Pedro Airo is working on Dynamics CRM since its first inception into the market. Needless to say the kind of experience he has on product and .net technology stack.

I had the privilege to work with him for a brief of half a year, although not on direct projects but the kind of discussions we had were truly a great learning.

He is currently working as CRM Architect with RCSI and his knowledge on the product can be just described in two words: Phenomenal and Great.

His introduction in his own words:

“I am Pedro Airo, A Master’s Degree holder from ISEL(Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa), Portugal and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Certified Professional.

I have been working on Microsoft technologies like Microsoft Dynamics CRM 1.2, ASP.Net,C#.Net, WCF, Jscript, JQuery, SSIS.

I’m a very positive and happy guy, i consider myself a hard worker, without this how can we achieve our dreams?

Being friend of my friends, when someone needs me i’m there, hurting anyone of my family or friends is the same of hurting me.

In my free time, I love to be with family and friends, going to the cinema and playing football, table tennis, or any kind of activity makes me happy.”

1. Name, current job title and social media links please

Pedro Miguel Moura dos Santos Airo

Contractor – Microsoft CRM Technical Solutions Architect at RCSI

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pedroairo

WebSite: http://dynamicsmonster.com/

Blog: http://www.dynamicsmonster.com/blogs/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pedroairo

2. What does an average day at work look like

First thing in the morning, my coffee, and because I’m Portuguese has to be an Expresso, without that, is harder to work or even impossible to work.

I like to be in the office before the starting hour so I can plan my day, see all the tasks I have to do, and go from there.

The day itself, some meetings between, however and because of my role, designing and developing are my two favourite tasks for the hole day.

3. What different roles/Job titles have you had whilst using CRM

I started as a Junior CRM Consultant in July of 2004, and since then i’ve progressed to Senior CRM Consultant and after CRM Technical Solutions Architect,

so in the end I’m a very technical guy and happy with that. All the roles are important and in my case couldn’t be more happy about the career that I have chosen,

usually my friends call me a geek, and I’m proud of that.

4. What job did you did before you starting using CRM

Do you what means ice age, yes, I was living in that age. Now seriously, I had the opportunity of when I’ve started to work, I could choose between a Siebel or Microsoft,

and my instinct told me Microsoft, and after almost 11 years, I don’t regret even one time any of my choices, personal and professional.

5. What was the first version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you worked with and how long have you been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Talking about Ice Age, yes, it was CRM V1.2, many people probably don’t know what that means, but I can tell you, few customizations around out of the box entities, adding few new fields and adding

some iframes so it could be extended with a ASP or ASP.Net in that time. Yes, Microsoft says, please don’t change or touch the database, however, for being able to create a post call out (nowadays know as Plugins)

you would need to update directly the “Config Database” and develop a COM+ Component. So, because I could work and upgrade CRM implementations from all the versions, I consider that I know

very well the product, and happy that I could be doing that since 2004.

6. How do you stay up to date with the CRM

I have one rule, which I like to keep to myself, try always to do better and better and trying to not think so out of the box. So, first thing to do, read and keep me up to date with the CRM SDK, and looking at the examples

trying always to improve what I see in there, however, and that I really don’t like, changing a line only because I need to say that I have done that, NO, changing a line or a set of lines because I think that it would be better like that.

Yes, sometimes I do mistakes, but I prefer to be the first one doing that rather than being the last.

Other thing that I do is reading blogs and posts of other good professionals around the world, people that is trying to do their best to become or being part of the elite of the CRM guys in the world.

7. What one feature would you add to CRM Product.

In here, sorry about that but I cannot say because I want to keep to myself and add when I can, myself only or with the help of other CRM guys.

8. What is the best tool/solution you have used recently

In here I could say few, but I will strict to one that has more functionalities, the XRM Toolkit, thanks for who developed that. J

9. What CRM certifications do you have, do you try and keep up to date with CRM certifications

I don’t think that is important to have every single certification, in my perspective, I prefer to know if the guy knows by asking direct questions rather than looking at the certifications that he puts on the CV.

