The exact same words, but extremely different concepts. Do you know the difference?
- Bundling ERP with CRM
- Bundling CRM with ERP
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 won't be at Convergence this year, but I wanted to go ahead and share some getting the most out of the event tips and tricks. because Convergence isn't just about great sessions and learning, but it is also about
2) Meeting the Third Party Providers and ISVs who partner with Microsoft on Dynamics CRM
and add value add
3) Meeting the Microsoft CRM Support Team and technical resources (bring your questions)
4) Meeting the Microsoft CRM Developers and development team (there are new faces to watch for)
5) Meeting other Microsoft team members
6) Communicating with other CRM users (Look for CRMUG)
7) Listening and learning from Authors, Field Experts and great consultants
So In my many years going to and presenting at Convergence I offer you the following
1) Know which sessions you want to go to before you go and have a backup option
(sometimes sessions are sold out)
2) Know who the speakers are: Ask or search the net or read their blogs, being great at what you know doesn't mean you are a great speaker. Look for both!
3) Use Twitter during the conference to keep up with the live session buzz and to connect with other CRM tweeters. My guess is the tweet tag will be #conv2013 or #conv13
4) Know the level of the session: They can range from 100 to 400 and have a lot to do
with presenter and audience. Convergence has both sales sessions to show what is new and deep technical sessions to get you up to speed fast so you have to know how to pick them.
5) Go to the parties and don’t stay at one. Roam from one party to the next and check out the culture, the mood, the tone, the side talks, the buzz
6) Talk to Strangers
7) Eat with people you don’t know and when you sit down, talk to them
8) Make time to visit the bookstore (even if to just see what CRM books are available)
9) Make time to visit the booths (I have had more great technical talks with CEOs at
trade shows than anywhere else)
10) Go to some non-CRM Sessions such as Office, SharePoint and BI – products that work
great together with CRM
11) Go to some business sessions – they have some incredible leaders presenting on
leadership, change management, etc. Many are well recognized business book
writers. (loved hearing Malcolm Gladwell a few years back)
12) Setup a Meet the Expert Connect session and have a one on one with a developer,
business leader, or other resource. A few years back I met with the development team working on a key feature in the newest version of CRM. What a blast to get their perspective.
13) Attend the Pre-Convergence CRMUG Day, the sessions are smaller and the content incredible.
14) Bring business cards, share your business cards, collect business cards AND schedule time when you get home to follow up. Not just the week after, but again two weeks after and a again after 2 months, etc. Networking is about meeting and then building relationships that offer win/win value to both people.
15) Share what you know! Evaluations make a HUGE Difference in the world of Microsoft. Peer to Peer sharing makes a HUGE difference in the success of Dynamics CRM.
16) Attend the last session of the day and the event. Those speakers are sometimes the best, because they draw out the day.
1) It is New Orleans! Get up on the balcony and share the fun of throwing beads at people.
2) Plan to eat incredible food.
3) Don't plan on sleeping too much, but don't burn up all the brain cells so you don't have time to learn.
Posted at 01:57 PM in Announcements, CRM in General, CRM Vendor News, MS CRM General Announcements, MS CRM Partner Resources, MS CRM Selling, MS CRM Studying, MS CRM Tip of the Day, 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 (0) | TrackBack (0)
One of the beauties of the web is that much of the valued work that was
released over time, is still available today.
The Discipline of CRM, by Anne Stanton and Herb Rubenstein,
iSixSigma Magazine http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c040323a.asp
How much do you invest in Mastering your Accounting
Software? by Anne Stanton, Accounting Software 411 http://www.accountingsoftware411.com/Press/PressDocView.aspx?docid=6460
Accounting Software, Maintaining Control, by Anne Stanton
and Joel Eisenhandler http://www.accountingsoftware411.com/Press/PressDocView.aspx?docid=6613
Software and Systems
Instant Messaging: Why communication needs new tools, by Anne Stanton,
Accounting Software 411 http://www.accountingsoftware411.com/Press/PressDocView.aspx?docid=5900
Other items of Interest
Utilizing Technology to Market Smarter by Melissa Farmer,
Accounting Marketing http://www.accountingmarketing.org/images/2006_UsingTechnology.pdf
CRM making life easier for CPA firms, by Lisa Spinelli,
5 signs that it's time to automate your customer data, by Jo
Anna Krotz, Microsoft Small Business Center http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/marketing/customer-service-acquisition/5-signs-that-its-time-to-automate-your-customer-data.aspx#signsthatitstimetoautomateyourcustomerdata
Do you know how every programmer is a creatively unique person? They like to artistically write and develop their custom code and (to the developers - you then tend to be responsible for it for life). I specialize in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, because I want to see more value for business investments in customized and extended solutions. I work with Microsoft Consulting Services to do this, on projects that are different (and sometimes the same) as standard Customer Relationship Management solutions that solve sales process, marketing process and service process needs.
