Thursday, December 31, 2009

Microsoft Translator inside Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Another nice cool feature! Microsoft Translator inside Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
This customization is designed to call the ‘Microsoft® Translator’ service from within CRM. This example uses a custom button, included in an entity form, to call the service and translate text into another language.
Recently Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team has published a helpful post with the necessary steps to invoke the Microsoft Translator.
Check out the post here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Update Rollup 7 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is available

Update Rollup 7 has been released.

As Always, This is a tested, cumulative set of updates for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. It includes performance enhancements that are packaged together for easy deployment.

Quick Details Below:

Version: 04.00.7333.2138
Knowledge Base (KB) Articles: KB971782
Download Link : Click here
KB Article : Click here

Monday, October 12, 2009

CRM at a Glance

CRM at a Glance

Thanks to Jim for sharing this.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Updated Microsoft Dynamics CRM Statement of Direction is available for download

Updated version of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Statement of Direction available for download, both on PartnerSource and CustomerSource.

Microsoft has prepared a well-defined Roadmap in bringing new innovations to customer relationship management (CRM) software with Microsoft Dynamics® CRM. This document outlines the future direction of Microsoft Dynamics CRM through to the next major release, Microsoft Dynamics CRM “V.Next” which is targeted for release in 2010. “V.Next” is planned to provide a Best-of-Breed Business Solution Platform.

Happy Reading...!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Record Counter for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 released in MSDN Code Gallery

Are you facing difficulty in counting the total number of records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0? Are you wondering if you could find a way to count the number of Pages and Records? If the answer is yes, then it is worth downloading my project from MSDN Code Gallery.

Record Counter walkthrough document is included in the Downloads tab which walks you through the plugin functionality and deployment procedure. Record Counter Plugin is available for download from here.

This simple plugin designed for MSCRM 4.0 is still in Beta stage. I am open to suggestions, if you find any bugs or would like to suggest an enhancement, please feel free to ask.

Few Screenshots below:

Quick find view
Form Assistant

Lookup view
Auto Resolve Lookups
Public Views
Advanced find

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Free Silverlight 3 Firestarter Sessions - Register now

The Silverlight team is running a one day event at Microsoft on September 17 to talk about Silverlight 3.

The agenda for the event:

* Keynote by Scott Guthrie
* Key Silverlight Scenarios by Tim Heuer
* Expression 3 Overview by Adam Kinney
* Sketch Flow by Janete Perez
* Toolkit & Controls by Justin Angel and Shawn Oster
* RIA Services by Brad Abrams
* Building Silverlight UIs with XAML Power toys by Karl Shifflett

If you’re interested, the sign up link for attending the event is here.

How xRM can Stretch IT?

Theorem with Proof. Excellent...! I just got this news letter from Microsoft.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Update Rollup 6 for MS CRM 4.0 Released

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Development team continues to release regular rollups. Microsoft has released Update Rollup 6 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. The update includes bug fixes and performance enhancements packaged together for easy deployment. Update Rollup 6 is available for all languages that are supported by Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.

For more information about this release, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 970148: Update Rollup 6 is available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.

Download here:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Did you know: Sort records by multiple columns in MS CRM

Just hold down the SHIFT key and click the column heading and you can sort on multiple columns.

Click here for more details.

Did you know: Easy way to troubleshoot Asynchronous failures using [Advanced Find]

MSCRM 4.0 uses a lot of System Jobs to drive many features such as Workflows, Import Data,Duplicate Detections, Campaign Activities distribution, Send Bulk E-Mail and more... These jobs are processed by the Asynchronous Service and it can happen that the service fails to process these jobs. Jobs can fail or get stuck in waiting state.

Quick step: Add Error Code and Message Column in Advanced find and Filter the System Jobs which are showing error Code.

Detailed steps:
Here are a few steps you can try to get more information about the System Jobs failures reasons:
• Log into Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
• Go to Settings \ System Jobs, click Advanced Find button, click Save As to save your custom query, name it “Problematic System Jobs” for instance and click OK.
• Click Edit Columns, Add Columns and select Error Code and Message. Click OK. These two columns will be helpful for troubleshooting.
• Get back to Advanced Find screen. Click on Show Details. Select the Error Code field and select Contains Data criteria. [Filter on the System Jobs which are showing errors]
• Click on Save Button.

Now when you select this view in Settings \ System Jobs, you can see the Error Code and Error stack in Message Column which states the reason of the failure.

