Mobility around Dynamics CRM

The mobile revolution that has transformed our lives as consumers is transforming the way enterprises now manage their operations and engage with employees, partners and customers.

As I was thinking through on Mobility and demise of the older ways of doing Mobile solutions for Apps, I was wondering how much of it has affected me as a CRM consultant seeing Dynamics CRM evolve to be more mobile. Mobility is no more a talk about future rather a talk of present and towards future. I have been working on some of the most challenging extensions to CRM as well which should work on IPAD, Surface, IPhone, Windows phone, etc.

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In this blog, I am going to talk about considerations required for designing Mobile Business application around Dynamics CRM.

As the business grapples with the transition from “I need an app for that” to a “mobile is how I do business” or a mobile-first mind-set, they are faced with the complexity of developing and managing multiple apps across the whole organization, across multiple device platforms all connecting to CRM system.

This multiplicity begs a Mobile Application Platform approach where development, deployment and monitoring of mobile apps, whether B2C or B2B, can be managed in a secure, agile and collaborative way across the organization.

In 2012, Gartner proposed the “Rule of Three” as an indication of the need of an approach for Mobile application development:

1. Do you need to support 3 or more mobile applications?

2. Do you need to support 3 or more mobile operating systems?

3. Do you need to integrate with at least 3 back-end data sources?

This are the most basic requirements to make a decision that you need a methodology to take care of Mobile Application development.

Some other considerations are more important in terms of CRM and technical know-hows:

1. Do you have a company-wide mobile strategy?

2. Are you supporting more than one type of app – native iOS, native Android, native Windows Phone, hybrid, web, HTML5?

3. Are you developing B2C and B2E apps across different departments?

4. Is your IT department struggling with managing and controlling the security of CRM data being accessed by mobile applications?

5. Is it difficult to balance agile development in CRM with mobile applications around it?

If the answers to majority of the questions above are yes, your company or your client is definitely facing issues trying to manager mobility around CRM.

Some keys to have a good approach in place are:

· Agility:

Mobile app projects demand rapid innovation and short iterative development cycles. A cloud hosted approach like Azure might support your organisation in the best way. Looking for open technology stacks also helps faster development.

· Flexibility:

The key here is to take developers into account and see the tools they are most comfortable with.

· Are the range of devices and platforms supported? :

The range of mobile devices, form factors and operating systems is continuously evolving. Besides this, different parts of the business have different requirements (B2C, B2B, B2E etc.) that drive the need for different types of apps – hybrid, native, HTML5 or web apps.

· Secure Integration:

How secure is the platform. Will the devices be secure enough? One strategy is to lock down the apps that are put on the mobile devices. Another involved moving to more secure authentication systems like WAP. It should be within the

Cloud, between the cloud and the mobile device and on device – including devices your company doesn’t own.

· Extensibility and Portability:

Given a new version of platform or device, how extensible is the approach going to be?

· Scalability & Availability:

How will the platform handle app scaling and ensure availability?

· App Usage:

Ways to measure how much mobile application usage if for end user, this come at a later stage but should be definitely planned at the start of development.

In the last two years I have been designing and developing at least 4 mobile applications integrating with Dynamics CRM and other systems, which makes me say that such applications are becoming a big reality for me as a Consultant.

Hope it helps!

{Issue Resolution}CRM 2011/CRM 2013/CRM 2015: Sometimes Caching hurts!

Issue:

Yesterday I had a frustrating problem where some user’s Ribbon buttons for Add new and Add existing functionality were not coming up. This users were not able to see them.

I started by going through roles, teams and security roles and scratching my head. I assigned all roles like them using my utility:

https://userclonerfordynamicscrm.codeplex.com/

Buttons were still appearing for me.

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As they had all required roles assigned to them a day before the issue was reported.

Then I remembered what could be happening here, Ribbon caching was my best guess.

I cleared local cache from user’s browser and the buttons started appearing.

This got me to think, well what is going on here.

Caching and CRM, I can put it up how this entire thing has troubled in various places to me in past as well.

So here it goes:

1. Ribbon buttons not showing properly the newly put rules or buttons: Caching might be the cause there

2. Web resources on form not taking up the latest version: Caching might be the cause here as well. There are possible ways to get around this one: http://www.develop1.net/public/post/CRM-Developer-e28098Must-Knowe28099-2-Web-Resource-Caching.aspx

3. Applied an update rollup or new version and hot fixes didn’t still appear: Caching can be to blame!

I found another case which I did not encounter myself: https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmcustomereffective/archive/2012/01/27/removing-query-data-cached-by-the-organizationservicecontext-in-microsoft-dynamics-crm.aspx

Resolution: For client side, for specific browsers or client machine clearing client cache will solve this for sure. Iisreset on CRM server will also push latest changes down.

Next time you face such issues, Caching might be one of the things you should look out for.

Hope it helps!

{Information}CRM 2013/2015: Where did my subgrid ribbons go?

Recently I have been working a lot over CRM 2011 and often get into CRM 2011 mindset of things. I was recently asked to have a button enabled only when subgrid record is selected. I went on to my CRM 2015 online environment and was trying to find the subgrid ribbon buttons. To my surprise, I could not locate them.

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So I went a bit here and there. The user experience in CRM 2013/2015 for subgrids was changed . So first you need to click the button highlighted in green:

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There is where you will see your subgrid ribbon and detailed subgrid:

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I see people want to keep using main form ribbon to add buttons for sub grids and do unsupported methods to see what is in subgrids. I do not think it is the right approach. Anyhow on main form subgrid you can only select one row at a time.