But yes, it is important as well, and in my case I have:

Microsoft CRM Installation & Configuration R1.2

Microsoft CRM 4.0 Extending Microsoft Dynamics MB2-634

Microsoft Dynamics CRM2011 Installation and Deployment MB2-867

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Customization and Configuration MB2-866

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Applications

10. How important is it to have good business analytical skills working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

I will be here very direct: Without that how can I implement, design or develop something?

10 How useful is it to have programming knowledge to become a good Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

Oh, here this question is touching a very sensitive point in me, because I’ve being saying to colleagues, managers, and friends since ever, and in the case of the Microsoft CRM, how can be possible to develop CRM

without .NET expertise, yes, being a junior, you will improve the skills not only in .NET but as well in JavaScript and HTML for instance sooner or later, but to be considered Senior CRM Developer you don’t have

another option of knowing .Net, and I can’t understand the opposite.

11. How often do you travel as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

Until now, I have to say that no big distance travels. In Portugal while I was there, few times in Porto, a city about 300Km from Lisbon, the rest was around Lisboa.

12. Can you see yourself not using CRM in your career in the future

I’ve told few times in interviews, please don’t take me away from CRM for more than 2, 3months, every single day I think I like more the tool.

13. What are your hobbies outside of CRM

Being around with family, in this case, and because I’m far from home, my friends in here became part of that. In terms of sports, Soccer, Table Tennis, Cinema, Eating (yes eating is a hobby,

and because my wife is an amazing chef, it got better), since 5 months ago Gym again, for last trying to play guitar, see how it will go.

14. What was the last book you read and what was the last film you watched

The last book I read was Unbroken and the movie that I have ended was Fast & Furious 6, so I can see the new one if new weeks’ time.

15. Has CRM ever got you in trouble with your partner/family.

No, I never left that happened, I thing that every single person should balance the work and personal lives.

16. Have you friends ever told you to stop talking/tweeting/blogging about CRM? What does your partner/family member(s) think of CRM

Sometimes I get excited when talking about work, but I try to balance that, and yes, sometimes I have to stop.

17. Tell me something interesting/unusual about yourself

I sneeze when I’m really full. Ask my closest ones, family and friemds.

18. Who is the first CRM Expert you remember reading/seeing

Ronald Lemmen, and it would be with pleasure I would meet him in person.

19. Tips for someone who wants to become a CRM Expert

I have one rule, which I like to keep to myself, try always to do better and better and as well innovating in every single task i have to do.

Don’t allow anybody telling you are not good, when or if that happens prove them they are wrong. And talk and discuss openly with colleagues what you have in mind,

even if it is not the best solution, in team the right solution will come out.

Last but not least, don’t be afraid of sharing your ideas being used from your colleagues, you should keep for you, I’m the best doing what I do, or, I want to be the best.

Here is a certificate of appreciate from my end:


Happy CRMing!


{Quick Tip}Climbing the Career ladder in CRM consulting world!


To many of the old colleagues and some fellow CRM champions, this one is on what are the to-do list of things which you need to succeed in Dynamics CRM consulting world. It gives insight into kind of things you need to perceive in order to come up in the career ladder in the industry:

· Staying current requires continuous learning: The kind of journey Dynamics CRM product has embarked on you need to be always current in terms of your learning.

Good approach to do so is follow the updates from product team, blogs and keep doing certifications to be aware of what is going on in the newer versions of the product.

· Problem-Solving Skills and Logical Ability: In CRM you always need to have good problem solving ability.

A good way to start ramping this skill in respect of CRM is to keep involved in understanding various designs and solutions applied across your clients.

This might mean taking the extra effort to know it from your colleague but it is always worth it.

· Communication and People skills: This are absolutely important.

If you do not communicate effectively you would not succeed in CRM consulting world, because most roles will require customer facing

and to be effective there you need to be effective at both: communication skills and people skills.

· Networking and Personal Branding: No matter how good you are, next great opportunity, client or piece of work will only strike you if you are doing a good work

at Networking with people working in the Dynamics Market and improving personal branding – this is an important factor in

an ever increasing social networking model of recruitment industry has ventured into.

· Code Documentation and Neatness: I personally never like to go through a poor documented and code written without indentation and neatness.

