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Using Data Pre-Filtering in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Reports

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Have you been looking for a way to retrieve and view query results faster?  Pre-filter the data!

Data pre-filtering in Microsoft Dynamics CRM reports lets you retrieve and display result sets quickly, makes reports context-sensitive, and allows reports to be filtered using the Advanced Find feature. Data pre-filtering complements data filtering supported by Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, which limits the data returned by reports.  There are two ways that you can enable data pre-filtering:

  • Automatic Pre-Filtering:  Automatic data pre-filtering, which is suited for simple queries, can be enabled by aliasing entity tables in the queries. The alias name should begin with “CRMAF_”. When you enable automatic data pre-filtering using the “CRMAF_” prefix, Microsoft Dynamics CRM modifies the query to include a parameter (for example, P1), and then passes a query to the P1 parameter depending on how the report is being filtered. In other words, automatic data pre-filtering acts as a sub-query within an existing query.
  • Explicit Pre-Filtering: For complex queries such as queries using UNION statements, you might need to use explicit pre-filtering. Unlike in automatic pre-filtering, Microsoft Dynamics CRM does not rewrite the report query by passing values to the parameters during explicit pre-filtering when a report is uploaded to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You have to explicitly make the required changes by adding the pre-filtering parameter to the report, and then reference the parameter in the query. You can then execute the query using dynamic SQL.

For detailed information about enabling data pre-filtering on reports, including query examples and the limitations of using automatic data pre-filtering with complex queries, see Using Filters in a Report .

Cheers,

Inna Agranov

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Installing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 on Small Business Server 2008

November 16, 2009 2 comments

This is commonly asked question in the MSDN forums so the CRM Support Team decided to create a post that could become the defacto FAQ.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when installing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 on Microsoft Small Business Server 2008.

  • Install the Windows Server 2008 Indexing Service Role
    • If you do not install Indexing Service Role you will see the following error during the installation.
  • Exception_Access_Violation

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1. Click Start – Click Administrative Tools – Click Server Manager

2. Expand Roles

3. Right click the Files Services Role and choose add Role Services

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4. Check the Indexing Service Role and then finish the wizard.

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5. Start the Installation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 and the Indexing Service required component should not be listed anymore.

  • Install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard or Enterprise

Note: SBS 2008 installs SQL Express for monitoring, but that cannot be used to store the CRM 4.0 databases. You can install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 on the Small Business Server or on an additional server.

  • If you try to install Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 and use the SQL Express install on SBS you will see this Error in the EDW.

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  • If you install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 on the SBS 2008 Server and use the default configuration for SQL Server Reporting Services it sets SSL to be required.
    • If this is the case then you will need to use https when you enter the SRS server url during the installation of the Dynamics CRM 4.0 Server.
  • The second option would be to configure SRS to not require SSL. You can update the rsreportserver.config file to set the secureconnectionlevel = 0

1. Go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSRS10.MSSQLServer\Reporting Services\ReportServer

2. Open the rsreportserver.config file in notepad

3. Update the secureconnectionlevel = 0

  • Once Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is installed you will need to install the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Connector for SQL Server Reporting Services to run reports.
    • If the Data Connector is not installed you will see this Error when running reports

Execution ‘xxxxxxxxx’ cannot be found.

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Installing the Data Connector

1. During the install of the data connector make sure to click the check for updates. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950100

2. After the Data connector install you may need to give permissions to the SQL Service Account on the MSCRM_Config database if you are seeing the following error when running reports within CRM.

Reporting Error: The report cannot be displayed

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If you check the SRS logs or run the report in SRS you will see the permission error “Cannot open database “MSCRM_Config” requested by login. The login failed.”

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3. After adding the permissions in SQL make sure to restart the SQL Server Reporting Services service.

4. Run an IISReset

a. Click Start, Click Run and type in IISReset

b. If you have UAC enabled and you are not logged in as the admin.
Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories and right click command prompt and choose Run as administrator

c. Type in IISReset and hit enter.

Hope this helps you get Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 installed successfully on Small Business Server 2008.
Thanks,

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Support Team

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Automating Task Notification

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

If you have ever assigned a task to someone and wondered when or if they completed it, this workflow process may help. This workflow is based the Task activity, but you can perform the same process on other activities as well. The workflow will execute when the record’s status changes. Here is a quick picture of how it is configured.

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Our first check is to see if the Task was closed with either a Completed or Canceled status. If so, then we check the owner. Is it the same person who created it? If not, then we will send an email to the creator of the Task, using the following email:

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When published, the workflow will generate an email that looks like this:

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Cheers,

Mitch Milam

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Supported file types in Data Import Wizard for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online November 2009 Service Update encapsulates many new cool features and improvements. One of such features is the much-much improved Import Data Wizard.

The new Import Data wizard no longer restricts user to import one data file at a time. You can do Import of multiple files containing record types that are related to one another in single Import session. Such as accounts with related contacts, import of notes and attachments along with their associated records in different files, etc.

