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Microsoft CRM 2011: The Consumerization of Business IT

There's a great article over on Mary-Jo Foley's "All About Microsoft" blog on ZDNET that talks about some of the things that Microsoft has done differently with the release of CRM 2011. Microsoft has learned some lessons over the last few years since launching CRM Online, and they've adapted their approach to this release to match those lessons and the trends in the marketplace.

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Chatter Super Bowl Commercials: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Salesforce debuted two Chatter commercials during halftime of the Super Bowl last night. The buzz leading up to the big game was pretty intense ... with most of us pretty excited (albeit surprised) at the idea of the $3 million dollar ad spots. If you missed them, click here and then here to check them out. So how did the ads fare? Let's break it down ... The Good: If you’ve used Chatter before, you know that the product itself is great. If you’ve used Chatter before, you know that the commercia ...

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Internet Explorer 9, CRM 4.0 and CRM 2011

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The beta of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) is now available and I was trying it out both of the most recent versions of Dynamics CRM – it is definitely worth taking the time to download the free upgrade.

WARNING: Internet Explorer is in Beta right now - I do not recommend upgrading your browser until it is in full release (see notes at the bottom of this entry for more information).

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Administrator’s Crash Course in PowerShell 2.0 E-Book

While doing some testing and research with PowerShell the other day, I came across a great free 4-part Crash Course e-book from Don Jones on PowerShell v2.0.  You can find it here.  You will need to create an account on the site, but it’s free.  Check it out!

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Changes Not Saved to SharePoint 2010 "Activities I am Following" Edit Profile Page

Recently, one of my colleagues came to me with an issue he was having with SharePoint.  After making sure it wasn't friendly "user error", I determined this to actually be a bug in SharePoint 2010 RTM.  Here's the issue:

On your SharePoint 2010 RTM farm, go to your My Site Profile page, and edit it.  You are able to change the "Activities I am following" once, and save.  But when you do it again, save and double-check, the change was not saved.  What gives?! 

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Getting More Real Estate on Your CRM 2011 Screen

The ribbon menu in Dynamics CRM 2011 is a very popular new addition. This puts many function of the application within reach of all users and presents an interface similar to other Microsoft Office products – resulting in a shorter learning curve.  But it does have one drawback … the ribbon takes up quite a bit of real estate on the screen and users often would like to have that space in order to see more of their form or list. Read on for some options for expanding the available real estate on the Dynamics CRM web forms.

SNAGHTML271cc50

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Solution: Can't create new attributes after changing domain name

A client of ours recently reported that they could no longer create custom attributes to an entity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. They received a generic "An error has occured" error message when the CRM administrator tried to do this.

After some investigation, we disocvered that they had changed the name of their network's local domain to reflect a change in their company's name. Their network folks went through all the proper processes to implement the change in the Active Directory domain name - except when it came to CRM.

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“The list cannot be displayed in datasheet view” Error on SharePoint 2010

I recently came across this and wanted to be sure everyone is aware of this limitation.  With the new release of Office 2010 including 64-bit support, there has been some confusion about which version to install.  Microsoft has been clear in their recommendation:

  1. Install the 32-bit version for most needs to maintain ActiveX control compatibility and other tools
  2. Install the 64-bit version if you use Excel spreadsheets 2 GB in size 

For whatever reason, say you installed Office 2010 64-bit on your machine, and you happily go to your shiny SharePoint 2010 site (or WSS/MOSS), open up a list, and hit Datasheet View.  To your surprise, you see this:

The list cannot be displayed in Datasheet view

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Don't Use Spaces When Naming Things in SharePoint

You know who you are out there.  We've all done it, because it’s such an easy thing to fall into.  You're just happy as a clam with your shiny new SharePoint site, and you're all ready to create some content.  First up, a document library.  We love our shared documents, right?  Well, how many times after awhile do you find yourself emailing links to files like:

http://intranet/Shared%20Documents/June%20Assessment/Rev2%20Standard%20Quote%20for%20client.xls

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Dynamics CRM 2011’s Awe Inspiring Excel Export and Import Capabilities

Have you ever been working in CRM and wish you had a way to quickly create (or update) a bunch of records just like you can in Excel?  In many cases individuals just starting to use CRM are more comfortable with Excel spreadsheets and find that, while CRM offers many benefits over Excel, entering and updating records using Dynamics CRM can feel like it is slowing them down.

With Dynamics CRM 2011, Microsoft has rolled out significant enhancements for exporting and importing Excel data that makes data entry in Microsoft Excel a simple process for any user.  Read on to understand how this functionality is designed and how to put it to use!

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Final Word on the Fab 40 Templates for SharePoint 2010

So we’ve all been waiting, and waiting, and waiting to hear from Microsoft about the fate of the “fab 40” templates for SharePoint 2010.  Well, they finally have made a decision.  You’re not going to like it.  Read the full details

The bottom line from the article:

Microsoft is not releasing new versions of these templates for SharePoint 2010 Products.

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Quick Tip for Uploading Multiple Files to SharePoint 2010 Picture Library

SharePoint 2010 is great at many things, and one of the new integrations with Office 2010 is with uploading multiple pictures to a picture library using the Office Picture Manager. 