Solutions can range across a very wide range of needs, but generally flow across numerous different departments. Integration to Microsoft Office is a common need, tracking of relationships between things or people is a common need and tight ties to Excel for pivoting, reporting and analysis comes up a lot. Document Management with CRM's relationship to SharePoint and so much more.
So if you are still using Access (on speed) or Excel (multipled by 1000s) then maybe it is time to rethink.
If I had a dollar for every time the following question was asked in the field I could.. ! Well here is a much better response then a flat No and my thanks to Steven Vlaanderen Oldenzeel from Microsoft PFE for sharing!
Can I write directly to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SQL Database?
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.
1) Unit testing CRM – Some interesting food for thought
2) Enterprise CRM team development – Feedback from the field from Shan (CEO of ADX) and more good food for thought –
A special 2 hour XrmVirtual presentation on Enterprise CRM team development focusing on change management and application lifecycle management (ALM) tools. Here is the event page: http://www.xrmvirtual.com/events/team_dev_ShanMc_CRM2011
When it comes to all things SLA the Dynamics CRM team posted a great blog post a couple of years ago complete with a number of great hyperlinks. I was re-reading this today and I realized that it was definitely worth a reshare!
So if you have questions about CRMOnline's Service Level Agreements START HERE
SureStep has a little file that is not always that easy to find, BUT it is a very powerful document for any developer ramping up on or learning Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The specific file name within SureStep is 1.5.1 Development Standards XRM
Additonally any new and old xRM developer should know about the following resources
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Development Best Practices (available in PartnerSource and MSDN)
Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK Documentation (available in PartnerSource and in MSDN)
MSDN: Design Guidelines for Class Library Developers, Microsoft Corporation, 2004 (MSDN Library)
I was doing a bit of searching to find a recording of a talk that I felt would be good to share again and I found this old list.
I must admit I love that certain IP lasts forever in the world of the Internet.
Although most of us would not like to admit it, we all like to crash and decompress in front of the TV. Please welcome a new way to decompress CRMSoftware.TV.
This week Lauren Carlson, CRM Analyst, interviews David Pennington on exactly where Microsoft is investing when it comes to the many social marketing venues and applications. As well as how this plays in the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
A quick lick of the upcoming ice cream!
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)
One of the core design philosophy's of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and the labeling and use of this application as an xRM platform, is that the application is built with the expectation that developers will extend the functionality and teams will integrate other applications into it. This is particularly common within the world of large enterprise.
The joy of integration for the user: User's can not only see all their data in one place, they also have options to add external data into that one place! Data that is display only, window frames that peek into other applications within the same interface (like Google or Bing), data that is synchronized realtime (such as SharePoint) and in batch (like Active Directory integration) and even more derivatives of the same!
Now to a customer, the term integration can have many, many different meanings. One of the first steps for anyone when faced with the term "integration" in a project meeting is to ask for the business process. What is the true need? Visibility, modification, creation?
"systems integration is the process of linking together different computing systems and software applications physically or functionally, to act as a coordinated whole"
The key term "to act as a coordinated whole" which does not necessarily mean duplicating data between two systems nor does it imply simple. Distributed system integration is one of the most complex data coordination needs a team can face. In this mobile world, the risk that distributed data is needed on any given project, increases.
Dynamics CRM has some distributed processing built in. When you take your data offline using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook client you are stepping into the distributed world. For instance the timing of when you go back online can impact your data and the coordination and rules around this dip into distributed thought.
OK So integration is a fact of life, so what are the options?
There are some very interesting third party vendor options. Some are loved, some hated, some are loved and hated and others are well brand new and unrated.
One of the new players (at least to me) is Synchronicity Systems out of the UK. They have a product called ECHO. I would be interested in any feedback from the field on ECHO. They have niched an offering for moving an on-premise Microsoft Dynamics CRM v3, v4 or v2011 to the cloud.
