CRM 2011 – Articles, documents and videos on setting up IFD for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

A customer asked me to investigate what is involved in setting up IFD (Internet Facing Deployment) for CRM 2011 so I have looked on the internet for the best articles, videos and documents on the subject.  

There are five main parts into configuring IFD

  1. Installing AD FS 2.0
  2. Configuring the AD FS 2.0 federation server
  3. Managing certificates
  4. Configuring Dynamics CRM 2011 for claims-based authentication and IFD
  5. Creating the relying party trust for CRM and configuring the claims rules on AD FS 2.0

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Implementation guide has a document called – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Claims-based Authentication.doc, it is a very thorough document but the only downside is it doesn’t have any screen shots, which can make it difficult sometimes to follow the instructions.  You can download the document here

Which is why This blog post is good because the walkthrough of setting up IFD, like all good walkthroughs it has good explanation with the important screen shots

I have a couple of links to two excellent videos going through setting IFD but I have also found some articles on the subject as well.

Introducing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Claims-based Authentication

IFD for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

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Warning – Certified and Gold Certified partners, your Microsoft partner logo and software usage rights ends today – October 31, 2011

I read this blog post today which was on the Microsoft Partner email (yes I do actually read them!!) and I saw today is the last day you can use the Microsoft Gold Partner logo.  The title of the blog post was a mixture of big brother and someone who hires out boats shouting “come in number 5, you time is up” this is the title of the blog post

Certified and Gold Certified partners, your Microsoft partner logo and software usage rights are about to expire

 Microsoft says this

  • Continue to use Gold Certified and Certified logos in their marketing materials until October 31, 2011 and to refer to their Gold Certified or Certified status in communications and documents, such as bidding documents for tenders, until their membership renewal date.
  • Continue to use their current Gold Certified and Certified partner software benefits until October 31, 2011, regardless of which new membership opportunity they chose at their next renewal date

 

So what does this all actually mean, I’m copy the useful parts from the blog post

What this means is, as of November 1, 2011:

  • Use of the “Gold Certified Partner” or “Certified Partner” logos should cease entirely, including your marketing materials (websites, newsletters, advertisements, etc.) or in your communications and documents, such as bidding documents.
  • If you are a former Gold Certified or Certified partner and you have not achieved a gold or silver competency by October 31, 2011, you must uninstall any software licenses that have been provided to your organization based on achieving the Gold Certified or Certified partner level. The only licenses you will be eligible to use are those that you have earned based on your current membership in the Microsoft Partner Network. Check out the License Calculator tool to see what Internal Use Rights you receive with the various competencies in the Microsoft Partner Network.

As of November 1, 2011, the branding that you must use is the Microsoft Partner Network branding that includes the Microsoft Partner logo with the associated silver and/or gold competencies that your company has achieved to date, as the former branding is officially retired:

image

if you want to create a new logo you can use their online logo maker, which you can find here.  If you are puzzled by what this all means then I suggest going to the Frequently asked Questions and you might find some answers.  You will need to be a member of partner source but if this blog started you panicing or you are bothered about the content then I guess you already are.

I hope that helps a few people

Click here to visit the Metaphorix homepage to see how Metaphorix uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NAV and other products and services.

CRM 2011 – White Paper – Deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and CRM Online Solutions from Development through Test and Production Environments

Microsoft released an interesting new white paper recently which goes into detail about deploying and testing CRM 2011 in product and test environments.

You can download the white paper here 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the white paper but it was intrigueing because it used good examples and went in detail about how to create test objects (queues, users etc) using code.

I hadn’t really considered importing testing data to such an extent as test business units and user and then assign them to different security roles.  

The white paper went into a lot more detailed development techniques than I have seen in previous/similar white papers.

I have always wondered how CRM online companies test their code because unlike on premise CRM solutions they can’t have a test organisation or environment.