So if you are not good at it chances are it is going to be hard to work in consulting industry where projects change

quickly between developers and without proper standards nobody will be able to work on your code.

· Get Familiar with Agile and Sure step methodology: Agile is no more a novelty now. It is more or less the way things work in software development today.

So, if you are still not familiar with it, it makes sense studying it and Sure Step methodology. A good way to understand Sure step methodology is to do functional certification in it.

· Get Familiar with Mobility scenarios: As the world becomes more mobile driven it becomes necessary to understand them, then when at some stage you would

need to design one it doesn’t pose you much challenge.

· JavaScript, Jquery and HTML5 Skills : In CRM industry extending client side by use of javascript, jquery and

HTML5 will always be an essential technical ability.

At the end of it all, it is also about trying to progress your career with right set of experiences, verticals and projects to become successful.

Happy CRMing!

{ERROR RESOLUTION} The Day Dynamics CRM threw a weird error: Your subscription has the maximum amount of storage available!

CRM never stops amazing me with its error messages.

The scenario was I was trying to sync a really old development environment in our network to client’s latest set of customisations.

Client have their own IT team and kept moving changes, in order to support them we needed to sync our environment.

Solution moved without any issues. The moment I click Publish, CRM threw me an error never seen before by me:


I mean, I was confused. How can CRM on premise have an error like CRM online, it’s our own server? So why a restriction error like this:


Then, while inspecting various other things I noticed C: on server has run out of space. I got the space cleared and the weird error was gone.

Hope it helps!


Below is a list of new things in CRM 2015 Update 1 for developers:

Perform specialized operations using Update

Before this release, specialized messages were required to update certain entity attribute values. For example, you had to execute the Assign message to change an entity’s ownerid attribute. In this release, you can now execute UpdateRequest to perform these same operations, so some of those specialized messages have been deprecated. For more information on these attributes and the deprecated messages, see Perform specialized operations using Update.

Alternate keys

Alternate keys enable data integration in an efficient manner. Users can now define an attribute in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM entity to correspond to a unique identifier (or combination of columns) used by an external data store. Use this alternate key to uniquely identify a record in CRM in place of the primary key. This feature enhances the developer and customer experience by:

  • Reducing roundtrips to look up record IDs from other unique columns.
  • Increasing overall throughput of bulk data processes, especially with CRM Online. 
  • Simplifying programming from external systems without CRM record IDs.

More information: Define alternate keys for an entity and Use an alternate key to create a record

Change tracking

You can greatly improve efficiency of code that monitors changes to CRM data by using the RetrieveEntityChangesRequest message included in this release. The new change tracking feature provides a way to keep the CRM data stored in an external data source, synchronized in a performant way by detecting what data has changed since the data was initially extracted or last synchronized.

More information: Use change tracking to synchronize data with external systems

Upsert for updating CRM with external data

The new UpsertRequest message reduces the complexity involved with data integration scenarios by doing an update if the record already exists or a create if the record doesn’t exist. This is especially useful when you want to set the state of a record in CRM and don’t know if it already exists.

More information: Use Upsert to insert or update a record

Optimistic concurrency

On a multi-threaded and multi-user system like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, operations and data changes often happen in parallel. A problem arises when two or more update or delete operations on the same piece of data happen at the same time. This situation could potentially result in data loss. Provided in this SDK release is the ability for your applications to detect whether an entity record has changed on the server from when your application retrieved the record to when it tries to update or delete the record. Attempting to update or delete a record that has been changed by another user results in an error condition.

More information: Reduce potential data loss using optimistic concurrency.

Multiple message execution

It’s a common requirement in business applications to coordinate changes of multiple records in the system so that either all the data changes succeed, or none of them do. In database terms, this is known as executing multiple operations in a single transaction with the ability to roll back all data changes should any one operation fail.

In this release, you can now execute two or more web service requests in a single database transaction using the ExecuteTransactionRequest message request. More information: Execute messages in a single database transaction.


While the 2013 and later releases of Microsoft Dynamics CRM supported tracing in plug-ins and custom workflow activities (custom code) as a debugging aid, this release adds the ability to log this tracing information to entity records of type PluginTraceLog. Your custom code can now write informational messages to the tracing log using ITracingService regardless if a custom code exception is thrown. These trace records can then be viewed in the CRM web application.

