Category Archives: Administration

Explorer! v3.5 for Dynamics CRM Released

A new version of Explorer! for Dynamics CRM: My answer to a better understanding of your CRM data, the way the data is presented to users, and how it is stored within your database.

Version 3.5 adds improved compatibility with Dynamics CRM 2013 and 2015.

Visit the product page for more information about how Explorer! for Dynamics CRM can help you manage your Dynamics CRM data.

Monitor Queue Routing Rule Workflows

We ran into a fascinating issue when creating Routing Rule recently.

Here is the rule:

image

This is fairly straightforward, but for some reason, we had an issue where the rule was not firing as we expected.

I turns out that behinds the scenes, CRM actually creates a workflow to handle the magic required to route the email.

Normally, you never really see these workflows run because they have the flag set to delete the history if the workflow was successful

But unfortunately, in our case, something was not configured correctly in this workflow and it was failing:

image

We modified the rule slightly and everything seemed to work fine after that. (I wasn’t the one doing the modification so I an not exactly sure what was changed.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that if you ever see strange workflows, that you did not create, failing, see if they are Routing Rules.

Registration for Extending Dynamics CRM 2013 Ends Thursday

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to remind you that registration for the Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 workshop ends on Thursday, July 17th at 10:00am CDT.

For more information about this workshop, please review the following:

http://www.infinite-x.net/2014/07/01/extending-dynamics-crm-2013-workshop

http://www.infinite-x.net/2014/07/08/why-you-should-be-attending-the-extending-dynamics-crm-workshop

When you’re ready to register, just click this button:

Eventbrite - Extending Dynamics CRM 2013

 

Thanks and I’ll be talking to some of you next week.

Mitch

Refreshing your development or QA environment with production data

In a multi-server environment (Development, QA/Staging/Testing, Production), you occasionally run into an issue where you need to have the latest production data in the lower environments.

Here is a set of steps that will help you move the Production CRM database into Development or QA.  PowerShell is your friend here so much of this process can be automated.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any code to share because this was a customer project. But, this is not that hard to reproduce yourself.

We will review the task of moving to the QA environment, but the steps will apply to any other environment as well.

 

Step 1: QA Environment – SQL Server

The first step is to save any data that is specific to that environment, including:

  • SharePoint configuration
  • Custom configuration data, such as is used by plugins

 

Step 2: Production Environment

Make or get the latest full backup of the production CRM database.

 

Step 3: QA Environment – CRM Server

Turn off the following services:

  • Email Router service.
  • Asynchronous Processing Services.
  • Sandbox service.
  • Unzip service

Use Get-Service and Stop-service

Using the CRM Deployment Manager:

  • Disable the QA organization.
  • Delete the QA organization.

Use Disable-CrmOrganization and Remove-CrmOrganization

 

Step 4: QA Environment – SQL Server

From the SQL Management Studio, perform the following tasks:

  1. Detach QA_MSCRM database.
  2. Move QA_MSCRM.MDF and QA_MSCRM.LDF to a separate file system as backup. This is optional, but I’m a little on the paranoid side.
  3. Delete the QA_MSCRM database.
  4. Restore the Production database backup to QA_MSCRM.

This can be automated using PowerShell using at least two techniques: SMO commands or raw SQL commands, with the latter being the easiest.

 

Step 5: QA Environment – CRM Server

Using the CRM Deployment Manager, import the QA database.

From the Operating System, perform these tasks:

  1. Run IISRESET.
  2. Turn on Email Router service.
  3. Turn on Sandbox service.
  4. Turn on Unzip service
  5. Turn on Asynchronous Processing Services.

Use Get-Service and Start-service

 

Step 6: QA Environment – SQL Server

Perform any PHI cleanup to remove or obfuscate sensitive information including:

  • Phone/Fax numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Contact first and last names
  • Address information

I would recommend the SSIS Integration Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from KingswaySoft.

You may also wish to review the ALM Toolkit from AdxStudio for additional application life cycle management capabilities.

So that is about it. As you can see, it’s not rocket science, just a bunch of steps.

By the way, one assumption is that the servers are all in the same domain. If your environments are in different domains, you’ll have a bit more work to handle mapping users from one domain to the other, but that is something that is totally doable.

Correcting Email Router issues after transitioning CRM Online to Office 365

I had one of my CRM Online organizations transition to the O365 platform a couple of weekends ago.  Not exactly a smooth process.  One of the issues I ran into was my email router was not running due to configuration changes.  Here is a list of things I worked through.  Hopefully this will help some other folks.

 

CRM Online URL

The URL that you utilize for CRM Online with Office 365 is different than that of CRM Online with Windows Live authentication.  The new format looks like this:

https://disco.crm.dynamics.com/[organization name]

[organization name] is the name of your CRM Online organization as seen on the Developer Resources page (Settings, Customizations, Developer Resources).

 

Unable to Publish Configuration

Is everyone familiar with the Chicken or the Egg conundrum?  Well I ran into that here.  I could not publish the configuration from the Email Router Configuration application because the Email Router Service was not running.

 

Email Router Service Will Not Start

The email router would not start because it could not find the Microsoft.Crm.Tools.EmailAgent.xml file, which is created by publishing the configuration.

 

The only way I successfully got around these issues was to perform a Repair on the CRM Email Router installation and that returned the system to normal.  The email router start successfully and I was able to publish my new configuration.

 

Other Issues

I did not, but you may also run into this issue:

The Email Router and Microsoft.Crm.Tools.EmailAgent.SystemState.xml file

 

Good luck. 

Mitch

Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, and Async Operations

Have you used the Dynamics CRM PowerShell commandlets to automate any of your deployment tasks? 

If not, then you should.  There is good stuff in there.

In the CRM SDK sample code folder, you will find a folder called ps, which is where the PowerShell samples are located.

Many of the Deployment operations have an asynchronous component so that you can “fire and forget” your operation, should you wish.

However, there are built-in facilities for monitoring the asynchronous process that was created:

$opstatus = Get-CrmOperationStatus -OperationId $opid
while($opstatus.State -eq "Processing")
    {
        Write-Host [(Get-Date)] Processing…
        Start-Sleep -s 30
        $opstatus = Get-CrmOperationStatus -OperationId $opid
    }

The while loop will continue to execute until the status changes away from Processing.

BUT, and there is always a but, there is another status that you might encounter that needs to be addressed:

while($opstatus.State -eq "Processing" -or $opstatus.State -eq "Queued")

The Queued status will appear if the Deployment service has other processes that it is attempting to complete.  Modifying the while loop will allow your code to wait for either.

SnapShot! 3.2 Released

Hi Everyone,

Version 3.2 of SnapShot! has been released.

I made minor changes to this release, mainly around the Status and Status reason fields. They are now included on the Field report and the OptionSet report.

Visit the SnapShot! product page for more information and to download the sample report.

As always, thanks for your support and let me know if you have any suggestions for additional reports.

Thanks, Mitch

Random SSRS Troubleshooting Notes

Notes to myself on troubleshooting issues with SSRS.

Error: Report render failure. Error: An error has occurred during report processing. (rsProcessingAborted)

This is probably a security issue.

 

Useful article:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Reports created by report wizard may fail when executing

 

List SPNs associated with a server:

setspn –L <servername>

 

SQL Reporting Services Log File Locations:

%programfiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Server Instance>\Reporting Services\LogFiles

In most cases, <SQL Server Instance> will be something like: MSRS10_50.MSSQLSERVER