This white paper is well worth a read.  Good work 

 

Click here to visit the Metaphorix homepage to see how Metaphorix uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NAV and other products and services.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Developer Training Kit

For many developers either using CRM 2011 for the first or upgrading from CRM 4 learning the new functionality of CRM 2011 can be quite difficult.  Microsoft have an excellent SDK and the documentation is really good but before you use this I would recommend using the Dynamics CRM 2011 Developer Training kit.

The training kit has lots of videos and presentations which give you a good overview of the new functionality in CRM 2011 and lets you work out what could be useful to you and then you can use use the SDK to get down to writing code.

You can download the training kit here and you can download the CRM SDK here 

The other piece of advice I will give you is to get stuck and go through the examples, theory is one thing but experience is a lot more useful.  A lot of CRM development is learning why things don’t work and battling through and getting something useful out of the other end.

below is how microsoft describes the development kit

This training kit is for .NET developers to learn the development features of Dynamics CRM and help them build applications using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and CRM Online.

Overview

This training kit is for .NET developers to learn the development features of Dynamics CRM and help them build applications using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and CRM Online. Microsoft Dynamics CRM uses familiar components such as WCF & oData web service endpoints, JavaScript, Silverlight, .NET 4, Workflow Foundation 4, SQL reporting and more; making it a general purpose framework for line-of-business applications. This kit drills into the details of such development and explains how developers can connect, extend, and embed their applications with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.The training kit includes various resources to help you learn the development features of Dynamics CRM. It includes:

  • Presentations – Presentation decks in PowerPoint (.pptx) format that you can use to learn the concepts.
  • Videos – Video recordings of the presentation along with demos delivered by expert trainers.
  • Hands-on Labs – Hands-on labs with detailed instructions and source code that will walk you through various development features.

Click here to visit the Metaphorix homepage to see how Metaphorix uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NAV and other products and services.

How to convert an SQL statement into a XML file

Today I found some functionality which I thought was amazing and will save me loads of time creating some sample XML files to test my webservice with.

I had some sample data in database which I wanted to convert into an XML file.

My original idea was to use excel to concatenate bits of it but this turned out to be to slow and difficult.  I then found out that SQL Server has in built functionality to convert sql statements into XML files.

This article goes through some of the functionality and I would also read this article if you want more detail than my example below

below is my select statement, the important part is at the end
FOR XML AUTO,ELEMENTS
this converts the sql statement into XML elements

SELECT
      [Code]"Code"
      ,[Name]"Name"
      ,[Commission %]"Commission"
      ,[E-Mail]"Email"
      ,[Phone No_]"Phone"
      ,[Job Title]"JobTitle"
  FROM [database].[dbo].[Salesperson_Purchaser]salesperson
  FOR XML AUTO,ELEMENTS
this is the result, amazing.  I can't believe I have never heard of this fantastic 
feature before

<salesperson>
  <Code>MT</Code>
  <Name>Metaphorix</Name>
  <Commission>0.00000000000000000000</Commission>
  <Email>metaphorix@metaphorix.co.uk</Email>
  <Phone></Phone>
  <JobTitle></JobTitle>
</salesperson>
<salesperson>
  <Code>TS</Code>
  <Name>tom scott</Name>
  <Commission>0.00000000000000000000</Commission>
  <Email>tom.email.co.uk</Email>
  <Phone></Phone>
  <JobTitle></JobTitle>
</salesperson>
<salesperson>
  <Code>DR</Code>
  <Name>Jerry time</Name>
  <Commission>0.00000000000000000000</Commission>
  <Email></Email>
  <Phone></Phone>
  <JobTitle></JobTitle>
</salesperson>
 

Click here to visit the Metaphorix homepage to see how Metaphorix uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NAV and other products and services.

A Summary Syntax Difference between CRM2011 and CRM4.0

There are a lot of differences between CRM versions CRM 4 and CRM 2011.  It can take you a while to get use to the changes but after an initial period of confusion I think you will find the changes have dramatically improved developing CRM extensions.

