Importing CRM 4.0 Organization into CRM 2011

The other day I blogged about Installing CRM 2011 RC On-Premise. Last night I decided to add some data to my initial test installation by importing my production CRM 4.0 data into my test CRM 2011 deployment. I was also curious as to how easy it would be to add version 4.0 data to 2011. In version 4.0 one is able to Import Organization and add a CRM organization from another deployment to an existing deployment (best to be running the Enterprise edition to do this). This is done using the Deployment Manager on the CRM server. CRM 2011 also has the Deployment Manager.

The Deployment Manager is installed on the CRM server when CRM is installed. The Active Directory user who installs CRM is automatically made a Deployment Administrator. There must be at least one Deployment Administrator and you can add others as you require. Deployment Administrators typically do not need to be users in the CRM. They can be any network user in your Active Directory. I’ve highlighted typically for a reason as you’ll see as we progress. If you are running the Enterprise version of CRM 4.0 you can have multiple organizations. In CRM 2011 this is available in the standard server version, but not the Workgroup Edition. New organizations can be created using the Deployment Manager, or existing organization databases can be imported. My goal was to see if I could import my CRM 4.0 data into a new organization in CRM 2011.

The first step was to make a backup of my CRM 4.0 SQL data using the SQL Server Management Studio. I won’t go into details of that process here but leave that up to you. Then I copied the backup file (only the OrganizationName_MSCRM database is needed) over to my CRM 2011 server and used Restore Database add the database to the new server.

On the CRM server I started Deployment Manager, selected Organizations from the navigation pane, and selected Import Organization. I was prompted for the SQL server and the CRM database to import. Actually my deployment was smart enough to default to the SQL server for my CRM 2011 test deployment and the CRM database I’d just restored. I’ll not detail the steps necessary to run the import. The wizard walks you through everything. I did get a few warnings from the Environment Diagnostic Wizard though, mainly having to do with, I believe, the differences between my v4.0 and 2011 environments. One had to do with the language packs. Perhaps it would be best to disable or even uninstall any language packs before making your CRM 4.0 SQL backup.

Part of the import process links users in the imported database with users in your Active Directory. This allows one to import an organization from a completely foreign domain. I kept receiving an error that at least one user had to be assigned the System Administrator role (“You must map your Active Directory user account to at least one enabled Microsoft Dynamics CRM user who has the System Administrator role before the organization can be imported”). Long story made short, the Administrator account in my CRM 4.0 deployment was a System Administrator but was assigned the Restricted Access Mode. I changed this to remove the Restricted Access Mode (actually a hold over from v3.0) and made sure the license Access Mode was set to Full. I then backed up my CRM 4.0 SQL data and restored it again on my CRM 2011 server. This time the import process sailed through the user phase.

After getting my users to match, I figured it would be a quick process to complete the importation. Not so! The process took an amazing amount of time preparing the database for import and appeared to hang on the ‘Delete completed old asyncoperation records’ stage. This alone took almost 3 hours! I received a tip via Twitter from @ccellar suggesting I clean up the asyncoperationbase table before doing an import and supplied a link to a KB on the process. Thanks, Christoph. I’ll blog about that when I do my next test import.

Once the asyncoperation phase was completed, the import went along much quicker, though it did still take a while and I went to bed way before it finished.  But it did complete and now I have my CRM 4.0 database nicely restored and running in my test CRM 2011 deployment. I’ll go though this again for practice, removing the language packs (well at least disabling), and taking care of the asyncoperationbase table. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Installing CRM 2011 RC On-Premise

Today was the Release To Web (RTW) of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 On Line. The Global Launch will be this Thursday with a keynote by Steve Ballmer. I took this occasion to install the CRM 2011 On-Premise (meaning you get a CD or whatever and load it on your own server) Release Candidate (RC) on my test machine. Actually it took me most of the weekend, not to just install CRM, but to set up my server. I’m using a swap out hard drive on my day to day notebook, a Dell Latitude D830, as my test machine. I’ve loaded Windows Server 2008 R2 as the base operating system and have created a Hyper-V virtual machine for CRM. This is the same environment I used to work with the pre-beta releases for the last year or so.

The Hyper-V virtual machine is also loaded with Windows Server 2008 R2. My original version of SQL 2008 that I had used with the earlier betas didn’t work when I decided to reconfigure the virtual machine from being its own domain controller and make it a member of my production domain. When I did this, I wasn’t able to access the SQL server as the Administrator (from the old domain) no longer existed. So I had to uninstall and reinstall SQL. I had major problems trying to install SQL 2008 and eventually downloaded and installed SQL 2008 R2 which went much better.

Once SQL was reinstalled I was finally ready to install CRM 2011. I had previously downloaded all the installation files. Of course CRM 2011 requires a 64 bit server as well as 64 bit SQL so the only server install files are 64 bit. The downloaded install file, when run, expands to provide all the installation folders, etc. I then found and ran the ServerSetup.exe which started the install process. The install was pretty straight forward. I did encounter some issues with IIS not properly restarting a couple of times though. I manually restarted the IISAdmin service and clicked Ignore on the installation dialog box. The installation continued to completion.

The actual install of CRM, once all the installation dialog boxes had been responded to, took about an hour. So don’t be in a big hurry when you do yours. Once CRM was installed, I was then prompted to run the SSRS Reporting Extensions which basically published all the CRM reports to the SQL Reporting Services. I was then prompted to restart my server.

Once installed CRM took a bit to come up the first time. Also, I had to make adjustments to the security settings of Internet Explorer to accommodate CRM, just like in previous versions.

Once I had the initial Release Candidate installed, I went to Windows Update. Much to my delight (but not surprise since I’d already heard about it) the CRM RC1 update was available to me to download and install. It was a 60+ MB file but downloaded and installed without a hitch. Another reboot was required and I was up and running.

I’m looking forward to playing with this test environment prior to upgrading my production system to CRM 2011.