As we role into the sometimes slower holiday days I thought a share of the Microsoft Certification Poster might be helpful for those interested in the following:
A big kudos to the Microsoft Documentation Team for the Power Platform Documentation. Any and every time I need to reference a bit more depth or details on a feature in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, Sales, Service, Marketing or many other applications I have found that the documentation has been reviewed and updated in 2020.
This was a huge undertaking and one that is often not well appreciated so today I am saying a big green (for success)
VOCABULARY, It matters -> Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Service, Dynamics 365 Marketing these are all Power Apps.
One of the huge transitions for the Dynamics 365 CRM world is a shift in vocabulary and terminology and aligning what the experienced resources know (Dynamics 365 CRM or Dynamics 365 CE) with all the new buzz and development options.
One way to think of this shift is that all of the modules in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement are "potentially" their own Power App. So it is true you can combine sales, service, marketing, talent, etc. into one app, but basically the thinking trend is that each module is a Power App.
The other way that I have found that people quickly grasp the concept is to mention MOBILE and get them in a mobile mindset. I can then say, you can create any number of mobile apps to access your Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement data. Each mobile app is a PowerApp.
And as such the Power Platform offers the potential for hundreds of Power Apps, as well as other complimentary technologies such as Power BI, Power Automate and Power Virtual.
You have heard all the buzz on the new Power Platform and you have seen many posts on PowerApps/Model-driven Apps and Canvas Apps. You have also upgraded your Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM instance to v9.x either On-Premise or Online, but you are not sure where to get started with apps!
This might be an interesting path:
1) If you are familiar with configuring Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CRM/CE then you might want to start by adding a Model-driven app to your one of your solution files.
A Model-driven app can be used in conjunction with what you are doing today (the classic menu) and there are some nice little short cuts to getting started. For instance you can create a Model-driven app using your current sitemap and/or a current solution file.
2) Once you get the hang of creating Model-driven apps (and there are some small little tricks) then perhaps it is time to dive into creating your first Canvas App. One of the differences between a Canvas App and a Model-driven app is that Canvas Apps tend to be focused on the Microsoft Stack first (think Microsoft 365) and Model-driven apps tend to be focused from a Dynamics 365 perspective (Think an app within a solution).
If you are empowered from learning online, you can get some nice step by step materials by working through some of the exercises on Microsoft Learning!
If you prefer an in person type learning environment then you might want to attend the Business Applications Summit in Atlanta on June 10-11th or attend one of the App in a Day seminars in a city near you.
Now that we are running in larger data centers with the power of Microsoft Azure and with hardware technology such as solid state storage (moving away from the limitations of rotating platters) we all want to take a deep breath and make a sigh of performance joy.
Unfortunately when you eliminate one bottleneck the data moves to the next. Additionally bottlenecks are not just hardware.
Consider a rock wall layered in a stream of water, you remove the rocks blocking the water, and the water rushes to the next barrier. The same concept applies to data.
If you are working with millions or hundreds of thousands of data records you might want to consider:
- Performance Tune the Microsoft SQL Server Database (SQL Server gurus can appreciate this one!)
- Adding MS SQL Server Indexes to your largest Entities.
- Consider Latency (Microsoft now offers data center distributed processing for their Worldwide Dynamics Customers, reducing the trips across the oceans)
- Understand if you have a bottleneck and where it is (Dynamics actually ships with a Diagnostic tool to check latency and bandwidth: Use https://[your crm url]/tools/diagnostics/diag.aspx
- If you are hosting your own environment, you can also tap into the Microsoft Professional Field Engineering teams Performance Analysis and Tuning Services (the PFE Sustainability Engineers Rock) or
- you might consider a powerful tool such as ThousandEyes: https://blog.thousandeyes.com/monitor-dynamics-crm-performance/ and https://www.thousandeyes.com/solutions/dynamics-365-monitoring
What are your favorite tips and tricks for performance?
Oh and as a last note .. there are customers processing 100,000s of data records a DAY with the Microsoft Dynamics platform. The power is incredible with a little love.
The following table provides a brief comparison of the four available search options in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CE. Microsoft often provides many options for achieving the same goal (just look at all you can do with Outlook!)
The link to this information and to read more https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/basics/search-and-find-header
Relevance Search (Online Only, the power of Azure)
Full-text Quick Find (also called Categorized Search)
Enabled by default?
