Quick tip: Connect to multiple Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 organizations

One particularly nifty feature included with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and CRM Online 2011 is the ability to connect to multiple organizations using a single Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook client. Only one organization can be configured as the “synchronizing organization”, the organization you’ll actively track Microsoft Exchange Server items in as CRM Online 2011 records. What you will be able to do is navigate and work in multiple organizations using the client.

We just discovered this and wanted to pass along the tip, as versions of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook client previous to 2011 required manual reconfiguration every time you wanted to use a different organization. We’ll walk you through the configuration of an additional organization below.

Some of the steps in this guide require elevated computer privileges. If you find yourself stuck during any steps of this guide, we recommend contacting your IT department.

We assume you have already installed the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook client and configured it to connect to your synchronizing organization.

Open the Start menu, click All Programs, click Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, and click Configuration Wizard.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook Configuration Wizard window opens (see below). Your synchronizing organization should already be listed and marked with the green checkmark icon. Click Add.

 Connect to multiple Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 organizations

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook window opens and prompts you to Configure Organization (see below). If you are adding a CRM Online organization, select “CRM Online 2011” from the drop-down menu and click OK.

  Connect multiple Microsoft CRM 2011 organizations

Alternatively, our readers who subscribe to partner-hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM should type the Server URL: provided to them by their system administrator. For example, hosted customers of xRM.com should type “https://example.xrmlive.com” (see below) but with “example” replaced by the special name for their organization. Then click OK.

 Connect multiple Microsoft CRM 2011 organizations

The Connect to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online window opens (see below) and requests your authentication credentials. If you subscribe to CRM Online 2011, enter your Windows Live ID and Password and then click OK. If you subscribe to partner-hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM, enter the username and password provided by your system administrator for authentication.

 Connect to multiple organizations in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

The Connect to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online window closes. If you subscribe to multiple Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online organizations, you will be prompted to make a selection from the Organization drop-down menu (see below). We’ll select “xRMDemo2” in our example. Leave the Synchronize with this Organization checkbox un-checked, unless you prefer to change your synchronizing organization. Then click OK.

 Connect to multiple organizations in Microsoft CRM Online 2011

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook window closes and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook Configuration Wizard refreshes (see below). You should see the newly added organization (“xRMDemo2” in our example) included in the list. Click Close.

 Connect to multiple organizations in Microsoft CRM 2011

Launch Microsoft Office Outlook, and click the Solutions button circled below to navigate to Microsoft Dynamics CRM or CRM Online 2011. The Solutions button should have replaced any prior organization button, as it contains both your synchronizing organization and any other configured organizations.

 Connect to multiple organizations in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011

We’ve just configured the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Microsoft Office Outlook client to connect to multiple organizations. If you’re looking for more creative ways to use CRM Online 2011, then you should visit the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online success portal. It contains plenty of helpful videos and walkthroughs aimed at users of all skill levels.

Read More

The 411 on Tracking in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

One of the main advantages in using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Microsoft Office Outlook client is the ability to track items in Microsoft Dynamics CRM directly from within Outlook. What is tracking you ask? When an Outlook item is “tracked” using the client, an exact copy is created inside of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM database as a record. To make things even easier, the client updates tracked data bilaterally so that users can modify records in either Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Outlook and the changes will be reflected in both applications. E-mails, Contacts, and Appointments can all be tracked.

Follow along below and we will show you how to track a Contact using the client. The method of tracking remains the same regardless of the type of item you are tracking thanks to the ribbon present at the top of every window in the latest version of Microsoft Office Are you not using Microsoft CRM Online yet? A Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online implementation and integration is all you need to get started.

First, you will need to open the Microsoft Exchange Server item in Outlook that you plan on tracking. In this example, we have opened up the contact for “John Smith” in Outlook. Click Track in the CRM group of the ribbon adorning the top of the Contact in Outlook.

 Tracking in CRM Online 2011

You will notice that once the item is being tracked, the Track button transforms into an Untrack button (see below). Clicking the Untrack button would delete the record from the CRM Online 2011 database (leaving it only in Outlook) and stop tracking future changes.