Apart from this, the new Import Data wizard also supports different formats of input source data file:

1. XML Spreadsheet 2003 (.xml) – The data file can be in Microsoft Excel format stored as an XML file. You can open the XML spreadsheets with Microsoft Excel.

You can also download the pre-created XML Spreadsheet 2003 templates for any record type of Microsoft CRM for doing easy Import with auto mapping. More details on this will be coming in shortly in a separate blog post. So stay tuned!

2. Comma-separated values (.csv) – This is Comma-delimited format file. You can have different field (comma, colon, semicolon, tab) and data delimiters (quotation, single quotation) in this kind of source file.

3. Text (.txt) – This is delimited text format with columns separated by commas, tabs, semicolons, or other characters.

4. Compressed files (.zip) –If you want to Import multiple files in one Import session, you can .zip them together. A .zip file can include files of .csv, .xml, or .txt file types. All files in a single compressed file must be of the same file type.

The .zip file must confirm to one of these folder structure:

  • .zip file having the files and optional attachment folder directly in it:-
    • Attachments (Folder)
    • <File1>
    • <File2>
    • <File3>
  • .zip having a folder which in turn is having the files and optional attachments folder in it:-
    • <Folder1>
      • Attachments (Folder)
      • <File1>
      • <File2>
      • <File3>

Note: By default, the maximum size of the files you can import is 8 megabytes (MB). This means:

  • Any .csv, .txt, or .xml file must not exceed 8 MB.
  • Any individual file inside the .zip file must not exceed 8 MB and the total size of the .zip file, including the Attachment folder, must not exceed 32 MB.

You can choose any of the above file formats and give it as an input to the Import Data wizard. The delimited .txt, .csv, or XML Spreadsheet 2003 format files can be easily created by using Microsoft Office Excel:

1. If your file uses only ASCII characters, save the file as a comma-delimited values (.csv) file:

  • In Excel, click Save As, and select CSV (Comma delimited (*.csv).

2. If your file uses non-ASCII characters, save the file as a Unicode or UTF-8 text (.txt) file:

  • In Excel, click Save As, and select Unicode text (*.txt).

Cheers,

Nitin Mukhija

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK 4.0.10 is available

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Version 4.0.10 of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK is now live on MSDN and on the download center.

This release contains updates relevant to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Update Rollup 7 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Service Update 4.

Check out some of the new and updated topics you’ll find in this release. View the Release History for the complete list:

Kudos to the SDK team for all their hard work on this update!

Amy Langlois

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Delivers the November 2009 Service Update

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

HomePage With the November 2009 Service Update, we are offering even more value in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscription. Take a look at all the increased business benefits that the Service Update provides:

Get Instant Online Access: Start a free trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in less than five minutes. Because sample data is loaded automatically with every trial, you can start modeling real-world scenarios immediately—and you can add or remove sample data at any time.

Increase User Adoption: Help reduce the learning curve and speed user adoption with a familiar Outlook interface. Installation and setup for this option is simple, so users can launch Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for Outlook at sign-up.

Get Started Faster: The new Get Started Panes put context-based tools, tips, and guidance in your users’ hands. Located at the top of each view, these panes contain links to articles, videos, and helpful wizards to walk users through common tasks. Users may choose to hide or show individual panes—and the system will remember their preferences.

Start Working with Your Data: Administrators who manage customer data in other systems can easily import that data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with the Data Import Wizard. Now, the step-by-step wizard allows you to import multiple files, save your import as a template for future use, and create new attributes and entities on the fly.

Track Your Outlook Data: The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online November 2009 Service Update makes it easy for users to import their Outlook contacts in bulk. The Add Contacts Wizard helps you to quickly identify contacts to import by grouping them by company name, e-mail address, or user-defined categories. Users also have the option to import related e-mail messages and appointments.

Stay Connected: In addition to connecting through a web browser or the Outlook client, users can now access Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online through their mobile phone. Mobile Express is hosted in Microsoft Datacenters and is included with your subscription, at no additional cost.

Gain Valuable Insights: Take advantage of the new Home Page dashboard to start your day with an overview of your daily tasks and the business metrics that are important to you. Choose from more than 30 charts to help you visualize the health of your business. Administrators can also create custom charts for users.

Get More For Less: Gain more value from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, with a low subscription price of only $44 (U.S.) per user, per month. Each organization’s subscription includes:

  • 5 GB of storage space
  • 200 custom workflows
  • 200 custom entities
  • Offline capabilities
  • Mobile Express

Additional storage can be purchased in increments of 1 GB for just $9.99 per month per organization.

To learn more about the November 2009 Service Update, please visit our website at  http://crm.dynamics.com

Cheers,

Stephanie Dart

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Introducing the ‘Import Data Wizard’ in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Service Update for Nov 2009

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Import data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online using new Import Data Wizard

Microsoft has released Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Service Update: Nov 2009. To assist organizations with importing data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a new enhanced Import Data Wizard is available amongst other new features and enhancements in this update. This wizard is functionally more powerful than the old import data wizard.