The failure is likely to be that the Asynchronous Service cannot contact the CRM Web Services because of a bad configuration. Error Code : -2,147,204,346

Isn't it easy !!! Happy Troubleshooting.

Please refer the following articles for more information:;EN-US;947423;EN-US;950416;EN-US;950542

Monday, August 24, 2009

Did you know: MSCRM and Outlook Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcuts are documented in the CRM help file but here is a quick list of MSCRM, Outlook and general shortcuts.

Top keyboard shortcuts
Select all text in the current field or current list CTRL+A
Close an active form ALT+F4
Move forward through a form's fields TAB
Move backward through a form's fields SHIFT+TAB
Save a form CTRL+S or SHIFT+F12
Save and close a form ALT + S
Expand/collapse Form Assistant CTRL+SHIFT+F
Cancel edits and close a form ESCAPE
Delete a record CTRL+D
Save and then open a new form CTRL+SHIFT+S
Outlook keyboard shortcuts
Switch to Mail CTRL+1
Switch to Inbox CTRL+SHIFT+I
Switch to Outlook Calendar CTRL+2
Switch to Outlook Contacts CTRL+3
Switch to Outlook Tasks CTRL+4
Display the Address Book CTRL+SHIFT+B
Create a new Appointment CTRL+SHIFT+A
Create a new Contact CTRL+SHIFT+C
Create a new Task CTRL+SHIFT+K
Check Spelling F7
Other Keyboard shortcuts
Copy text CTRL+C
Paste text CTRL+V
Undo previous text change CTRL+Z
Cut text CTRL+X
Delete text DELETE
Move the insertion point to the start of the next word CTRL+RIGHT ARROW
Move the insertion point to the start of the previous word CTRL+LEFT ARROW
Select all text in the current field CTRL+A
Cancel the current task or command, or close a selected list or dialog box ESC
Move up through a list of records UP ARROW
Move down through a list of records DOWN ARROW
Expand or collapse the preview in a list view SPACEBAR
Open the selected record ENTER
Select all records on the current page CTRL+A

Utilize MSCRM and Outlook Keyboard Shortcuts and get things done faster :)

Introducing “Did you know” Series….

Discover the fascinating facts and amazing stories about the Dynamics world. Loaded with useful trivia facts about Microsoft xRM.
In this series, I intend to keep my posts short and easy to understand. With that being said, I welcome you all to my blog! I intend to update it frequently.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A little more on MS CRM 5

Brad Wilson, GM of Microsoft Dynamics CRM has discussed some details of the next major release at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans this week. According to Brad, Dynamics CRM 5.0 will sport improvements in the user interface and data visualisation features, enhanced sales and marketing capabilities, and tighter integration with Microsoft's SharePoint Server collaboration platform.

The full article can be read at

Monday, July 20, 2009

A marriage between Bing and Twitter

Surprised to see BingTweets, a fusion of Twitter and Microsoft's search engine Bing. BingTweets enables you to see deeper, real-time information about the hottest topics on Twitter by fusing Bing search results with the latest tweets.

Created by Federated Media.

Check out BingTweets @

Friday, July 10, 2009

Coming Soon..!!! New Solution Accelerators for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

What is Solution Accelerators?

CRM Solution Accelerators are a range of add-on solutions developed for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 customers and partners. These ready-made solutions include event management, sales forecasting, service, notifications, and analytics.

Each accelerator is available at no cost and showcases how the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 platform can be configured and extended to broaden marketing, sales, and service capabilities. Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers and partners are encouraged to further extend these accelerators to meet their specific business needs.

Microsoft has announced 3 new CRM Accelerators for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. No doubt, this helps current Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers and Partners to establish business insight across social networks, channel-centric organizations and Web interaction channels. The accelerators come with full source code so you can modify them to best fit your needs, or use them as examples for creating other customizations.

Social Networking Accelerator

The Social Networking Accelerator allows business professionals to monitor and analyze customers’ conversations on social networking sites, and as a result, provides real-time status updates about their products and services. This accelerator delivers integration with Twitter.

Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Accelerator

The Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Accelerator allows businesses to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to distribute sales leads and centrally manage sales opportunities across channel partners.

Portal Integration Accelerator

The Portal Integration Accelerator easily connects Microsoft Dynamics CRM to an organization’s Web experience.