 Tracking in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011

Now that we are tracking “John Smith” in Outlook, let’s verify that the record also exists in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You can do that in Outlook by clicking the name of your CRM Online 2011 organization (in our case, “xRM”), and navigating to Workplace > Customers > Contacts (see below).

Tracking in CRM Online

As you can see above, “John Smith” is now listed in our Microsoft Dynamics CRM Contacts. Let’s open his Contact record in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and see what’s inside (see below).

Tracking in Dynamics CRM Online 2011

You’ll notice right away that the client properly formatted his first and last name, and also inserted his e-mail address and business phone number into the proper fields, keeping the Outlook Contact and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Contact synchronized.

Are you looking to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011? Dive into some Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Training and let xRM.com guide you.

Read More

Quick Tip: Get Wild with Your Searches

Search is a handy tool in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011. You can find the record or records you’re looking for quickly by name.

What if you aren’t sure of the whole name? Fortunately, Microsoft supports a “wildcard”, which allows you to search for unknown parts of names. As part of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Training, follow along below and we’ll teach you how to use the wildcard.

What’s a wildcard? A wildcard stands in place of any amount of unknown text. In CRM Online, the wildcard character is the asterisk “*”.

CRM Online invisibly adds the wildcard to the end of every search string. That means it will look for anything that starts with whatever you type. For example, searching for “a” actually searches for “a*” and might result in “Aaron“, “Abby”, “Ace”, etc.

That’s pretty handy if you know the beginning of the name, but what if you only know the middle or the end of the name? For example, let’s say you’re looking for a certain Account with “sales” in its name, but due to your working with thousands of Accounts, you can’t quite remember the rest of the name. If you enter “sales” into the search box, you will likely receive no results (see below).

 Quick Tip Get Wild with Your Searches

That‘s because it’s unlikely that any Account names actually start with “sales” even though “sales” might occur in other positions. So how can we find Accounts with “sales” anywhere in their names? We can type the wildcard at the beginning of the search string, effectively surrounding it in wildcards. For example, we type “*sales”, which becomes “*sales*” when CRM Online adds the wildcard at the end, which instructs CRM Online to search for any amount of text followed by “sales” followed by any amount of text. Let’s try it right now, by typing “*sales” into the search box (see below).

Quick tip search tool in crm online 2011

As you can see above, the Microsoft CRM Online 2011 search has returned a list of all Accounts containing the word ”sales”.

Wildcard searches give you flexibility when trying to find records of any type, not just Accounts. You could find a list of all Contacts with the last name of “Smith”. You could also run a search for Opportunities with “big” in the topic, or E-mails with “party” in the subject. None of these are a problem with a wildcard search.

If you’re looking for more quick tips or quick fixes, keep reading the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog by xRM.com

Read More

Quick Tip: Delete a Saved View

In a recent blog post, we here at xRM.com took a dive into the powerful and flexible Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 tool, Advanced Find. We showed you how to quickly find a list of all of your Accounts located in Los Angeles, and then we showed you how to replicate that query on demand by storing it as a Saved View.

A Saved View can be a very handy tool in Microsoft CRM Online 2011, especially if you find yourself making repetitive searches for data. But what if you have created a Saved View that you no longer need? The method used to delete a Saved View may not be obvious, so we’ll take a minute to walk you through it below.

No special privileges are necessary to delete a Saved View in CRM Online 2011, although you will only be able to delete a Saved View you have been granted the “delete” permission for. You also may want check with the owner of the view before you delete it, unless of course the owner is you.

Let’s get started. Click Advanced Find in the ribbon (see below).

 Delete saved views in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Click Saved Views in the ribbon (see below).

 quick tip for microsoft dynamics crm delete saved views

Check the box next to the Saved View you intend on deleting (see below), in our scenario, “Los Angeles”. Click   Delete Saved View in the ribbon.

 Delete saved views in crm online 2011

 The Confirm Deletion window opens (see below). Confirm your deletion by clicking OK.

 Delete saved views in microsoft dynamics crm 2011

Just like that, and the Saved View is forever deleted! Are you looking for more quick tips for CRM Online 2011? Our Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Success Portal is full of them!

Read More

Quick tip: Change your CRM Online 2011 password

One of the trends our Microsoft CRM Support team has noticed lately is a rise in the number of questions regarding passwords and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011. Although Microsoft has published a help article regarding changing passwords in the past, a quick blow-by-blow of the process couldn’t hurt. We’ll show you below how to change the password you use to sign in to CRM Online 2011.

