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October 2014
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March 2015

New Dynamics CRM YouTube Channel

The new CRM page is live on YouTube and Facebook. This will enable better discovery of the video assets being created for the releases.

 You can access the YouTube page here: 

https://www.youtube.com/user/msdyncomm/DynamicsCRM

 

The Facebook App can be accessed directly at:

https://apps.facebook.com/microsoftdynamics/


Dynamics CRM 2015 SDK Hidden Treasure

One of the great things about the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 is all the great new that is packed in between all the great that already existed.  Sometimes there is so much great that a feature, tool or wow slips between the lines in the documentation or the noise of the BUZZ.

One of these great little features is a feature of the plugin registration tool that was part of the CRM 2015 release of the SDK! Mark has a short video and blog about it here.


Class at 8am, Class at 9pm, Still Loving and Learning Dynamics CRM

After 10 years you would think that I know a lot about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and I am so very thankful that I what I learned yesterday still brings me great value today (including the yesterdays of 2004, 2005, 2006, ... , but with an incredible client base of users giving input and an incredible team of developers writing new everyday - learning is ongoing.

So this week I am participating in a morning class with the incredible MVP, Gus Gonzalez, who is providing some great field perspective and an internal evening class on some really cool new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Sales Productivity functionality.

Life is Good!    

 


What's New - Thanks to Dynamics CRM

One of the best parts of being semi-snowed in is that I can convert my travel time into learning and sharing time.

Let's look at a feature that everyone assumes that everyone else knows about. The What's New Social Pane.

Why do I point this out? If your team uses activities to track, retain touches and to communicate (e-mails) this pane gives you an incredible look into which contacts and accounts are actively engaged. It also lets you see an account that is requiring extra attention, a colleague who is working on something that you can help with or an activity that you needed to know about. (but because it is so easy to get into our own little spheres it was missed)

It is about raising the bar of transparency and shifting a culture and it is about creating a culture of sharing among all the users of your Dynamics CRM system.

What only inside Dynamics CRM?

Well actually NO! If you have YAMMER enabled you click a button in configuration and configure Yammer and your YAMMER Feeds become an option under What's New. Bringing in other (even perhaps non-CRM user) conversations into the mix.

Just imagine!

WhatsNew
 


Back in the CRM v2011 Days

Back in the Microsoft CRM v2011 days there was an issue with the “Send an error report to Microsoft” configuration where the OOB features of Dynamics would cause generic errors to appear when in reality there were no errors or perhaps just a slight delay. The timing was over sensitive so although there was some debate about it is designed to do that, it was doing it way too often.

In the field we turned off the alert.  The message was not helpful and also would block an occasional real error. Needless to say for a year or two we would need to turn off this feature both under Settings, Administration, PRIVACY settings and under a user’s personal options.  

Does anyone remember these times?

Does anyone still have a blog post on the issue?

 

 


Thank you Deanna Sparks !

I wanted to give a big shout out to Deanna Sparks, an associate consultant specializing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. She is a guest blogger who wrote that great piece on Business Process Flows. As many of  you know Business Process Flows were released with Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 and with the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2015 they are even more powerful!

I can still remember last year at Convergence watching this incredible presentation by two powerful business users at one of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM client sites. They LOVE business process flows and it was amazing to see what they had used them for in v2013! Just wait until they see the newest release. Talk about getting the chain saw - who can keep up and yet users can always find ways to ask for more.


New Business Process Flows with 2015 Release

Improving functionality to make it easier to configure your system right out of the box is one of the benefits of the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 update. A feature I am finding great value using is the business process flow (BPF) display of a set of predefined steps for users to follow to achieve a desired outcome.

 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2015 offers a method to create these complex BPFs in a Single Edit Experience! Now, all the improvements made to BPF in v2015 such as stage and step configuration, selecting entity relationships and new branching capabilities are all performed in the same process edit window. Let's take a deeper look into these new features on the Single Edit Experience as compared to CRM v2013!

 

There is now rule based branching. In CRM v2013, the BPF were new and were liner: you had to complete one stage before you moved on to the next one. In CRM v2015, it is now possible have BPF to change to the next stage or to future stages depending on the actions and input of the user. This enhancement displays the most relevant information to the user and ultimately allows them to create more complex BPF. The instant feedback allows for users to be updated in real time, improving the accuracy of direction while performing their tasks. Dynamically changing BPF are enabled by the new branching and merging features, which now include the conditions if, else, and else if for business rules logic.

 

These conditions are just one of the updates to the entities in BPF. You can create a branch with a single entity, or now with v2015, you can cross the branch with multiple entities! In the previous version, only certain entities were allowed to be included in BPF, now you can choose any custom entity to be involved as long as you've enabled the BPF capability. Another improvement in 2015 is the ability for the BPF to go in and out of the entity loop as many times as necessary to complete the action; opposed to v2013 where you could only loop back to the primary entity once. The relationships between entities has also been updated and a 1:N relationship with the associated entity is no longer necessary. In v2013 there was a predefined set of entities and relationships that could be used, now you get to customize your relationship by choosing "Previous Stage", "Entity", and "Relationship" on the Edit window.  While a relationship is not required anymore, it is recommended to use relationships to allow data to more easily flow between records.

 

At the end of your BPF, branching will come to a single merge step, which is the condition after the else statement. With the new feature to select the "Previous Stage" at the end of a stage, you now have the ability to create a unique relationship with different field mapping depending on the actions of the user. This is useful in that is allows you to dictate a relationship based on the branches that merge to verify that the correct data is being mapped over from one stage to the next.

 

These enhancements to Business Process Flows are just a part of the all that is new in Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2015. Check back for more blog posts regarding the newest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM!

 


Fine Tuning MS CRM for Enterprise Level Performance

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has now been running in some of the largest enterprise accounts across the countries, but with millions and millions of transactions comes a need to fine tune so here are a few tricks of the trade from the Enterprise Technical Developers, Database gurus and Consultants!

1) Although perhaps obvious, it is worth adding Indexes to your  SQL Server Database if you are dealing with millions of transactions

2) Enable the Quick Find Limit and encourage users to use Advanced Find when doing more sophisticated searching

3) Kerberos authentic can cause performance issues if it is not turned on AND if it is hitting various incompatibility with different server versions, particularly really old versions so check your server versions and your Kerberos.

4) Go back to the basics at the front end CRM Server, Do you have "Enable HTML Compression?" Set to  Yes?  Turn it off

5) You can also "Turn off the Page Counter" for the Grid  1 of 250, 5000+

6) Review the columns that you have enabled on Quick Find, for each column added the query is increased and overhead is increased.

7) Review the following SQL Server Flags with your CRM SQL Server guru

  •  MAXDOP =
  • IDSCountForUsingGUIDString =
  • IDSCountBeforeCausingJoinsForSecurity =
  • Optimize for Adhoc =
  • ERMO =

 


Heads Back Up

So I have been heads down for a number of months and it is time to pull my head back up into the community! Dynamics CRM v2013 and Dynamics CRM v2015 have a TON of new awesomeness and by sharing the incredible power of the functional configuration options we can increase customer happiness and Dynamics CRM success.