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and visual complexity by removing excessive lines and gradients in the UX and modernized the interface by removing outdated 3D bevels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