Bulk Delete (Standalone Application)

I’ve made available (https://mscrmebulkdelete.codeplex.com) a small Bulk Delete GUI to help on any efforts to apply mass bulk deletes in a MSCRM Instance.

Features available:

  1. Store connection information
  2. Ability to delete more than one entity per run (simply type the schema name of each entity on a new line)
  3. Progress output (including logging on any issues found

This is an initial version to help you going on bulk deletes, a future version is also planned as a MCRMe Add-on, please post any new feature suggestions and bugs found into the codeplex project.

MSCRMDaily 2015 in Review

2015 was the first year I took blogging a little bit seriously, the main goals where to be more active participating and engaging with the community.

It was a lot of fun and an interesting learning curve. Finding time for the posts has been a challenge as it’s easy for it to go down on the priority list when “push comes to shove”, but so far it has been worthwhile, and hopefully some of the posts where useful to some of you.

MSCRMDaily’s 2015 blog post by the numbers

  1. + 6000 views
  2. + 3700 individual visitors
  3. Most views source: USA, +2000 views
  4. Most popular blog post: CRM Developer Tools in Visual Studio 2015 viewed +1400 times
  5. N. Months actively blogging: 4 Months (from February to June, with a few breaks along the way)
  6. N. of posts: 19
  7. Avg. posts/month: 4.75
  8. 2 Likes
  9. 16 Comments

I will continue the blog during 2016, and aim to improve on my participation as much as I can.

I’m looking forward to feedback form the community as well, any posts you would like more detail to be added, or any topics you would like to see addressed, feel free to contact me on tweeter (@MSCRMDaily) and/or through the blog http://mscrmdaily.com/.

CRM Developer Tools in Visual Studio 2015

It seems CRM Developer Tools are not getting much love from Microsoft lately.

The versions available for CRM 2013 where only for VS2013 and V2012 It’s not been release as part in CRM 2015 SDK yet.

…and VS 2015 is just around the corner…

But there is always a way, ;)…

There are known work arounds (e.g.: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Toolkit with Visual Studio 2013) to make this work on VS2013 but I found none so far to deal with VS2015.

After looking around and doing some tests I found a MVW (Minimum Viable Workaround, ;)) to make this work. 3 simple steps should do it, as per below:

  • Add the below to devenv.exe.config

  • Install Microsoft.CrmDeveloperToolsVS2015.vsix (my own version with just a view tweaks considering the workaround for VS2013, as per blog linked above)

  • Copy the contents of “CRM MSBuild.zip” to “C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\CRM” (if folder path does not exist create it:

Disclaimer:

  • Needless to say that this a completely unsupported workaround, do it at your own risk.
  • This was done on the Current VS2015 RC1 (Release Candidate), it might not work on former of future releases.

CRM 2015 Update 1 is OUT! (CRM Online)

CRM 2015 Update 1 (AKA: .v7.1; Carina) has been out for a few weeks now.

Microsoft started rolling out CRM 20125 for Online instances back in December 2015, and now it’s time to do the same for 2015 U1.

For on-premises, this update is scheduled to be released in Q4 2014 (source 1 ; source 2).

This is a very exiting release, as it brings a plethora of new features and improvements, some of them long-awaited (Microsoft seems to be listening loud and clear partners and customers suggestions).

Even the web UI has had a distinctive change (if you see the UX in the image below, then you are on Update 1 already, ;))

If you want to know what’s in the box, check out some of my previous posts:

  1. Navigation Bar and Global MRU
  2. Form Navigation
  3. Theming
  4. Export to Excel Redesigned
  5. Immersive Excel
  6. Folder-Level Tracking
  7. CRM for Phones Redesigned
  8. OneNote Integration
  9. Online Ramp-Up E-mails

2015 Update 1: CRM for Phones Redesigned

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Update 1 (code-named Carina) brings a lot of great new functionalities, in this post the full redesign of the CRM for Phone application is presented.

CRM for Phone was redesigned to provide more functionality and a more similar experience to the other UI endpoints (e.g.: Web; CRM for Tablets, etc.).

In a nutshell, CRM for Phone has now the same functionality as CRM for Tablet.