Say you you’ve got a bunch of logos you want to get into your new fancy 2010 picture library.  You would click Upload –> Upload Multiple Pictures right?

SharePoint 2010 Upload Multiple Files

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A Quick Look at OData

SharePoint 2010 and the upcoming Dynamics CRM 2011 are two of Microsoft's premier products that are leveraging the new Open Data protocol,or OData. At C5 Insight, we focus on SharePoint and CRM, so we're excited about diving into OData and finding ways to use it to enhance our clients' investments in these systems.

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Download the CRM 2011 Beta Now!

The download for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Beta is now available from the Microsoft Downloads site:

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CRM 2011 Beta Forum

The CRM 2011 beta is nearly here - just days, or perhaps hours, away. But the official forum for beta questions and feedback is already live:

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Microsoft CRM 2011 and Azure

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 soon to hit public beta release, there's more and more buzz about Microsoft's push into the cloud. Microsoft has been offering CRM as a cloud-based subscription service for several years now, but its restrictions on server-side plug-ins has lessened its appeal to developers and organizations with complex business requirements.

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CRM 4.0 Custom Page Edit Grid

In CRM some times you need to add custom pages to add functionality that does not natively exists.  Here is an example of a product edit grid iframed in the opportunity entity

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Opening PDFs in SharePoint 2010

In SharePoint 2010, you may have noticed a bit of interesting behavior when trying to open a PDF file; we certainly did.  In fact, I’m surprised more people have not come across this in their 2010 environments, or perhaps the users simply thought this was the appropriate behavior and didn’t want to inform IT.

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SharePoint Dialog "Lightbox" Usage and Tricks

If you have spent any amount of time with SharePoint 2010, you have seen the “lightbox” feature which allows the SharePoint user to remain on the same page, providing a pop-up dialog box, while dimming the background – very Web 2.0!

SharePoint 2010 Lightbox

This “lightbox” dialog can be enabled/disabled within any list in the Advanced Settings.

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How to Re-Create Default Security Groups in Multi-Tenant SharePoint 2010 Environment

If you’ve been dabbling in SharePoint 2010's new hosting (multi-tenant) environment and been creating host-named site collections, you have may noticed that the default SharePoint security groups typically created by default are not there in the root web.  These include:

Members

Owners

Visitors

These are created by the SharePoint API, and apparently isn’t called properly when host-named site collections are created through PowerShell in a multi-tenant environment.  This ONLY happens in a multi-tenant environment.  Even if you create the host-named site collections through PowerShell in a non-hosted environment, the first time you visit the site, you might be prompted to choose the site template and to create the default security groups.

So how do we get them back without creating them manually?  Read on...

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Bulk Edit Campaign Responses

Bulk editing records in Dynamics CRM can be a huge time saver.  But how to bulk edit Activity records and, in particular, those pesky Campaign Responses?  Responses typically need to be managed in bulk, but accessing this functionality is not a simple for these records as it is for other types.  Fortunately, it's just a couple of extra steps to bulk edit your Campaign Responses.  Read the full article for the scoop...

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Change Tag Spelling and Capitalization in SharePoint 2010

The ability to tag EVERYTHING in SharePoint 2010 is one of my favorite features. 

But, if you’re like me, you sometimes create a personal or enterprise tag hastily. And you know what they say about haste … you end up with typographical errors or inconsistent capitalization.

And, if you’re like me, it REALLY bugs you to see all of those inconsistencies in your terms.

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Enabling Adobe PDF in SharePoint 2010

Adobe PDF Icon 50x50This morning I had the task of getting PDF indexing to work in search on our new SharePoint 2010 installations.  There are various existing blogs out there, so I thought I would combine what I used into one place.

The majority of the steps to get this working are documented here at Nick Gratten’s SharePoint blog.

You will also need the adobe PDF small icon.  The best place is to get directly from adobe here.  Download the 17x17 small icon.

If you are copying the files from another UNC file server (say from your 2007 server) onto Server 2008 (or R2), Explorer might block the files to protect you from yourself.  Right click the file, click properties, and make sure you don’t have the option to unblock.  If you do, click Unblock. 

There have been discussions around if this works on SharePoint 2010 Foundation.  While officially I’ve seen where it’s said it is not supported, there are apparently workarounds. 

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Thanks to UR9 - You can update CRM data using Excel!

When CRM 4.0 was first released you could update CRM data via the Import wizard. But then, for no apparent reason, they took this feature away with UR1.

Well, they've added it back, apparently with Update Rollup 9.  Read full blog for additional information...

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CRM 2011: Breakthrough Functionality

It's the week after Microsoft unveiled Dynamics CRM 2011 at the Worldwide partner conference and my head is still spinning from all of the great new features and strategic improvements that will be coming soon. Read on to learn about a small number of the most powerful additions you can expect to see in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

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Blog Topics

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CPR for CRM Study

The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.

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SharePoint Readiness Assessment

This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.

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CRM Self Assessment

Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.

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SharePoint Feedback Solution

This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.

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SharePoint Upgrade Checklist

Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.