CRM Online Portal Trial – Step by Step Installation

Recently I obtained a trial portal to add to my CRM Online trial organization.  I thought I would share the process with you in the event you would like to try it out.  Note, this is the process at the time of this writing.  This process could change at any time.

The first step is to create a CRM Online trial, complete the setup and sign in.  Next, make a request for a Portal trial.  You can do that by selecting this link and completing the information on the page.  You’ll receive a follow-up email after you complete the sign-up request.


If your trial request is accepted, you’ll receive an email with an activate link.  Select the Activate button, and you’ll be taken to a page where you can choose to add the Portal to your existing trial [CRM Online] or create a new one.  Select Add Existing, if you have a trial or New if not.  If you accidently select New, not to worry as you’ll have the option on the page to sign into an existing CRM Online trial or create a new one.

Note:  At the time of this writing, you must select Add Existing for the Portal Trial to work as expected. 


I signed in with my existing trial.  You’ll be asked to confirm your order by selecting the Add button and on the order receipt page the Continue button. 

Tip:  If the order receipt includes a message to assign the users a license you can ignore that as it is not required  (see below)  


After selecting Continue, you’ll be taken to your Office 365 Home page.  If not, log into Office 365 and select CRM from the Admin Centers on the left navigation menu and you’ll be taken to your CRM Instance. 


Highlight the instance you want to work with and select applications from the top navigation menu.  In this example I have only one instance so it was automatically selected for me.


On the Applications tab you will see the Portal Add-on.  If you don’t see the Portal Add-on then something didn’t go as expected during the setup process.  You’ll need to go back and check your request for a Portal or open a support ticket for assistance. 

Select the Manage button to begin the initial Portal setup.

Tip: Note the status of the Portal is NotConfigured


On the next page you will enter information regarding the portal configuration. 


Here is where you will give your portal a Name, Portal URL (enter the value you want for the URL and the portal will confirm if it is available or not), select your Portal Audience and the type of portal to be deployed.  In this example, the Portal Audience is customer and Portal to be deployed is Community.  Select the Submit button, at the bottom of the page, and select accept for the Terms of Service window dialog


The configuration will begin and might take a few minutes to complete.  Stay on the screen until completion. 

After completion you will be asked to log back into Office 365.  At this point, you will be asked to give the Portal Add-on permissions that are required for the application to run.  Select Accept


The Portal Add-on is now working through the final stages of configuration and setup.  Give it the necessary time to complete.


Tip: If you select Portal Details, it will take you back to the screen where you entered your initial portal configuration information.  If you select Submit again, it will display a message that the URL is already in use.


You can check on the status by returning to Office 365, Admin Center, CRM, select the CRM instance then select the Applications button, select Manage and you should see a link to your Portal URL.  If you don’t see it, give it some additional time to complete the configuration and check back. 

Note:  Your Portal URL should be in the following format: https:<nameYouProvided>

That’s it; you’re now ready to begin configuring your Portal for others to access.  Below are a couple of resources to help you get started with the Microsoft Dynamics Portal solution.

Configure a CRM Portal

Administrator’s Guide to portal capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM


Have you tried these Solutions?

There is so much available in Dynamics CRM that it can be challenging to keep up.  Since features are coming at us so quickly and we are all incredibly busy, it is easy to miss things or not be aware of what is available.  Given that and in an effort to bring you quick read articles, I thought it might be helpful to post shorter but informative information.   Today’s post is one of those.

For those that are not aware, there is a significant list of solutions that you can install when creating a Dynamics CRM Online trial.  It is important to note that some of the solutions are only available in the US data center.  To view the list,  you can fire up a CRM online trial.  I generally select the Self-Start Trial option but you can select either option depending on your familiarization with the product.

After setting up your trial, log into the online Office 365 using your new user name and password and select Admin from the top left hand corner.


Select CRM from the left navigation menu.


Select the instance you want to update and select the Manage Solutions icon.


Here is the list of solutions currently available in my CRM Online trial instance.


Installing each one is a simple click of the button.  Select the solution you want to install and select the Install icon.


Once all selected options are installed you can begin configuring it and learning about the solutions.  You should be able to find all the information you need on the Customer Center, Technet and MSDN.  Here are a few but very useful tips for navigating Technet.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Licensing Highlights

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.


Leo Came in with a Roar!

Microsoft called it the Spring Wave but I think Spring Tidal Wave is more appropriate.  Since I’ve been working with Dynamics CRM, I can honestly say I’ve never seen a Service Release this significant.  The feature set and services delivered are both deep and wide.  If this is any indication as to what we can expect going forward, I don’t know about you, but I’m all In!

