Folder-level Tracking in CRM 2015 Online

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online Spring Update introduced a new tracking feature: folder-level tracking. This means that any device that supports the Microsoft Exchange feature can have a seamless way to track email activities. Today's blog covers both methods, so let's dive in!

For Quick-Tracking, follow the steps below:

1. Create a folder in Microsoft Exchange and link it to the same Dynamics CRM record.

2. Now, when users move emails to the Exchange folder, all those emails will automatically be tracked into CRM. This all gets done without having to set regarding for a record in CRM.

This works with inbox email rules as well, which are set to redirect all incoming email to the Exchange folder automatically, and we can track the activities easily. Now, you don't need the CRM Outlook Client installed any more just as a tracking tool.

For Folder-level Tracking, follow the steps below:

Administrative level steps:

1. Navigate to CRM > Settings > Email Configuration Settings.

2. Set the Outgoing Email to Server-Side Synchronization or Email Router.

3. Enable "Use Folder-Level Tracking."

End user level steps:

1. Create an exchange folder.

2. Select the CRM records and the folder within by navigating to Personal Options to set the email configuration settings it needs to track.

folder-level tracking

folder-level tracking

With these new tracking techniques, quick tracking and folder-level tracking, users will have an improved experience for tracking email records within CRM, and that's something we can all get behind!

If you haven't made the jump to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016, what are you waiting for? The latest version is chock full of even better features than before. Make sure you check out our library of Webinars on Demand to see demos, feature profiles, our favorite features, and more on this topic and many, many more!

Happy CRM'ing!

Trialing Dynamics CRM Online? Some Things to Consider [WEBINAR]

Trialing dynamics CRM? If you are one of many companies evaluating Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there are a number of things to consider before (and after) you start your free 30-day trial of CRM. Luckily, we’re here to help. Whether you’re a one-person startup or a company with 10,000+ employees, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to evaluating Microsoft Dynamics CRM and deciding if it's the right solution for you. If you’ve ever wondered . . .


. . . you aren’t the only one! Join one of our PowerObjects SMB experts, Patrick Jackson, on Friday, April 22nd at 10 a.m. CST for a 30 minute webinar to address these questions and more to help you get the most out of your services.

Happy CRM'ing!

*Image source:



The CRM Minute: The Mystery of "The Cloud" [VIDEO]

We hear the term "cloud" used in the business world on a regular basis, but if you're like a lot of people, "cloud" is something you know, but might not necessarily understand fully. In today's episode of The CRM Minute, we are going to break down the mystery of the cloud by showing you what the Microsoft Cloud has to offer for your online Microsoft licenses (including CRM of course!) as well as our Microsoft Cloud by PowerObjects program! Let's get started!

Microsoft did a great job of listening to their customers when developing Office 365. Office 365 delivers the power of cloud productivity to businesses of all sizes, helping you save time and money and free up valuable resources. What's great about the cloud in this instance is that you can literally take your Office 365 suite of products anywhere and on any device.  Let's take a look at how an Office 365 online subscription can benefit your organization and break down the “mystery of the cloud” by answering your burning Office 365 questions.

No matter where you are in your Dynamics CRM journey – whether you have bought your licenses or are looking to buy them, with Microsoft Cloud by PowerObjects you will get more out of your investment. A partnership with PowerObjects means you will always have access to a dedicated team who gets you, your needs, and your solution. PowerObjects will be able to manage all of your Microsoft CRM needs, and can deliver, manage, and support your Microsoft Cloud subscriptions. From service, to support, to billing – your CRM and Microsoft Cloud solutions are taken care of by PowerObjects.

Additional Resources


VIDEO 1: Hi. I’m Cecilie, and today we’re going to talk about Office 365, and everything you keep hearing about The cloud. Read More

Password Expiration for Office 365 and CRM Online

As CRM Online becomes more and more popular, one of the issues that seem to pop up is the expiring of passwords. These usernamespasswords are inevitably changed when an integration comes along or perhaps with one of our PowerPacks. With a couple pieces of software we can set any users' password to never expire.

Both of these applications are available from Microsoft and are free to download. Make sure you have the correct version installed before following the steps below.