No. An administrator must manually enable it under system settings.
No. An administrator must manually enable it under system settings.
Single-entity search scope
Not available in an entity grid. You can filter the search results by an entity on the results page.
Available in an entity grid.
Available in an entity grid.
Available in an entity grid.
Multi-entity search scope
There is no maximum limit on the number of entities you can search. Note: While there is no maximum limit on the number of entities you can search, the Record Type filter shows data for only 10 entities.
Searches up to 10 entities, grouped by an entity.
Searches up to 10 entities, grouped by an entity.
Multi-entity search not available.
Finds matches to any word in the search term in any field in the entity.
Finds matches to all words in the search term in one field in an entity; however, the words can be matched in any order in the field.
Finds matches as in a SQL query with “Like” clauses. You have to use the wildcard characters in the search term to search within a string. All matches must be an exact match to the search term.
Query builder where you can define search criteria for the selected record type. Can also be used to prepare data for export to Office Excel so that you analyze, summarize, or aggregate data, or create PivotTables to view your data from different perspectives.
Text fields like Single Line of Text, Multiple Lines of Text, Lookups, and Option Sets. Doesn't support searching in fields of Numeric or Date data type.
All searchable fields.
All searchable fields.
All searchable fields.
Returns the search results in order of their relevance, in a single list.
For single-entity, returns the search results in an entity grid. For multi-entity, returns the search results grouped by categories, such as accounts, contacts, or leads.
For single-entity, returns the search results in an entity grid. For multi-entity, returns the search results grouped by categories, such as accounts, contacts, or leads.
Returns search results of the selected record type with the columns you have specified, in the sort order you have configured.
Trailing wildcard supported for word completion.
Leading wildcard supported. Trailing wildcard added by default.
Leading wildcard supported. Trailing wildcard added by default.
The power of the user group is that listening to peers, experts, partners, consultants, business users, financial advisors and so many more, opens the mind to interesting ideas.
CRM USER GROUP - FOCUS - in HOUSTON
9:49am and here are the first few tips
1) Have you considered holding your sales team to task by using SLAs on LEADS, measuring when the lead was first contacted or when a lead reached a key milestone in the qualification stage?
2) GOALS, so under appreciated and yet so powerful. Add goals in unique and creative ways to take full advantage of the complex hierarchy offered from this little feature.
3) Task Flows : Originally for Mobile Only, but now embedded across the new UI. Take for instance OOB Follow-up to a meeting. A sexy dialog.
4) DOCK your business process flow on the right side of your form so you can see the fields. Always learning, this is a cool one, although I thought a TAB approach might be useful as well. Some people like that old style form view.
5) Did you know you can use an Out of the Box action to move a business process flow to the next stage automatically (so your user doesn't have to press next)?
6) Has your partner added an APP or APPS to your configuration? If not, you are missing out.
In the world of Dynamics 365, configuration/customization/extension does not equal the old world assumptions of "custom software"
When thinking of the experiences or backgrounds needed for any specific project, don't let assumptions trip you up. These terms can help with your communications.
Configuration – knowing of and Answering all the questions related to setting up the system for a specific customer. These include all the options under SETTINGs including but not limited to items such as turning on auditing, configuring number formats, turning on relevance search, setting up duplicate detection, configuring territories, setting fiscal year end and more. This is done on every Dynamics 365 project (hopefully) and there are more than 50 questions.
Customization – A functional consultants power to configure the system for specific business models such as renaming entities, adding entities, adding system charts, lists/views, adding workflows, creating business rules, formatting the data entry fields and forms, creating PowerApps, setting up relationships between entities and more. The term customization often waffles between configuration and extensions depending on who is using the term.
The world of technology is deep and wonderful.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 User Group Community FOCUS https://ugfocus.com/houston-register
Monday, March 11, 2019
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
As Microsoft releases more and more features, modules and wonderful goodness into the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform it is good to build out your understanding of the maturity of each feature. The maturity defines the number of layers of updates or changes that any given feature might have experienced as well as it's depth of functionality. You can also relate this to the version of a feature; although, the version is not always the deciding factor. It is possible to have a very mature version 1.0 feature.
Why is this important? It helps to set the expectations of where the strengths and weaknesses are as you adopt the platform and extend the features. It also helps you understand and manage your expectations around what the speed of change will be with regards to a specific set of features.