So where does one begin?  We’ve already seen blog articles popping up that provide an overview of the new features and products, deep dives into specific features and everything in between.  The nice thing is that there is so much fodder in this release that it could and most likely will take several months for the community to digest it.

I thought the best initial contribution I could make is to build out a Curah with links to helpful resources for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 SP1 so that is exactly what I did.  Check it out when you have some time and let me know if you have a favorite link you would like added.  I’ll be sure to give you a mention for your contribution.

Now its back to work finding more resources and learning about all the new features and services.


Dynamics CRM 2013 Links

The long awaited Dynamics CRM 2013 product is available Online and for OnPremise installations.  Microsoft did a great job with the product and I’m sure you’ll appreciate the many improvements and additions to the product.  Here are the links:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2013 (Online)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2013 (OnPremise)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office Outlook (Outlook Client)

Check out my Microsoft Curah article for the latest download updates.

In addition Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 15 is also available.   As with any update rollup, read through the list of fixed items and determine if any address issues you are experiencing.  Install the Update Rollup in a development environment first, test it for a couple of weeks and then roll it into production.


Getting Ready for CRM 2013

As we all know CRM 2013 is scheduled for release this year.  If you are a Dynamics CRM Online customer than you might have already received your upgrade notification.  I have a couple of online accounts and have received notification that both are scheduled for upgrade in October.  That tells me that Microsoft is tracking to a Fall release as they’ve been saying for some time now.

There has been much activity in the Partner and Customer channels regarding CRM 2013 to include information and materials to help you prepare for the upgrade.  Below is a list of some of the resources.

Dynamics CRM Resource Center

Get Ready for the next Release

MSDN & Microsoft Blogs

What’s Changing in the Next Release

General Changes to Features & Functionality

What’s New for Developers

WPC 2013


Planning Guide Changes – Think Deployment

Partner Network Training – Requires PartnerSource Login

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Setup and Upgrade New Features

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Blitz Day – Sales and Marketing Track (Part 1 of 3)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Blitz Day – Sales and Marketing Track (Part 2 of 3)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Blitz Day – Sales and Marketing Track (Part 3 of 3)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Blitz Day – Technical Track (Part 1 of 3)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Blitz Day – Technical Track (Part 2 of 3)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Blitz Day – Technical Track (Part 3 of 3)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 SDK New Features

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 User Interface New Features

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Application New Features

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Application Upgrade New Features

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Application Control New Features

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Processes New Features

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customization New Features

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Tablets New Features

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Server-Side Synchronization and Microsoft Office Outlook New Features

Stay Connected & Informed

Microsoft Dynamics Facebook

Microsoft Dynamics Twitter

Microsoft Dynamics LinkedIn

Microsoft Dynamics Community YouTube


CRM Online & SharePoint Online Document Management Setup

Way back in the year 2011 (time flies), I wrote an article on setting up Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online document management with SharePoint Online in an Office 365 scenario.

Today I had the occasion to configure the same and found that although the setup was essentially the same, the steps changed slightly.  Since I was doing the work, I thought I would share what’s changed. 

As before, there are a couple of things you need to get started:

  • Sign up for an Office 365 E3 or E4 Trial Plan
  • Complete the steps to add CRM Online if you haven’t already and launch CRM Online to ensure everything is working as expected.  This can actually be a bit tricky for first time users so have a look at this nice trial guide that Microsoft put together if you need some assistance.
  • Download the SharePoint 2013 List Component and run it to extract the contents to a folder
    Once you’ve completed the items above, you are ready to get started.

  • Log into Office 365 and select Sites from the upper right menu bar



  • Select Site Settings


  • Select Solutions


  • Select Upload Solution


  • Select Choose File


  • Select the file named crmlistcomponent.wsp from the folder where you extracted the list component files


  • Select OK


  • Select the Activate button and wait for the activation process to complete


  • The process may take a few minutes to complete


  • It will look like this when completed


Next we need to configure the CRM Online site to integrate with SharePoint

  • Select CRM from the top navigation menu


  • Select Settings from the left navigation menu and select Document Management


  • Select Document Management Settings


  • Select the entities you would like to enable for Document Management, paste the SharePoint Team Site URL that you saved from the previous step into the URL field and select Next
  • Wait for the validation of the URL to Complete.  If it completes with a warning that the list component is not activated go back and activate the SharePoint List component again as described above


  • Leave the Based on entity button unchecked and select Next *


  • Select Ok


  • Wait for the setup to complete and select Finish


You are now ready to add and manage your documents from CRM.  Check out the CRM Community Resource Center or your help files for more information.

* You can select the Help button to learn more about the Document Management folder structure.


Scenario 7: Set up Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to work with Office 365 SharePoint