  1. Microsoft Online Services Sign in Assistant
    • If you are using the CRM Outlook client for CRM Online, you should already have this installed, if not you can click here to download this program
  2. Windows PowerShell for Azure Active Directory
    • Click here to download the file

Once these programs are installed, open the Azure Active Directory Module for Window PowerShell program:

Password Expiration for Office 365 and CRM Online

  1. Type in the following command
    • Connect –MsolService and hit Enter
  2. You will then be prompted to enter an Office 365 administrator user and password

    Password Expiration for Office 365 and CRM Online

  3. If you have entered in correct username password, you will be brought back to the Powershell screen



    Password Expiration for Office 365 and CRM Online


  4. Now we can enter in the following command to ensure the password will never expire
    • Set –MsolUser –UserPrincipalName -PasswordNeverExpires $true
    • You will need to replace the with the actual username that you want updated

    Password Expiration for Office 365 and CRM Online



There you have it! Now the conundrum of trying to remember your passwords are behind you. Please keep our other fantastic blogs in mind as you navigate the waters of Dynamics CRM!

Happy CRM'ing!

Don’t Forget the SPF (Sender Policy Framework) for Dynamics CRM

Don't let the intentionally misleading title fool you...this blog isn't about sunscreen; this is about the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and ensuring the emails you send from CRM Online get delivered correctly.

SPF is implemented within the Domain Name System (DNS) as text records (TXT) on a domain, and is used to help prevent email forgery by specifying the computers that are authorized to send mail for the domain. When an SPF-enabled mail server receives an email, it checks the DNS records of the sending domain for an SPF record and if one exists it checks to see if the sending IP address (or host name) matches the authorized senders listed in the SPF record. If it is listed, the email has "passed" the SPF check; if not, it has "failed," and is often marked as spam or bounced.

We're not going to debate the merits of SPF here, but if your organization publishes SPF records on its domain and you're implementing CRM Online, you're going to want to ensure that your DNS SPF records are updated to include Microsoft's outbound email relays as designated senders for your domain.

You can use the Windows PowerShell and its "resolve-dnsname" cmdlet to check on whether your organization uses SPF records. Simply open PowerShell and enter "resolve-dnsname txt" to see all TXT records being published on your domain name. If you see an entry starting with "v=spf1" as in the example below, you're going to want to contact your DNS team and ask them to add "" to it as in the example shown below for the domain. If you don't see anything starting with "v=spf1," you aren't publishing SPF records on your domain and don't have to worry about it.

Don’t Forget the SPF for Dynamics CRM


For additional resources check out this Microsoft knowledgebase article describing SPF records or look to the overview of the Sender Policy Framework (a.k.a. "Sender ID"). As always, keep an eye on our Dynamics CRM blog as we continue to write about all things Dynamics CRM.

Happy CRM'ing!


Are You Getting an Error Accessing CRM via ADFS 3.0?

Have you ever attempted to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM via ADFS 3.0, and encountered an error like the one below?

Error Accessing CRM via ADFS 3.0

"An error occurred. Contact your administrator for more information."

Using ADFS 3.0 and accessing CRM will result in the error you see above. This is due to the way ADFS 3.0 handles security—it doesn't utilize IIS anymore. To resolve the error, follow these steps:

  1. Open your ADFS 3.0 management console and click Authentication Policies, then click Edit.
    Are You Getting an Error Accessing CRM via ADFS 3.0?
  2. Make sure you have the sections highlighted in the screenshot below checked within your security settings.
    Are You Getting an Error Accessing CRM via ADFS 3.0?
  3. Restart ADFS service and attempt to access CRM again.

That's it! Of course, if your issues persist, you can always contact the pros at PowerObjects for help.

Happy CRM'ing!

Using Office 365 Security Groups to Control Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Access

If you are a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online system administrator, you probably know that initial CRM user setup is performed in the Office 365 portal and then configured within CRM. But you may not know that you can use the Security Groups feature in the Office 365 Portal to enable or disable CRM access to custom groups of users you can create.

This feature can be useful for different scenarios, including:

There is actually a default security group that is pre-configured for Office 365 called System Administrators. This group includes all Office 365 users with global administrator rights.

Here's how it works. You must have global administrator rights in the Office 365 Portal.  If you do, log in to the Office 365 Portal with your credentials to the home page. Once logged in, do the following:

  1. On the home page, select the Users and Groups link on the navigation menu on the left side of the page.
  2. This will take you to the Active Users list. In the upper near left of the page near the top center of the home page, you will see a link for Security Groups. Click on the link to take you to the security groups management pages.
  3. Left click on the + (plus) symbol to create a new group. This will open up a new page where you can enter your new security group name.