Extract from the people on your team who have worked with the platform for many, many years - You need to knowledge share around the age and growth of key features. It is also important to have these conversations so you can stretch all resources into considering alternative approaches including the experienced team members. Change is not only constant in this wild world of the Microsoft Stack, but it is also speeding up.
So how do we go about understanding maturity?
As much as I would like to list every known feature in the system (I might save that for a future blog post), I think the key area to start with on each project is with a list of the features that are relevant. When working on a custom service/call center project you might not care as much about the sales automation processes or when working with an xRM or AnyRM project you might not need to be as concerned with cases and knowledge management.
So once you have a high level understanding of the areas of the platform that you want to leverage, make a quick chart of maturity. There are a few items that you want to capture as follows:
1) When was the feature released? What version (your choices include version 1.2 all the way up to version 9.1.x.xxxx)
2) Understand how the feature or area of the platform fits within the Microsoft Roadmap. Is this a feature that is waning into deprecation or is it positioned for rapid growth?
3) Acknowledge what the team knows about the strengths and weaknesses of the feature. A good brain sharing exercise.
4) Understand the feature dependencies. Take for instance, Cases - Cases have a wide set of dependent entities and functionality that goes fairly deep from SLAs to Contracts to Knowledge Base(s) and Closures.
5) Acknowledge what can and can't be configured.
6) Understand which ISVs (third party vendors) have bundled offerings that extend the features so you know your choices. Take for instance Accounts - There are numerous offerings that validate addresses and that help with extracting data on accounts from the internet. There are also numerous social engagement offerings including Microsoft's own Microsoft Social Engagement (MSE) Offering.
7) Always keep an open mind for the way that you would solve a problem on your last project is not always the same way to solve the exact same problem on your current project.
and lastly do a little deep diving into who on the product team or what group among the product team owns the feature set. This research is a key exercise for anyone attending one of the many conferences. Understanding or even meeting the product team who updates and extends features can help you better understand the vision and growth.
If you have started having difficulty with Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement and you are using Internet Explore v11 then you want to make sure you have the latest KBs. The March 20th updates broke a few things, the March 27th updates fixed these.
For Windows 8.1 and 7 SP1 Users
KB4016446 - https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4016446
KB4016446 Download Link - http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/search.aspx?q=KB4016446
For Windows 10 users search the catalog for
If you have other Internet Explorer Issues then you might want to walk through this set of Articles.
Internet Explorer: Web application requirements for Microsoft Dynamics 365 https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh699710.aspx
Internet Explorer: FAQ for IT Pros https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/internet-explorer/ie11-faq/faq-for-it-pros-ie11
Microsoft Edge Deployment Guide for IT Pros https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/microsoft-edge/index
Compatibility Changes in IE 11 https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/bg182625(v=vs.85).aspx
Automatic testing is a bit of a niche skill and every application is different in terms of what is needed or what tools can be used. In this situation I depend on knowledge shared, because there is absolutely no reason that we can't learn from each other. Following please find some notes from the field on Microsoft Dynamics "CRM" Automated Testing
Knowledge shared is a powerful skill in the world of technology. It requires that you admit that you might be wrong, that you might have more to learn and that being vulnerable is worth the risk. Yes, it is very much worth the risk in this crazy fast paced world of growth.
Tools that the field mentioned:
- Microsoft Visual Studio Coded UI and Coded UI Best Practices
- Daryl LaBar's OpenSource XRM Unit Test (check version compatibility)
- Telerik Test Studio
Sessions discussing Automated Testing
- XrmVirtual User Group discusses automated testing
- CRMUG National Summit Automated Testing Session (requires membership to CRMUG to watch)
Other Videos in this arena
- Tool Comparison between FakeXRMEasy and XRMUnitTest
- Automating using Test Complete
- Selenium Webdriver for testing CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM & Selenium
- Performance Testing using StresStimulus
- How to Test a CRM Plugin with FakeXRMEasy
Microsoft CRM is tightly married to Microsoft Excel and as such some of the EXCEL functions can come in very handy.
When putting together a demonstration system check out the RANDBETWEEN() Function for generating random numbers in Excel. It can also be used for randomly picking values from a list and many other derivatives.
Did you know there are more field services technicians in the US then sales people in the entire world?
Field One took Microsoft CRM and mastered the platform. What does this really mean? Mastering the platform?