Another well known player is Scribe Software.
If you are tying into DynamicsGP (Great Plains), eOne is a vendor who has deep DynamicsGP history and Dynamics CRM connecct.
As a hobby I spend time learning about new social media trends, technology and tools. I tend to try many of the new products out and then personally judge if they are valuable to me and sometimes perhaps not valuable to me, but good to know about when talking to others.
If you are following me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any of the other various roadways I drive upon, you might have seen some new shared posts on Klout. I am testing and using Klout to learn about this new technique and tool.
Share your thoughts and comments!
A writer never really knows the impact of their book until it is out in the field and feedback is coming in. They can judge if it was helpful by the number of sales, but that is more a matter of publisher marketing than general "Did it make a Difference". They can also judge based on the internal editing process and the critical eyes of the editorial teams, but it isn't really the same.
I have now moved past, that unsure stage, that most writers experience when a book is released. The book Teach Yourself Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2011 in 24 Hours feedback is excellent, people are getting value out of their investment in time and dollars, and a few more hundred souls are more efficiently getting more bang out of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
I was motivated to write this little post today, because the newest Microsoft BizSpark webpage included my book within their FURTHER READING section (bottom right). I am now helping the worldwide economy in one tiny way by supporting Entreprenuers and Microsoft in growing new business seeds of success!
For a gardener like me - this is just as exciting as the new sprouts peeking their heads out of the Spring soil outside my window!
A good friend of mine from high school has had quite a wild and tough road in life and currently she is recovering from a battle with illness. I won't get into the details BUT if you have the following you could make a huge difference in someone's life.
1) Five Minutes
2) A Stamp
3) A card
Write a note of energy, send a small joke, forward a smile and/or a bit of news and intresting perspective and distraction from your world and send it to the following address
Ms. Lily Ordway
3850 E Esther Street, Room 27
Long Beach, CA 90804
CRM is highly personal just like each of our own direct relationships. It must also meet corporate and team shared needs. This post dives into this concept.
Take for instance the tracking of details on a relationship between two people. The USER of CRM (such as a sales person) and their prospect or client (such as a key contact at a prospect site)
Some details of a relationship are as unique as each person within that relationship and others are common for all relationships with a specific person no matter who is in that relationship.
These details of a "relationship" can include an incredible list of variables.
What would be considered common and easily shared and valuable to a team? Personal characteristics such as a specific job title, the contacts features (height, gender, eye color) or perhaps even the name of a contacts spouse and friends.
Other variables are unique to a specific relationship and might or might not be valuable to the team.
What would be considered unique? The level of trust between two people, an inside joke, their shared history, perhaps a specific experience and shared networks. This could even extend to likes and dislikes that a person has and their level of likes. A person who is great at skiing might love skiing with a person at their same level, but hate it with a beginner. We could even go so far as to look at other unique traits such as what job or what role is taken as part of a specific relationship. If I think of one person in my network as an example, this same person is a contactor, a developer, a senior software developer (language being a factor), a software engineer, an architect (role being a factor), a speaker, a reference, a father, a son, a coach, a builder and more. So how are all these different variables tracked and shared?
Within the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM these variables are handled in a number of different ways and at various different companies extended with different styles. Partner extensions to the software, customer driven extensions to the software, base use of already available features. This one subject is a great one for the user group! (www.crmug.com)
Depending on the version of the software choices within the software change significantly between version 4 and verson 2011.
In the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM v4.
Contacts are people who have a set of shared fields and these include not only what shipped out of the box, but also any other fields you wanted to add. Out of the box fields include title, gender, e-mail addresses, and how the person likes to be contacted. User defined fields might include if they are a referral source or if they are an influencer within a prospect account.
Microsoft also offered a table in v4 for relationships. This is a two column list where a CRM user could custom define that a specific person (such as person A) was a vendor contact and that a specific second person (person B for instance) was the customer of that vendor contact. You could also choose a company and put it in this relationship table such as company A was a vendor for person B as the customer contact. This relationship feature offered both company and contact cross reference choices.
The feature had/has an interesting set of powerful potential, but it also had limits and I would dare to say it is under utilized inthe field and as such in the world of Dynamics CRM version 2011 a whole new world of options was born under the CONNECTIONS umbrella. Relationships exists in 2011 but has been retired and replaced with connections.
