In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft is hosting the first US MVP Virtual Conference on May 14th and 15th. The really excellent news is that we will have a Microsoft Dynamics CRM session.
That’s right, I will be hosting an Ask the Experts session and we will be talking about your favorite subject this time of year which is the CRM Spring release, CRM 2015 Update 1 aka 7.1. You can find the session information under the IT Pro track.
We have a panel of superstars ready to deliver their knowledge, tips and tricks related to CRM Online 2015 and we will, of course, be taking audience questions. Panel experts include Dynamics CRM MVP’s Alex Fagundes, Chris Cognetta, Matt Wittemann, Shan McArthur, and me, as the host and moderator.
In addition to our session, there are many others that you will most likely find interesting. Topics like Azure, PowerBI, Skype for Business, and Windows are sure to be high on everyone’s list and you definitely don’t want to miss out on the keynote delivered by Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate VP & Chief Evangelist at Microsoft, on Thursday, May 14th at 8am PST
Check out the Agenda page to get a complete view of the event schedule for both days.
I’m really looking forward to connecting with my fellow MVP’s to discuss the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, share our product knowledge and tips with you and respond to your questions. Bring your coworkers and all your tough or even easy questions and we’ll be happy to respond. I hope you can join us on May 14th at 5pm PST.
We look forward to seeing you at the event!
With the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2015 release just around the corner, I wanted to try out the OneNote integration. The setup is amazing easily. If you would like a preview, check out the step-by-step article I wrote for the Microsoft MVP Award blog site.
I think this integration is definitely going to make the most frequently used, new feature, list.
At Hitachi Solutions one of our logos displays the phrase, Inspire the Next.
The Merriam Webster’s definition of inspire is, “to fill with courage or strength of purpose”. I personally love the phrase because it points to inspiring whatever is next; in life, in work, in play… and applies to every day, hour and minute.
It’s not always easy to inspire ourselves or others because life can be challenging at times. That is why I think it is important to share our inspiration with others whenever we can and celebrate those times when we’ve been able to achieve positive results.
I recently had an opportunity to do just that and shared my story on the Microsoft MVP Mentor Blog site. I hope you take a few minutes to read the story and you are inspired by how we can work together to support one another to achieve our life aspirations and dreams.
When life or work gets tough, you can always bring yourself back to this simple yet vibrant and full of promise, affirmation; “Inspire the Next”. I hope it helps to lift you to a better place during challenging times and keeps you there when things are good.
I look forward to hearing your stories about how you inspired yourself and others along life’s journey.
Scott Durrow’s Ribbon Workbench has been out for a few years now. I recently had a project where I had an opportunity to use it. I was quite impressed so thought I would share my experience and provide an example of its capability.
I obtained the tool from Scott’s site. For those of you that have not visited the site, he has done a really great job of providing everything needed to get started including, getting started videos, a forum to post issues and lots of documentation.
The first step is to read and carefully follow the installation and setup instructions. Spending a little extra time on this step will save you some potential pain and frustration later. The first thing I did after installation was to create a solution file with the entities I planned to modify and exported the file for backup and recovery. It is important to ensure you keep the backup file in a safe place so that you can restore it in the event something unexpected occurs.
In this example I am modifying the Opportunity entity so I created a solution with the Opportunity to open in the Ribbon Workbench.
To open the Ribbon Workbench you need to go to Settings Customization and select the Ribbon Workbench icon then select your solution file from the list of available options.
After loading the solution you can view the three areas of the entity available to work on; Home, Subgrid and Form. For this example I am working on the Form. I plan to move some custom buttons forward and remove some out-of-the-box buttons from the form.
Find the button you want to move, right click it and select the Customize Button option
This will result in placing a red checkmark on the button. Now you can select the button and drag it to the desired position.
Button’s new position on the form
Since you’ve already created a backup solution in the event you need to rollback changes, you can now publish your changes and when completed, open an entity record in CRM to check your work. It is important to know that your changes are not saved until you publish them.
Here’s a tip; if you’re having trouble getting the drag and drop feature to work as expected in Internet Explorer, try the Chrome browser to see if that works better. If not, you can file a support issue in the Workbench Ribbon forum.
I wrote an article for the Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog on how to create a Microsoft Outlook profile for use with a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online trial. Check it out and watch for my next article on configuring Microsoft Dynamics CRM user settings.
Although Dynamics CRM licensing is not my forte or passion, I still like to understand the basics. Given that, I recently spent some time reading through the December 2014 version of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Licensing and Pricing Guide and wanted to share a few highlights that I found of interest.
One item that caught my attention was the definition associated with Internal and External for CRM Online User Subscription Licensing (USL) and how the licensing is handled. External, third-party users do not require a license. They are included in Online subscriptions. Third party users are those who do not use CRM client applications, are not employees or employees of a company affiliate, are not onsite contractors, vendors or individuals performing business processes on the company’s behalf. There is a nice graphic in the document that provides further definition:
Additionally, a single USL allows a user to access all Dynamics CRM instances associated with a Online Tenant. That means that if you use CRM Online non-production (sandbox) instances, users in your production environment have licensing privileges to those instances and do not have to purchase additional licenses. An important thing to keep in mind is that Online sandbox instances do not have separate storage capacity. Your non-production instances will consume storage from the same storage as your production. You’ll want to ensure you plan for that as you roll out your online sandbox deployments.
Each USL not only allows the associated user to access all other CRM Online production instances in the same tenant but also non-production instances in the same tenant and a CRM OnPremise instance owned by the same company / organization. That means that if you subscribe to CRM Online, you can purchase a CRM OnPremise server license and your Online users do not need to purchase a Client Access License (CAL). This is a nice benefit for those companies who have the need to use an Online / OnPremise hybrid deployment scenario.
While there are three CAL type licenses (Essential, Basic and Professional), there are four USL licenses available: Essential, Basic, Professional, and Enterprise. There is a good summary description of each license type on pages 6- 8 and a detailed chart of privileges on page 24 – 25. I’ve had some ask me for a use case for the Essential license type and I’ve explained that it is of value for XRM type solutions where only custom entities are used.
Microsoft has ramped up its offering with Dynamics Marketing, Parature, Social Listening, and Unified Service Desk. Check out pages 8 and 9 for information on the pricing requirements for each service offering.
Not only are there four levels of license types but there are also four levels of support offerings: Subscription, Enhanced Support, Professional Direct Services, and Premier Services. Subscription level service is included with each license purchased and also included with trial licenses. Each level beyond that has an associated cost and benefit. Page 15 has a good summary of benefits to include the cost for each type.
There is additional information in the guide to include but not limited to Stepping up to higher support plans for existing customers, International Pricelist, different types of Licensing programs like Volume licensing and their related programs, pricing associated with transitioning to the cloud, etc.
I hope you found this helpful. In the event that you have licensing questions or need assistance, please reach out to your Microsoft Partner or Microsoft Account Representative.
Big Disclaimer: This is my personal interpretation of the document. You should check with your Microsoft licensing professional to address all Dynamics CRM licensing questions.