As per Microsoft’s remarks: “the implementation is the same but the experience is optimised for the Phone”. Even though not mentioned specifically, I would put my money on it being a “Universal Application” (CRM for XBox next?).

This new app., and will only work for 2015 Update 1 (AKA: v7.1) and beyond.

The sections below detail into the new UI look and feel and on the major new functionalities now available for phones.

Through the Screens

The sections below show, screen by screen, the new UI design.

Home Screen

Navigation Menu

Record Form

Business Process Flow

The image below shows how the steps in a specific stage are presented, now in everything similar to the CRM for Tablet UI.

Dashboard View

Pint to Start and Pin to Home

A record can be pinned to the home page of the application, as per below:

Similarly, the item can also be pinned to the start screen of the device. In Windows 8 it means the start screen (new UI of Windows 8) but on tablets and phones means a direct link to the item from the start screen of the device.

A Dashboard

Dashboards are now available also, and the user can switch between dashboards and/or drill down from charts and views.

View

Tile Resizing

Items (records, dashboards, views, etc.) pinned to the home screen of the application can also be resized. Bigger tiles allow for more information/functionality to be available, as per example below.

  • Before resize

  • After resize

OS’s Supported

The table below presents the OS versions and the minimum RAM resources required to run the new CRM for Phones application.

Platform

Versions

RAM

iOS

7.x and 8.x

=>1GB

Android

4.4

=>1GB

Windows Phone

8.1 GDR

=>512MB

Two versions: “CRM for Phone – Express” and “CRM for Phone”.

The previous version of the phone app. will continue to exist all still work on Update 1 but:

  • It will now be renamed to “CRM for Phone – Express”.
  • Will continue to work with 2015 Update 1 Online (to be confirmed if the on premises will also support it).
  • Users will be notified when accessing through it to a 7.1 server that there is a new, more modern, app (details in table below).

The new version will be known in the app. stores as “CRM for Phone”.

Details on supportability can be found in the table below:

Server Version

CRM for Phone – Express

CRM for Phone

v6.x / v7.0

Supported

Not Supported

v7.1 – Online only

Deprecated

Supported

> v7.1

Not Supported

Supported

Unsupported Entities

The new “CRM for Phone” app. will not initially support some entities that “CRM for Phone – Express” does, as per table below:

#

Entity Name

1 Address
2 Campaign
3 Campaign Activity
4 Campaign Response
5 Contract
6 Contract Detail
7 Discount
8 Discount List
9 Facility/Equipment
10 Fax
11 Invoice Product
12 Invoices
13 Letters
14 Mailbox
15 Marketing List
16 Opportunity Close
17 Order
18 Order Product
19 Price List
20 price List Item
21 Quote Close
22 Quote Product
23 Quotes
24 Service
25 Service Activities
26 Subject
27 Territory
28 Unit
29 Unit Group

Key Takeaways

  1. Record forms redesigned to be aligned with CRM for tablets UI.
  2. The main form is now the one considered to render the records form.
  3. Pin to start screen
  4. Pin to home screen.
  5. Business Rules and JavaScript are now supported.
  6. Business Process Flows are now available and aligned with CRM for tablets UI.
  7. Custom entities are fully supported now.
  8. Offline mode functionality (including creating draft records).
  9. Quick create forms will now be available.
  10. Open phones default map application by clicking the address field (this is a new functionality that will also be introduced to CRM for Tablets app.)
  11. Not all entities available in the older version will be available in the new one.

It’s not over yet, there’s more to come on Update 1, stay tuned,😉.

2015 Update 1: Folder-Level Tracking

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Update 1 (code-named Carina) brings a lot of great new functionalities, in this post the new folder tracking functionality is presented.

Why use folders?

For a couple of reasons, namely:

  • Leveraging existing OOB functionality on e-mail clients:
    • Most web, desktop and mobile e-mail clients support folders natively.
    • Most clients also support setting automated rules (e.g.: when an e-mail comes from a particular address or with a particular subject move it to a specific folder.
  • No additional add-ons required for the e-mail client.
  • Faster performance: In the end of the day CRM Outlook client still impacts on Outlook performance.