For more information about how to enable and use the new tracing capabilities, see Debug a plug-In.

Custom actions in workflows or dialogs

Developers can still call custom actions using code, but now actions can also be called directly in workflows or dialogs. More information: Execute an action using a process and Configure workflow steps

Integration with Parature

Get quick access to a rich knowledge base on Parature, from Microsoft by connecting CRM to Parature knowledge management. Your service agents can easily search for relevant articles in Parature while still working on a case in CRM, and then share the information with customers over various channels such as web, chat, email, or phone. This can help improve the productivity of your service agents by helping them quickly find accurate information and provide it to the customers. More information: Integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Parature

When Parature knowledge management is enabled you can add a Knowledge Base Search control to the forms of entities that are enabled. This control includes a robust client API to allow automation and extensions using scripts in the form. More information: Form script support for the new Knowledge Management (KM) integration with Parature

Unified Service Desk for Microsoft Dynamics CRM also provides out-of-box integration with Parature knowledge management. More information: What’s New in Unified Service Desk for developers

Custom claim mapping for SharePoint server-based integration

Microsoft Dynamics CRM now supports server-based integration with SharePoint Online and on-premises SharePoint. CRM uses claims to authenticate and authorize CRM users to access the documents stored in SharePoint. CRM uses NameId (PUID) to integrate with SharePoint Online and SMTP (email) to integrate with on-premises SharePoint. You can use the new UserMapping entity to define custom claim mappings to use a value other than the default value used by CRM to authenticate and authorize CRM users in SharePoint. More information: Define custom claim mapping for SharePoint server-based integration

Integration with OneNote

Set up Microsoft OneNote integration in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to automatically create a dedicated OneNote notebook for the selected CRM entity records, which enables you to easily take notes in OneNote in the context of a CRM record in various formats such as pictures, drawings, formatted text (bullet points and tables), and voice recordings. More information: Integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM with OneNote

Entitlement enhancements

The entitlements feature has been enhanced to enable you to:

  • Set a default entitlement for a customer so that when you create or update a case for the customer, the default entitlement is automatically applied to the case.
  • Control whether to decrement the terms of an entitlement for an incident (case) when the entitlement is applied to the incident.

Honoring required steps in a business process

CRM now enhances the ability to standardize on industry best practices by validating that all the required steps defined in the active stage of the business process are completed when qualifying a lead or converting a quote to sales order. As a result, now theQualifyLeadRequest and ConvertQuoteToSalesOrderRequest messages validate whether the required steps are completed before a lead is qualified or a quote is converted to sales order respectively. Otherwise, appropriate error message is displayed.

Support for additional “older than” clauses for date and time fields in FetchXML and QueryExpression

Until the previous release of CRM, you could only query for dates “Older Than X Months” using FetchXML and QueryExpression. This limited the ability to find past cases with other granularity levels (hours, days, weeks, and so on), for example, finding urgent cases older than 15 minutes.

The following settings for the “older than” clause are added in FetchXML and QueryExpression that will help you to find the cases using various granularity levels:

  • Older Than X Minutes
  • Older Than X Hours
  • Older Than X Days
  • Older Than X Weeks
  • Older Than X Years

Record creation and update rules

The new channel engagement framework rules enable you to increase efficiency of your sales, marketing, and service teams by automatically converting incoming activities, such as emails, custom activities, and posts, from external integrated applications (mobile applications, portals or social channels) to system or custom records in CRM. You create and manage the automatic record creation and update rules using CRM or Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook. More information: Help & Training: Define rules for creating or updating CRM records from incoming activities.

At times, these conversion rules will need to be edited to align with the change in your business requirements. To edit a conversion rule, you need to deactivate the rule, edit the rule definition, and then reactivate the rule. While the rule is being edited, the activities from the external applications will continue to come into CRM, but will not be acted upon as the rule is not active. To apply the conversion rules retroactively to the activities after you have edited and reactivated them, you can use the new ApplyRecordCreationAndUpdateRuleRequestmessage.

