Failure When Upgrading to The CRM 4.0 Outlook Client

If you’ve upgraded to Microsoft CRM 4.0 and your users lose their Microsoft CRM functionality in the Outlook client, try these steps to correct the problem:

  1. In Outlook, go to Tools -> Customize.
  2. Click the Toolbars tab.
  3. Remove the CRM tool bar listing.
  4. Click on each other toolbar listing and click Reset on each one.
  5. Click the Options tab and click the “Reset menu and toolbar usage data”.
  6. Close this box.
  7. Click Tools->Trust Center.
  8. Click Add-Ins in the left navigation bar.
  9. At the bottom of this screen, choose “COM Add-ins” then the “Go” button.
  10. Click on the CRM Dynamics item then click the “Remove”.
  11. Close Outlook.
  12. Open Outlook and verify that the CRM menu bar and task bar items are removed.
  13. Go to Tools->Trust Center.
  14. Click Add-Ins in the left navigation bar.
  15. At the bottom of this screen, choose “COM Add-ins” then the “Go” button.
  16. Click Add and add the CRM add-in back by navigating to the install location (by default this is C:Program FilesMicrosoft Dynamics CRMclientbincrm) and choose the file “crmaddin.dll”.

This has been the fix for all of our Microsoft CRM 3.0 clients that upgraded to Microsoft CRM 4.0!

DG
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

More Than 8 Tabs on a Microsoft CRM Form

Attempting to get the most use out of business unit or security role specific tabs usually depends on being able to manage a tab or in some cases a ‘section’ for each group. The main risk usually here is that A) It often gets confusing managing all the forms scripting when each business unit or security role has its own section or tab, and B) there is a limitation in Microsoft CRM 1.x, 3.0 and 4.0 (5.0 will likely be the same).

For those of you who are willing to take this risk, it’s important to understand that the following change is not supported by Microsoft, and when you upgrade from your current version (5.0 is right around the corner) below is a method for getting around the 8 tab per form limit. It is noteworthy to say that during the imminent upgrade, you will likely have to take the sections on tabs 9-x and for the purposes of your upgrade, you will have to take each section on your form and double click on it to temporarily move that section to a tab 1-8 (actually it’s 0-7), and post-upgrade you may be able to re-apply the below and still have more than 8 tabs.

One more thing, it has been noted by Dynamics design team that there was no noteworthy reason to have the 8 tab limitation, but just as noteworthy that your unsupported change will indeed cause issues if you do not reduce your max tabs down to 8 before attempting an upgrade.

In: C:Program FilesMicrosoft CRM ServerCRMWebToolsFormEditor find your formeditor.aspx and select “edit.” Find the JavaScript variable “_iMaxTabs” and notice that it is set to 8. Change the value to your desired limitation, save and close, reset IIS and you should then be able to create the additional tabs needed from within the forms customization area.

Happy CRM’ing!!!

MM
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

Customize Microsoft CRM 3.0 Tool Bar By Adding A Custom Button

After my last post, I had a few inquiries as to how to customize Microsoft CRM 3.0’s tool bar. So in this post I will walk through all the steps necessary to accomplish this.

I will use the “Quick Email” example/code from my last post. (Send Emails to Deactivated Leads Without Needing to Activate Them First)

High level steps:

  1. Add a new website for the button. We will create a website called QuickEmai. PLEASE NOTE: You can always add your web page created in the next step in the ISV directory. This post will show an alternative.
  2. Place the code inside an html page and place the html page in the QuickEmail directory/website.
  3. Edit the isv.config file to add the button to the Lead form Action Tool Bar

Add a new website:

Please NOTE: You can always install your web page in the ISV directory. However, we will create a directory; best to create it under C:InetpubCustom

Start IIS Manager (Internet Information Services Manager)

IIS Manager

Expand the node that is the Local Computer.

IIS Manager

Right click on “Web Sites” and create a new “web site”. This starts the Web Site creation wizard.