Microsoft CRM as a platform is a parallel growth paradigm. The product grows and matures every day as the developers on the Microsoft teams build, define, refine and release while the teams (external partners, ISVs, other resources) building extended solutions are doing the same. Each team must work closely with the vision of today and the visions of the future. Decisions are not just meeting a requirement or request, they are meeting a requirement or a request in a manner that fits into this parallel growth.
Field One Mastery (now under the Microsoft Umbrella) continues to offer incredible, already mastered, solutions to some of the most complex field services organizations.
- Resource Management
- Complex Scheduling
- and so much more
So what do the developers work on, if the above is already so well matured and defined?
Oh there is so much more that just flows into what you have as time goes one.
Consider the Microsoft Platform and all that is available.
Consider Machine Learning and Predictive analysis and the speed in which Microsoft Azure offerings are growing. Consider Microsoft Portal and Microsoft Project Services within CRM and, and, and ....
So if you have not taken a few minutes to start thinking about Field Services then perhaps it is time to start? Take a look at Field One.
Learning, Learning, Learning: 5 Features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM v8.1.0.xxx (Spring 2016 Release) to think on
Learning, Learning, Learning
5 Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 8.1.0.xxxx (aka CRM 2016 Spring Release) to think on
1) INTERACTIVE: The new interactive experience offers redesigned forms that help users experience CRM in a whole new way. This is a new interface with new potential so if you have been working with Dynamics CRM for years you will want to expand your thinking and your back pocket of options. You don't have to delete how you use to do things, you just have even more options to meet the demands of today. Start by looking at the configuration of your system. Look within your CRM Solution and the settings on each entity. You will see Options for Entity. (step one for your new road of enlightenment)Consider this summary from the CRM Help and Training Guide (there is help and training available)
- "The customer card in the forms gives a complete view of your customer’s touch points
- The timeline gives a unified view of your customer’s interactions across channels, and lets you act on them quickly
- The related pane lets you search and act on related records without losing context of customer data and interactions"
2) C O L O R S: Sometimes Themes and Colors really make a HUGE difference, people like colors. So when you dive into your configuration and you are looking at your entities understand that you have a number of layers of different options when it comes to themes and colors. For CRMOL users there are theme settings for the whole system in https://portal.office.com and for all CONFIGURATION users there are color settings on entities and layered throughout. You can go as deep as setting colors on values in option sets and oh you can have so much fun!
3) CHANGE TRACKING: Not as new as Spring 2016, but new enough to mention that it exists and what it is given that they slipped it in without too much fanfare. This is a new option in the SDK that allows a developer to tap into a drip feed of changes for integration into other systems and other cool developer type techniques. A NEW SDK feature that is worthy of understanding. You can enable change tracking on a specific entity or on all entities. To read more on change tracking tap into the CRM DEVELOPER CENTER.
4) SOLUTIONS: When adding ENTITIES to Solutions, when in doubt or if you have not learned the strengths and yet to be matured areas of the new solution options then CHECK the ADD ALL ASSETS option.
5) Discover PROJECT SERVICES: a managed solution available from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM team that offers incredibly deep resource management and project alignment. Gone are the days of using the external Microsoft Project software for CRM projects - USE CRM ! Your entire project team will get hands on day to day use of the software they are deploying for their customer.
Reading a Blog post a day really is an awesome way to get your drip learning on!
I love this quote
“Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand“.
Code Review is a great topic, particularly in this world of faster and faster and faster deliver.
In terms of reusing code, one trick is to have a team (even if just a team of two) people who code review each others work. You can also purchase code reviews from Microsoft Services or from a partner. the Microsoft Dynamics CRM team also has tons of samples, white papers and trainings that define best practices. Adding code review and refactoring into your processes can significantly increase quality. The other variable is to include TIME to do code reviews and to think about the bigger picture.
It is the default to "solve the issue and request quickly", but to solve the issue and need with sustainability is the goal.
It is true that you can import data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
It is true that you can setup complex integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
It is true that you are not the first person to do this nor the first company or complex Enterprise or complex small business environment.
When you need to get started it is; however, helpful to have a service that supports getting you started. Needless to say Microsoft now offers the DATA LOADER SERVICE for CRM Online.
There are two great blog posts on this service written by the team!