Track emails at the folder level

Use the new Mailbox Auto Tracking Folder (MailboxTrackingFolder) entity in CRM to configure folder-level mapping rules that enable you to map a Microsoft Exchange inbox folder to a CRM record so that all the emails in the Exchange folder get automatically tracked against the mapped record in CRM. More information:: Create Microsoft Exchange folder-based mapping rules to track emails

Support for new behaviour of date and time values in CRM

Until the previous release of CRM, all date and time values in CRMwere time zone aware, including those with the Date Only format. CRM introduces a new property, DateTimeAttributeMetadataDateTimeBehavior, to specify “Date Only” and “Time Zone Independent” values for an attribute of type DateTime. More information: DateTimeAttributeMetadata behavior and format

Try the Web API preview

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web API preview provides a network based communication and messaging interface to the Dynamics CRM web services through implementation of industry standard Internet protocols like OData v4, OAuth 2, and JSON. ISVs, partners, and other customers can leverage this interface to implement server-to-server and client-to-server applications across a broad range of computer hardware and devices, operating systems, and programming languages. The Web API preview represents the future direction of Dynamics CRM web service access.

An administrator can enable the Web API preview in the Web application by navigating to Settings > Administration > System Settings and selecting the Previews tab. You can then access the Web API endpoint for your organization athttps://<domain>.crm.dynamics.com/api/data.

The Web API preview is being made available in stages. This preview is the initial release and it will be followed by periodic updates that implement additional features and capabilities. The preview release allows you to give feedback and get an understanding of what is coming in a future release. The Web API preview shouldn’t be used on production environments and no support is provided. For more information on the next endpoint, see Web API Preview.

New form script capabilities

You can use new form script APIs in this release.

These capabilities are only available for updated entities when the system setting Use legacy form rendering is set to no.

Form script support for the new Knowledge Management (KM) integration with Parature

When an organization has Parature integration enabled they can add a new knowledge base search control to forms. This control provides for programmability support to automate or enhance the user’s experience. More information: Parature knowledge base search control (client-side reference)

Enhanced capabilities for sub-grid controls in forms

The sub-grid control in forms now provides access to new capabilities such as changing the currently selected view and accessing references to entity records displayed in the sub-grid. More information: Grid objects and methods (client-side reference)

More options to open forms

Use the new Xrm.Utility.openQuickCreate function to open the Quick Create form when you want to guide a user to create a new record.

When using the Xrm.Utility.openEntityForm function you can include an optional windowOptions parameter to open the form in a new browser window when using the web application.

Control.getShowTime method for Date controls

The getShowTime method is a companion to the existing setShowTime method. Use this method to determine whether the time element of a date control is currently displayed.

Customizable themes

You now have a supported way to apply a custom look and feel to CRM. Organizations can now make changes to default colors and other visual elements, such as including a company logo. These changes can be made using customization tools and doesn’t require a developer. More information:Query and edit an organization theme

Rollup field enhancements

In this release Rollup fields now support AVG calculations and other improvements to support using Rollup fields with activities. This is one less area where a developer has to write code. More information: Rollup attributes and Define rollup fields.

Custom price lists for opportunities, quotes, orders, and invoices

Instead of using the out-of-box rule for the selection of a default price level (price list) for an opportunity, quote, order, or invoice, you can specify your custom logic for selecting a default price list using the GetDefaultPriceLevelRequest message.

Source: MSDN, pre-release documentation, subject to change.

Hope it helps!

{NEWS}New FEATURES in CRM Online 2015 Update 1

Track Exchange email activities automatically with folder tracking

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 provides a new and intuitive way to track incoming Exchange email activities. You can set up a tracking folder—use any Exchange folder in your Inbox—and then drag an incoming email message to that folder to track it. You can associate a tracked folder with a specific record, such as an account or opportunity, so whenever you move a message to that folder, it’s automatically linked to that specific record.

Tracked folders work with Exchange Inbox rules, which makes it even easier to manage and track incoming email. For example, you could set up an Exchange Inbox rule that automatically routes email from a Contoso contact to a tracked Contoso folder, linked to a specific opportunity. Tracked folders work on any device that supports Exchange, so you can track email directly from virtually any device.


