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Cleaning Up Your Outlook After Microsoft CRM Go-Live

Are you seeing duplicate contact records in your Outlook?  Has your company recently implemented Microsoft CRM?  Here are some quick and easy steps to remove the duplicate records.

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Fixing Duplicate Detection Pop Ups

Duplicate Detected Pop Up in Dynamics CRM 4 Duplicate Detection is a great feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. But it can also be a pain. Do your users complain that whenever they convert a lead, they get a duplicate record alert when trying to save the contact - and the alert continues to pop up on all future saves? Good news - there is a pretty simple fix for this problem.

Read on for more information on this issue and how to fix it.

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SharePoint 2010 Ignite Virtual Training – Day 5: Business Connectivity Services (BCS)

Many of you may be familiar with the Business Data Catalog (BDC) feature of MOSS 2007 that allowed for the integration of SharePoint with various line-of-business (LOB) systems on a read-only basis.  In SharePoint 2010, the BDC has become the BCS – Business Connectivity Services.  The BCS has it’s own dedicated database and runs as it’s own service application (as do many of the other services in SharePoint 2010) that can be enabled at the Web Application level.

With Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 capabilities, people are now empowered with read and write access to LOB applications and external data sources (such as SQL, Oracle, SAP, CRM, Siebel, Web services, and custom applications), whether they are online or offline.  An entire site can be taken offline by using Microsoft Office Workspace and then users can resynchronize when they’re reconnected to the network.

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SharePoint 2010 Ignite Virtual Training – Day 4: “Search Gone Social”

There are many new improvements to Search within SharePoint 2010 including the new FAST Search application which further extends the out-of-box SharePoint search capability.  One exciting new FAST feature is “Visual Best Bets” within your search results.  Visual best bets show you a thumbnail image of each document found in the search results.  For certain file types such as PowerPoint, it even goes as far as allowing you to scroll through a PowerPoint presentation all while staying within your search results page.  Very impressive!

SharePoint 2010 Search Visual Best Bets

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Worldwide CRM Star-Power

The CRM team had excellent turnout this year, with CRM MVPs coming from as far away as Pakistan and Australia. We've spent a lot of time sharing knowledge and stories. It's been a great learning opportunity, and has once again renewed my passion for communicating the benefits of CRM. Below is a group shot with most of the CRM MVPs who were in attendance.

CRM MVPs at the 2010 Summit in Redmon

SharePoint 2010 Ignite Virtual Training – Day 3: SharePoint Designer 2010

WOW!  That is my first impression of seeing SharePoint Designer 2010 demonstrated in today’s ignite training.  It is absolutely revolutionary!

The instructor basically called the product a complete re-write over the previous 2007 version and you will easily see why. 

You can now connect to SharePoint Designer through the ribbon directly from your SharePoint 2010 site, or you can open the site directly in the client. 

SharePoint Designer 2010

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SharePoint 2010 Ignite Virtual Training - Day 2: Windows PowerShell

During today’s SharePoint 2010 Ignite training, it was apparent that Microsoft is now turning to Windows PowerShell as the primary command line tool for interaction with SharePoint. 

I learned about many of the advantages that are obtained by utilizing the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell to script administrative tasks in SharePoint Server 2010. Windows PowerShell cmdlets go far beyond the capabilities of previous command-line tools such as STSADM.  Windows PowerShell is not a replacement for STSADM, but it certainly seems to be more flexible and powerful.

The Hands-On labs gave me a test drive into the following areas:

  • How to use Windows PowerShell scripting techniques, such as pipes, filters, wildcards, and enumerations, for SharePoint Server 2010 administration.

  • How to assign variables and use the SharePoint object model from Windows PowerShell.

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SharePoint 2010 Ignite Virtual Training - Day 1: SharePoint 2010 Overview

This week I have the privilege of attending Microsoft’s SharePoint 2010 Ignite Virtual training course.  SharePoint 2010 Ignite is deep technical training for SharePoint 2007 professionals who are looking to upgrade their skills to the new version of SharePoint.  I am excited to learn more about the new features and functionalities of SharePoint Server 2010.