If you have not discovered CONNECTIONS then you want to take time to REALLY understand the power before you architect it into your business process.
So with those thoughts and my writing time ended I open up the idea for discussion and perhaps a few more posts over the next few days.
How does your company track all the variables between all the different relationships for each prospect or client contact that you have?
The fastest way for you to find out about the hot trending topics from Microsoft Convergence is to go on over to Twitter and to search on #conv12, #conv2012 and (to get a few missed items) #con12. You can also search on #CRMLady (that is me) and #msdyncrm.
The buzz during the event was hot, fast, real time and enlightening. I can't tell you how many times I smiled while reading 140 characters. A quick glance, a smile and back to 100% listening to content.
What was great was to post a thought and then to see all the reviberating thoughts on the speakers while the speaker was still speaking.
In fact at one of my presentations. Someone TWEETED a question, I read it (yes, while speaking) and responded to the entire group. How did I do that? Well there were two of us presenting so the back and forth gave me a chance for a quick peek.
Talk about an entirely different way to present to geeks and introverts - Look out future tomorrows, the power of the introverts enabled!
I just had an incredible four days at the Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Conference. The time was incredibly well spent and included a huge amount of value. What fascinated me however was that unlike in years past, instead of capturing my notes here on the blog I was tweeting them in real time.
So now I have a dilemna - I would like to capture and save those notes. The wonderful #conv12 and #conv2012 items, but how to get them from there to here?
Looks like I am about to embark on a bit of research. Stay Tuned!
A big shout out of Thanks to John O’Donnell, ISV Architect Evangelist and incredible Dynamics CRM Community resource. John patiently read through and did the technical editing on the Teach Yourself Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 in 24 Hours Book.
If you are just learning Dynamics CRM or if you are experienced developer and want to tap into a bit of an above the trees perspective on the product. If you are overwhelmed by what comes out of the box and what is "a configuration" versus a "customization" versus an "extension" or if you just want to read up and have another great reference for your reference library then grab yourself a copy of the book at your local bookstore or Amazon or Sam's Publishing or any of the other various options.
What you are going to Convergence? Well, maybe the book will be in the Convergence bookstore.
AND if you do read it please leave your comments, ratings and feedback.
Teach Yourself Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2011 in 24 Hours has been released and I have held the paper printed copy in my hands. Definitely a good feeling.
The graphics have all been updated (better high resolution screen shots) AND I have five new Dynamics CRM guru voices who have contributed by reviewing, writing and updating between 1 and 3 chapters each.
If you have a copy I would love your input on my Amazon Author's page either through a new discussion thread or by posting a review. OR feel free to comment via your own blog, twitter or Facebook.
The link to the Amazon Page is below.
If you don't have a copy, can you help me with my goal? Get a copy and share it.
My goal? To increase the knowledge of the greater Dynamics CRM community of partners, developers, customers, administrators, consultants and users while also continuing to enhance and expand my own individual knowledge on the product family.
During the December 15th Southern New England CRM User Group meeting, which was focused on Dynamics CRM development utilities, we had some great interactive discussion and I captured some of the tips from the group. Here are those goodies shared.
Now that it is the holiday season and everyone is distracted with high stress, extra after work errands (or lunch time runs to the local toy store) perhaps utilizing your CRM system is not top of mind.
there are a number of different opportunities that are not present (or presents) at other times of the year.
Take for instance sending out holiday cards (either electronically or via a hand written note) an address is needed (e-mail or postal) and what better time to confirm that all your addresses are correct then right before sending out a caring thought.
There is also the tracking that you sent something, as there is nothing more embarressing (or perhaps more business limiting) then sending the same card to the same person twice. You definitely want to complete and activity once you get those messages out to your audience. Lastly well how about those great responses or the people who send you a gift or card who you did not send a gift or card to!! A thank you note, a reach out or even simply adding them to your list for next year.
CRM is not just about management or BOD statistics, it really is about helping you to be more organized, more connected or simply a bit kinder because you can remember the small details a bit better.
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
The buzz is fascinating on the grapevine of Dynamics CRM partners, users, and Microsoft and right now the "big" new tip of the iceburg features are all about social media integration, customer service and social analysis.
Social Media has long been a passion of mine from the early days dabbling with Ryze, to the exercise of first trying Twitter and then really understanding what it was offering. Mix that in with the addiction to Facebook by so many and it all ebbs and flows.