First define your desired architecture! (Think Design your addition or house)
Then do some reading and planning! (for instance you might want to have your upstairs bathroom above your downstairs bathroom to make the plumbing easier)
Consult an expert or hire an expert! (They have the experiences of numerous projects rolled out successfully that are often very, very, very similar to what you are doing)
If you want to learn by doing, calculated in the learning curve, because you will make mistakes and you will want to have a plan for fixing the mistakes so that the system is not compromised. (Consider what happens when that addition to the house or the house is not built to code)
Microsoft has a long history of offering choices! Just consider how each individual can configure their Outlook usage differently from every other user and yet it is also consistent. This is a very interesting balance.
In the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and particularly in the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (currently v2016 aka 8.0.0.xxxx) the choices list is getting so long that I rarely hit a request that doesn't have many options.
Take for instance the integration to Microsoft Outlook and E-mail.
We have the traditional CRM Outlook Add-In Application which has continued to be updated and upgraded and we have a new Outlook App! Jesper has provided a really nice table of the differences in this blog post.
There is also the new MOBILE EXPERIENCE and MOBILE APPS and it is quite the experience or experiences ! Microsoft is now tapping into the incredible power of AZURE to further enhance the mobile offerings. I so love it when the development teams work closely together for even more WIN/WIN/WIN!
In terms of the details : Many of the partners are blogging on these new mobile features such as indicated in these links
BUT Wait that is not all! Welcome to the world of POWERAPPs! and you definitely want to follow the PowerApps team blog to keep an eye on this whole new business space. I mean don't you want to write your own app, without a developer?
The options don't stop there. There was a time when I would hear a bit of grumbling from the senior techie guru programmers who were not CRM Centric, but this grumbling is fading into a thing of the past. Developers can now work in the world of Dynamic CRM with hundreds of different technology choices. They can leverage the incredible application security depth of CRM, the business friendly process control, the "entity" relationship structure and the power of CRM to meet numerous custom solution needs.
Check out these three videos for more on leveraging the ANYTHING transactional relationship management platform.
Module 1: https://youtu.be/GI54dCi2sIg
Module 2: https://youtu.be/MC2NaanB5Mk
Module 3: https://youtu.be/c-TrDYQ6VQY
And as such I encourage all of the readers to adopt a mindset of continual learning, continual re-evaluation and continual planning to adopt all of the great. Choices are relevant depending on timing and given this world of change that we live in, timing constantly changes. So learn and question, learn and question and grow, grow, grow!
So you think you are the ultimate master of Microsoft Dynamics CRM! This is totally awesome, because now you can empower your entire team with new PowerShell Awesomeness for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Organization Data!
AND don't forget to send some feedback and love to the developer!
The Microsoft Dynamics EMEA Team also shares a ton of great information. Follow their blog and quickly get information on items such as Auditing.
Take for instance this little statement and the article that follows ..
"You have the ability to audit a user's logon access to the CRM Server. The information that is recorded includes when the user started accessing Dynamics CRM and if access originated from the Dynamics CRM Web application, Dynamics CRM for Outlook or SDK calls to the web services."
Did you know that if you track all your requirements and backlog iteration items in Visual Studio Online you can easily bridge Business Speak and Developer Speak?
The developers live in Visual Studio, writing code and looking at lines of characters that are often Greek to the non-dev folks, but by using work items in Visual Studio Online you can all work in one world.
Better yet, you can add Microsoft Test Manager test cases and link those to the work items. Just for fun you also get full graphing on burn down and task management.
I like the AGILE TEMPLATE, but also use the SCRUM Template despite my mantra of all CRM projects should be ITERATIVE or a mix of AGILE and WATERFALL.
PS: Online, available from anywhere and it sync's with your local version of Visual Studio and Office AND there are some free try it out options.
Dipping my toe into the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 OnPremise installation and a couple of key tips to remember (posting them here so I can find them).
Thanks to the Microsoft Consulting Services CRM Consultants: Thymio and Salvador who shared their knowledge and continue to make incredible wonderful happen for clients working with Microsoft and clients working with Microsoft Partners and Microsoft Consulting Services.
1) When you create your service accounts - create them in the SAME Organizational unit (OU)! If you create them some where else and copy them you are not going to be a happy camper and you will spend hours trying to figure out why you are getting issues.
2) Don't forget about the SPN's. To read more about the Service Principal Names and what SPN's mean, take a look at this great TechNet Article.