As we mentioned in a previous article regarding security in Microsoft CRM Online 2011, sign-in services for multiple Microsoft cloud-driven products, including CRM Online 2011, are all tied into a singular Windows Live ID e-mail address. Users sign in to CRM Online 2011 using this Windows Live ID e-mail address. To change the password you use to sign in to CRM Online 2011, you must change your Windows Live ID password. So how can you change that password?

Microsoft has actually provided a site just for that. Click Change your Windows Live Password to get started.

If you are not already signed in, the Windows Live sign in page opens (see below). Enter your Windows Live ID and Password and click the Sign in button.

 Change your CRM Online 2011 password

The Change your password page opens (see below). Enter your Old password for verification. Enter your new password into both the Type new password and Retype new password fields and click the Save button.

 Change your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 Password

Wasn’t that easy? Just like that and you’ve not only changed your password, but you’ve learned something new. We know this quick tip was pretty easy to follow. If you’re looking to get a little more technical, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 training or a stop by the free videos on the CRM Online Success Portal may be right for you.

Read More

Let’s take a look inside CRM Online 2011 with Advanced Find: Part 1

Advanced Find in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 is a strong and flexible tool that functions similar to a magnifying glass, allowing you to focus on specific data in your database. Not only can you zoom in on particular data for examination, you can also filter out unnecessary data. An Advanced Find can also be used to prepare data for export to Microsoft Office Excel. Advanced Find is also completely flexible with any custom entities or fields created during Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customization and configuration. Learning how to use the Advanced Find tool can make combing through the large database of CRM Online 2011 a much more pleasant experience.

In Part 1 of this three-part Advanced Find series, we’ll break down all the basics with you and then walk you through a quick real-world example.

No special permissions are necessary to use Advanced Find in Microsoft CRM Online, although you will only be able to view data that you have permission to read.

Advanced Find works using fairly simple formulas; you tell it what to look for, and then you tell it how to filter what it finds. Let’s say you have a service representative from your company taking a trip to Los Angeles, and you want to give him or her a list of all your Los Angeles based customers to check in on. We can use Advanced Find to generate that list.

Let’s get started. Click Advanced Find in the Dashboards ribbon (see below). Regardless of where you navigate in CRM Online 2011, the Advanced Find tool is usually available in the default tab of the ribbon at that location.

 CRM Online with Advanced Find

The Advanced Find window opens (see below). Open the Look For: drop-down menu and click Accounts. Currently, the Advanced Find query displayed below (without any filters) would result in all Accounts in your database, and we only want some of them. So how can we begin filtering the Accounts?

CRM Online 

Now that we have specified which entity we want to look for, let’s move forward with filtering. Each filter has three parts: a Field, an Operator, and a Value. Depending on the Field you are using in your filter, the possible Operators and Values can differ.

Move down to the filter-criteria area (in the rectangle below) and click Select to begin selecting the Field.

 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Advanced Find

Select the “Address 1: City” Field in the Fields drop-down menu (see below).

 Microsoft Dynamics CRM

After you select the Field, the Operator appears. The default Operator is “Equals” (see below).  Clicking the “Equals” Operator allows you to change it to various other Operators including “Does not Equal”, “Contains”, “Does not Contain”, and others depending on the type of Field we have selected. Let’s leave that as is though, as we do want to specify an exact location.

After deciding on the Operator, we set the Value. Enter “Los Angeles” as the Value to the right of the Operator (also circled below).

 Advanced Find with CRM Online

Now that we have set the Field, Operator, and Value for the filter, let’s see what our query produces. Click Results in the ribbon (see below) to view your filtered data.

 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011

Advanced Find loads your custom-tailored results, a list of all Accounts located in Los Angeles (see below).

 CRM Online 2011 with Advanced Find

You can now print or share this list with your sales representative. Really, at this point, it’s up to you. Before we wrap this up though, let’s save this view so we can use it again later. Click the Advanced Find tab in the ribbon and click Save.

