AND the PFE Team (Premeire Field Engineering) releases awesome ticklers as well. Take a peek at this little tidbit enhancement to Quick Find !
and you can follow the CRM PFE Team Blog !
AND the PFE Team (Premeire Field Engineering) releases awesome ticklers as well. Take a peek at this little tidbit enhancement to Quick Find !
and you can follow the CRM PFE Team Blog !
Do you have a lot of other OutLook Integrations? CRM Outlook Client causing you grief on just one machine?
This rollup includes “process isolation” to split the Outlook Client out from the core Outlook process, an upgrade to SQL CE 4.0, and reductions in isolated performance issues with a large address books (among other things, it’s all in the KB)
General best practice for OnPremise users is to stay within two roll-ups. Just consider the large team of developers writing code, fixing any issues (reported by the millions of users) and continuing to make Dynamics CRM the absolute best CRM product on the market.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2011 Roll-up 14 has just been officially released. Learn more here.
The famous Ben Hosk wrote up a great little post about the e-mail tracking token. I like to call it half of the locket or an automation puzzle piece. It clicks a responding e-mail into the e-mail that is being responded to. Offering incredibly reliable threading. On the other hand it is TOTALLY Optional and Dynamics CRM is sophisticated enough to have even more embedded algoritums of success.
If you would like to know more about the e-mail tracking token, take a peek at Ben's writeup which you can find here.
Time to think differently about this concept of reporting. In some systems your only choice to get the data out of the system is with a report, BUT it is not like that with Dynamics CRM.
In fact it has not been like that for quite sometime, but I find that we often forget to mention some of the "cool" that exists when everyone is buzzing about the latest or next greatest feature.
So thinking about slicing, dicing, analysing, and looking at the data that is in Dynamics CRM you have a number of choices that do not contain the word "report"
1. Review Data in a Dynamic Excel Spreadsheet or Pivot Table or Chart
The security on the user opening this in Excel drives the data that is displayed.
2. Review data in a Static Excel Spreadsheet or Pivot Table or Chart
The data stays static, no matter the user.
3. Use Excel 2013 PowerPivot or PowerView on Dynamics CRM Data
4. Leverage Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services
5. Leverage FetchXML to pull data into your choice of BI Tools.
6. Check out Microsoft's Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS)
7. Use Dynamics CRM Advanced Find to pull data from a relationship tree of entities
8. Leverage the built in Dynamics CRM Report Writer
9. Use Microsoft Word Mail Merge to pull Dynamics CRM data into a favorite Microsoft Word Template
10. Tab into the extensive power of the entire Microsoft Office Stack and the integration between the different applications within this stack from CRM -> Excel -> Word -> Visio -> OneNote and more.
11. Leverage the power of Entity specific Charts and charts on related entities
12. Leverage the built in Dashboards and the dashboard building wizards for individuals or for the entire company
13. Use the built in Report Wizard
14. And if the above isn't enough to think about you also have a huge MarketPlace of Reporting and Business Intelligence available addin options.
Are you diving into the world of automation testing for extended Microsoft Dynamics CRM projects?
Take a look at Visual Studio 2012!
There is a whole set of UI Automation testing just waiting to be found!
To get you started you can read about testing for continuous development.
You can also read about What's new in Test Manager 2012.
and then there is the Visual Studio Magazine article on Automating UI Testing and
the list goes on ...
I am amazed at how I continue to learn more and more about Dynamics CRM despite focusing on the platform for over eight years. The product team continues to release small and large updates and are amazing in how fast they manage to keep up with the pace of technology change.
Additionally the current product (even before any updates) has a ton of depth and a number of under utilized functionality. When was the last time you decided to add something new to your business processes? What about learning one small area of the software in full?
Consider Goals, or Connections - take a peek at subjects or perhaps you want to become a FetchXML guru
Did you know you can tie web sense into charts?
There is so much that can be done.
