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.