To use tracked folders, your organization must use server-side synchronization as your email synchronization method. Tracked folders must also be enabled by a system administrator.

Do quick analysis with Excel Online, right from CRM Online

Millions of people use Microsoft Office Excel to analyze corporate data and create reports. Now you can use Microsoft Excel Online to do quick analysis, right from CRM Online. For example, if you’re a sales manager, you might want to analyze the opportunities your team owns and review Key Points of Interest (KPIs) to see how you can assist your team members. If you’re a sales rep, you can open your opportunities in Excel and do what-if analysis for different incentive scenarios.



You must have an Office 365 subscription to edit Excel documents in Excel Online.

Export to Excel completely redesigned

We’ve redesigned exporting to Excel from the bottom up to provide for a much smoother experience. With a single click in the web client or in CRM for Outlook, you can export your data as an Excel document, which can be opened anywhere, including the desktop version of Excel (2007 and later), Excel Online, and other Excel clients. When you export, all formatting is preserved, so you can do your calculations in Excel, and then reimport the data to CRM. You can export up to 100,000 records at a time (previous limit was 10,000).

Collaborate with team members, even if they don’t have access to CRM Online

Office 365 users can use Groups to collaborate across Office products. A Group is a workspace that team members can use to share files, email messages, conversations, calendars, and Microsoft OneNote notes. Groups are a great way to collaborate with team members, even if they don’t have access to CRM Online. For example, create a group for your sales team, invite other Office 365 users to join the group, and then share documents, email, conversations, meeting information, and OneNote notes related to specific opportunities.

Take notes in OneNote, directly from CRM Online

Take advantage of all that Microsoft OneNote has to offer, directly from CRM Online. For example, when you’re on the go at a customer site, take notes on your Microsoft Surface or other mobile device while you’re viewing opportunity details. Capture photos, take voice notes, do free-form drawings and more. Everything is automatically linked with the opportunity record in CRM Online.

Enjoy the same great mobile experience, whether you’re using a phone or tablet

The CRM for phones app now provides the same process-driven experience as CRM for tablets. Nurture your leads and opportunities through the sales process with the new intuitive interface. If you have a Windows Phone, use Cortana voice commands to access your CRM data hands-free. More information: CRM for tablets and phones


The previous version of the CRM for phones app is still available in app stores, but it’s now called CRM for phones – Express.

Find the info you need, fast!

With the new navigation bar, it’s easier and faster to find the information you need. When you choose the Main Menu from the nav bar, you can access your work areas, records, or other items with less scrolling and fewer clicks than before.


Take a video tour of the new navigation

Use the Recently Viewed Items button clip_image005 on the new nav bar to get back to your most recently viewed and pinned items. Using this global tool, you can access recently viewed records, views, and even dashboards. Pin the items you use all the time to move them to the top of the list.


If you’re working in a complex form with lots of fields, the new form navigation drop-down makes it easy to get to just the data you need. Choose the drop-down next to the form title, and then select the section of the form you want to go to.

Share the knowledge (base) with Parature

We introduced Parature, from Microsoft, in the 2015 spring wave of releases. Now if you’re a customer service agent, you can take advantage of rich Parature knowledge base (KB) capabilities to reduce issue handling time, directly from CRM Online. For example, while you’re working on a case record, you can:

  • View system-suggested KB articles
  • Search for relevant KB articles
  • Read the content of KB articles inline, including embedded images or videos
  • Send KB article links to customers


Speed up customer service with default entitlements

Customer service agents use entitlements to verify the type of support a customer is eligible for and to provide the right level of support. Now service managers or admins can set an entitlement as the default entitlement for a customer. When an agent creates a case, the default entitlement is automatically associated with the case, saving time for the agent.

For cases where service organizations do not want entitlement terms to be deducted (a faulty part is installed, for example), service agents can also credit back entitlement terms so the customer isn’t charged.

Define rules for creating or updating CRM records from incoming activities

In previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Service Managers could set up rules to automatically create cases from incoming email or social channels. Now sales, marketing, and service teams can use these same rules to automatically create or update one or more records from any single incoming activity, such as an email, social, or custom activity.