First screen asks you to enter a description.

Second one will ask you enter the port number. Choose a port number you know is not being used:

Web Site Creation Wizard

On the next screen put the full path to the directory we created in Inetpub. At this point if we had not created the directory, we can create it.

Web Site Creation Wizard

Browse For Folder

On the next screen if you are doing more than a read, then check other items. For example if you are going to run a script (such as ASP), then check “Run scripts” as well.

Web Site Creation Wizard

Ok you are done. All you have to do now is to restart IIS.

Place the code inside an html page and place the html page in the QuickEmail directory

You can get the code form the previous post. (Send Emails to Deactivated Leads Without Needing to Activate Them First)

Place that code inside an html file: QuickEmail.html

Place QuickEmail.html file in C:InetpubCustomQuickEmail directory

QuickEmail

Edit the isv.config file to add the button to the tool bar:

Since this button is only relevant to a Lead record, we will place it on the Lead Form’s Action Bar

TEST QuickEmail

Next we will edit the isv.config file. For obvious reasons, please make a copy of this file as a backup before you edit it.
You will find this file under “_Resources” directory of you Microsoft CRM 3.0 installed directories. For one of my customer’s implementation it is located:

Resources

Edit the Microsoft CRM 4.0’s isv.config.xml file as follow:

In the file

  • Expand the <Entities> node
  • Expand the <Entity name=lead> node
  • Expand the <ToolBar ValidForCreate=0 ValidForUpdate=1> node

Place the following line under this node:

<Button Title=Quick Email ToolTip=Send Email to a disqualified Lead without needing to activate the Lead first Icon=/_imgs/ico_16_138.gif Url=/QuickEmail/QuickEmail.htm Client=Web,OutlookWorkstationClient PassParams=1 WinMode=1 WinParams=menubar=no,status=yes,toolbar=no,width=600,height=350 AvailableOffline=false />

Here is a partial view of the file:

Microsoft Visual Studio

Save and close.

Refresh Microsoft CRM 3.0.

Check this capability by opening a Lead record to see the button you just added.

RM
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

Resolving Errors With Setting Up A QUEUE In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0

At Unitek, we cover the full gamut of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 and CRM 4.0

For today’s blog, I would like to share with you a story from a recent discussion I had with one of our clients using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. They were having some difficulties setting up a QUEUE in Microsoft CRM 3.0 and were stuck in the process. They were doing everything right, step-by-step, but were missing a major part in the process and maybe there are some of you out there that are experiencing the same thing?

So, everyone say it with me… the first step is… Create the user. Simple process, just make sure you set the correct privileges and attributes.

If you’re using the CRM implementation guide, you’ll notice that they require you to DISABLE the user account. There is still some question in the greater CRM community as to whether or not it’s a required step; but do as Microsoft says here… disable the user account.

Next step? Add the queue into the CRM Application.

And this next step is where the struggles started for my client. After sending out a test email to the queue, they saw that nothing happened. They had reviewed the event logs on both Exchange and CRM servers, but there was nothing listed. They tried working with user privileges and registry keys, but to no avail. Because they had restarted the Exchange Router, IIS, and Exchange Server itself (Several times), the system admin got pretty upset because MOM (Operations Manager) was driving him up the wall with alert messages.

What step did they forget? Believe me, it’s an easy step to remember… You have to add mailbox rules to the user of the queue. Using the rule deployment wizard for this step. It’s that simple. Once the rule deployment wizard is finished, you can send out a sample email to test. If these steps were completed, you’ll see the email appear in the QUEUE you just created. Congrats! You’re now ready to go onto the next issue.

JH
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

Changing The Default Views In CRM 3.0 & CRM 4.0

One of the unusual quirks with Microsoft CRM 3.0 is the hard-coded default Views. For example, while in a Contact form and you click History, the default view is for “Last 30 Days”. This has been one of the most disliked features of CRM 3.0 and we are sad to report the same condition exists in the new CRM 4.0 version. The good news is we’re going to show you how to change these Views.