The new CRM Accelerators will be made available in the next few weeks. Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers and partners can download each of these solutions from

Read more [Microsoft PressPass]

so I’m looking forward to trying this out.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dynamics CRM 4.0 Rollup 5 Released

Folks, Microsoft has released Update Rollup 5 for Dynamics CRM 4.0. You can read about it here:

And download here:

As always, It is a cumulative update that now incorporates additional bug fixes & performance improvements.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Microsoft Announces 2009 Partner of the Year Awards

Microsoft Corporation has announced the winners and finalists of its 2009 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards. Awards recognize partners’ innovative use of Microsoft technology to exceed customer expectations and solve business problems.

Winners and finalists of few Dynamics Categories my interest below. A complete list is available here.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner of the Year

· Winner: Ascentium, United States

· Finalist: Infinity Info Systems, United States

· Finalist: CIBER UK, United Kingdom

Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner of the Year

· Winner: Cogsdale, Canada

· Finalist: Interdyn-Socius, United States

· Finalist: ITQAN Al-Bawardi Computers, United Arab Emirates

Microsoft Dynamics NAV Partner of the Year

· Winner: Sistemas de Gestión, Spain

· Finalist: Serenic Software, United States

· Finalist: Pleasant Valley Business Solutions, United States

Microsoft Dynamics AX Partner of the Year

· Winner: Hitachi Consulting, United States

· Finalist: Fullscope, United States

· Finalist: Eclipse Computing, Australia

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Enterprise Benchmark - 50K Concurrent Users

Feels great! Microsoft and Intel demonstrate new levels of power, price, and performance with this Microsoft Dynamics CRM scalability benchmark. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM benchmark scaled to more than 50,000 users and more than 2.9 million daily transactions.

Read the Press Release here.

Download the Executive Summary.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Introducing Bing...! A new search Experience

You probably didn’t wake up today expecting an entirely new search experience.

But – Bing! – Here it is.

The above Punch lines are from the welcome page of Bing..! Bing is the new search engine from Microsoft, first launched in the US on the 28th of May 2009, and now available in other territories.

If you would like to explore the search experience in Bing, please follow the Bing Tips and Tricks Published here.

Happy Search Experience..!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Visual Studio 2010 and .net 4 is now available on MSDN

Just wanted to update you on this super cool stuff...

Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0 mark the next generation of developer tools from Microsoft. Designed to address the latest needs of developers. The CTP version of Visual Studio 2010 and .net 4 is now available on MSDN. Get it now...

Download center page:

Visual Studio delivers key innovations in the following pillars:

Democratizing Application Lifecycle Management
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) crosses many roles within an organization and traditionally not every one of the roles has been an equal player in the process. Visual Studio Team System 2010 continues to build the platform for functional equality and shared commitment across an organization’s ALM process.

Enabling emerging trends
Every year the industry develops new technologies and new trends. With Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0, Microsoft delivers tooling and framework support for the latest innovations in application architecture, development and deployment.

Inspiring developer delight
Ever since the first release of Visual Studio, Microsoft has set the bar for developer productivity and flexibility. Visual Studio 2010 continues to deliver on the core developer experience by significantly improving upon it for roles involved with the software development process. .NET Framework 4.0 contains numerous improvements that make it easier to develop powerful and compelling applications.

Riding the next generation platform wave
Microsoft continues to invest in the market leading operating system, productivity application and server platforms to deliver increased customer value in these offerings. With Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 customers will have the tooling support and the platform support needed to create amazing solutions around these technologies.

For more information on Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0 visit

Microsoft, Adobe sweep developer awards

Adobe and Microsoft won several of the awards at Saltmarch Media’s annual Great Indian Developer Awards. These awards recognize the product and innovation excellence of the hundreds of software products and tools that aid developer productivity, across 11 different categories. The selection criteria applied by an international stature panel places emphasis on functionality, usability, innovation excellence, bleeding-edge quotient, and feedback from the developer ecosystem.



Development environments

Microsoft Visual Studio 2008

Collaboration solution

Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional

Content management

Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server (MOSS)

Design and modeling

IBM Rational Rose

Change and configuration management

CollabNet SourceForge Enterprise Edition


JBoss Profiler


Quest InTrust

Web development

Adobe ColdFusion 8

Mobile development

Nokia Symbian


Adobe Flex


SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports & Oracle Database 11g

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Get CRM usage information using the IIS Logs

One of the frequent requests I come across is the usage log to monitor adoption. Here is a ready-made solution for you. The article describes how to make use of the IIS logs to get useful information about who is accessing CRM and when.