Personally technology sometimes feels like a Lazy River often found at some of the resorts. There is always something new around the corner and sometimes that new feels very familier.
The Microsoft Dynamics landscape is changing quickly – new technology, new platforms, new implementation strategies, new partner challenges—and the changes mean major new opportunities, and major new risks. Decisions that you make now about your Dynamics solution will have implications for years to come.
Who Should Attend Decisions Fall 2011?
Decisions Fall 2011 is a virtual event for...
You know that Microsoft Dynamics CRM has really come of age when not only are their over 1 million licenses sold for the product, BUT you start stumbling on information on Dynamics CRM in places like eHOW.
Take for instance this little video on Microsoft Dynamics CRM v4.0 Certification
or this one on How to Work with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM eBook
and of course YouTube is PACKED with more Dynamics CRM information and noise than most people know what to do with.
I just stumbled upon a nice xRM/CRM developer resources blog: Jamie Miley's Life and Technology - Take for instance this post
Have You Registered Yet? @crmug: #msdynCRM
Next week is the Southern New England CRM User Group meeting in the Waltham, MA Microsoft Offices.
Come On Over to share in the joys and pains of INTEGRATION!
You have rolled out your project or you are working on it and that "I hate change" and "What? I have to learn something new?" are tripping you up and getting in your way. These mindsets create speed bumps and the more speed bumps the harder the change.
So what can you do and if you know what to do how can you get the attention of your users in this noisy, noisy world so that they understand what is available to them?
The Top 7 Ideas
1. Using an experienced and trained Dynamics CRM resource, present Dynamics CRM regulary. This does not necessarily mean training, this is much more focused on sharing ease of use and the potential for the tool to meet an existing needs. Only present what you have delivered or are delivering.
2. Present audience specific information that meets the interests and needs of a very defined small audience. Don't try to meet the needs of customer service, sales and marketing or the needs of managers, sales people, marketing experts and developers all in the same 1 hour presentation.
3. Adopt the DRIP mindset. A one hour presentation a few times a month, focused on two specific features, is much more powerful and useful than eight hours of overwhelming rain showers.
4. Listen to your audience without trying to change their opinion. Different functions are easy or difficult depending on the user's perceptions. It might be easy for you, but it could be hard for them. Avoid that word EASY. Do you Golf? Consider how hard it is to change your golf swing if you have been swinging it the same way for 10 years. It might improve your game BUT
5. First impressions are not usually lasting impressions particularly when it comes to Dynamics CRM and the flexibility and multitude of choices it offers. Offer as much training in as many different formats as possible.
Consider that anyone over 30 was trained on applications that let you do one thing at a time. One open account record for instance. Dynamics CRM allows you to work on 5 Accounts at the same time. It fits in your kids world - You know the world where kids have 5 IM windows open on their machine which are current conversations and they are working on their homework and they are listening to music. Dynamics CRM offers the flexibility to fit in this multi-tasking world. Choice makes for more complexity, raising the learning curve. Allow people the time to adjust off of their first impressions through good training.
6) Try to discover mindsets and relationships with the software that cause frustration. "I just tolerate that it has to be done that way" applies to many different tools in use today. Just as in Outlook people fall into pattern and habit which is not necessarily the easiest or the best way to use a tool. Watch how your users use the software to do their tasks. Be a detective, document that business process and then step back and consider and discuss with management what the best options are. Many time these options do not require dollars or huge effort.
7) Remember that in the world of technology and business software the tools and base foundation never stop changing. It is our habits, training, busy lives and reluctance to change that delays the goal of the highest utilization possible with the tools available in any given point of time.
If you have not discovered the new searchable Microsoft Product Support page then you might want to take a look. You can pick your product of choice and then search the knowledge base on your issue of the day! This includes cool products like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but also includes almost any product Microsoft related (phone, IE, XBox, Security, Zune, you name it)
Every once in a while I change my theme. Why? Well I find that certain changes offer a bit of brain refresh both for me as the writer and for those that read the blog via the web.
So today - the theme on my blog changed.
What do you think?
Occassionally the need arises to double check exactly what version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you are running and when I say version, I mean the exact .0000000 version. Christian recently posted on exactly how one goes about doing that.
His post can be found HERE or below are some of his wise, wise words.
