Category Archives: Dynamics CRM

Tips and techniques I've collected while working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0

Join Next Month’s Hand’s-On Workshop: Plugin Development for Dynamics CRM

Developing Dynamics CRM plug-ins is hard, right? Well, not really; there just happens to be a lot to know and understand about both the development process and the actual implementation process.

Our teaching methodology involves you writing a lot of plug-ins, after all, doing is the best way to learn, right? We will have between fifteen and twenty exercises, some of which will be conducted in class, some of which will be assigned as homework. Again, lots and lots of hands–on lab work to help you reinforce the concepts of plug–in development.

The Agenda

Here are the high–level topics that we’ll cover:

  • Plugin architecture and design
  • Setting up your development environment
  • Developing a basic plug–in
  • Deploying plug-ins
  • Debugging plug-ins
  • Developing custom workflow activities
  • Maintenance and troubleshooting
  • Additional miscellaneous topics

The Specifics

When: Thursday, November 12th and Friday, November 13th. 8:00am–4:00pm Central time

Where: “In the cloud.” This is virtual training with each student receiving their own development server for the duration of the class. We’ll be conducting the class using GoToMeeting.

How Much: We are offering two types of tickets:

  • Standard Seat: $895 per person
  • Premium Seat: $1,495 per person.

The Premium Seat includes 4 hours of post-workshop consulting services to help you get through some of the challenges that you may face with your first plugin development project.

*** A 10% discount is applied for two or more students.

Eventbrite - Plug-in Development with Dynamics CRM (November)

What is required to attend the workshop?

In order to be effective in this class, I need you to be knowledgeable in two things:

1. I need you to be a .NET developer, because we’ll be coding in C# and using Visual Studio to create our plug-ins.

2. I need you to know and understand Dynamics CRM. Without a firm grasp of how the product works, there is no way for you to create a plug–in that interacts with the Dynamics CRM system.

How about some goodies?

Did I mention that I’ll be giving you the same tools and templates that I use to do my own plug–in development? Well, I am. This will really jump–start your plug–in development efforts.

Got any questions?

If so, just let me know.

Want to hear what others have to say about this workshop?

Check out these comments from previous students":

I found Mitch Milam’s workshop to be a great way to jump-start my plug-in development. Besides presenting class material in such a way that it was easy to comprehend, Mitch also provided Visual Studio templates. These templates proved to be extremely useful because they take care of the necessary plumbing when writing plug-ins, speeding up the development time. Additionally, the labs we worked on in class covered real-life scenarios directly applicable to my day-to-day work. In fact soon after the workshop, I solved a business problem by building a plug-in that was based on one of the labs we worked on in class.

Natalya Pinsker, Baltimore, MD


Mitch’s Plug-in Development workshop helped me get out of the gate and a good way down the path of C# development for Microsoft Dynamics CRM – including both Plug-ins and Workflow Assemblies.

Mitch is an excellent instructor who responds to all questions and helps people along at their own pace.

I highly recommend this workshop for anyone who is looking to get into the Microsoft CRM development game. It will accelerate your process and save you more than enough time to pay for itself.

Aron F.


Your class was an eye opening experience. In addition to learning about Plug-In Development this class exposed me to so many other aspects of Microsoft Dynamics CRM that I was not aware of.

Marlon R. Joseph, Application Analyst III, Houston Baptist University

Next Steps

Ready to get your plug-in groove on?  If yes, then click the this button:

Eventbrite - Plug-in Development with Dynamics CRM (November)

Free Webinar Friday: Training Strategies to Increase Microsoft Dynamics CRM User Adoption

Hi Everyone,

Tomorrow I’m hosting a free webinar in conjunction with MSDynamicsWorld.  Here’s what we’re covering:

User adoption is always a concern when starting any new software project and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is no different. In this webinar we will discuss 7 training strategies to help increase the knowledge-level of your users, decrease frustration for both users and support staff, and generally help your project become a success.

Sign up here:

I hope to see you there.

Thanks, Mitch

Want to learn more about Developing Dynamics Plugins?

Hi Everyone,

My Dynamics CRM Deep Dive: Plugins book is in development and is available for pre-release purchase.

The book should be available in late October, but if you purchase now, you’ll receive:

  1. A $20 discount on the final e-book.
  2. The electronic resources that will accompany the book (as they are completed).
  3. Advanced copies of chapters for your own education as well as to provide feedback, should you feel so inclined.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Thanks, Mitch

Free Webinar: Productivity Maximized using GoToWebinar and Click Dimensions

Hi Everyone,

This year I implemented a new program I call Teaching on Tuesdays where I hold free webinars on various topics ranging from Dynamics CRM, to Xamarin, to business and development best practices.  Averaging at least two webinars a month has allowed me to refine my work so that I have a repeatable process that I can follow each time.

Two of the tools I use on at least a weekly basis, if not daily, are GoToWebinar and Click Dimensions.

I use GoToWebinar (and GoToMeeting) to host all of my meetings and webinars and Click Dimensions handles everything from adding webinar participants to Dynamics CRM, to sending notification emails, to collecting additional information using forms and surveys.