This technique uses some SQL objects (tables, view and functions), and a reporting services report. The source code for these is available on the MSDN Code Gallery.

Now I will wait for your invitation to the Happy Adoption Day..!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Update Rollup 4 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

A Quick Update:
The CRM team has just released Update Rollup 4 for CRM 4.0 which you can download from here.

· KB article:
· Download center page:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Communications Panel for Microsoft CRM 4.0

While reading Dynamics related blogs today, I found the announcement of Communication Panel for Dynamics CRM 4.0, an interesting add-in for CRM 4.0. I am delighted to see this as it seems to make perfect match - Office Communications Server [OCS] and Dynamics CRM.

The Agent Communications Panel for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 works with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, and enables agents to manage their communications (make calls, receive calls, conference, and chat) from their Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

The Agent Communications Panel embeds with CRM itself:

Agent Communications Panel is an XBAP, published to a Web server and opened from a Web browser.

A few interesting facts:

• Make and Receive Phone Calls

• Make and Receive Instant Messages

• Add Audio to an Instant Messaging Session

• Conferencing

• Manage Your Activity Records

And many more……

Download Center: Click here

Friday, March 13, 2009

CRM 4.0 Update Rollup 3 is now available via the download center.

CRM 4.0 Update Rollup 3 is now available via the download center.

· KB article:

· Download center page:

Update Rollup 3 is the first UR post-transition to the new rollup servicing model. A very significant advantage of this model is the release predictability as Microsoft ships an update rollup every 8 weeks. The next rollup will release on May 7th. All the major product groups have moved to this rollup servicing model and many more are transitioning now as it’s been a win for Microsoft and our customers.

A few interesting facts about this Update Rollup:

· There are 91 new fixes in this rollup, of which 67 came from the SE Help project. Since UR3 contains the previous two Update Rollups, there are 384 fixes included in UR3 (of which 218 fixes came from the SE Help project).

In terms of priority, the breakdown is as follows:

Update Rollup 1

Update Rollup 2

Update Rollup 3


P1 (severe bug)





P2 (loss of functionality with no workaround)





P3 (loss of functionality with workaround)





P4 (Customer Design Change Request)










Monday, March 9, 2009

New version of the CRM SDK 4.0.8 is available for download.

This release of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK includes new documentation and sample code to support server-to-server authentication with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. SDK is available for download @

Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Hotfixes Boosts Outlook 2007 Performance.

Larry Lentz posted about new hotfixes for Outlook 2007 that improve Outlook performance and stability. They seem to work fine with the CRM Client for Office Outlook. So Why to Wait.... Let's Try.

Dive into Larry's post for more information.

A New Look for Visual Studio 2010 with WPF UI

Jason Zander (General Manager, Visual Studio, Developer Division) has published the first screenshots about the new Visual Studio 2010 User Interface, totally written with WPF.

Screenshots speaks...

Martin Blogs provides additional features of VS 2010. Some of the following screen shots are from his Blog. Martin’s Blog can be reached here.

Jason lists some of the changes that have been done:

· Reduced clutter and visual complexity by removing excessive lines and gradients in the UX and modernized the interface by removing outdated 3D bevels

· Placed focus on content areas by opening negative space between windows and drawing attention to the current focus with a dominant accent color and a distinctive background

· Added an inviting new palette to make VS 2010 more distinctive

One of the requested features in Visual Studio has been floating documents, so that developers can have windows on multiple monitors while coding. With the new UI this will be possible.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

India in Oscars !!!!!!!!!!!!

Jai Ho has won the Oscar for Best Song! Two Oscars for India's finest modern musician! What a night to remember. India at the Oscars will never be looked at the same. And a classy, gracious acceptance speech from Mr. Rahman. Well deserved, sir. Well deserved. You've made all of India proud!

And an incredible treat, the Chennai boy AR Rahman is performing live at the Oscars. Wah! Wah! Triple Wah! O Saya is by Rahman himself, and accompanied by a platoon of dancers and drummers. It segues to a Western song and soon comes back to Rahman. This time, it's the song that made the film famous: Jai Ho! And now it's a collaborative effort. East meets West. And it sounds great! The crowd is on its collective feet, applauding.