Given this I offer this link and suggestions: Go review the Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2011 IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE. You might not have looked at it for a few years, a few months or even ever and it is packed with great information. So take an hour for study, each day this week - shoot make it a team effort and start up a Dynamics CRM brown bag lunch or book group. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Yesterday's post generated some nice feedback. As it turns out there is a nice list of Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration options on the Microsoft TechNet Wiki (A great totally under appreciated resource)
For anyone ramping up on Dynamics CRM development make note
There are a TON of utilities to make your life easier available in codeplex, Microsoft Downloads, and in the SDK. Some of these utilities are version specific and some are good for all verisons
Go check them out and to get you started here are just a few to wet the appetite
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is built using a number of different techniques and tools from Microsoft. Given these various techniques performance is optimized, but that does not mean that each individual partner, customer and developer doesn't need to pay attention.
Performance of a multi-user, highly dynamic, many moving parts system is worth adding to your project plan. To make fine tuning performance even easier the Microsoft CRM Engineering for Enterprise team has continued to keep their "Optimizing and Maintaining the Performance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Clients" and their testing documentation such as the "Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Performance and Scalability with Intel" white paper current.
There are even more resources when it comes to performance and Dynamics CRM so if this is a hot point for you, take a look!
Microsoft has released Update Rollup 18 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. It includes updates and hot fixes packaged together for easy deployment.
In this incredible world of both technology offering calculated date and people capturing data from all over the world the two concepts can sometimes collide!
Take for instance the world of dates.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers UTC adjustments, personal settings and Date and Time fields. What this means is that depending on how you have your computer configured and your Dynamics CRM Personal Options the dates that you enter are adjusted.
Microsoft Outlook does this as well. If I was to setup a meeting with an associate in California for instance on my calendar for today the meeting would display as Eastern Time (2pm for instance), but for my associate (CRM Guru Marc Wolenik) the date and time would display as (11am) and if we then added in another person such as a cool CRM Guru in Australia (Leon Tribe) the time would not only be different, the DAY would be different.
So what happens when you start capturing these types of dates inside of Dynamics CRM for analysis or reporting?
If all the dates are entered by "humans" correctly configured for their local time zones then the software correctly handles all the adjustments. The only trick with regards to this set of considerations is that DATE Only fields are well not really date only so watch that!
If all the dates however are entered by other "Systems" then a bit more thought needs to go into the architecture. Take for instance a system that resides on a server in a data center that is capturing date information based on that servers date. If you then take that date and enter it via an integration, how would you expect Dynamics CRM to react?
How would that date be managed?
Do you want it to be fixed? or adjusted?
If you want it to be adjusted, how are you going to tell the system to adjust it?
What if you want it to be a date field BUT you want to lock it to a certain time zone?
These are the joys of the world of global!
Posted at 08:55 AM in CRM Development, MS CRM Configuring , MS CRM in Enterprise , MS CRM Installing, MS CRM Roll Out, MS CRM Selling, MS CRM Studying, MS CRM Tip of the Day, MS CRM Users: The Executive Office | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
PowerObjects had a great little blog post on Internet Explore 8 when it came out highlighting a few of the cool NEW features that are worth learning about if you are using Dynamics CRM.
Now that IE 8 is part of your everyday routine (and you are thinking about IE 9) take a look at this post on some of the features that might have slipped your notice in what you ALREADY have.
Oh and in terms of security (for those of you running other web browers)
"Testing conducted by the independent NSS Labs found that IE8 provided signifigantly better malware blocking capabilities than Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Apple Safari."
The CRM development team at Microsoft slid in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobility option called Mobile Express a while ago - (I could even say years ago -Check out Settings, Mobile Express) and as far as I can see they have been updating it little by little as the rollups and new versions come out.
What does this mean? It means that Mobile Express is an option worth checking out, BUT that it does not necessarily meet ALL your extensive mobility needs depending on what you need in a Mobile client and what and how many platforms you need it to run on as well as how many extra mobile specific features you want.
