Utilizing Google Chrome to Work Efficiently with Multiple D365 Orgs and User Accounts
As an Administrator, Developer, or QA Tester for a Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement instance, you may frequently need to switch between multiple accounts that you support. Similarly, when you perform unit testing or QA tasks, you likely must switch between multiple testing user accounts to validate functionality for different security roles. If you have been doing these tasks for some time, you know that by using a browser in private or incognito mode, you can open multiple sessions – but you still need to manually enter URLs, users name, and passwords.
There is a better approach to this, one that will save you valuable time, freeing you up for tasks that you enjoy more – like solution design, coding, or testing. Google Chrome gives you the capability to manage multiple people accounts / personas, and each account behaves like a separate browser with its own cache, giving you the chance to store different Favorites sets, Users, and passwords on each page. See below screenshots of two personas with different Favorites menu bar
To set up different Google Chrome accounts, follow the simple step-by-step instructions below:
1. Open Google Chrome.
2. Click on the People icon (if you are logged in to Chrome, the icon will display your user name or initial).
3. Click Manage people.
4. Click Add Person.
5. Enter a Username, select an avatar (optional), and create a desktop shortcut (optional).
6. Your Account / Persona will open in a new browser window.
7. You can now start browsing and create a new separate Favorites list for this Account / Persona. A new browser cache will be initiated, and browsing history, username, and password will be stored separately in this account.
8. You can even synchronize the cache of this Account / Persona to multiple devices.
Hopefully this little trick will save you lots of time going forward.
Happy Dynamics 365’ing!
How to Configure ‘I Follow’ Functionality for Custom Entities
Regular readers of our blog are likely familiar with the concept of following records in Dynamics. But… what if you want to add this functionality to a custom entity that you created? In today’s blog, we will walk you through how to set this up in Dynamics 365.
In our example, we created a new entity called Funds and our client wants to be able to choose records – ad hoc – to follow as opposed to having a potentially large list of records with which to work. We have three funds currently (as shown below) but there will be plenty more added to the system. The client wants to follow the Fidelity fund and also be able to add other funds to a 'Funds I Follow' list in the future.
This is our snazzy new Funds entity with its 3 records:
We can see that the Funds entity has only two views currently:
When I Follow functionality has been enabled, the Funds entity will have the Follow/Unfollow command buttons and a couple of views automatically. The underlying technology for this is called Activity Feeds and we will need to navigate to the system settings and into Activity Feeds Configuration to enable this functionality. These are the steps:
Click on Advanced Settings:
Next, open Activity Feeds Configuration:
Now that we are in the Post Configurations view within the Activity Feeds Configuration settings, we need to refresh the view because our custom entity will not be in this view yet, so go ahead and click Refresh:
Now, locate the custom entity and click ACTIVATE and then OK:
Click Activate and then OK. Next, publish your solution that contains the custom entity by clicking Publish All.
And that’s it!! Now, when you go to the Funds entity you will see the Follow and Unfollow buttons, which will add a record (or remove it) from the Funds I Follow view:
Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more tips and tricks.
Adding Custom CRM Fields to the Dynamics Connector After Initial Configuration
In some instances, after you have initially configured your Dynamics Connector, you will need to add additional CRM fields into the mapping. Sometimes the proper method to reconfigure works without error and the new fields are seen without a problem. Other times, however, you might receive a generic error that will not allow you to re-configure and pick up the new fields.
In order to add these additional fields, you will need to modify the Configuration file directly. In today's blog we will go over the steps needed to accomplish this. Let's get started!
The configuration file is located in the Organization folder under the ObjectConfig folder:
C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft DynamicsMicrosoft Dynamics AdapterAdaptersMicrosoft.Dynamics.Integration.Adapters.Crm20XXObjectConfigorgaXXXXXXX
When opening these files, you will need to use an elevated mode to make and save changes. (See this Microsoft article if you need help.)
After opening the file, you will see that the files are XML based. In order to add a field, you will need the schema name, type of field, and the display name. Once these are known, you can copy one of the existing out-of-the-box fields for the same field type and modify the schema name and display name, as seen below:
- Out-of-the-box String Field: <Field Name="address1_postalcode" TypeName="System.String" DisplayName="Address 1 ZIP/Postal Code" IsRequired="false" IsReadOnly="false" />
- New String Field: <Field Name="new_customfield" TypeName="System.String" DisplayName="Custom Field" IsRequired="false" IsReadOnly="false" />
You will notice that you can also identify 'IsRequired' and 'IsReadOnly' if appropriate for the field you will be adding.
