Sometimes the “minimal org copy” function in CRM Online
Instance Manager doesn’t work. You may receive an “Instance Failed” status when
trying to do so. Especially now with the advent of CRM 2015 it seems to be
happening quite often. If this occurs, and you really can’t wait for guidance from Microsoft, here’s an option for you:
create your own copy(s) of unmanaged solutions and migrate them to a new
blank org. However, this can be tricky depending on the types of solutions and
customizations that may exist in your production instance.
Managed vs. Unmanaged Solutions:
For example, let’s say you have 3 managed solutions in your
…plus all of your own unmanaged customizations to base
entities, custom entities, Sitemap, Ribbons, and what have you? What’s the best
and quickest way to get this done?
If you are like many clients of ours, you might have an
extensive array of custom entities outside of the managed solutions. If that is
the case, we recommend installing the managed solutions into the new blank org
first, via their own solution installers, then overlay with your unmanaged
solution. It is not possible to move your managed solutions via your own custom
In general, the process would be:
Create new blank org using CRM Online Instance
Install managed solutions (note Activity Feeds
is an unmanaged solution that should already be there)
Migrate your custom unmanaged solutions via the
full backup copy
Finish other setups like business units, users,
security, and lookup entity data
Building the “Full Backup Copy” solution of your unmanaged
solutions could be problematic. Here are some tips you may want to
consider. When a single solution becomes very large, the subsequent import has
a greater chance of failure (reasons are too numerous to list here). An
approach that may work for you is this one: start from the bottom of the
component types and work your way up, add all components of each type, and by default
say “yes” to this question about required components as you go.
This will incrementally add entities as it goes. I have
found that if you try to start with entities, and “select all” there could be
so many entities and so much “work” to do in the building of the xml content
that the process could just stall and fail.
Note: by doing this incremental add of “required components”
it is quite common that some of the managed components may be added to this
solution as you go. This could be the cause of a subsequent failure, so I
recommend that you remove managed components from this solution (or components
related to Activity Feeds which is unmanaged). That is, as long as you believe
your separate solution import of these managed components has created the
required components in the new org already.
Reports can also be problematic, so I recommend that you
leave Reports to their own solution, and leave these to the end after the main
solution has been imported successfully. The same can be true about plugins and
SDK message processing steps and processes. It is your call whether or not you
want to segregate these component types into their own incremental solution
import after the main one has been completed.
Leave the view as “Customizable” in
the Select Solution Components window but sort it by State showing the
unmanaged components first. There will be many web resources from Managed
solutions. It is OK to leave these out of the full backup copy solution. Some
of the unmanaged web resources (actually quite a few) will be from Activity
Feeds, and it is OK to leave these in. So I would say add all of the unmanaged
web resources here (but none of the managed ones). A simple click on top line
and shift-click on last unmanaged line should suffice.
It is OK to add both SiteMap and
Application Ribbons. Note: sometimes the Sitemap can cause problems – but for
now let’s assume adding the SiteMap will be fine. Note: this will typically
include references to managed entities so it is OK to say “No” to the required
components for this one.
It is OK to add all options sets here.
Finally we come to the big one. There
will already be some entities added to the solution from previous steps where
you answered “Yes” to required components. When you click Add Existing, the
default view is Customizable. In my example of doing this process I can see 128
“remaining” entities in the Customizable view, and in the All view I can see
145 remaining entities. It is best to use the All view just in case. Note: the
“remaining” entities that show in the list are the ones that have not already
been added to the full backup copy solution. Sort the list by State and first
add just the remaining unmanaged entities and say “Yes” to the required
components message. Next sort the remaining managed entities (there should ONLY
be managed entities left) by schema name. The ones with prefixes are from
outside the base CRM schema. So just bring in the rest of the base CRM managed
entities now. Say “Yes” to the required components message.
At the end of this process, you still want to remove the
entities from the 3rd party publisher solutions that are managed. Do
this by sorting the entities that are in the solution by State and schema name (click
on State column header, then shift-click on Schema Name column header). Prefixes
in schema name (like cdi_ or msdyn_) indicate 3rd party publisher
managed components. These can be safely removed from the full backup copy solution.
I hope this detailed explanation of the step by step
approach to building a new sandbox copy of your existing production org will be
helpful and will save you time.
For more information on this blog or C5 Insight, Contact Us.
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