The mobile ISVs including TenDigits and CWR Mobility are totally focused on working with mobile teams to empower them and encourage them to get more from their Dynamics CRM Investment. They also have additional features that are integrated so if you need those additional features get the teams at CWR and TenDigits to give you a demo, BUT if you just want to access Dynamics CRM from your cell phone once in a while then take a peek at Mobile Express.
Of note Mobile Express is a Free feature in Dynamics CRM and yes, there are a number of people who don't realize this. Pay to get it configured and to learn the best way to use it from your partner, but don't worry about extra licensing fees.
Articles on Mobility and Dynamics CRM are as follows:
Back in the day, and well ok I admit it this is still on my bulletin board in the office, Tim Dutcher put together a Microsoft Dynamics CRM v4.0 Quick Reference Sheet. This was a GREAT resource for all things new and new back in October 2008 was Dynamics CRM v4.0!
Now before you roll your eyes you might want to take a peek. A similar reference page can be put together for all things Dynamics CRM 2011. It just needs to be done and to get started here is the model!
if you have yet to move to Dynamics CRM 2011 and you have people ramping up on Dynamics CRM v4.0 they might like it
if you want to follow my style and always know what features came out with which version so you can know the version number of the features (see this lets you know if the feature is robust or maybe just a bit wet behind the years)
Lauren Carlson, a CRM Market analyst over at The Software Advice blog, recently shared a number of new videos that some of you might be interested in.
The first I watched is an up close and personal interview with Brad Wilson answering the question
"What percentage of [CRM] customers choose the Cloud?"
A few interesting points from the video and from my thoughts for debate.
1) The cloud offers smaller customers the option of an instantly available application without any of the server installation or support requirements.
2) The cloud offers larger customers the option of an instantly available application without being queued up in the often over loaded information services department list of tasks.
3) If you pick the cloud and want to switch to OnPremise, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM code base is the same for both environments, making a switch in the future an option.
4) .NET extensions and plugin options are not (easily) available in the cloud. If you want to extend Dynamics CRM beyond the power of Customization and simple workflows, you potentially need OnPremise.
5) Smaller customers often need as much power (or more) as larger customers when it comes to traditional CRM. Relationship building and management of prospects and support handling and management of customers. Why? Because they have fewer people with more titles and responsibilities. CRM can greatly supplement human resource time constraints.
6) Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online does offer a bit more out of the box marketing functionality (web lead capture, different analytics), but the OnPremise ISVs in this arena really kick some tail. If you need advanced marketing features, such as click through analytics, then there are additional variables to consider.
7) Data matters, Security matters: but who has better security? A professional hosting company whose reputation and business is on the line every day when it comes to their business model or your computer room or data center where the network administrator (s) live? The debate and history shows an even 50/50. There are weaknesses in both arenas
To summarize the perfect CRM environment is different for each customer as each comes with positives and negatives, so I have to give Microsoft kudos for choice.
Despite the overhead of keeping two offerings current and defined (and yes there are significant overhead costs), Microsoft made the right choice in giving customers options.
These include Microsoft's Dynamics CRM Online, partner hosted Dynamics CRM and the OnPremise "customer hosted" Dynamics CRM.
Not only did they give customers the option of choice, they also give customers the option of changing their mind.
Posted at 06:57 AM in CRM in General, MS CRM Installing, MS CRM Selling, MS CRM Users: Network and CRM SQL Database Administration, MS CRM Users: The Executive Office, MS CRM Users: The Marketing Department, MS CRM Users: The Sales Department, MS CRM Users: The Support Department | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 has been released now both as an Online offering and as an OnPremise offering.
The buzz from the field is that the product is packed with 500+ new features and a ton of new options with regards to customization and after working with the product I have to agree. The team is offering some incredible power and flexibility while still maintaining all that is great in v4.0.
Power however comes with a price. As partners and customers across the world learned in Dynamics CRM v3.0 and v4.0 if you don't take the time to understand then it is easy to dig your own hole of frustration.