Below are some standard formats you will see in these XML files:
Once you have added the additional fields, you will need to close the connector, re-open, and navigate to the appropriate map to see your fields listed in the destination area of the mapping view as shown below:
Hopefully this post is helpful when working with the Dynamics Connector! To keep up to date on more tips and tricks like this one, be sure to subscribe to our blog!
Copy PowerFind Configuration and Import into a New Instance
PowerFind is a powerful and versatile Add-on from PowerObjects that allows you to search for a person across Leads, Accounts, and Contacts without having to go into the QuickFind for different records. Many organizations use PowerFind because of its flexibility and configurability; for example, you can control columns that display, as well as configure the reading pane to display attributes of a record in a preview to provide the most insight to users while they are searching.
If you spend a lot of time initially configuring PowerFind in a development environment, you may want to move your configurations to a sandbox or production environment without redoing them. There is a way! Today's blog will show you how to copy your configuration file over to your new instance, saving you considerable time. Let's get started!
1. From within your current environment, navigate to Advanced Find and open. This will open a pop-up window.
2. Click on the Look For option set and select PowerFind Configuration.
3. Then click on the Results button in the top ribbon. This will direct you to the results tab of Advanced Find.
4. From here we are going to need to copy the field located on the ReadingPane record. In order to do, follow these steps.
a. Double click on ReadingPane. A pop-up window will appear.
b. Highlight all of the text in the Value field.
c. Copy the text (Ctrl C).
d. We will now need a place to store the text until we are ready to use it. We chose to do this in Notepad, as this will ensure that the text remains plain text.
e. Open Notepad, or any other program where you can store text. Paste the copied text from the Value field.
5. Now proceed to the instance you want to have the configuration for in PowerFind.
NOTE: It is assumed that at this point in the new instance, you have already installed PowerFind. If this is not the case, please click here to install PowerFind.
6. From within your current environment, navigate to Advanced Find and open.
7. Click on the Look For option set and select PowerFind Configuration.
8. Next, click on the Results button.
9. From here navigate to the ReadingPane record and complete the following steps:
a. Double click on ReadingPane. A window will pop-up like the one below.
b. Highlight all of the text in the Value field.
c. Delete that text.
d. Copy the text we stored in Notepad and paste it into the now empty Value field.
10. Click on the Save icon found at the bottom right of the screen.
11. Close the window.
Congratulations! You have now successfully copied your PowerFind configuration from one instance to another instance!
If you should have any additional questions about PowerFind or any of the other great add-ons we offer for CRM, please reach out to one of our PowerPack Pros or check out the PowerPack page on our website. Thank you for stopping by our blog today!
Testing Incoming Mailbox Configuration for Server Side Sync
Here is a quick blog for those of you setting up server side sync in Dynamics CRM: If your Email Server Profile is set to "Credentials specified by a user or queue" as shown below:
Then the incoming "Email Configuration Test" for a mailbox does not check the credentials access to the email address specified. As long as the credentials entered have access to the Server specified in your Email Server Profile, the test will succeed, regardless of whether those credentials can open the mailbox, or if the mailbox even lives on this server.
In the example below, the email address is not valid (PowerObjects is misspelled) yet the Incoming Email Status shows "Succeeded".
This is a good reminder to always double-check your email addresses and credentials when configuring or testing Server-Side Sync, even if your Configuration Test results are a success. If you are switching from an email router to server side sync in Dynamics CRM, click on the link for a super great and informative blog that will get you up and running! And as always, if you run into trouble, we are happy to help! You can reach out to us here.
Import Sequence Number and the Dynamics CRM Outlook Client
Are you getting a generic error when attempting to configure the Dynamics CRM Outlook Client? Because there isn't an actual error message visible from the workstation, it can be a bit frustrating to determine what is causing this issue. If you have access to the CRM server, the error logs can help point you in the right direct.
One possible scenario is that the Searchable attribute of the Import Sequence Number field is set to No.