Let’s start with the CRM 3.0 method . The code we’re going to use was borrowed from Michael over at stunnware. He has a great explanation of how we build the code, but we’ll just get straight to the code and enhance it a little. Our adjustment will modify 3 related entities, Activities, History and Opportunities. For each one we will make the default View “All”.

Assuming it’s the Contact’s View that you want to alter, in the Customization area, open the Contact form. Go into the Form Properties and then the OnLoad event. Copy this text and paste it into the OnLoad window:

Read more

Customizing Microsoft CRM 3.0 System Entity Names

While it is best to keep the name of the Microsoft CRM system entities such as Account, Contact, Lead, etc the same, sometimes the benefit of doing so out ways the negatives. One of the benefits of changing the entity name is that it helps users understand its function/use better and cuts down on confusion. Also it would be useful to adopt Microsoft CRM to fit the terminology used by the organization. Most of the time the name change is required for the following two entities:

  • Account
  • Contact

In Microsoft CRM Account is used to store information about companies an organization interacts with. These could be customers, partners, resellers, distributors, etc. Contact is used to store information about people. They too could be customers, partners, resellers, distributors, etc.

A common name change for the Account entity is “Company”. A possible name change for Contact is “Individual”. Renaming a Microsoft CRM entity requires a number of manual steps to ensure that all references to the entity are consistent. Following are the areas that need to be changed:

  • Entity Name
  • Entity Form Labels
  • Entity View Names
  • Entity Attribute Display Names
  • System Messages
  • Online Help Content
  • Reports

Some areas where the entity name cannot be changed are:

  • Platform error messages and messages that are displayed in Trace or the Event log.
  • Strings in “Add Users Wizard” for adding multiple users at one time.
  • Strings in “Environment Diagnostics Wizard”

Tip #1: Sub-Account and Sub-Contact

The steps that one would have to go through to make the Microsoft CRM entity name changes have been outlined by number of sites and I will not go through them here. However, I want to make sure to point out that if you decide not to make the name changes in System Messages and Online Help Content in the interest of saving development time and cost, do make sure to change Sub-Account and Sub-Contact strings. These strings show up in the left pane of An Account or Contact record. These strings are in the System Messages section. So if you don’t change any of the systems message do this one

RM
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

Opportunities: What To Do With New Sales From Existing Customers

One of the biggest questions a company can have when implementing CRM, concerns the use of the various entities; Account, Contact, Lead and Opportunity.

Every company and industry will have its own special sales process with specific needs to track industry or company specific information. Microsoft CRM can be customized to many of those needs.

Questions arise, particularly about the Lead and Opportunity entities, about existing customers, marketing and CRM procedure. How does the sales process work when an existing customer places a new order? Much of what procedure is followed is based on the goals intended for the company’s sales process and the CRM system; what data is being tracked and reported. Is the company closely tracking sales data such as sales pipeline or campaign sources?

In this scenario, a customer calls up and says he wants to place an order. Most of the time the standard course of action is to create a new Opportunity from the customer record. The customer tells you what he wants and when he intends to buy. Is the company tracking campaign sources? A company’s marketing department usually likes to track why someone makes a purchasing decision. If the order is the customer’s standard order, there’s really no need to track this particular order’s marketing history. In fact if the customer is ready to order and pay for the product or services immediately then there’s little reason to even to create a new Opportunity, just create a new Order because there’s no need to track the sales pipeline for sale forecasting because this sale has already closed.

Read more

Best Practices: Customization Guidelines

As full featured and rich as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 is, you will invariably find yourself needing to customize Microsoft CRM to meet your specific business requirements.

When you start customizing Microsoft CRM, do yourself and your organization a favor and implement the following two simple guidelines:

Tip #1: Change the schema name prefix for customized entities and attributes.

