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Matt Wittemann's Articles

Disable All Fields in a Section Based on the Value of Another Field (CRM 2011)

There are SDK and web examples of how to disable or hide an entire tab on a form in Microsoft CRM 2011, but I was unable to find an example of how to just disable all the fields in a given section on the form based on the selection of a boolean option ("Two Option" field). The scenario is useful if, for example, you want to disable data entry in the fields of a section under certain conditions, but you want to still display the disabled fields (rather than change their v ...

CRM 2011 Outlook Client Tracing 101

Have you run into a problem with the Outlook client and someone suggested, “Hey, turn on tracing and let me know what you find”? Gee, thanks. That’s helpful, right? Here’s what you need to know about tracing for the Outlook client: What is tracing? Tracing is a way to gather a list of the information passed back and forth between a program and a computer. For the CRM Outlook client, tracing will show a chronological, readable play-by-play of what the add-in is trying to do, inc ...

Working with Views in Dynamics CRM 2011

[NOTE: This blog is the first in a series on working with views in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.] Microsoft has continued its focus on improving the user experience in its new release of the software by incorporating a number of new features for users and administrators to make configuring, using and administering views easier and more powerful. Based on some recent demos we’ve done for clients, I’m putting together a few blog posts to examine some of these improvements. The first of these posts ...

Join us at Decisions Spring 2011 (Virtual Conference)

I'll be presenting a session for CRM administrators at the upcoming Decisions Spring 2011 virtual conference on June 17, hosted by What CRM Administrators Need to Know About CRM 2011. I'll cover the most important technical considerations that administrators need to be familiar with when considering implementing or upgrading to CRM 2011. has been hosting these semiannual events for a couple of years now, and they are tremendous, ...

Released: Update Rollup 1 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Microsoft has released the first Update Rollup for CRM 2011. The knowledgebase article is located here, and the rollup can be download here. (Note that there are separate downloads for the server, clients, BIDS extension, E-mail Router, and SRS Data Extension.)

This update rollup includes fixes for a number of items as the KB article details. In particular, there are a few fixes that I've been looking for:

Getting a value from a Lookup field - the Xrm.Page way

CRM 2011 introduced a new page model for JScript and it has thrown some people for a bit of a loop because it is so different from the model in CRM 4.0. The SDK has a lot of examples, but they are often over-kill when you're just trying to figure things out. As a simple example to get started, let's say that you just want to get the GUID from a lookup field on a form. First, create a web resource with the following JScript function and then call the web resource and the function from y ...

Upgrade Paths for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

You may have heard that Dynamics CRM 2011 requires 64-bit architecture. This is true and is giving some folks some heartburn when they start to think about upgrading their CRM 4.0 deployments, many of which are still living in a 32-bit world.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Released for On-Premise Installation

The hits are coming fast and furious this morning. I previously blogged about the release of the Implementation Guide for CRM 2011, and only minutes later had to update the post to account for the release of the SDK

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 SDK, Implementation Guide & Planning Tools Now Available

Microsoft has released the SDK (Software Development Kit), Implementation Guide (IG), and Planning Tools for Dynamics CRM 2011. These tools are indispensable references that cover customizing and extending CRM, system architecture, process design, installation of the CRM server and related components, and much more. The SDK is available here. The IG and Planning Tools are available for download here.

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.

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.

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.

Download the CRM 2011 Beta Now!

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

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:

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.

CRM Add-on for Outlook 2010 Prettied Up by Update Rollup 11

 just had the chance to install Update Rollup 11 for the Microsoft CRM Outlook client. (The update rollup is available here.) I use Outlook 2010 which Microsoft released just about a month ago (love it BTW), and this latest update rollup made a nice improvement in how Outlook 2010 displays the CRM add-in. Prior to this update, the add-in was displayed on a separate "Add-ins" tab on the Outlook ribbon.

Workflow Rules Based on Due Dates

This article describes how to use the workflow in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 to trigger an action based on a date field in a CRM record.

Quick Tip: Re-Using Data Maps in Data Migration Manager

When re-using data maps in Data Migration Manager, make sure the name of your source file is the same as the one you used when building the map

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

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 ...

Error When Upgrading CRM 3.0 to CRM 4.0: ImportDefaultDataAction failed

A couple of hours into an upgrade of CRM 3.0 to CRM 4.0, I got an obscure error that, at first, had me a little stressed out: Action Microsoft.Crm.Setup.Server.ImportDefaultDataAction failed. Entity with id 5f2e7ae7-d327-49b5-a343-61d48f1bcd28 already has the label Currency for the column LocalizedName and language 1033 - update entity with id 43bec19f-dafc-4e1f-b0a7-243907ca3db0 cannot have the same label -- Retry -- or -- Cancel -- I left the error message where it was (after clicking Retry ...

Removing Duplicate Records from CRM

After a recent migration, we had a number of duplicate account records in CRM. We were loading hundreds of thousands of records for performance testing, and then we wanted to continue to use the same database for integration development, so we wanted to clean up the data and get rid of duplicates to minimize errors with the integration. You can use the built-in Duplicate Detection to identify duplicate records, but this doesn't help you get rid of them - you would still have to manually merge or ...

Sample Subject Trees for Microsoft CRM

Even though I've written before about the concept of Subjects in CRM, it can sometimes be difficult for me to get my head around the best way to create a Subject tree for a given implementation. Subject trees help to categorize cases, knowledgebase articles and sales literature in CRM, so you want them to be relevant. 

Role-Tailored Dashboards

 Most organizations with CRM will eventually want to have some kind of dashboards to help their employees focus on the KPIs and CRM lists that are important to them. Creating the dashboards themselves is outside the scope of this article, but there are a variety of ways to build them, from the popular SharePoint dashboards with PerformancePoint analytics, to custom webpages with embedded gauges and reports. The result should look like this: 3) Now add two custom entities. I've added one c ...

Filebrowser 2.0 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Back in 2007 I developed a solution to show Windows Explorer directories and folders inside an iframe on a CRM form. I blogged about it for the Microsoft CRM Team blog on MSDN. Filebrowser allows users to directly access files and folders in a shared directory from within CRM records. The files and folders are stored on a UNC share on your server, so they’re also accessible to non-CRM users. In addition, Filebrowser incorporated some client-side script to create and display context-sensitive fol ...

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