"As many Dynamics CRM 4.0 aficionados know, Microsoft releases regular updates to iron out documented issues [and to sprinkle in a little love]. CRM 2011 is no exception; three Update Rollups have already been released since RTM.
Note that the On-Premise build numbers I list below may be different than what you will find in CRM 2011 Online. Microsoft continuously adds new updates behind the scenes, thus the likelihood of having a greater build number in comparison to the latest Update Rollup version.
To determine your current build number from the IE web client, simply:
To determine your current build number from the Outlook CRM client:
A window will pop up with your build number listed. If you used Outlook, you will see the build numbers for both the Server and Outlook CRM Client (sample screenshot below).
See below for a chart of the Dynamics CRM 2011 build versions. I’ll try to keep it current, so be sure to bookmark and check back later!
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.
Microsoft has released Update Rollup 3 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2011. It includes updates and hot fixes packaged together for easy deployment. We recommend that you install the update rollup to keep your software performing at its best.
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)
"The term asynchronous is usually used to describe communications in which data can be transmitted intermittently rather than in a steady stream" :
Now given this simple fact you might be surprised to discover that sometimes people forget that if you use asynchronous processes (such as workflow or asynchronous plugins) and you have dependencies particularly on a variety of async processes, timing might be an issue!
An interesting way to consider this is from the perspective of looking into a professional kitchen. Take the Master Chef (Mr. Processor): He must prepare certain items in sequence, for instance the pork chops have to be cut and spiced before they can be put in the pan to be cooked and before they can be prepared for display.
On the other hand if serving two vegtables for the same plate, if the broccoli comes out before the carrots, the chef (Mr. Processor) does not have a problem. The preparation of the broccoli and the carrots can happen in order, reverse order or at the same time. They can be asynchronous. They both need to be prepared in a timely manner (within the same approximate window of time) and they both need to get done within that time frame, but which gets done first doesn't matter that much. They are not dependent on each other.
Now the Chef might prefer the broccoli to come out first, as he has his own habits and best practices to make it all come together, but he can (and does) deal with the reality if they get reversed. On the other hand if an assistant chef forgets to spice the pork chops or spices them after cooking then the flavor of they chef's prized dinner is ruined and sometimes considered unacceptable!
These same concepts apply to functions and processes within the world of Dynamics CRM. There are functions that should be asynchronous, there are processes that need to be synchronous and knowing the difference is an important variable in any developer or power user.
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:
Soundex is not necessarily the ultimate solution to expanding the power of Duplicate Detection, but it is definitely one option.
Check out this post for one approach (comments from the development crowd welcome)
I haven't heard much from Bridge2CRM over the last couple of years and have not had the pleasure of talking to them at some of the big Dynamics Conferences like Convergence 2011, but their solution looks to be another option in the mobility space.
Menno blogged about them a while back, but alas my link to Menno's post has grown cold, brittle and broken.
Comments from the Crowd?
Are you using this solution?
Have you used this solution?
What do you think?
Just because we are a year or two away from the initial release of Dynamics CRM v4 does not mean that we are past some of the long ago solved problems.
Needless to say here is a item that you might want to look into if you are in "Database Cleaning Mode" or if you are having performance issues with a Dynamics CRM v4 footprint.
1) Run cleanup scripts to address existing Database problems!
Warning (probably unnecessary but): Before running any SQL Cleanup scripts backup the database in case you run into problems.
Note: You might want to set the Max Degree Of Parallelism option greater than Zero (1 is just fine) if you are running a multi CPU SQL Server. This option is under the Advanced options of your SQL Server. This one is a bit debatable among the DBAs and CRM experts. On small queries you want to define resources so the system doesn't burn up resources figuring things out and on more complex queries the benefits exist to let the system figure it out.
Now the next question you are going to ask is WHERE ARE THESE Cleanup scripts. Good Question!
Right now most teams (particularly in the larger CRM footprints) have their own or perhaps it is better to consider the partners supporting your CRM footprint. They have their own utilities, tips and tricks for great maintenance as well.
So where do you start?
Start here: An easy way to identify if you are running into an old issue with the AsyncOperationBaseTable is by checking how many records are in this table. Run a simple Count(*) and checking how many records you have of OperationType = ‘10’ and Succeeded/Completed.
If you do have this issue you can go back and check out Ben's blog and/or do a bit of Binging.