3) Do you host your own web page? Most likely not and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a very powerful web application with numerous options and offerings. So before you decide you are going to do your own Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premise Install - Do some reading and get the help and buy in of the right people from your team. The guru network guys who are swamped (get on their calendar)
A few resources and there are more:
- Deploying Dynamics CRM https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45022
- The Dynamics CRM 2015 Server https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45012
- Setting up the Dynamics CRM E-mail Router (if you are going to use this option) https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh699800.aspx
If this is not something you want to tackle there are many options.
1) CRM Online
2) CRM Hosted by a third party partner
3) A certified in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Infrastructure partner or MCS team who can work with your IT Department to get CRM Installed and running smoothly.
4) Leverage the incredible of your professional Field Engineering contract. The CRM PFE Team is so impressive! They really offer a huge amount of experience and lessons learned particularly when it comes to smooth operations, performance and getting this running right.
Check out the new LINQPad 4 Driver for Dynamics CRM REST and API and Kenichiro Nakamura great post explaining some of the features.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers so much choice that it is good to take a deep dive around some of these choices and features. Additionally the features keep on improving and growing with speed unseen in any previous years. Please take information provided to you with a grain of salt and do your own research.
Never make the assumption that the product can't do something for if it can't do it today, it might be available tomorrow. Additionally Services (MCS) is doing incredible on every project (as are many of the partners)
Many years ago when I was trying to ramp up on all things Microsoft Dynamics CRM, I started with the What's new features. I took each feature and mastered it and moved to the next. We also had a great need to depend on books and externally provided information. Needless to say one reason I wrote a book.
Today is Different.
Today developers new to Microsoft Dynamics CRM are lucky to have the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Developer Center.
If you have not visited, check it out!
Oh Partners and IT Department Leads:
Is it time that your little data center gets an injection of extreme power and versatility? What about adding to your customers CRM Online experience?
So you ramped up a development instance, used it heavily, crammed a bunch of testing into it and now you want a clean fresh start. The following is how you delete a development or sandbox instance of CRM Online.
Switch or delete an instance of CRM Online
Switch an instance
Delete an instance
Dynamics CRM 2015 Update 1 Content (Spring 2015)
- Microsoft Social Engagement Overview https://youtu.be/ZLZk2reTr-Y
- Microsoft Social Engagement Alerts https://youtu.be/lQKzwulgnmM
- Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Trial Quick Start Guide: https://youtu.be/owqW6WTjTc0
- Microsoft Social Engagement Quota Management - coming soon!
- Microsoft Social Engagement Search Setup - coming soon!
Subscribe to the Dynamics channel to stay up to date: https://www.youtube.com/user/msdyncomm/DynamicsCRM
CRM Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 (7.1.0) Product Documentation is Available! http://bit.ly/1JfsMl9
- Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1 Product Documentation is Available! http://bit.ly/1JGVOxz
- Microsoft Social Engagement 2015 Update 1Product Documentation is Available! http://bit.ly/1QIgxmq
- Parature, from Microsoft 15.2 Product Documentation is Available! http://bit.ly/1Pd1625
- AND SEVERAL MORE excellent blog posts by our field and PMs - check it out!
The US Dynamics Partner Team And the Dynamics Academic Alliance have teamed up to create some new offerings
The US Dynamics Partner team has joined forces with The Microsoft Dynamics Alliance Team (http://microsoft.com/dynamicsaa (DynAA)) to train students and recent graduates on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, interest them in Dynamics careers, and connect our Partners with this pool of quality candidates who are new to the CRM channel.
This Microsoft Dynamics CRM Career Connect Boot camp is comprised of:
- Five days of in-person technical training led by a Microsoft Certified Trainer on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015
- Microsoft Sponsored Career Fair for Partners to engage with Students
- Certification in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
- Virtual Learning sessions with MCTs, Partners, and Microsoft Dynamics experts focused on product functional skills (i.e. consulting, project management and soft-skills training).
Currently they are hosting this in 3 locations, inviting, juniors, graduating seniors, MBAs, graduate students, and recent graduates from local universities:
- Chicago, IL – at the Chicago Microsoft office
- Seattle, WA – hosted by the University of Washington
- Boston, MA – hosted by Northeastern University
All of the boot camps will take place different weeks in June.