Source: Microsoft customer centre

Note: This topic is pre-release documentation from Microsoft and is subject to change.

Hope it helps!




Nishant Rana is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultant working with Microsoft in Hyderabad, India.

He is a genius and I was lucky to have him as an old colleague of mine in Microsoft.

He is one of the best professionals in Dynamics CRM. SharePoint and Microsoft stack of technologies with whom I had chance to work for a year on the best project of my CRM journey.

His blog is just not a blog but an ocean of CRM and SharePoint knowledge.

With close to 2.11 million hits on his blog, I doubt if anyone has not solved at least one problem on Dynamics CRM without referring to his encyclopaedia.

This interview is a tribute to a great individual.

1. Name, current job title and social media links please

Nishant Rana

Consultant, Microsoft GD, Hyderabad.



2. What does an average day at work look like

An average day starts with Black Tea, my favourite workout Insanity, then frequent Coffee Breaks in Office, Workout in Gym, Book, Music and of course CRM.

3. What job did you did before you starting using CRM

I had joined KPIT Cummins as a Trainee while I was doing my MS from I2IT. There itself I got an opportunity to work in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0.

4. What was the first version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you worked with and how long have you been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Version 3.0 and 7 years till now

5. How do you stay up to date with the CRM

I would normally refer training and readiness materials released by Microsoft as well as blogs of CRM Experts.

6. What one feature would you add to CRM Product.

I wish they can make the UI of the application more intuitive, user friendly and simple to use.

7. What is the best tool/solution you have used recently

Dynamics CRM OData Query Designer and Ribbon Workbench are my favourite tool. For the earlier versions of CRM, my favorite tools used to be Stunnware Tools.

8. What CRM certifications do you have, do you try and keep up to date with CRM certifications

My Transcript

Transcript ID – 818349

Access Code – NishantRana


Yes I do try to keep up to date with CRM Certifications.

9. How important is it to have good business analytical skills working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

It is extremely important, because eventually it is all about business and how CRM as a product can help improve it.

10 How useful is it to have programming knowledge to become a good Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

Having a good programming knowledge would help in designing the best possible solution.

11. What are your hobbies outside of CRM.

I like working out, playing cricket, listening to music, reading books.

12. What was the last book you read and what was the last film you watched

· A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger Oech

· I

13. Have you friends ever told you to stop talking/tweeting/blogging about CRM? What does your partner/family member(s) think of CRM.

All my friends have been supportive and always encourage and inspire me to grow personally and professionally.
14. Who is the first CRM Expert you remember reading/seeing

Michael Höhne of http://www.stunnware.com/

As an appreciation from my end, here is a certificate:


Happy CRMing!

{QUICK TIP}Enable tracing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Reporting Extensions for SQL Server Reporting Services

Many a times we are in need to enable tracing for On-Premise reports. Here is the way:

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can create trace files that monitor the actions that are performed by Microsoft Dynamics CRM Reporting Extensions. Trace files are helpful when you have to troubleshoot error messages or other issues in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Reporting Extensions.

You can enable tracing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Reporting Extensions in two ways:

Enable tracing using registry values
  1. On the computer where you have installed Microsoft Dynamics CRM Reporting Extensions, locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\MSCRM
  2. Set the following registry values:
    • TraceEnabled = 1
    • TraceDirectory = <directory path where traces will be stored>

    You can also set other row values like TraceCategories, but they already have defaults.

  3. Restart Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services.

Enable tracing using deployment properties
  1. Go to the DeploymentProperties table in the Configuration Database.
  2. Locate the row with the value “TraceEnabled” and set its “BitColumn” column’s value to “True”.
    Other row values like TraceCategories, TraceDirectory already have default values, but you can change these values.
    You will start seeing the traces in the directory specified in the TraceDirectory row in the DeploymentProperties table.
  3. Restart Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services.

Registry settings take precedence over deployment properties.

If there are any invalid entries in the registry, for example, and TraceDirectory does not exist, the deployment properties are used.

Source: Technet

Hope it helps!