This new feature is very specific to tracking e-mails, the reason they were tackled first is not only because folder tracking is an “easy” implementation that leverages on existing e-mail clients capabilities as it was also the main record of concern when tracking data to CRM, as per image below:

Additionally, there is a considerable amount of CRM users that use standard web of mobile e-mail clients that are not aware of MSCRM, most, if not all, supporting folders and rule definition/automations:

How to setup?

  1. In e-mail Client: Create the folder(s) against which you which to track.
  2. In CRM: Create a rule in CRM to map each folder to a specific CRM Record (as per image below).
    1. Exchange folders are updated to CRM on every server-side-sync.
    2. Up to 25 rules can be created per user.

And that’s it, it’s done!

How to use it?

Just move the e-mail you wish to track into the appropriate folder.

The actual actions/steps required to move an e-mail to a folder depend on the e-mail client used. Below are some examples:

  1. Outlook: Just drag the e-mail to the folder.

  1. IOS mail app: From the e-mail message, click the folder button, then chose folder to move it to.

Requirements

For folder tracking to work, all of the bellow need to be true:

  1. Server-side sync required: The user either has CRM Outlook setup or the new folder tracking feature (more details in “Should I still use CRM Outlook Client?” section).
  2. Exchange server required
  3. Folders under Inbox required
  4. Folder mapping set up: As per “How to Setup?” section above.

Tips & Tricks

  1. You can have multiple folders regarding the same CRM record
  2. Create a folder for long-lasting record types: To set regarding directly against them when moving the e-mail to the folder (e.g.: Cases, Opportunities, etc.).
  3. SDK support to manage the rules: In cause automations are required to auto configure rules in CRM.
  4. Use sub folder tricks for personal emails: Sub folders are not part of the rule for parent folders.
  5. If regarding not specified, you can set it later: You can always go to CRM and set it.
  6. Use it on your phone, OWA, Outlook, etc.
  7. Learn more on how to set up Exchange rules: They can be leveraged to automate most of the tracking.
  8. If you remove the rule, all emails in the folder will not be impacted: They have already moved /where already tracked in CRM.
  9. In CRM, the folder list in Rule UI is updated periodically: When the mailbox is processed by server-side sync.
  10. Clean up mappings when no longer needed: The max is 25 rules per Mailbox / User.

Should I still use CRM Outlook Client?

Yes, as per table below, CRM Outlook Client still has a lot of functionality/value that is not going to be replaced any time soon.

Feature

Server Side Sync

(w/ Folder Tracking)

CRM Outlook Client

Track E-mails to CRM

ü

ü

Track other records to CRM

(e.g.: contacts; appointments; tasks)

û

ü

Send records to Outlook

(e.g.: appointments, contacts, and tasks)

ü

ü

Open CRM Records

(e.g.: open related case record from an e-mail)

û

ü

Maintain Data Offline

û

ü

With the server-side-sync, and the new folder tracking functionality, CRM is allowing for another utilization scenario, where the user’s e-mail client is agnostic to MSCRM and thus covering a more complete set of endpoints that can now be used to interact with MSCRM.

Note: Do note set CRM Outlook Client and server-side-sync simultaneously for the same user. Microsoft does not recommend it (source), and chances are a lot of issues may occur.

Microsoft has a nice video on this in Folder Level Tracking in CRM Online 2015 Update 1.

Stay tuned, more posts to come on 2015’s Update 1 and its new functionalities.

2015 Update 1: Online Ramp-Up E-mails

With the release date on Update 1 getting closer and closer, Microsoft is sending out e-mail to its CRM Online subscribers.

Below are the e-mail received so far for EMEA region (dates and contest may vary according to geographic location).

Email 2

  • Date Sent: 16/04/2015
  • From: crmoln
  • To:  CRM User
  • Subject: Scheduling Your Organization for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1
  • Contents:

Email 1

  • Date Sent: 08/04/2015
  • From: crmoln
  • To: CRM User
  • Subject: Prepare your users: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1
  • Contents:

More are expected to be received, specially the one with the proposed upgrade date,🙂.

So far, this is the official information released:

Version

Availability

Information

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Spring ’14 June 2014 Get ready for the next release – Spring 2014 tab
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update December 2014 Get ready for the next release – 2015 Releases tab
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 Second quarter 2015 Get ready for the next release – Coming soon tab

Source: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn308237.aspx