This field is required for the Outlook Client synchronize functionality to execute properly.
NOTE: A CRM user with either System Administrator or System Customizer security role is necessary to perform the steps below.
- To determine if this is causing the issue, set the Searchable field to Yes, then publish your configurations in CRM.
- Attempt to configure the Outlook Client again.
- If this does not resolve your issue, check to see if the CRM server and Outlook Client are on the same Update Rollup. Gaps in the Update Rollups can also cause this type of issue.
For additional troubleshooting ideas, you can read up on all of our blogs on the Dynamics CRM Outlook Client. As always, if you need additional assistance with Dynamics CRM, don't hesitate to reach out to PowerObjects, the 2012 and 2013 Dynamics CRM Partner of the Year!
How to Install Dynamics CRM 2011 or 2013 for Outlook
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook add-in is a powerful way to use Dynamics CRM within Outlook. It also allows you to synchronize your contacts and activities between the two. The following is a handy guide on how to install and configure the client for Dynamics CRM 2011 or CRM 2013 Online.
1. First you will need to download and install the client.
Download the CRM 2011 version
Download the CRM 2013 version
(Note: Most workstations will use the version ending in i386 [32 bit], as opposed to the version ending in adm64 [64 bit]. If you're unsure, you can check and see what version you will need. To do this in Outlook 2003 or 2007, open Outlook, go to the File menu and select Help. For Outlook 2013, click File, select Office Account, and then click About Outlook. Under the About Microsoft section you will see what version you are running.)
2. Once your web browser prompts you to download, click Run.
3. Follow the prompts to install and set up the Outlook client.
4. Once the setup is complete, you may be prompted to configure the add-in using the Configuration Wizard. If the wizard does not start automatically, you can manually start it by navigating to the CRM tab in Outlook and clicking Configure Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook.
How to Configure Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook
1. Once you have the Configuration Wizard started, the next step you take will depend on whether you are running Dynamics CRM 2011 Online or On-Premise.
- For Dynamics CRM 2011 Online, do not enter a Server URL. Instead, choose the option CRM Online from the drop-down.
- For Dynamics CRM On-Premise, enter your organization's Dynamics CRM URL and click Test Connection.
2. Once the test finishes, enter your Dynamics CRM credentials and click OK.
Note: If you are not sure of your password or it is not accepting your credentials, try logging in through the web to verify your password.
3. Choose your Organization and click OK.
Warning! If you own contact records in Dynamics CRM, the add-in will sync those CRM contacts into your Outlook contacts, which could create the potential for duplicate Outlook contacts. See our blog for turning off contact syncing for more information.
Once the process completes, Microsoft Dynamics CRM will now be available to access using your Outlook! Here's what it should look like:
If you need help troubleshooting, you can reference our blog on maintaining the Outlook client for Dynamics CRM.
Advanced Tips for Configuring Dynamics CRM for Outlook
There are a number of configurations that can be made to enhance a user's experience using Dynamics CRM within Outlook. (If you still need to install the Outlook Client, you can refer to our blog How to Install Dynamics CRM for Outlook.)
Here are a few things that will hopefully help you out in configuring Dynamics CRM for Outlook.
Setting Your Personal Options
To access Personal Options, click File > CRM > Options.
The following instructions will tell you what settings are available under each tab.
Under the General tab
- Show "Get Started" pane. Un-check this box to remove the "Get Started" pane from Dynamics CRM. This will give you more screen space while navigating.
- Records Per Page. Increase this number to show more records per page (up to 250 per page).
Under the Workplace tab
- Here you can select which group of entities will show under My Workplace.
Under the Email Tab
Under the Synchronization tab
- Synchronize the CRM items in my Outlook folders every – With this checked Dynamics CRM will automatically sync. This is on by default. For some organizations to help performance – it is best to increase the interval time to 60 minutes or more.
There you go! Several great tips for configuring Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook. If you want even more info, check out some additional blogs on the topic:
Dynamics CRM 2011 Email Router with Office 365 – Configure Outgoing Profile
Today we'll cover configuring the Dynamics CRM 2011 Email Router to use Office 365 for Outgoing emails. The process can be broken down into three parts. Part 1 consists of gathering details from Office 365 about the deployment, Part 2 is granting permissions via PowerShell and Part 3 involves the actual email router configuration.
