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.


Update Rollups – Should I or Should I Not, that is the Question

With the recent release of CRM 2013 Update Rollup 2 aka UR 2, I thought this might be a good time to share what I’ve learned over the years from my experience and the experience of others regarding the deployment of Update Rollups to production.

Here are a few guiding principles that should help to ensure a more smooth rollout of Update Rollups.

Sometimes there can be unexpected issues related to the UR that could break something that is working.  Yes, it does sometimes happen even when the most rigorous regression testing is applied.  Following the tips below should help to ensure you do not experience an unexpected issue.

Read, um read & read one more time.  Update Rollups include fixes to issues.  Also, listen to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Podcast that the Premier Field Engineer team does for each UR.   If you are not experiencing issues that are addressed, it is ok to skip a UR or two.  Keep in mind, sometimes there are hidden gems in the UR, like performance enhancements, so take your time when reading through the list and making your decision.

Turn off automatic updates to the CRM servers.  You’ll want to devise a methodical and tested approach to applying updates to servers.  A methodical approach should include always applying the Update Rollup to a development environment first and ensure end users have fully tested the UR prior to deploying to production.  I recommend creating a test plan that includes a list of test scripts that users are required to run on the test environment.  You should have a ‘base’ list of test scripts to work from and update the list based on the information you glean from the UR.  Add scripts that will test the components referenced in the UR.

Understand that Client side update rollups will automatically be delivered through the Windows Update Service in a week or two after the UR release data.  Therefore, be sure to include tests to the Outlook Client in your scenario.  If you do happen to run across a breaking issue, you can temporarily turn off Windows Updates to the client machines until the issue is addressed.

Taking some time up front to apply a methodical approach to testing Update Rollups could save you some time and frustration if or when something unexpected happens. You can work with a cross functional team made up of IT and CRM end users to create your testing process to included test scripts.  Once you’ve done a couple of these, it will become quite easy.

Be sure to check out the CRM 2013 UR 2 Podcast


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.


Dynamics CRM 2013 Has Arrived

I found out from my down under peeps that CRM 2013 has arrived.  Well, at least for some Winking smile

Apparently, if you sign-up for a Dynamics CRM trial in the APAC center, you get CRM 2013.  Now I am not suggesting that everyone run out and get a free trial from the APAC center but rather just letting you know that the rollout has begun.  I suspect the other two centers will be following close on the heals of the APAC center.

While we are waiting, I recommend that you check out the newly released Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Resource Center.  Here you will find information about what’s new, what’s changed, CRM for the Tablet, E-books, video tutorials and more.  I like to refer to it as a Dynamics CRM candy store.

Check it out and get ready, because CRM 2013 is coming to a neighborhood near you soon.


Not the Standard Dynamics CRM Article

Recently I ran into an issue with my Windows 7 desktop in that it would no longer allow me to use my favorite theme, Bing Dynamic.  I could access, “Personalize Desktop”, select the Bing Dynamic theme and even go into settings and select the shuffle checkbox, change time, etc.  However, every time I selected Save Changes, it reverted back to a solid color background.  Since I enjoy viewing the desktop photos throughout the day, I was pretty disappointed and began searching for answers.

I initially came across this post that recommended deleting the RSS feed and re-downloading it.  I tried that but it did not fix the issue.  After more searching to include several changes to my search terms, I finally hit gold with the following search string; “select themeserver desktop background doesn’t work”.

I followed the steps in the article and now have Bing Dynamic working again Smile  In the event you would like to learn more about Dynamic Feeds, here is a link to Frequently Asked Questions.  I hope this saves you some time in the event you run into this issue.

Incident (Case) Entity Ribbon Display Issue

I recently setup a new CRM Online environment to implement the Grants Management Solution Accelerator.

After completing the deployment I logged in to test the solution and ensure everything was working as expected since we plan to use this for a demo in the near future.  There were several items that required some attention like names used for some of the views, JavaScript errors, etc.

In addition to the issues above, I ran into a ribbon display issue on the Incident entity.  This error was a little more tricky to resolve since there was no JavaScript on the form.  I thought maybe there was some form corruption so my first step was to create a new form but unfortunately, that form also would not display the Ribbon.  I also tried opening the form in various browsers to rule out a caching issue, but, quoting the infamous Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, No Soup for Me.

At that point I decided I needed a little more information so I hit the magic F12 button on my keyboard, selected the Script tab and found the issue.


I started by Binging “unable to get value of the property “style” but didn’t come up with anything useful (also tried Google Winking smile  with same result) so I decided to Bing the file name that was having the issue, “form.js?ver=”, and I found the solution.

“A script error occurs or the ribbon fails to load in the Case, Product, or Service Appointment entities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or after applying Update Rollup 12 in On Premise”

KB Article 2807519 has the fix which is to check the Expand by Default property of the forms assistant or uncheck Enable Forms Assistant in the property of the form.

Following are some of the errors you might encounter when experiencing this issue:

SCRIPT5007: Unable to get value of the property ‘focusin’: object is null or undefined
global.ashx?ver=-505927664, line 5 character 58707

SEC7115: :visited and :link styles can only differ by color. Some styles were not applied to :visited.

SCRIPT5007: Unable to get value of the property ‘SubjectClicked’: object is null or undefined
main.aspx?etc=112&extraqs=%3fetc%3d112%26pagemode%3diframe%26preloadcache%3d1360353202171&pagetype=entityrecord, line 549 character 131

SCRIPT5007: Unable to get value of the property ‘style’: object is null or undefined
form.js?ver=-505927664, line 1 character 22102


Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update Videos

I came across this series of Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update videos today.  They include a variety of information regarding the new Polaris release.  Some of the content is directed at developers, customizers and end users. 

Here is the list:

The information presented will help individuals more quickly become familiar and ramp up on the new features.  Nice work Microsoft, we appreciate that you’ve made this content available.  Very helpful, keep up the great work!