So how can this be avoided by those just getting interested? Particularly given that 2011 offers even more!!
Here are five key steps to getting off on the right foot!
1) Take baby steps and small bites, grow with the product
2) At a minimum READ the installation guide twice (OnPremise)
3) Remember, just because it is easy to configure and customize doesn't mean you know the best way to configure and customize. Tap into experience.
4) Good "CRM" partners have already invested in the basics and offer those as part of every project (why pay to rebuild these, just for the learning exercise? There are better ways)
5) Senior .NET developers who don't know XRM/CRM still have a lot to learn when it comes to thinking XRM. Junior XRM/CRM developers still have a lot to learn when it comes to thinking .NET
and as a little bit of extra - Item 6
6) Many of the features within Dynamics CRM are version 4.0! but some are v1.0 - set proper expectations when utilizing a specific feature set.
Caution: You might want to think twice about this one, but it does take care of a user annoyance when exporting from Microsoft Dynamics CRM into Microsoft Excel 2007..
Thanks to Joel over at Customer Effective for summarizing!!
Click To Read - Getting Rid of the CRM Export to Excel WARNING message
Thanks to Matt Wittemann over at ICU MSCRM
Posted by Matt Wittemann
There have been several KB articles and updates published to help control the size of the AsyncOperationBase table, which can cause your CRM database to grow very large, very quickly. (See here and here.) But just what are all those records anyway?
I pulled the following lists together from the SDK and technet in order to put this info in one place, where it’s a little more user-friendly (at least for me!).
First, the list of AsyncOperationTypes:
READ MORE at
|1||Event||Specifies a system event.|
|2||BulkEmail||Specifies a bulk e-mail operation.|
|3||Parse||Specifies an import file parse operation.|
|4||Transform||Specifies an operation to transform parse data.|
|5||Import||Specifies an import operation.|
|6||ActivityPropagation||Specifies a campaign activity propagation operation.|
|7||PublishDuplicateRule||Specifies an operation to publish a duplicate detection rule.|
|8||BulkDetectDuplicates||Specifies a bulk duplicate detection operation.|
|9||CollectSqmData||Specifies an operation to collect SQM data.|
|10||Workflow||Specifies a workflow operation.|
|11||QuickCampaign||Specifies a quick campaign operation.|
|12||PersistMatchCode||Specifies an operation to update the matchcode.|
|13||BulkDelete||Specifies a bulk delete operation.|
|14||DeletionService||Specifies a Deletion Service operation.|
|15||IndexManagement||Specifies an index management operation.|
|16||CollectOrgStats||Specifies an operation to collect an organization's statistics.|
|17||ImportingFile||Specifies an import subprocess operation.|
|18||CalculateOrgStorageSize||Specifies an operation to calculate an organization's storage size.|
|19||CollectOrgDBStats||Specifies an operation to collect an organization's database statistics.|
|20||CollectOrgSizeStats||Specifies an operation to collection an organization's size statistics.|
|21||DatabaseTuning||Specifies an operation for database tuning.|
|22||CalculateOrgMaxStorageSize||Specifies an operation to calculate an organization's maximum storage size.|
|23||BulkDeleteChild||Specifies a bulk delete subprocess operation.|
|24||UpdateStatisticIntervals||Specifies an operation to update statistic intervals.|
|25||FullTextCatalogIndex||Specifies an operation to generate an organization full text catalog index.|
|27||UpdateContractStates||Specifies an operation to update contract states.|
|30||ReindexAll||Specifies an index management operation.|
Next, here’s a list of the different state/statuscodes that each of these operation types can be in:
|State||Status||Numeric status value|
Hope this is useful to you! Have fun with it.
Over the years I have been keeping my eye on the Microsoft SureStep Project Methodology. It was originally very ERP centric and as many of the CRM Consultants in the field know - CRM and ERP are very different projects! The audience, the style of design and the rollout are a different mindset.