Best Score category :

And the winner is AR Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire! He's looking dapper in a black sherwani. Like a good Indian boy, he mentioned his mother and said a few words in his native tongue. India has arrived, ladies and gents. There's no point denying it now!

Hindi and Tamil in Oscars :

I’m elated. There’s a dialogue in Hindi movie, “Meri Paas Ma Hai” which means My Mom is with me. I would like to say few words in Tamil which I used to tell after getting every award, “Yella Pugazhum Iraivanukkae” !

A lovely piece of orchestral music leads us into the award for best Original Score. AR Rahman, India's son, is up for the award...

Best Sound Mixing :

It is Resul Pookutty for Slumdog Millionaire!!!! What a night for India! This is really a defining moment for Indian Cinema and Indian artists.

The 81st Academy Awards for Slumdog Millionaire:


v Best Original Song: Jai Ho (Music: A R Rahman, Lyrics: Gulzar for Slumdog Millionaire)

v Best Original Score: A R Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire)

v Best Sound Mixing: Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty (Slumdog Millionaire)

v Best Director: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

v Best adapted screenplay: Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire)

v Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire)

v Best film editing: Chris Dickens (Slumdog Millionaire)

Oscar Award for the Best Documentary Short Subject:

The made in India documentary Smile Pinki also won an Oscar in the Best Short Documentary category at the 81st Academy Awards declared in Los Angeles on February 22.

Smile Pinki is the story of a child with a lip deformity. The film had been nominated along with four other documentaries at the famed Academy Awards

Courtesy :

Thanks to Chandan [My colleague] who spent time to organize this.

Dynamics CRM Mobile Express Preview now available

The Day has Come. Microsoft has released a "preview" of Mobile Express for CRM, a free mobile application for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. Read more about it here. Download it here (registration required).

Join the Mobile Express for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Connect program and suggest ideas of how to make the product better.

Case Study : Performance and Scalability Assessments of an Implementation

The MS CRM E2 team has released the white paper "SAMPLE: Performance and Scalability Assessment of Customer Implementation". This paper provides a sample final report on the results, conclusions, and recommendations from a performance and scalability assessment of a customer's implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Available for download @

This paper is based on the results of a performance and scalability assessment that was performed by the UK MCS team on a customer’s implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The testing was designed to simulate real world scenarios of an enterprise customer.

This document, which is intended to provide a point of reference for others who are working on similar efforts, contains details of the testing methodology and environment, as well as the attending results of the performance and scalability assessment.

Thanks to UK MCS Team, Life made easy :)

Reference: MSDN

Sort records by multiple columns in MS CRM

When you’re in a hurry to find a record you need, or want to see groups of records, sorting a list of records is frequently the quickest method. You can easily sort records by one or more columns.

To sort a list of records, click a column heading. The arrow indicates the direction of the sort: for ascending, and for descending. To change the sort order, click the heading again

To sort by an additional column, press CTRL+SHIFT while you click the additional column heading. Each column will show the arrow that indicates the sort direction. The columns are sorted based on the order you click the column headers.

Microsoft CRM web site! A new look and feel - Runs on Windows Azure

The Microsoft CRM web site got a complete new look and feel! The new site runs on Windows Azure and relies on underlying Microsoft SQL Server, Silverlight, and ASP.Net services from Azure.


Check it out now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

ISV Utilities for Comparing Customizations and Transferring Configuration Data Released

Hurray...! "Developer's Most Required" ISV Utilities for Comparing Customizations and Transferring Configuration Data Released. I would like to thank the ISVs who took initiative to Build these Utilities. Great Work Guys :)

Inna Agranov
Microsoft Corporation

February 2009


Learn how to build and use two new powerful tools developed for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The Customization Comparison Utility lets you compare the customization files between two Microsoft Dynamics CRM systems and the Configuration Data Utility lets you transfer custom configuration data from one Microsoft Dynamics CRM system to another.

Download the Visual Studio 2008 and Visual C# code samples for this article:

The Readme.doc documents that are included with the sample code contain information about how to set up and build the sample applications. The user guides contain detailed information about how to use the sample applications and view the results.

Applies To

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Microsoft Visual Studio 2008


Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a highly customizable system. Not only you can modify different sections of the product, you can also create new components to address business needs. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform offers a robust set of tools, APIs, and documentation that helps you build custom business applications. As the applications built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform become more and more complex, a need for specialized support tools grows. In this article you will learn about two very useful tools that help you analyze the impact of customizations on the system and maintain consistent configuration data across multiple Microsoft Dynamics CRM systems.

