At C5 Insight, we use
ClickDimensions with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for our email marketing and marketing automation. Recently we decided to upgrade to the newest version of ClickDimensions to take advantage of their new features. Much to our surprise, many of our Lead Source picklist values in Dynamics CRM got changed during the upgrade. As you can imagine, this made us a little nervous. After some investigating, we discovered the problem and learned a little-known limitation of managed solutions in Dynamics CRM.

As we learned the hard way, when a managed solution adds a custom value to a base picklist field (like Lead Source or Status Reason), by default that same managed solution must include all of the original picklist values. The managed solution vendor does not have the ability to “only include the new value.” The whole option set must be packaged into the managed solution for import. Microsoft doesn’t allow a vendor to ship only the incremental values to add to the option set.
 
In our situation we had re-named several of the labels in the out-of-the-box picklist options for Lead Source and Status Reasons (mostly to extend the Disqualified reasons). As a result, when we imported the managed solution upgrade from Click Dimensions, it overwrote all of the default option set labels we had changed. The Lead Source original values and all of the Status Reason original values for (Open, Qualified and Disqualified statuses) were restored to their default labels. Needless to say it caused a bit of consternation on our part as we were previously unaware this would happen. Yes, we probably should have known...we're the experts! The way I see it, this was a learning opportunity and a reminder to pay careful attention to the smallest details.
 
Therefore we recommend following Microsoft's best practice, which is to avoid modifying the out-of-the-box values in a base option set. Rather, leave the original values as they are, or remove them if you don’t need them, and create new values in the option set to support your needs. This is recommended because out-of-the-box values will always be overwritten when you import a managed solution with that option set.
 
We also recommend asking your third-party solution vendors about this condition. Specifically, ask them which base option sets they incrementally update. In the case of Click Dimensions, their managed solution adds new values to the Lead Source option set and resets Lead Sources back to the default option sets included with out-of-the-box Dynamics CRM.
 
Basically, you have two choices when dealing with managed solutions in Dynamics CRM:

  • Option 1: Never “reuse” a base option set default value, delete the ones you don’t want, create new ones. When a managed solution upgrade occurs that changes default values back to original labels, go back and re-delete the default values you don’t need. The new ones you created will not be affected.
     
  •  Option 2: Reuse base option set default values by changing their labels; plus add new ones as need be. Keep a copy of your changes in your documentation knowing that you’ll have to remake the default label changes again after the managed solution import resets them back to their default labels.
By selecting and committing to one of these options, you will prevent issues with managed solutions in Dynamics CRM. 

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