Part 1 – Gather Office 365 Exchange Online Details
1. Login to Office 365: https://login.microsoftonline.com
2. Click on the Outlook tab.
3. Click on the ? button and choose About.
A window with the details of the mail settings will appear.
4. Scroll down to the section on External SMTP settings:
Part 2 – Grant Send As Permissions to User via PowerShell
If this is your first time using PowerShell, you will need to make sure you enable the Execution Policy for Remote Signed Scripts.
Open PowerShell as an Administrator from your local computer:
1. Click on the Windows Start Key
2. Type PowerShell
3. Right Click and choose to "Run As Administrator"
4. Enter the following:
a. Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
Note: The following error will occur if you did not run PowerShell as Administrator. To resolve this issue, close PowerShell and reopen with as Administrator.
5. Next we need to connect to Office 365 using the Live ID credentials with Admin access.
In PowerShell, enter the following:
$LiveCred = Get-Credential
Once you hit enter, you will be prompted for your Office 365 Live ID credentials.
6. Enter the following:
$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/ -Credential $LiveCred -Authentication Basic –AllowRedirection
7. Grant the Send As permission
$csv = get-mailbox
foreach($line in $csv)
Add-RecipientPermission $Line.identity -Trustee <email@example.com> -AccessRights SendAs
Note: firstname.lastname@example.org is a place holder for the actual account you are adding the Send As permission for.
Part 3 – Configuring the Email Router
Once we have gathered information from Office 365, we can then move to Part 3– configuring the email router.
In the Exchange Web Services URL field, enter the complete URL for the outgoing e-mail server. Use the Exchange Web Services (EWS) URL format (EWS/exchange.asmx), as shown in the following example:
If you select Administrator as the user type, you must select either Delegate Access or Send As permission as the access type. Delegate Access causes e-mail to be sent as "Send on behalf of" messages. Send As permission causes e-mail to be sent as "Send As" messages.
If you are using Queues, we have also covered configuring the Dynamics CRM 2011 Email Router for an Incoming Profile.
If you would like assistance configuring the email router or if you would like us to host the it, please contact us at email@example.com/stg.
Personalizing Custom Entity Icons with Metro Studio
In Dynamics 365, an administrator can customize the icons that are displayed for custom entities. These entities will display an unattractive default image in the navigation panel, as well as a miniature unattractive default image in certain places like the configuration area.
Have a look:
To address this, we need to collect custom icons for all our custom entities. A great tool to make this quick and easy is Metro Studio 5 by Syncfusion. You can search for this program and download a desktop version, which we find to be the most convenient. The interface allows you to instantly search thousands of flat pre-configured icons for download. It even gives you preset icon categories to quickly find icons that apply to your vertical.
Further, if you ever need to make bulk changes to your icon configurations, Metro Studio will store them in 'projects' that allow you to return later and re-export, make changes, etc. Just drag an icon to create a new project, then add to that folder the additional icons you will need for your project.
You can see we've added three icons to the project below:
We can now bulk edit those three icons to meet the standards we need for them to cooperate in D365.
First select all custom icons (as indicated by the check marks). Then create the 32x32 icons first by dragging the first size slider to 32. Now set to 1 using the next slider (you can experiment with your preferred padding for your project). Set the background color to 'transparent' – that way, we can control the background color in D365 and won't be limited to the single color we are exporting. Lastly, choose the icon color. OB icon color for 32x32 is white (#FFFFFFFF). See below for an exam of these customizations applied in bulk to the custom icons:
Now we can export these as .png files to our local machine. Then repeat the above steps to create our 16 x 16 icons. However, for these, set the slider size to 16, set the padding to 0, leave the background transparent, and set the color to a black or grey of your choice (we use the OOB gray, FF5E5E5E). Export these, as well, and keep track of them.
Note: You can also rename the icons here. It may help to have a logical name when you import them as web resources. For example, "samplecustomicon16" or "samplecustomicon32."
Now, for the easy part that most of you are familiar with. We will update the old standard icon in D365 and replace it with our new awesome icon. First, load the new icons into CRM as web resources.
Go to Web Resource > New in the configurator.