We should go by new user experience for the new version. Still, If there is the same way needed, a better way is to develop HTML webresources.

Hope it helps!

{Zero code Development} Create Task based on incoming email body for urgent mails

Requirement: On an incoming Email in CRM, if body contains words like Urgent, Critical than it should create task for it and assign to the intended team.

Resolution: Workflow for it.

Create a workflow as per following screens:

1. Workflow:

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2. Condition in Detail:

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3. When condition is true, create task with following properties:

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Note: HTML tags will be included in description, to filter them custom workflow step is required.

Ask your Query : Click here

Hope it helps!

{Information}Dynamics CRM 2015 Online Licensing Model

Microsoft plans to offer the following competitively priced license options for next release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online:

Professional ($65*) For the core CRM users, who need the full capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM including sales force automation as well as marketing and customer care.  We believe most users will find this license best fits their needs.

Basic ($30*) For sales, service and marketing users who need to manage accounts, contacts, leads, cases and access custom applications as well as for business analysts who require reporting capabilities. 

Essential ($15*) For light-weight users who need to access custom applications developed in house or by our vast network of partners.

(*) CRM Online list price shown per user per month in USD, actual pricing might vary by geography. Other fees may apply for add-on services such as additional storage, testing and production instances. Prices are exclusive of any fees you may incur to procure Internet connectivity.

Features listed below:

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Hope it helps!

{Issue Resolution}Solution Compatibility: CRM 2013 to CRM 2015

Recently an old colleague of mine was Upgrading from CRM 2013 to CRM 2015, some of the solutions he wanted to try for 2015 trial online. When he was trying to upload CRM 2013 solution there he was getting the error:

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This is because, solution upgrade is not allowed.

Although unsupported here is a resolution:

Step 1: Extract the zip file to your computer.

Step 2: Open solution.xml file and change the first line to this:

<ImportExportXml version=”7.0.0000.3544″ SolutionPackageVersion=”7.0″ languagecode=”1033″ generatedBy=”CrmLive” xmlns:xsi=”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance”&gt;

WordPress does not let me paste closing ‘>’ tag but this needs to be put to the end of above line instead of &gt;

Step 3: Zip the file and import again. You will be able to import the solution to CRM 2015 online now.

Note: This should only be tried for trial/testing purposes, not for live systems. If you have a live system with this issue, contact Microsoft support and they will give you a way.

Ask your Query : Click here

Hope it helps!

{Happy milestone} Celebrating a Century of Dynamics CRM blogs

Today, I am posting my 100th article on Dynamics CRM. To celebrate, I’m going to analyse the content of my first 100 articles.

In July 2013, I started writing some articles on Dynamics CRM, developing some tools in my spare time. Getting involved with various kind of experiences on Dynamics CRM. This blog has over time been a keen source of inspiration for myself to keep learning and sharing ideas. I did not have much information to start with but my objective was to write something which is new and innovative.

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When you keep writing, you develop some thoughts and I have been lucky enough to keep having the motivation, I hope it will continue.

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Here is a list of my best blogs, all time:

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Hope it helped you!

{Scripting} Opening Print preview through JavaScript for Dynamics CRM 2013/2015

Recently I was going through some CRM forums and found out that there is a way to open print preview via JavaScript as well.

Add following function and call it from wherever you want on form:

1. function PrintPreview() {

2.

3. window.open(Xrm.Page.context.getClientUrl() + “/_forms/print/print.aspx?allsubgridspages=false&formid=” +

4. Xrm.Page.ui.formSelector.getCurrentItem().getId() + “&id=” + Xrm.Page.data.entity.getId() +

5. “&objectType=” + Xrm.Page.context.getQueryStringParameters().etc);

6. }

Ask your Query : Click here

Hope it helps!

{Zero code Development}Dynamics CRM 2013/2015 Charts for Business Process Flow Stages

Requirement: Show charts by Business process stages.

Visualization:

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Implementation:

IF you think it is straight forward, no it is not – there needs to be work done before it is possible to achieve this. The reason being CRM only stores staged and processeid (Not the actual stage and process names). So Part 1 of this task is to

Part 1 Set Text fields for Current Process and Stage: Workflow

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Look at image above, in my case I added two text fields in Opportunity to store Business process stage and Business Process selected.

Workflow below:

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Should run on change of following fields:

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Update Opportunity Step:

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Part 2: Now start working on charts:

Refer screens below to configure charts:

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Now this can be added to Dashboards, to get an overview of Business Process stages.

Ask your Query : Click here

Hope it helps!

Browser Support for CRM 2015

Supported versions of Internet Explorer

The following two sections list the supported operating systems and versions for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web application when you run Internet Explorer.

Supported operating systems when you use Internet Explorer

The following operating systems are supported for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web application:

  • Windows 8.1 supported when you use Internet Explorer 11
  • Windows 8 supported when you use Internet Explorer 10
  • Windows 7

Supported versions of Internet Explorer

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM web application can run in any of the following Internet Explorer versions:

  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Internet Explorer 10

ImportantImportant

Although you may be able to use Internet Explorer 8 or Internet Explorer 9, those web browsers are not recommended and are not supported with this version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Using plug-ins or other third-party extensions in your browser can increase load times on pages with lists of data.

Supported non-Internet Explorer web browsers

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM web application can run in any of the following web browsers running on the specified operating systems.

  • Mozilla Firefox (latest publicly released version) running on Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, or Windows 7
  • Google Chrome (latest publicly released version) running on Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, or Windows 7, or Google Nexus 10 tablet
  • Apple Safari (latest publicly released version) running on Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), or Apple iPad

Source: Technet

Ask your Query : Click here

Hope it helps!