Consider for instance that an ERP project is focused on a small group of people in the financial department with some interaction from management. CRM on the other hand spreads far and wide and can impact ever department and every person within a firm.
Needless to say despite keeping on eye on SureStep I have yet to embrace it.
With my latest deep dive into the application I can say that it has matured to a point where it is definitely worth checking out. There are still documents that need updating (references to Payroll and AP), but there are also a number of documents that can make your CRM projects much more professional, more organized and more successful.
So if you have not taken a look at SureStep and you are "reinventing the wheel" with regards to project templates or you think it is time to update what you are using then I would suggest that you log into Microsoft PartnerSource and download SureStep.
To set Internet Explorer to open a NEW instance of IE in a NEW window do this:
Note: You have to turn off tabs feature for this to matter (of note this also applies to those using older versions of IE that do not have tabbed browsing functionality)
Posted at 08:58 AM in MS CRM Configuring , MS CRM Installing, MS CRM Roll Out, MS CRM Tip of the Day, MS CRM Users: Network and CRM SQL Database Administration, MS CRM Users: The Support Department | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
There is a lot to learn about Microsoft Dynamics CRM; although many have been tripped up by the ease in which you can configure and customize the system and the general marketing buzz. Don't let this fool you into thinking you are not still working with a powerful machine!
Dan Blake offers a primer on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Infrastructure multi-tenancy options. His post on this is now a year and a half old, but it still packs a mean punch with some great tidbits so if Multi-Tenancy is within your radar take a look.
A question was raised about converting SIC Codes to NAICS codes. Seems to me that other businesses might have tackled this AND other businesses using Microsoft Dynamics CRM might even have the "bundled code" or match table in their back pocket.
One of the benefits of blogging is having a place to capture items that might be worth remembering when problems occur.
Recently Microsoft released a technical article on running Microsoft Dynamics CRM v4.0 in a Windows 2008 64 Bit Server environment.
Some of the Key Items include an
"Error message when you try to open the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Web application"
but the article also includes work arounds to many of the issues discovered in the field.
Given our focus on builds and deployments to different environments I found this post by the team over at Inetium of interest.
Take a look and Get Ready
Update Rollup 9 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 will be available February 11th
As a follow-up to my system jobs post earlier this week I was pleased to find and to have shared with me two other related posts.
Customer Effectives post titled "Bulk Deleting Waiting Workflow Instances from Microsoft Dynamics CRM"
Phil Adam's Blog post titled Performance is slow if the AsyncOperationBase table becomes too large in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
Both add additional insight on the subject matter that is well worth the read.
Back in the pre-Microsoft SQL days I spent a good amount of time thinking about databases. There were databases that needed constant tweaking and maintanence and there were databases that were like chunks of granite that rarely had trouble, but when they did have trouble they could be a monster to fix.
I am curious as to if anyone out in the community has run across any favorite Microsoft SQL Server database tools and Dynamics CRM database maintanence best practices.
Microsoft has a world of "XRM" within Dynamics CRM and as more and more of the framework matures we will see growth.
On my latest deep dive I have been looking at modifying Dynamics CRM Help and the general structure around how changes to Dynamics CRM help are supported in a multi-tenant world. In summary they are not (yet). The help files are stored with the application files.
But luckily there is some great reading material to get started with changes you might want to make to help in a single tenant world and customizing help is supported. You can read the complete Microsoft Dynamics CRM Configuration Guide on Technet and when talking HELP you can focus on this section.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the builtin tool to import data; however this is not always the right choice when consider your first initial data migration.
Data Migration is packed with risk, unknowns, data cleansing opportunities, layers and eye opening potential. Needless to say there are numerous tools on the market that make data migration that much less painful. Additionally Microsoft also offers a Data Migration toolkit to support the developer and database crowd in their efforts to create a custom experience.
How have your experiences with data migration been? Feel free to comment and share - Perhaps you will help someone else just getting started.
"Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0: Planning and Deployment Guidance for Service Providers contains the following documentations and tool:
1. Deployment Walkthrough Guide for Service Providers
2. Planning Guide for Service Providers
3. Development Guide for Service Providers
4. Microsoft Software License Terms
5. Deployment Configuration Tool"
One of the biggest places to trip up with Microsoft Dynamics CRM is during the installation process and one of the biggest factors is the security settings around some of the core complimentary and dependent software and tools.
Take for instance SQL.
Now some might think that being that they are logged into Windows Server as a Server Administrator they don't have to worry about anything, BUT a Microsoft Server Administrator password does not necessarily mean that you have Microsoft SQL Administrator rights.
When installing Microsoft Dynamics CRM you definitely want to be totally aware of your access and rights to the SQL Server or you could create a mess which is not fun to clean up.
There are times when Microsoft Dynamics CRM needs to be uninstalled. It is a sophisticated application that changes the way a business operates and it is tied to it's sister applications tightly. Microsoft Office, SharePoint, IIS, Microsoft Exchange, Server and more. Needless to say installing Microsoft Dynamics CRM incorrectly can make quite a mess AND trying to fix the mess by uninstalling Dynamics CRM incompletely can make an even bigger disaster.
From the world of LinkedIN Dynamics CRM Experts comes this reminder from Steven Banner a CRM Technical Infrastructure Engineer at Crimson Ltd.
Microsoft has released a technical white paper called how to Manually remove the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server. You can read this white paper by following this link.
If you have to uninstall Microsoft Dynamics CRM I highly recommend a good clean sweep of all the components prior to a reinstall.
ISA is a software firewall that comes bundled as part of Microsoft Small Business Server Premium. It is an optional component and yet tends to be either loved or hated. If loved and you are installing MS Dynamics CRM SBE in the mix then you need to do a bit of research.
Luckily a few of the tough and passionate SBS Professionals and SBS MVPs have done some of the work for you.
A major thanks to HandyAndy's persistence in mastering MS Dynamics CRM SBE and ISA. His latest article on the subject can be found here
AND before Dana borrows Susan's 2x4 and smacks me.. Please make note.. You need to define, refine and master your own security best practices. One solution is not necessarily the best solution for all environments. The nice thing about MS Dynamics CRM is you DO have choice.
MS Dynamics CRM is as sophisticated in its install as Small Business Server. It ties to just as many Microsoft Applications! It should never be approached lightly EVEN when it can be installed in 30 minutes.. (YES it can be done in 30 minutes when the karma is right)
We now ALWAYS recommend a full environment review before dropping MS CRM into the mix. MS CRM ties to Exchange, MS SQL, IIS, .NET framework, Outlook, Excel, Word, MS SRS and more..
It even runs a full review during the install and will not move forward until you resolve the issues. MS Dynamics CRM PROFESSIONAL can NOT be installed on a Domain Controller and as such MS DYNAMICS CRM SBE is a unique version of MS Dynamics CRM PRO. It has ALL the same features and more – it not only can be run on the domain controller (SBS) but it also ties to SBS features such as FAX services.
Soo.. what do you do when you get an error during the install?Particularly if you are not working with a partner who has been there and done that!
So you want to teach yourself Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You have tried and mastered a number of other CRM applications and you want to see if you can learn MSCRM quickly and if it is a good fit for your organization.
The other products didn't quite do it.
My suggestion. Don't waste your time with false expectations. Sure running CRM from within Outlook is a piece of cake for staff, but it takes a well thought out roll out to do any CRM product right! For the product to be a piece of cake for staff, the deployment needs care and attention.
Understand that learning MS Dynamics CRM is both easy and difficult. If you install it and you expect it to be just like any other flat system (outlook contacts, ACT!, etc), one screen that offers you everything, then you are going to be disappointed. The product has depth, so much depth that it grows with you. As you get better and better at MSCRM, it offers you more and more.
