Wednesday, February 27, 2008

CRM 3.0 Enterprise Issue

Yes, I know this is about version 3.0, but yes not everybody uses 4.0 already. I see and hear that companies looking and research upgrade to the latest version, but often they have their custom applications which need further testing or redevelopment to make it compatible with 4.0.

The enterprise roll-out is bit different from regular roll-outs more users, more locations, international aspect etc. Most issues I am facing as consultant are architectural, network, product related issues.

Architectural

The architectural issues are basically about providing the best server setup for providing all users a good technical performance and user experience, the latest is key issue for acceptance of your CRM application. And not forget the personal pc or laptop, an upgrade will do miracles :-)

Network

The network issues are more divers it’s from internet connections, wiring in 19”rack, network availability, configuration of proxies, network routing, authentication/authorization (Kerberos) etc.
Often you will encounter network latency which can lead to slow experience at end user, loss of authentication/authorization (username/password dialogue boxes), time-outs etc
Some related knowledge base articles could be:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925780/en-us
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/945061/en-us
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/883268/en-us

Product

The product related issues are mostly result of the above mentioned issues, so related to architecture or network. Also to my surprise also common things like not comply to specifications of Microsoft Dynamics CRM an example is roaming profiles this is not supported in 3.0.

Also be careful with security roles if you reduce rights or disable them this could lead to issues in the user interface. See for example: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930793/en-us

Debugging

How you should identify your issues? The standard checks I use are check basic functionality open Outlook Client, Open site in Internet Explorer etc. Next step would be check all windows updates & crm updates (check: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927751/en-us), check event viewer, the source for all your misery ;-)

And if you really want to have start sniffin the network, track the packages and run your server or client in debug mode, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/907490/en-us
Hope this gives you some clues how to track issues within your project. More interesting tips just leave them in the comments.

Have fun!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What's new in Scribe Adapter for MS CRM 4.0

I got some questions about the new adapter for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. The details about what's new can be found at ScribeSoft website and in this PDF located at:

Release Notes Adapter 40 For Dynamics CRM.

The adapter can be downloaded (still bit hard to find) at:

Scribe Adapter for CRM 4.0

Of course the new adapter is backwards compatible with 3.0, it supports multi-tenancy (new feature in 4.0). And it also can be used for hosted crm and crm live (only for USA & Canada).

So try it yourself in the latest releases of the new VPC with CRM 4.0, can be downloaded here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Working on hosted solutions

Yes, you missed some posting here. Currently I am working for new company called Irelate Netherlands, we also specialising in Microsoft CRM 4.0 :-)

At this moment I am researching all possibilities for hosted crm 4.0, which becomes very complex due to setting up Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange server. You might already read all documentation for Service Providers, but this still leaves out some issues like:

- how we get the login screen
- how we can provision our customers the easiest way
- what do we really need to begin a hosted environment

The documentation is very general and illustrated by a scenario of provider already running everything.

So, I hope to post more about this the coming few weeks.

Scribe Releases CRM 4.0 Adapter

This week Scribe Insight released the 4.0 adapter for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It's backward compatible with 3.0, so you need only this and start migrating your data the easy way :-)

Do we still need it after the release of 4.0 you might ask? Yes, it still offers better migration/integration solutions then the out of the box functionality of 4.0

Enjoy!