Keeping Track of Public Queues with a Vista Gadget

Way back when CRM 1.0 came out, we embraced email enabled queues as a key responding to our clients support requests. By replacing an email distribution list with a queue we eliminated the problems we often had where two or more people would start responding to an issue at the same time. Now the first person that can work on the issue takes it off of the queue. However queues introduced a new problem for us. When we used a distribution group everyone knew about the problem immediately. With queues we had to remember to go check the queue regularly … Continue reading Keeping Track of Public Queues with a Vista Gadget

Outlook Hanging with CRM

One of the reasons I have not been posting in a while is that we have been very busy trying to resolve some lingering issues at one of our CRM installations. We have been working with Microsoft over the past 6 months trying to clear up some Outlook performance issues as well as some related email issues when using the CRM Address Book provider. It has taken a long time to isolate the issues and frankly my commitment to the Dynamics CRM platform was shaken for quite some time. I think Microsoft if is paying attention and being dillegent is … Continue reading Outlook Hanging with CRM

DST Changes for CRM

This just in. Microsoft has released its Daylight Savings Time update strategy for Microsoft CRM. If you thought you were all ready for the DST change that is happening in the US on Sunday March 11, 2007 think again!  Give yourself time to digest the 27 page document explaining how to make the changes to the system and data. You can dowlnoad the necessary files here.  

Using Group Policy to control preferences on the CRM Outlook Client

I’ve been struggling with how to standardize synchronization settings for the CRM Outlook clients at one of my customer sites. After playing around with scripts I decided to take a look at Group Policy. I am not expert on Group Policy but I was able to find some great guidance in Group Policy, Profiles, and Intellimirror for Windows 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 by Jeremy Moskowitz (Sybex Press). After reading up a bit on creating custom Group Policy templates I decided to give it a try. The result is a basic template that allows an administrator to standardize the … Continue reading Using Group Policy to control preferences on the CRM Outlook Client

What drives activity visibility in MS CRM?

I've been doing a deep dive into the effects of the security model. I recently noticed that the UI does not support sharing of activities to users or teams. This came as an unfortunate surprise because I was planning on "sharing" to be my way out of a tricky situation concerning visibility of activities between business units. Imagine a scenario with three business units: Executive, Finance, and Staff where Executive is the parent business unit to both Finance and Staff. The security roles in use all allow organizational read for accounts and contacts but only deep read access for activities. … Continue reading What drives activity visibility in MS CRM?

Recurring Service Cases

We recently updated our CRM solution for automatically creating recurring service cases. We use recurring service cases to automatically schedule items for our customers that have signed up for managed services or that are under some form of retainer.   I originally implemented this in CRM 1.2 using CRM using special products in our CRM product catalog to represent each service offering. For example we had a product item the corresponded to Server Patch Management and another that corresponded to UPS system check, etc. Each product was related to a maintenance item that was defined in an XML configuration file. … Continue reading Recurring Service Cases

Gathering Data From Public Web Forms

We have been working on a project that requires harvesting data from a public facing web form. This is a pretty basic request but in the past we’ve only been asked to do this for lead capture and we have generally specified using the C360 web capture tool as a very effective tool for capturing lead data and either relating it to an existing contact or lead or creating a new lead. However with this project we have to capture data that updates an existing contact or creates a new contact (C360 currently doesn’t support this). We also have to … Continue reading Gathering Data From Public Web Forms

Minor CRM Gripes

There are not many things that I don’t like about MS CRM 3.0. But one item has recently jumped to the top of the list: Email support for custom entities. I can understand the difficulty in figuring out how to use an email address field in a custom entity to actually create and send an email. What I can’t understand is why I can’t create email templates for custom entities. I can create email templates for other record types in CRM that don’t represent people (e.g. orders, quotes, service cases.) I should be able to create email templates for my … Continue reading Minor CRM Gripes

Migrating Act! to CRM with the new CRM Data Migration Framework

We just completed a data migration from Act! 6.0 to Microsoft CRM 3.0. Rather than use a third party migration tool like Scribe we decided to use the recently released Microsoft CRM Data Migration Framework (DMF). The primary reason we opted to use the DMF was that the data in Act was very “dirty”. Specifically each record in Act might actually represent anywhere from 1 to 5 individuals with the names and contact information for the secondary “individuals” on each record separated by various delimiters. I don’t know that Scribe couldn’t do it but I had a feeling it would … Continue reading Migrating Act! to CRM with the new CRM Data Migration Framework