I like to compare MSCRM to Golf. You can quickly understand how to swing a golf club in an hour if you take lessons. You can even figure it out on your own (although the years of torture for doing it wrong are a bummer). BUT learning to swing the golf club feels different, awkward even. You have to want to learn and master and once you do.. You SOOO get it. It is sooo easy!
So realize that the relationship map in our heads, of who knows who and how they relate to each other and all the little nuances of 6 Degress of Seperation are finally mastered in one CRM System. MSCRM, but it does make it a WHOLE lot easier if you work with someone who has experience with MSCRM to configure it.
I am not talking about custom code or customizations (also things you can do), but these are things a small business DOES NOT want to pay extra for nor take long term responsibility for. I am talking about training ad configurations from someone who has spent a lot of time configuring MSCRM systems.
OK, ok you don't want to work with an expert. No problem, then read the books. For the Installation/Deployment Certification there is one book, 8 1/2 x 11 with 548 pages in it. Now this does not mean that the installation is hard, it can be extremely easy because the team has built in checks, balances, wizards and all!
For the Application Mastery there are three books!~ etc. etc..
Get it. MSCRM easily competes with multimillion dollar CRM products. Respect the power of the system AND understand that even if you don't use all the power it can be as simple as you need it to be.
So you have just purchased MS Dynamics CRM and you are not sure what CDs or DVDs to use and what updates are needed.
Here is a list
MS Dynamics CRM v3.0 dated January 2006
MS Dynamics CRM v3.0 Rollup dated December 2006
MS Dynamics CRM Outlook Client v3.0C (compatible with Vista and Office 2007)
Key Patch for v3.0C to smooth out the bumps running v3.0C on an XP machine.
This rollup can be downloaded and added after installation, BUT if you have not installed you might want to downloaded the December 2006 90 day trial which includes everything and can be activated with your new license code.
Saves a step and makes for a smoother installation.
There are of course other KB Articles with various tweaks, but none that are screaming loudly off the page as of yet.
Also be aware that other product updates can impact your environment and you want to be careful of Windows Server SP2, MS SQL 2005 SP2 (you want SP2a), etc.
There is a definite line between small businesses who cruise along with a nice Small Business Server and those businesses who have grown out of a single server hardware footprint.
For instance there are small firms (as in even as small as 10 - 50 people) who really need to move some of their primary applications off the main box. Companies that use applications that demand powerful, dedicated hardware.
Now if you talked with Infrastructure Gurus/Passionists/Pros, often you would know that at any given time you can take a Windows Server Professional and a Small Business Server Professional and immediately start a heated debate with no winner! The debate which is the better recommendation for a small business.
The Windows Server Pros roll there eyes at anyone who would even consider running one server with everything. In fact some even go so far as to call it crazy. On the other hand the SBS Pros know how successful this model is in the field and love that the SBS Development team has made the changes to the core software to make all the applications play nice together. Realize that the Windows Pros don't get all the SBS Teams modifications(nor do they understand that SBS is it's OWN product not just a paste together) so THEY have to make all the applications play nicely together or put them on different boxes.
Now we consider Microsoft Dynamics CRM. For small businesses we have Microsoft Dynamics CRM SBE which has been designed to tap into all the nice features of MS Small Business Server. As in MS CRM DYNAMICS SBE MUST run on the domain control because it has no choice.
When we get into Microsoft Dynamics Professional; however we run into different situations. For instance Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional should not be installed on a DOMAIN Controller (can't has been mentioned). This means that for those firms who have 2 servers, a primary Domain Controller and a Secondary Domain Controller, we get stuck..
If MS Dynamics CRM Pro can't run on a domain controller and if the (MS SQL TEAM cringes when you mention running MS SQL on a DC) then where do you install SQL or CRM in a firm that has 2 servers?
You have 2 choices
1) Add a Member Server to the environment for MS SQL and MS CRM increasing the number of servers supported and managed to 3.
2) Run the environment with a Primary DC Server and a Member/Application Server
Ah the joys of choices at the 10-50 person level firms. Always walking the line between what they have to give up versus what makes sense for their model!