Evaluating the Impact of Customizations with the Customization Comparison Utility

To evaluate the impact of customizations, it is helpful to compare customization files between the source and the target systems before you import customizations. The Customization Comparison Utility helps you accomplish this task.

Analyzing Customizations

Often you have to export custom components from one Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment and import them into another, for example, from development into test or production. However, before you import customizations, it is very helpful to assess the impact of customizations on the target system. The system where you import customizations may have been changed since the last installation. You have to consider the extent of the changes and how they may affect the new installation. While some of the changes, such as renaming of the attributes or adding new attributes, are minor, other modifications, such as deletion of entities or changes in the forms may have a significant effect on the system.

Analyzing and understanding the system customizations may result in more successful deployment of a new version of the application. This analysis minimizes the risk of overwriting important customization data in the target system. For example, if only several attribute names have changed, you may be able to do a plain import using the import/export functionality built into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. However, if some key components were deleted, such as entity forms, you may have to merge the customizations with the changes in the target system. Comparing customization files between the two systems helps you determine which approach will result in more successful deployment. This is also very useful when you are diagnosing the problems between two systems. By comparing the customization files, you can often identify possible causes of the existing problems.

Using the Customization Comparison Utility

The Customization Comparison utility lets you easily compare two Microsoft Dynamics CRM customization.xml files. Unlike other XML comparison tools, this utility can read and understand Microsoft Dynamics CRM schema. The results of comparison show the differences in entities, attributes, forms, views, workflows, security roles, entity maps, and relationships. You can use this tool before you import customizations into a system to evaluate the effect they will have on the system.

Use the tool to compare XML customizations files between the source and the target systems. If you use a zipped customization file, make sure that it contains only one customization XML file. The following illustration shows the results of comparison between two customization files. The compared items include entities, roles, workflows, entity maps, and relationships. You can drill down into each item to see more details. From the entities, you can view the changes in attributes, forms, and system views. You can easily see the changes in source and target. It shows the items that are present in the source file and not present in the target file and the items that are present in the target file, but not in the source file.


In addition to reviewing the results of the comparison in the grid, the tool includes a report that you can easily export to Microsoft Office Excel for additional analysis.

The tool offers a command line version that you can run from a command prompt.

For more information about how to use the tool, see the Customization Comparison user's guide included in the download package for this utility.

Transferring Configuration Data with the Configuration Data Utility

When you work with multiple environments, such as development, test, and production, or multiple Microsoft Dynamics CRM organizations, keeping consistent configuration data across all systems can be very important. The Configuration Data Utility helps you achieve this. It lets you export custom configuration data from a source Microsoft Dynamics CRM system and import it to a target Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

Storing Configuration Data in Custom Entities

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM you often use custom entities to store business information. However, you could also use custom entities to store system configuration data. For example, if an application integrates Microsoft Dynamics CRM with a third-party system, you could create a configuration entity with attributes such as pollingtime, url, and retries to store the configuration data needed for the integration. This is very convenient because the data stored in the configuration entity can be used by the system administrators to configure a new application or update an existing application. To keep the configuration data up to date, you may have to frequently upload the new data, or have an automated task to do it.

Using the Configuration Data Utility gives you a simple and efficient way to transfer custom configuration data from one system to another. One of the main benefits of this utility is that you can import configuration data from multiple custom entities at the same time. While it only imports and exports data for custom entities, the tool can handle useful scenarios, such as importing records that reference other records that are also being imported.

For the tool to work correctly, the schema for the source entities and the target entities must be identical.

In more complex cases, use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM data export and import tools or Data Migration Manager to transfer data for custom and system entities.
For more information about these tools, see Microsoft Dynamics CRM online Help.

Using the Configuration Data Utility

Use the Configuration Data Utility to export the source system configuration data and import it into a target system. The tool provides a convenient interface that lets you select the custom entities that contain the configuration data in the source system, save the data into a data file, and then import the records from the data file into a target system.

To run the tool, you must be a system administrator with appropriate privileges to create, read, and update entity instances.

The following illustration shows the entities in the source system that are selected for export.


For import, specify the target server where you import the configuration data and the data file that you created during export, as shown in following illustrations.



For more information about how to use the tool, see the Configuration Data Utility user's guide included in the download package for this utility.