 Advanced Find with CRM Online 2011

The Query Properties dialog opens (see below). Name your saved view “Los Angeles”. Fill in a Description, such as “Accounts located in Los Angeles”, and then click the OK button to save it.

 inside CRM Online 2011 with Advanced Find

Just like that, the Advanced Find you created is saved permanently as a View for later use. You may have figured this one out by now, but essentially any single View in CRM Online 2011 is the result of an Advanced Find.

That covers it for Part 1 of the series. We’ll see you soon with discussions on sharing these saved views and preparing data for export, helping you get one step closer to becoming a CRM Online 2011 wizard. Would you like to learn more? Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 Video Training provided by xRM.com will definitely put some magic tricks up your sleeve. While we aren’t exactly a wizarding school, we are a Microsoft Partner with competencies in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Hosting.

Read More

Quick Tip: Set Personal Options in CRM Online 2011

Businesses are always looking to hire developers for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customization and Configuration, but there are configurations that can be made on a more personal and cosmetic level that do not require assistance from a developer. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 contains several personal options that are unique to every user and can be customized to match the preferences of a user. In this article we’ll walk you through some of the basic personal changes you can make to your CRM Online 2011 environment. Some of the options that we will be configuring are only available if you are using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Microsoft Office Outlook client, so we will be guiding you from the perspective of a user with the client installed.

From Microsoft Office Outlook, open the File menu, click on CRM, and then click on Options (see below).

Set Personal Options in CRM Online

The Set Personal Options dialog opens (see below in all screen shots). We’ll step through some of the handier settings.

In the General tab, the Show Get Started panes on all lists option (see below) controls the appearance of the Get Started panes in the CRM Online interface, which will provide a helpful overview throughout your use of CRM Online 2011 by popping up over your lists and providing you with links and tips to common tasks. We recommend leaving this checked until you feel you are familiar with CRM Online 2011. (Note: Even if you turn on the Get Started panes in your personal options, you will not be able to see them if your system administrator has turned them off globally—for everyone. Ask to have the option to show these turned on again via Settings > System > Administration > System Settings > General > Set the display option for Get Started panes.)

Set Personal Options in CRM Online

If you scroll down in the General tab, you’ll notice some other options (see below). Under Set the number of records shown per page in any list of records, we recommend changing the Records Per page value to “100”. This will increase the number of items listed when browsing CRM Online 2011, and really saves time when trying to find specific items in a long list of data. If you need to use a different personal default currency than the default currency that your system administrator sets for the organization, choose it in the Currency field.

Quick tips set personal options in CRM 2011

Click on the Synchronization tab (see below). The Schedule automatic synchronization with Outlook section allows you to configure how often the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook client synchronizes with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 database. By default it is set to 15 minutes. We recommend increasing the period between synchronizations to either 30 minutes or 60 minutes to maintain available bandwidth and minimize the possibility of synchronization errors.

Quick tips personal options in CRM 2011

Click on the Workplace tab (see below). This tab allows you to configure the Select which groups are displayed in the Workplace pane option. Personally, we prefer to add the Sales and Service groups to the workplace area by checking their respective boxes.

Tips for CRM online 2011 set personal options

Last but not least, let’s configure the e-mail tracking options. Click on the E-mail tab, and look in the Select the e-mail messages to track in Microsoft Dynamics CRM section (see below). Change the value of the Track option to All e-mail messages” and click OK. By default, Outlook only tracks e-mails in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that you manually tell it too (or responses to e-mails that are already being tracked). Enabling automatic tracking saves you time by removing that manual step.

Personal Options CRM Online 2011

That’s it! Just like that we’ve tweaked your CRM Online 2011 settings to fit you a little better. We recommend that you continue to tweak these settings to see what is right for you. Check out more tips from xRM.com at our Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog or learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Hosting.

Read More

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 3

Update Rollup 3 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will be available as of August 3, 2011. This update is available for all languages supported by Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. It includes hotfixes and updates for the following components:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server
Microsoft Dynamics CRM E-mail Router
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Language Packs
Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Prerequisites

  • You must have Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 installed to apply this update rollup.
  • This update requires Microsoft .NET Framework 4.

Important Note: The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Language Pack must be installed before you can apply Update Rollup 3 to that language pack.

The links below will take you to the necessary information regarding Update Rollup 3:

Read More