Microsoft CRM adds a default prefix, “New_”, to custom entities’ and custom attributes’ schema names. As a best practice, change the default prefix to reflect the name of the company or consultant who will be doing the customization. Over time you might have different consultants work on the system and taking this extra step will greatly help in case you might have to go back to that consultant to get more information about the work they have done. If you are the consultant, doing this will help you distinguish your work from that of other consultants and help clear any disputes that might arise.

 

  1. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, on the Navigation Pane (left hand side of the screen), click Settings, on the Main Grid (to the right of the Navigation Pane), click Organization Settings, on the Main Grid, click System Settings.
  2. In the System Settings dialog box, click the Customization Tab.
  3. In this tab, change the prefix from New to the name of the consultant or consulting firm who will be doing the customizations. Click OK to save your changes.

System Settings - Webpage Dialog

Tip #2: Make use of the Description field when adding new attributes.

Require anyone who adds a new attribute to put their name, date and reason for the new attribute addition in the Description field when adding the attribute.

Attribute New For Lead

If you have any questions in this regard, please feel free to contact us.

RM
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

Tips For Making Microsoft CRM 3.0’s Advance Find User Friendly

The recommendations that follow are among some of the first suggestions I make to my customers in order to make using Microsoft CRM 3.0 easier for their users. While the recommended customizations are simple and easy to implement, they contribute greatly toward making the Microsoft CRM easier to use and can potentially have big payoffs in terms of user acceptance. So be a friend to your users and implement these recommendations.

Tip #1: Stop confusing your users.

Microsoft CRM’s Advance Find uses attribute’s Display Name to list each entity’s searchable fields. Having a label on a form that is different from the Display Name of the field can become very confusing and can create unnecessary frustration for your users.

  1. This mismatch between Form Labels and attribute Display Names exists in the standard installation of Microsoft CRM 3.0. So my recommendation to you is that the first chance you get, go through your Microsoft CRM installation and change either the Display Name of the attributes or the Label on the Entity Forms so that they match. In most cases you will be changing the Display Name of the attributes to match the Labels on the Entity Forms than the other way around.
  2. When creating new customized attributes to be used on the Forms, keep this tip in mind and make sure the Labels and the Display Names for fields, used on the Forms, match.

Read more

Rescheduling Service Activities in Microsoft CRM

In today’s “Fast Food World,” your customers expect flexibility to meet their needs. As a result, most employees spend a lot of time in Microsoft CRM rescheduling activities for customer’s services. Being able to quickly change service activities means, for example, a receptionist who schedules and reschedules service activities every day, can spend time doing other tasks and your customers can be off the phone and on their merry way. The following scenario takes you through the quick and easy steps to reschedule a service activity.

Barbara, a receptionist at a local Tune-Up Station, answers a call from Mr. Mercedes. He is requesting to reschedule his service activity for his vehicle tune-up and oil change. He doesn’t care when; it just can’t be now because he has another appointment that he must attend. (Golf Tee Time) In Microsoft CRM, Barbara can open Mr. Mercedes’ service activity in the Service Calendar, and then reschedule him for another day and time.

  1. In your Navigation Pane, click Service, and then click Service Calendar.

  2. To find your customer’s service activity, verify that the Look For box is empty, and in the Type list, select Appointment and Service Activity. In the View list, select All Activities.

  3. On the calendar, select your customer’s service activity, and then on the Actions toolbar, click Reschedule.

  4. On the Schedule Service Activity form, locate the Available Times list to select a new date and time for the customer.

  5. Click the Scheduled Start time and then click Schedule. Remember: Do not select any underlined text, like the Service, Resources, or Site, or the record will open.

  6. On the customer’s updated Service Activity form, verify the new date and time, and then click Save and Close.

In just these few steps, you can quickly reschedule service activities to get your customer what they need; flexible service solutions. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to keep coming back; because in today’s world, customers appreciate companies that appreciate them.