Office 365 Security Groups

For this scenario, we will call our group Testing Users. This group will comprise of users that will have access to the CRM environment for testing new solutions. To create the group, do the following:

  1. On the entry page, enter the name of the group in the Display Name section.
  2. Next, left click on plus sign in the Members section to pop out the user selection tool to select the user(s) that will be part of this group.
  3. After entering the name, select Save in the bottom right corner to save your group.

security groups img 2

Voilà! Your new security group is created. Now, let's use it to limit access to Dynamics CRM Online to our Testing Users. Go to the Office 365 CRM Online Admin Center by first clicking on the Admin dropdown on the Office 365 navigation toolbar, then selecting CRM from the dropdown list. This will open the CRM configuration page.

security groups img 3

Next, select the CRM Online instance (if you have more than one) you want to edit and select the Edit button.

security groups img 4

In the edit screen in the security settings section, use the search tool to look up your new Testing Users security group and select it.   Click Save to save your selection and return to the main page in the Admin Center.

security groups img 5

security groups img 6

Then, click Save on the Admin Center page to save your CRM Online instance security settings.

That’s it! As long as the users in your group are licensed for CRM Online, access to the CRM Online instance will be restricted to the users in the security group. Other licensed users inside of CRM Online that are not in the security group will be disabled. To restore access, simply go back to the CRM Online Admin Center for that instance and clear the group name from the security settings.

Happy CRM'ing!

Office 365 Promotion: 30% Off Dynamics CRM Professional Licenses

Many Office 365 customers have added Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to their Office 365 subscriptions because of how seamlessly the tools integrate with Outlook and SharePoint. Well, there's good news! Microsoft is currently running an Office 365 promotion for customers who want to purchase Dynamics CRM Online licenses.

Effective now through March 31st, 2014, customers with either Enterprise Business plans (E3 and E4) or Mid-Sized Business plans have the opportunity to purchase the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional licenses and receive a 30% discount. Office 365 service must be acquired prior to requesting this promotion and the number of seats must be less than 250.  Those purchasing 50+ CRM licenses have the extra bonus of saving up to 40% on their purchase.

If you already have the Mid-Sized Business plan and are ready to purchase your Dynamics CRM Online Professional licenses, you can click here to get started purchasing your discounted CRM licenses. From this link, click buy now. You will be prompted to log in to your Office 365 account. Once you log in, you will automatically be taken to the Purchase Services page in the Microsoft Portal.

Office 365 Promotion

Note: Only Billing Admins or Global Admins can purchase Dynamics CRM Online Professional licenses. For more information on these administrative roles, visit Microsoft's article on Administrative Roles in Office 365.

Additional details of this promotion include:

For more information, and to compare the Mid-Sized Business Plan to the Enterprise business plans, click here.

Happy CRM'ing & Office 365'ing!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Pricing Changes

Some changes are coming regarding the licensing of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. As of October 1st, all new Dynamics CRM Online customers, regardless of how they buy (direct or volume license) will buy under the new User Subscription License (USL) pricing and options.

What does this mean for customers with current agreements?

Existing customers will pay the new prices at the time of their renewal. However, an existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customer can buy and/or add the new Basic or Essential licenses to their existing subscriptions even prior to their renewal date as soon as they upgrade to CRM 2013. Customers will continue to pay their current rates for their professional licenses until they hit their renewal.

To sum it up:

New licenses and prices come into effect for all new or renewed agreements on or after October 1st, 2013. The prices are as follows:

Keep in mind the license type differences:

CRM Online Pricing Changes and Options

In addition, the following new benefits will kick in with O365 subscriptions for CRM Online:

Additional CRM organizations:

Additional Storage

If you have any questions regarding the pricing changes, don't hesitate to contact us.

Happy CRM'ing!

Back it up Baby! How to Backup and Restore CRM Online Instances

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 1 includes a new feature for Backup and Restore. Backup and Restore lets you create on demand backups that you can perform on any CRM Online organizational instances. This feature creates and restores the organizational instance any time a backup or restore is necessary, without the need to create a support ticket. In today's blog, we show you how to use this nifty little feature!

Here are the steps to use the Backup and Restore feature:

1. Open the CRM Online Administration Center.

2. Click Backup & Restore.

3. Choose the instance you want from the drop down list.

Restore CRM Online Instances

The Backup and Restore functionality has two types of backups: On Demand and System backups.

Daily System Backup: These are created automatically with no user intervention and includes these features:

Restore CRM Online Instances

On Demand Backup: CRM Managed

The On Demand CRM Managed backup is the preferred option when making significant changes or customizations to your organization. This backup can be used to test and validate solution deployment procedures. Having a backup on demand allows you to create a restoring point that can prevent configuration or data loss.

Similar to automated backups, these are the features included:

Restore CRM Online Instances

That's all for the blog today! Now you have all the information you need to use the new administration functionality to backup and restore your Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 1 online instances. Want to learn more about the latest version of Dynamics CRM? Check it out!

Happy CRM'ing!