Please contact the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Career Connect Bootcamp Team if interested by sending mail to usdyns2b at microsoft.com with questions. Please note that space is limited and applications are only accepted for another couple weeks. Space is filling quickly!
So you have been wondering how an application as powerful as MDM (Microsoft Dynamics Marketing) can work so seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It is for instance built and released for the large enterprise marketing department who likes to control their own data and applications.
Some good news about exams - You now have some Online Proctored Options so for those of us in more rural areas, we don't have to drive a couple of hours to an exam center!! Hurray!
- MB2-704 Application
- MB2-704OP Online Proctored
- MB2-706 Online Deployment
- MB2-707 Customization and Configuration
- MB2-708 Installation
MB2-720 Microsoft Dynamics Marketing
and there are so many more !
I always learn something new when I follow and read the incredible Microsoft Professional Field Engineering CRM Teams Blog! Today I thought it was worth reposting and linking to their tip number 4 from Convergence that they shared.
So you might be wondering about performance on your forms. Check out this handy little tidbit.
CRM Performance Center
- Ctrl+Shift+Q (Chrome & Firefox –> Ctrl+Shift+E) Performance tool built into CRM 2013+.
- Gives you the ability to see load times for each component on the form. Available on form loads only
And thanks to PowerObjects for blogging about this item worth of consideration.
It is time to get social! and when you want to get social, you want to understand the incredible power behind Microsoft Social within the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
As a primer take a look at this great blog post by one of the greats in the industry!
If you have not visited the CRMUG website lately, you might want to go take a look. They have been using new community software and have continued to organize and host local, national and webinar enabled meetings for users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
One of the best things you can do if you are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM is to get involved in the community.
There are some INCREDIBLE partners and clients doing incredible things in the world with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and a layering of conferences that show the incredible. The Agility, the flexibility and the services that surround the product all create a huge economic advantage to companies from Enterprise to SMB. ExtremeCRM is one of those great conferences.
A couple of the partners recently presented their solutions at ExtremeCRM and it was summarized so well in this picture.
Are you interested in a little extra reading on Microsoft Dynamics CRM? Check out this list of 2013 white papers.
Within Microsoft Dynamics CRM each entity has a set of system views. These system views can be configured or added to and as such are a powerful feature within the system. You can even create new views.
So what exactly is a view?
If you are familiar with a spreadsheet, you know that you have rows and columns of data and each piece of data sits in its own little cell. A view in Dynamics CRM is just like a spreadsheet. It has rows and columns of data. Additionally any given view in the system also let's you "click" and export to Excel.
Other powerful features of views include the ability to add columns of data from not just the entity where the view is defined, but from every entity that is related to the entity where the view is defined.
You can also sort views of data by clicking on the header of a column and secondarily sort by shift clicking on the next column.
People using Dynamics CRM can also use "Advanced Find" to create their own personal views of data. So if your IT Department is a bit buried under a long to-do list, you don't have to wait. You can create your own personal views AND you can even share these views with your peers or manager.
OK, so you really don't want to give up Excel and all the pivoting and graphics that you can do with it. Guess what, you don't have too! Views feed Excel and all the powerful data manipulation techniques that Excel offers. Check Out PowerView, PowerBI and PowerPivot, if you love Excel, you will go over the top with these Excel add-ins. CRM + Microsoft Excel "Better Together"
Views have another role within the world of Dynamics CRM. They feed charts, so setup your favorite view and then use the CRM Chart feature to chart the data from that view. These charts can be added to Dashboards for instant, dynamic, graphical love!
If you want to learn even more about views you can read about them in the MSDN library entry called Customize Entity Views.
Keeping up with the incredible Microsoft Dynamics CRM versions in the old days was hard enough, but now the team is updating and releasing at an even faster pace.
- If you don't like something, enter a CONNECT request and you might be surprised sooner than you think or VOTE on one already submitted.
- Competition: There information is probably outdated, ask multiple sources. Also make sure you include an experienced servcies provider in your conversations. The Field Service teams at Microsoft and at Partners configure and extend past most all objections.
- You need to make sure to plan on staying current.
- You need to interrupt the versioning.
These Resources can help
I have recently changed my daily process to include Yammer and the value add has been significant. Take for instance the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 Rollup 1, Yammer post with link and discussions letting me know it was available.