The first day included an overview of the following:

  • New User Interface (the Ribbon)
  • Architectural Changes
  • Introduction to the new Service Application model (no more Shared Service Provider - SSP)
  • Business Continuity Management

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Getting ready for the MVP Summit!

As a four-time recipient of the MVP award from Microsoft, one of my favorite benefits of the MVP program is the chance to visit the "mother ship" every year to meet with my peers and the developers who work on the CRM team. Next week, the Summit will take place in Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle, and I'm looking forward to it! I wasn't able to make it to last year's Summit due to some project deadlines at the time, so I'm excited about reconnecting with some of the other CRM geeks, meeting some of ...

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Demo Dynamics CRM, SharePoint and Salesforce.com

Looking for a fast way to get a demonstration of Dynamics CRM, Microsoft SharePoint or Salesforce.com?  A new site: demos.c5insight.com has been setup for just this purpose.  You'll find a variety of demos on the site for different types of users including:

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Deleting SharePoint Subsites

During a recent information architecture project for a client who was migrating data from a single site collection to thirteen site collections, I realized that I would need to delete one of the subsites contained within the original site collection.  It would have been nice and simple if I just needed to delete the site collection, but unfortunately this was not the case.  The problem was the overwhelming number of sites that needed to be deleted.  We all love using the stsadm command line tool, but one shortfall is that you cannot delete a site that contains a subsite.  In the past I have bit the bullet and deleted sites, one at at time, using the stsadm –o deleteweb command, but I did not have the time or patience for that in this situation. 

 After doing some online research I found the answer I was looking for; there “IS” a better way to delete sites in SharePoint

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Reconstructing "My SharePoint Sites" After a Migration

Our team recently finished a significant enterprise MOSS farm migration from a  single-server installation to a multi-server farm topology.  Once the new farm was architected and constructed, the migration went as smoothly as it could have, with no major obstacles.  However, as a day or two passed, a few of the end users began to notice a strange occurrence.

This particular client is a heavy user of the My Sites and My Links functionality.  During the migration, we used the User Profile Replication Engine, which is just one component of the SharePoint Administration Toolkit.  This allowed us to migrate user profiles, and more importantly, specific user profile properties.  The primary reason for this was to avoid an SSP migration, which is where the actual “My Links” are stored. 

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AllThingsCRM.com

There's a great online resource out there for those who are interested in getting more out of Salesforce.com (and out of CRM in general).  What I like about it is that it focuses on generalized CRM principles - not just technical "how to" articles for a specific CRM technology.  Read more for some quick recommended articles...

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Microsoft CRM on Your iPhone, Blackberry or Windows Mobile

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Dynamics CRM 4.0 Mobile Express Review

I love the recently released Mobile Express for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.  It has been a long time in coming, but the wait has been worth it.  Read on for the best features ...

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Salesforce.com Chatter API

Announced only a couple days ago, Salesforce.com has plans to release Chatter.  Chatter is a new enterprise social engine.  I like to think of it as a combination of IM and RSS feeds into a single platform that's security controlled and handled inside the Salesforce.com Cloud.  So, it's more secure and allows the organization to communicate freely internally without risking exposure of confidential information. Developers are going to like the new Chatter API.  On the surface ...

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Batch APEX

What is Batch APEX?

Batch APEX is a way to run code in a batch in Salesforce.com.  It can be scheduled or called to run asynchronously.  Batch APEX has three primary asynchronous methods: Start(), Execute(), and Finish() that handle all of the processing in the batch. 

Batch APEX also provides a way to query the status of a Batch using both Visual Force an in the UI in Setup.  It's a great way to handle mass data updates of up to 50 million records at a time. 

Updates from DreamForce 2009 - The Bulk API

Have you ever had to move a lot data into Salesforce really fast? Well, unfortunately, I think a lot of us have been in that situation and the store in the past wasn't all that great. When I first started working with Salesforce, I wrote an API tool that would replicate the entire Salesforce object structure on SQL Server with picklists.  It was a pretty cool application.  I later extended it to bring down all the data as well, but was really disappointed when I realized ...

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Salesforce.com - a new UI????

