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SNECRMUG - Information Share, Information Gained utilities continued

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.

  1. Dynamics CRM v2011 Visual Ribbon Editor - Definitly make use of the Visual Ribbon Editor and be aware that Office 2010 and it's ribbon are packed with features and a very deep well of opportunity.
  2. Tap into the ODATA Query Designer
  3. Take a look at FetchXML Builder
  4. Don't underestimate the power of the Visual SiteMap Editor (and remember that when editing sitemap you want to use the Microsoft CRM Editors)
  5. The JavaScript Web Resource Manager is a good utility to check out when upgrading v4.0 Javascript to v2011.
  6. Advanced Find can be used to generate FetchXML in v2011 (oh AND in v4)

Other Tidbits

  1. Solutions are well ... just released in v2011 so consider them v1.0 features and study accordingly. Lean more towards UNMANAGED solutions as opposed to MANAGED solutions. Know what is available and what is not.
  2. ODATA IE8 JSON, JQUERY and Required Libraries - totally have no clue what we were talking about around this as my notes trailed off, but perhaps my audience of readers can fill in and add comments.

CRM and the Holiday Opportunities

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.  

Dynamics CRM Utilities, utilities, utilities

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


– Diagnostics Tool for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 or v4 which helps CRM developers and administrators to enable trace and devErrors on a CRM server.  It also generates an HTML report file with information about the CRM deployment.
–A small to tool which Generates CRM 4.0 Picklist Customization XML. This tool allows you to cut and paste a comma separated list of values and descriptions into a text box and then generate a set of XML picklist options which can be pasted into your Customization.xml file.
CRM Documentation - from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Documentation team’s famous Jim Daly
–Automatically generates technical documentation from a CRM Database Metadata
A large set of tools that includes a Sitemap editor, a tool for Dynamics CRM icon resizing (for custom entities), The ability to generate test data quickly and more
–Takes two customization.xml files and compares and reports on the differences
–For those projects where numerous similar views are requested within any entity. This tool offers replication of the Layers, columns and width increasing consistency.
–The tool allows you to display the list of all attributes and select if you want them to be searchable or not. In only one action, you can set all attributes searchable property for one entity. 
–With this tool, you can:
•Indicate which entity you want to inspect
•Enter the identifier of the object in question
•Searching for a user with its name or its unique identifier
•Click the “Retrieve rights” button and the program will tell you what rights the user with respect to the record
Support for all out of the box privileges - By default the export utility will export ALL privileges, including custom privileges.