If your company currently has YAMMER and you are not using it, you might want to reconsider. Timing is everything when it comes to accepting new and sometimes you just need to re-evaluate on an ongoing basis.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 has so much to offer and one of the best ways to start getting your head around what is being offered is to regularly attend some great either 100 or 300 level webinars.
Luckily Microsoft is offering such webinars for partners, customers and prospects.
You can find the whole series here: http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/offers/crm2013demos/
Or if you want to just sign up for tomorrow's session, here is the link: https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032569331&Culture=en-US&community=0
Promote via LinkedIn/Twitter as well! Thanks!
As we move into this bold new world of many different devices, we are also opening the door for many different options for accessing our central Dynamics CRM store of data. When learning about all the different options keep in mind the differences between an application that is built to work in different OS environments such as the new Tablet access to Dynamics CRM and an application that is built for a more specific set of criteria such as a specific Windows 8 CRM Phone applications. Key areas of slight shift are items such as on a phone you are usually talking about the "phone" focus and providers like Verizon and AT&T whereas on a tablet your focus on phone might be Skype or Lync.
It is easy to get confused and Dynamics CRM v2013 offers so much!! I have to admit I am excited.
The Tablet access offers cross browser, but also many different tablet centric features like touch, pinning and choice of surfacing what you want to see where.
The Mobile access offers the really tiny form factor (for those small phones) as well as consideration for offline.
We also continue to have the Outlook Client which leverages all that is Dynamics CRM and all the great features within Outlook and the Web Client Access offering the application from your choice of a set of browsers.
In this brave new world you need to figure out how to best communicate all of the power of choice to your customers, peers and team members. As much as we are One Microsoft and One OS across many different devices, there are certain features and options that are very relavant for some devices and not important to others. Given this the technology you are using and the choices it offers does make a difference.
Choice is also not limited to technologies, it is also all about business culture, department process and individual working styles. The convergence of business and information technology is now!
What is amazing about Microsoft is that they offer so many incredible choices without nickel and diming their customers. They help customers use what they need where from their deep pockets of choice.
Using multi-tenancy in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 to address challenges in enterprise business environments
Within the world of millions of pieces of data, relating certain data to other data can create a new piece of data. Take for instance a Full Name.
A full name can be considered one piece of data or it can be broken down into two, three, four or more pieces of data. Take the full name : Mr. John Jay Smith III and broken down we see the following:
- Salute: Mr.
- First Name: John
- Middle Name: Jay
- Last Name: Smith
- Prefix: III
and these pieces can be data or can be combined to create a number of different data names. John, John Smtih, John Jay Smith, John Jay Smith III, Mr. John Jay Smith III
Why does this even concern anyone? Well these are details that are important within the world of development and coding.
So welcome to Composite Control! A development choice for grouping the need to enter like data through a smooth user friendly interface.
In Dynamics CRM v2013 Composite Control is offered on Name and Address and via the SDK even more can be done.
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.
A little Monday morning wake up and refresh!
Have you found the Microsoft Dynamics CRM IT Pro Center on Technet?
There are a number of nice little goodies in this including the CRM Online Enterprise Planning Guide. CRMOnline is not just for SMB!
Within the world of the CRM Industry there is a cutting edge ...
AND when it comes to the cutting edge pushing the design of data consumption is right up there with tying the use of CRM to employee motivation. As in they get more motived the more they use the internal CRM application. (yes, really, but I will save that for a future post)
Thanks to Mark for sharing this great post and a free solution on data display design - Perhaps take a few minutes to check it out and comment.
Julie Yack has such a great way with words that I just had to share. Take a look at her summary about how you might fit in the world of Dynamics CRM.
oh and after you read the above, here are a few more
You might be a Dynamics CRM Power User if…
- You share Dynamics xRM videos with friends because you think the solutions are cool
- You wake up thinking of yet another Excel application that can be replaced *or MS Access
You might be a Dynamics CRM administrator if…
- You have a bookshelf full of more than 5 different Dynamics CRM books
- You know that when it comes ot CRM On-Premise CRM infrastruture support makes a big difference
- Staff augmentation is not in your best interest for CRM extensions and development
You might be a Dynamics CRM developer if…
- You would rather developer on the Dynamics CRM Platform then build security and UI from scratch
- You know that a new SDK has been released
- the word Caching and GAC are in your vocabulary
- You roll your eyes at beginner lessons learned because you have been there and done that
- You know where to post and vote on feature and function requests
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.