In this webinar we will be discussing the following:

  • Setup and Configuration of the Click Dimensions GoToWebinar connector
  • Planning your webinar
  • Marketing your webinar
  • Reducing webinar SPAM (yes, there is such a thing)
  • Conducting your webinar
  • Recommended equipment
  • Collecting attendance statistics
  • Communicating with both registrants and attendees
  • Recording your webinar and publishing it to YouTube
  • Plus much, much, more

You’ll also receive a step-by-step guide that I have created which documents each of the steps required to plan, host, record, and follow-through with a webinar.

I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, Sept 15, 2015 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT       Register Now


Thanks, Mitch

Dynamics CRM JavaScript: Ensure the current record is Saved before opening a new record

In yesterday’s post, Tracing the Dynamics CRM Form Data save Operation, I discussed identifying data that would be sent to the database when you saved a Dynamics CRM record.

Part of the issue I was facing was related to the form not completing the save operation before I opened a new form record. Since Dynamics CRM 2013 and 2015 user interface rarely opens a new window, the user was getting a warning that there was unsaved data when the page was being switched between the Account and, in this case, the Opportunity record.

So to prevent this from happening, I had to wait for the save to complete then open the new Opportunity record.

Here is the code where I do that:


var parameters = { customer_id: customerId, customer_name: customerName, customer_type: customerType, name: Xrm.Page.getAttribute("name").getValue() }; var windowOptions = { openInNewWindow: true }; setTimeout(function () { openNewForm(parameters); }, 2000); } function openNewForm(parameters) { var windowOptions = { openInNewWindow: true }; Xrm.Utility.openEntityForm("opportunity", null, parameters, windowOptions); }

The Details

We are using the JavaScript method setTimeout to wait for 2,000 milliseconds (2 seconds for those of us who are not computers).

At the end of the wait period, we will call a function called openNewForm which will use the Dynamics CRM method Xrm.Utility.openEntityForm, which opens a new Opportunity form.

You may need to adjust the wait period up or down, depending on your environment. The idea is to wait long enough for the save to complete, but not long enough to irritate the user.

Tracing the Dynamics CRM Form Data save Operation

I ran into an interesting issue this week where I was opening up a new Opportunity Entity form from the Account record via a Command Bar button.

The issue was that I was getting a warning that I was about to discard changes to the record I was leaving, and would l like to Continue or Cancel.

I verified all of the JavaScript and found that I was not performing any updates on form load, so there must be something else happening to modify a value on the form so that CRM thinks the record needs to be saved.

But what was being changed?

I thought about it for a bit and realized I could have CRM tell me what was happening, though a little known or used method called

Dynamics CRM, by and large, does not send unaltered data to the database when a Save occurs. By using getDataXml, I can see exactly which field or fields were being modified.


To implement this code, I created a small onSave method:

function onSave() {

Then created an OnSave event on the form properties:


Note: Make sure this event is the final OnSave event to ensure that all of the other OnSave events have completed.

This will display a message box showing what fields have been changed and the new values. Basically the same thing that will be sent to the database.


It turns out that in this particular case, I was programmatically:

  1. Setting a field value
  2. Saving the record
  3. Opening a new related record

The issue was that the Save operation had not completed so the field I had modified was still considered dirty.

This allowed me to correct that issue and now things work as expected.

Up Next

My next article will outline how to work around the saving of the record while navigating to another record issue I ran into above.

Free Webinar: Dynamics CRM Plugin Development Basics

Hi Everyone,

Just a reminder of my next free webinar:

Dynamics CRM Plugin Development Basics

In this webinar we will discuss the basics of Dynamics CRM plugin development including: What plugins do, how they are architected, the development tools you will need, and what it will take to develop your first plugin.

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT       Register Now


Thanks, Mitch

Dynamics CRM JavaScript: Working with Tabs and Sections-The right way

Back in March I wrote the following article: Dynamics CRM Developer Tip O’ the Day: Working with Tabs.

Today I was working on some pre-existing customer JavaScript and ran across this:

Xrm.Page.ui.tabs.get(0).sections.get(6).setVisible(false); // Hide section

Don’t ever do that! Bad developer! Bad!

So again, never, ever use the numerical value to reference a Tab or a Section, unless you have no choice. 

We don’t want to use numbers because if you move or add Tabs or Sections, your code will no longer work.

Do this instead:

Xrm.Page.ui.tabs.get("General").sections.get("Details").setVisible(false); // Hide section

As long as your Tabs and Sections are named properly, you should not have an issue.

Help! I can’t create quotes!

[Dynamics CRM 2013]

One of my customers emailed in a panic (rightfully so), because they could not create a Quote from an Opportunity.  When they did so, the following error popped up:


Actually, you have to hover over the error on the status bar to see it pop up.

I looked around for 30 minutes or so and could not see any issues recorded in any log that you might think of.

He had already restarted the SQL Server and I restarted IIS on the CRM Server but still the error persisted.

Having nothing left to do, I decided to look at the CRM services on the CRM Server.  Sure enough, several were turned off.


Start/Restart all of the CRM-related services on the CRM Server.

I did a little testing and it appears that the Sandbox Service was the one directly responsible for the inability to add a new Quote, but just to be safe, I restarted them all.


This is a very fascinating situation and one that I’ve never seen before.

Free Webinar: The 7 Steps of Dynamics CRM Development


Interested in becoming a Dynamics CRM developer or adding to your existing Dynamics CRM skillsets?

In this webinar we will cover the seven areas (steps) you need to master to become a Dynamics CRM developer and will discuss the tools and resources to help guide you on your journey.

Monday, Aug 24, 2015 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CDT       Register Now