The wizard supports multiple file formats including Comma delimited CSV, XML Spreadsheet 2003 and zip, creation of custom record types and fields, import of notes and attachments record types, user creation and owner resolution, complex transformation mappings, pick-list values creation, lookup type field creation and many more such capabilities; Additionally, it provides two Out Of Box Salesforce maps for importing Salesforce data. We will try to cover all new Import Data Wizard enhancements of R4 update in a series of blogs. This is the first blog in the series and aims at familiarizing you with the new Import Data Wizard.

As they say, the best way of learning something is by doing it so I am going to walk you through an import of a simple file named MyAccounts.csv. It has following contents:

Name, Account Number, Company

Raymond Largos, 1456, Global Media

Van Kintop, 16785, HCL Technologies

Step 1: Launch the Import wizard from Tools->Import Data or from the Help Visor as shown below. You can also launch it from the Import grid (Workplace->Imports->New)

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Step 2: Choose MyAccounts.csv file on the Upload Data File screen by clicking the Browse button as shown and click Next.

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On clicking Next, you will see a Review File Upload Summary screen which shows all the uploaded files and their sizes. It also has a Delimiters View Settings link. Clicking this link opens delimiter section which allows you to change field and data delimiters as shown below. Since our file is comma delimited, we do not have to change these values here and we will move to the next screen by clicking Next.

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Step3: Next is Select Data Map screen where you have following two options:

1. Map Automatically –This option allows you to proceed without a data map and system will try to automatically map source data based on the name of your files and name of fields in source files. If the name of a file/field exactly matches with the display name of some record type/field in MSCRM, then that particular file/field will get automatically mapped. Any remaining unmapped files/fields can be manually mapped in the wizard flow. Moreover, you can save these mappings for future use as described in step 6.

2. Use an existing data map – You can use this option when a data map which have mappings for your source data is already present in MSCRM. There are following two types of data maps:

i) System Maps: There are two Out Of Box maps present in MSCRM to help you import your Salesforce data. There will be separate blog posts coming shortly on how to use these data maps to import Salesforce data into MSCRM.

ii) Customized Maps: All data maps on which you have read privilege will be present in this section. These maps are created when you save a data map during the last step (refer to step 6) of an import, or by directly importing data map xml in MSCRM.

Since we are doing a first time Import & we don’t have any existing custom map for our file, we will select the option “Map Automatically” as shown and click Next.

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Step 4: Next screen is Map Record Types which allows you to map the source file to a MSCRM record type. It also allows you to customize MSCRM and create a new record type for a given data file. You can also choose to ignore a file from here.

Since our source file contains Account information, we will select Account record type from the dropdown. After all the source files are mapped, we can proceed by clicking Next button.

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Step 5: Next is Map Fields screen which allows you to map fields in the data files to MSCRM fields. You can choose to map the source field to an existing field or create a custom field for mapping against a source field. You can also choose to ignore a particular source field.

For each record type, this screen displays two sections- Required and Optional Fields. The Required Fields are mandatory fields in MSCRM and while some of them might take default values in MSCRM, it is advisable to map the mandatory fields with user data fields.

For MyAccounts.csv file, Account Number gets mapped by the automatic mapping logic. A warning icon is displayed against the 2 leftover unmapped fields namely Name and Company.

We’ll select Name from the dropdown against Account Name for mapping it to Account Name.

For the Company field since there is no existing field, we would create a custom field in MSCRM to map it. For this, we’ll select Create New Field from the dropdown against Company. Since this field contains the text data, we will create a Text type field in MSCRM. You can also change field display name and field type if required.

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Next button gets enabled once all the source fields get mapped. Clicking Next will take you to the Review Mapping Summary screen. This screen displays a summary of the mapping of source files. If you want to review the mappings done, you can click the Edit button to go back to Map Record Types screen.

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Click Next to proceed.

Step 6: The next screen Review Settings and Import Data allows you to review/change the settings which will be used during import and submit the import. Various settings are as follows:

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1. Allow Duplicates: You can choose whether to allow duplicates during import or not. Duplicate records are identified based upon the published duplicate rules in the MSCRM System.

For more details about how duplicate detection works, you can refer to http://blogs.msdn.com/crm/archive/2008/01/21/duplicate-detection-while-creating-updating-records-in-titan.aspx.

2. Select Owner for Imported Records: This is a lookup where you can select any user to be the owner of the records being imported if the records do not have owner information, or if the records cannot be assigned as expected.

3. Data Map Name: You can optionally choose to save the map if you wish to use it for future imports. I have given it the name –AccountMap.

Guess what? You just need to click Submit for submitting your import!

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This is the last screen after your Import has been submitted. Click Imports to navigate to the Import grid and see the status of your import.

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In case of multiple files, you will see one import job per file. Wait for import to complete and open the import form.

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And here are the accounts that have been imported successfully! We’ll keep you posted on more complex import scenarios that can be handled by Import Data Wizard in the Nov 2009 Service Update.

Cheers,

Khushboo Pandey

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