Announced at Dreamforce is a new UI for Salesforce! This new UI will of course be optional, but addresses a number of issues with the current UI.  What I've seen so far is impressive.  It definately looks cleaner and does a better job of presenting data to the user.  One of my favorite features was an enhancement to add a few indicators at the top of the opportunity (I'm hoping it will be available for all objects) to show the most important data about that record.& ...

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Dream Force - Sales Cloud 2

So, what's new in the Service Cloud 2? Well, a lot of things are new, but I thought the big ones  are the Real Time Quoting, Salesforce for Outlook, and especially the new Report Builder.  Let's not forget Chatter which I'll touch on later. Salesforce released in Winter '09 the Real Time Quoting functionality that allows organizations to build a quote from an opportunity, print as a PDF and send along with other packaged content to the customer via email.  Very nice feature a ...

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Dream Force 2009 - The Service Cloud 2

So what's new in the Salesforce Service Cloud 2? Well, for starters I was really surprised by the statistic quoted by Salesforce that 55% of the market is held by thier very own Service Cloud!  That's huge, but then who would doubt that was the case with a solid platform such as Salesforce? There are a number of great features that have been in the Service Cloud for some time such as the CTI screen pops, integrations with Google Maps, etc., but this year, they really blew the wheels of ...

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DreamForce 2009

Wow!  That word hardly describes the DreamForce event this year.  SalesForce really did it up nice, although the food could have had a few more selections.  SalesForce has finally passed the $1B mark in sales and it was clear by the attendance (19,000!!!!) that they've garnered a lot of support by businesses both large and small.  I thought for sure the economy would have had a bigger impact on the event, and maybe it did, but attendance was exceptional regardless.  One ...

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What is all the Chatter about?

In short, Chatter is a social networking application that is built into Salesforce.com.  It is structured to be an "internal social networking" application but can also be easily linked to public facing social networking sites.  Some of the highlights: It can work very similarly to Facebook.com - you can post comments to the site and others in the organization can view the comments that their friends post. Visually, it looks similar to a Facebook page. Individuals can add ...

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Redirecting HTTP Traffic to HTTPS in SharePoint

Recently, we deployed a large project for a multinational corporation and an interesting situation arose during the process.  The SharePoint portal for this particular client was accessible externally (outside of their corporate network).  This allowed users to access the sites worldwide without having to use a VPN to connect to the corporate network.  This is not uncommon in the SharePoint world, and we have implemented and configured a fair number of Extranet portals over the years.

This particular project was very document-centric (as are many in SharePoint), with multiple workflows for approval, updating, publishing, etc.  Because of this, the Microsoft Word client was heavily used in the application, and seamless client integration was a critical important requirement. 

 During beta testing, we discovered two strange occurrences:

1) Emails generated by the automated task creation (for document approval) had a mixture of URLs with http and https.

2) When opening a document for editing/approval, the user sometimes received an error that he/she could not approve or edit the task associated with the document.

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SharePoint Footers Made Simple

Have you ever spent hours tweaking your site footer in the SharePoint master page so that it stays at the bottom of your site, only to find out that when you view it in another browser or screen resolution it jumps back up the page?  That’s frustrating to say the least! 

In order to fulfill a client requirement on their SharePoint site, I needed to figure out how to accomplish this on a tight deadline.  I found a site that provided the perfect solution to my issue.  Ryan Fait shows how simple it is to make a “sticky footer”.  It works with just a few simple CSS classes and simple HTML markup. 

The solution has been tested in IE 5 and up, Firefox, Safari and Opera.  It basically counts a negative value from the bottom of your page and sets the footer on top of it.  The solution was easy to implement, worked perfectly, and satisfied the client!  Thanks Ryan Fait

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October Cumulative Update for WSS v3 and MOSS 2007

The October Cumulative Update (CU) for WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 was released on October 27th.

Every two months, Microsoft tries to release updates to the Office product line, including WSS and MOSS.  The latest release addresses various issues across the board.  Microsoft and the SharePoint product team does a good job with communicating the changes, so I have included the links to “what has been fixed” as well as a post by Joerg Sinemus detailing the installation procedure for the October CU.

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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.