purchased 10 or more Dynamics CRM Enterprise Online licenses. Overage charges may still apply for additional page views, storage, and other add-ons.

Platform Enhancements

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is more than just a CRM product, it is also a platform for building applications that meet unique business requirements. The Spring ’14 release includes a number of enhancements that reaffirm Microsoft’s commitment to Dynamics CRM as a powerful platform. These enhancements include Server-side synchronization, SharePoint Integration Enhancements, sandbox environments, and a new CRM Online Admin Center that helps administrators

How to Install the New Features

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers can access the new Case Management features by opting-in to the features within CRM Online.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Microsoft Social Listening subscriptions can be added via the Office 365 Administrative Portal.

On-premises Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 customers should download and install Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 SP1.

Note that it is not possible to roll back the update once it is installed.

To add Parature customer care features, visit http://www.parature.com/customer-service-software/pricing/.

Download the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring ’14 Release Preview Guide.

Read More

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 17 Released

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 17 (UR17) is now available for download. UR17 provides several dozens of hotfixes that should be welcome for companies that continue to use Dynamics CRM 2011. The most obvious change is that Internet Explorer 11 support for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 has been added. Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook support has also been added for Office 2013 in Windows 8.1.

Other notable updates are included as well:

  • The naming format of attachments has been changed. A new field called attachmentcontentid has been added to the activitymimeattachment entity. The email attachment’s “contentid” is now stored in this new field instead of adding it to the attachment’s file name.
  • The sometimes long Outlook.exe startup time that came about as a result of UR12 has been shortened.
  • The bug that prevented Recurring Series Expansion jobs if the Recurring Appointment owner was a team rather than an individual has been fixed.
  • Many-to-many (N:N) relationship records can now be replicated offline.
  • SharePoint 2010 Integration will now work if Windows6.1-KB2894844-x64 is installed.

Visit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2915687/en-us to learn more about UR17 or see a full list of the included five dozen hotfixes.

UR17 Installation Information

In order to install UR17, you must have UR6 (build 5.0.9690.1992) or a later version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 installed already. Make sure that you back up your CRM organization before you install. We also recommend that you install UR17 in a development environment first to identify any issues that might arise for your organization.

You can use Windows Update to install UR17 automatically if you have automatic updating turned on. UR17 will become available in Windows Update during Q2 of 2014. You can download also download it from http://www.microsoft.com/en-ph/download/details.aspx?id=42672 and install manually.

Read More