Javascript changes were the most tricky to get my head round but like many of the other changes it has in the long run made writing Javascript easier and more logical.

The biggets improvement is Microsoft getting rid of the CRM variables, they are a complete pain and means you have to spend hours converting everything.  I also think the solutions concept is brilliant.

I haven’t mentioned the new functionality but focused on what has changed in simliar functionality.  The new functionality is

Webresouces,OData, WCF instead of webservices, online version allow sandboxed plugins, SSRS reporting using FetchXML, Sharepoint intergration

Synatx Difference between CRM4.0 and CRM2011

Below our some links to the syntax differences between CRM 4 and CRM 2011 for data types, plugins, javascript and workflows

Data Type Changes:

http://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/type-mapping-between-versions-crm-2011-and-crm-4/

Plug-in Changes:

http://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/crm-2011-syntax-changes-in-plugins-from-crm-4/

Java Script Changes:

http://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/crm-2011-comparison-between-crm-4-0-and-crm2011-script/

This link shows you the difference of creating a lookup in Javascript for both CRM 4 and CRM 2011

http://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/crm-2011-how-to-set-up-a-lookup-using-javascript/

I would defintely recommend having the Javascript cheat sheet close to hand when you start developing

http://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/crm-2011-javascript-cheat-sheet/

Custom Workflow Changes:

http://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/crm-2011-custom-workflow-syntax-changes-from-crm-4-to-crm-2011/

Click here to visit the Metaphorix homepage to see how Metaphorix uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NAV and other products and services.

A Metaphorix Baby

We have had the first Metaphorix baby arrive since the blog has been up and running.

Welcome to the world Jessical Lily Hosking, who was 6 pounds 3 ounces but has gone on an eating frenzy and now 2 and a half weeks later is 7 pounds.

Click here to visit the Metaphorix homepage to see how Metaphorix uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NAV and other products and services.

 

CRM 2011 – Update Rollup 5 Released

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Sustained Engineering (SE) team released Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 5 on Tuesday, October 25, 2011.

The links below point to important information about Update Rollup 5:

This release also has some significant enhancements which has the CRM Q4 service update features

Dynamics CRM Q4 Service Update

Update Rollup 5 also contains the Dynamics CRM Q4 Service Update features. For more information about the Dynamics CRM Q4 Service Update features, visit the following Microsoft website:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: the road ahead

  • Improvements to Dialogs (i.e. Lookup and Date fields included)
  • User Access Auditing

Release Channel Schedule

The resources available at these links will be active according to the following Release Channel Schedule:

  • CRM Online Datacenter: October 18      to October 25, 2011
  • Microsoft Download Center: October  25, 2011
  • Microsoft Update: November 8, 2011

General Details about Update Rollup 5

  • Update Rollup 5 cannot be uninstalled.
  • Client packages installed manually by downloading the packages and running install will require administrative privileges.  If the client packages are installed via the Windows Update (Microsoft Update) system, they will not require administrative privileges.
  • For help with installation, please see the Installation Information section in KB2567454.

 

 

Prototype Handheld Screenshots

Metaphorix have recently been pitching for some work where the users would be using hand held devices to gather information.

As Metaphorix have many talented people in the building someone at worked mocked up how the hand held device would look like to help the users see the potential of NAV to their business.

It’s a great advantage to show the customer how things would look and work rather than just explaining to them.

Here are the screen shots

 

Click here to visit the Metaphorix homepage to see how Metaphorix uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NAV and other products and services.

 

 

 

CRM 2011 – Video – 10 tips to work more efficently with CRM 2011

This is a good video showing 10 tips to use CRM more efficiently.

I also like using the recently viewed option and pin customers and contacts that I use regularly.

 

Click here to visit the Metaphorix homepage to see how Metaphorix uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NAV and other products and services.