How to Reset Production Instances in Dynamics CRM Online

Have you ever needed to remove all the data in your production instance of Dynamics CRM Online? This is a loaded question as most people will generally say no. However, if the situation arises where you do need to do this, you will notice that there is not an easy way to remove all of the content or reset production instances outside of creating a Microsoft Support Case to remove all data. Lucky for you, we have the steps to do this yourself in today's blog!

There are a couple scenarios that you may find yourself in. The first is that you have both a production instance and at least one Sandbox instance. Or, you might only have a production instance. For both of these scenarios, you will follow the same steps in order to clear out the production instance.

Please note before beginning that the assumption here is that you are a CRM System Administrator with Global Admin rights to Office 365, your system is not live, and/or you are in a maintenance window. Remember that resetting your production instance will erase all data from within the instance.

1. From your Office 365 CRM Online Administration Center, click Admin Centers.

2. Click on CRM. This will pop up a new tab or a window.

Reset Production Instances

3. From this new tab or window, click on the Instances Tab.

4. Select your production instance.

5. Then click Edit. This will take you to a new screen.

Reset Production Instances

6. Under Instance Type, select Sandbox Instance.

7. Click Next. This will bring you to a verification page.

Reset Production Instances

Note: There is a warning regarding your licenses.

8. Click Save. This will take you back to the Instances Page of the CRM Online Administration Center.

Reset Production Instances

9. You will see that your Org Type is listed as Sandbox Instance.

10. You will also see that you have a Reset button available. If you click Reset, it will take you to a reset instance page.

Reset Production Instances

11. Click Next. This will bring you to the next page. On this page you can select your language and currency.

Reset Production Instances

12. Click Reset. This will pop up a warning page that you will have to accept.

Reset Production Instances

13. Click Yes.

Reset Production Instances

You will now be taken back to the Instances Page of the CRM Online Administration Center.

14. You will notice a warning that states your instance is being set up.

15. You will also notice that your open instance button is greyed out.

Reset Production Instances

The resetting process will take some time. Once it is completed, you will notice the notification is gone and the Open button is active again. We now need to put this Sandbox instance back in production.

16. Click on Edit. This will pop a new screen.

Reset Production Instances

17. Click on Instance Type and select Production instance.

18. Click Next. This will take you to a new screen.

Reset Production Instances

19. Please note the warning regarding your licenses.

20. Click Save. This will bring you back to the Instances Page of the CRM Online Administration Center.

Reset Production Instances

Now you are back to a production instance that has been completely reset! That's all for the blog today. Take a coffee break now and check out a few CRM videos on PO TV before Season Two of The CRM Minute starts next Wednesday! Watch the trailer!

Happy CRM'ing!

Dear Joe CRM: How do I restrict users from deleting Invoice Products?

Dear Joe CRM,

I'm at my wits end! We recently started using the Invoice entity in our CRM 2016 Online deployment. It's pretty awesome! However, I want to restrict my user's ability to make changes to Invoice records. I was able to figure out how to restrict Read access on the Invoice entity, but I can't find security settings for Invoice Products like I can for Invoices!

So tell me Joe CRM, how do I restrict users from deleting Invoice Products?

Help me Joe CRM. You're my only hope.

Sincerely, Wits End in Wayzata

Dear Wits End,

I totally understand where you are coming from! It can be frustrating to spend time setting up a clean Invoice integration from your back-end accounting system in CRM only to have end users sabotage the data!

Lucky for you, I'm here to help, Wits End, and if you follow the steps below, you can get your Invoice Products (or Quote Products/Order Products/etc.) locked down!

Step 1: Restricting Edit

As you have already noticed, Invoice Products (and Quote Products/Order Products) are not listed as entities in the CRM security role definitions. This means that we can't just remove the Read permissions on the entity and be done with it. We need a different approach. There are two ways we can "lock down" the contents of these records:

1. Mark the fields on the Invoice Product entity as Read Only.

Invoice Products

Or, you can try:

2. Use Field Security Profiles to restrict edits on the Invoice Product fields.

Step 2: Restricting Delete

You may think you are done after completing Step 1 above, but we still have a problem on our hands. Even when we have all the fields on the Invoice Product marked as read only, you will still see a trash can icon present when you hover over the Line Item in the Product sub-grid on the form! Uh oh!

Invoice Products

You don't need any magic to hide the trash can icon, you just need to know what to do!

1. Download the Ribbon Workbench for CRM (or another Ribbon editor program of your choice).

2. Mark the Delete button on the Invoice Product entity as Hidden.

3. Publish the changes.

Invoice Products

The trash can icon no longer appears in the grid!

Invoice Products

By following both of the steps above, we have successfully locked down this important entity; all without interacting with the CRM security roles! Remember, subscribe to my blog, where I answer questions about CRM weekly!

Happy CRM'ing! Your CRM BFF,