Follow the settings below, then repeat this process for the 16x16 icons:
Note: Be descriptive with a 16 or 32 in your naming convention so they are easy to locate later.
Now, with all your icons added as web resources, in the D365 configurator locate and select the entity for which you wish to update icons.
In the toolbar at the top of the entity, select Update Icons.
You can now lookup your 16- and 32-sized custom icons and associate them with the custom entity.
Once you've saved and published, you can see that the new icons are in place!
Easy, awesome, and even a little fun. Get more Dynamics 365 tips and tricks on our blog!
Happy Dynamics 365'ing!
Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Configuration Migration Tool
In this blog, you will learn about an often-overlooked option for migrating configuration data between environments. The Dynamics 365 CRM Configuration Migration Tool will assist you in moving entity configuration data without the use of custom code. This is a great no-cost, no-code tool for use by all types of CRM developers. See how to generate a schema and data file using the Configuration Migration Tool to import into another environment. Use this tool to have matching GUIDS across environments for entities such as Business Units and Teams.
What is configuration data?
Configuration data is a type of meta data. Meta data can be thought of as data about data. The values within an Option Set are an example of meta data that will migrate with the movement of solution files. Entities containing data about data, such as a custom entity containing values for a standardized lookup field or Owner Teams, are another type of meta data.
Solutions exported from CRM do not contain data stored within Entities. So how do we move the configuration data stored in an entity across environments? Fortunately, there are an array of options to choose from when determining how to move the configuration data across environments.
Methods and Tools for Migrating Configuration Data (non-exhaustive list)
Why use the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Configuration Migration Tool?
This utility is particularity helpful when there are multiple entities containing configuration data and you want to move the data in a repeatable and efficient method, without leveraging ETL tools or custom code. With this tool, one can move entity configuration data from Development to Test. Or, Test to Production. Or, ….so many possibilities! When the underlying data schemas are synchronized (this can be done by exporting/importing the CRM solution file), one can move onto migrating the configuration data with the Configuration Migration Tool.
What does it do?
The tool creates a schema file which is used to export and import data as specified in the schema file. The utility allows the user to:
- Specify which entities to include
- Disable plug-ins on all entities before importing
- Enable plug-ins after importing the data
- Specify record uniqueness conditions to avoid duplicate records
- Export Data
- Import Data
What does it look like?
1. Upon launching the CRM Configuration Migration Tool, this form appears allowing the user to select the desired action. For this example, we have specified "Create Schema" and selected Continue.
2. Enter login credentials.
3. After logging in, the user is prompted to select a Solution and Entity.
4. Select the fields to be added for each entity and/or select Add Entity to add all fields in the selected entity. We chose two account fields and the entire Contact entity. Items selected appear on the right and can be expanded as shown here.
5. Next, select Save and Export.
6. Upon saving the file, the user is asked if the data should be exported.
7. Choose to export the data.
8. After specifying the data file name and location select Export Data. The progress of the file generation process is shown.
9. When processing has completed the files generated by the tool are available to review and import. The result of the export looks like this:
And there you have it! Schema and data ready to import into another environment!
Bonus: The configuration schema file generated by the Configuration Migration Tool can be included in the Dynamics CRM 365 Package Deployer.
Friendly Reminder: Always backup your environment before importing data!
Where can I find the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Configuration Migration Tool?
The free tool is provided by Microsoft with the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Developer Tools.
I want to learn more. Where do I go from here?
Check out PowerObjects Dynamics 365 University courses to learn more about the Configuration Migration Tool, Dynamics 365 CRM Package Deployer, and other Dynamics 365 topics. Look for additional tips and tricks on our blog!
Happy Dynamics 365'ing!
Changing the Dynamics 365 Social Pane View to Activities
In today's blog, we will walk through the steps on how to change the Dynamics 365 Social Pane View to Activities on a form.
1. Open the Form you would like to change.
2. Click Form Editor.
3. In Form Editor, double click the middle section of the Social Pane.
4. Click the Show All drop down in the Filter by section
5. Select Show Selected in the Filter by section.
6. Select the Activities module.
7. Click Ok.
8. Click Save.
9. Click Publish.
Now you know how to change the Dynamics 365 Social Pane View to Activities on a form. For more helpful tips and tricks, be sure to subscribe to our blog!
Happy Dynamics 365'ing!