Connect is Dead! Long Live Connect! (alteast for product suggestions)

That’s right folks, the good old Microsoft Connect site has had it’s content moved over the new CRM Ideas site.

So you if you want to help improve Microsoft Dynamics CRM and its family of products and solutions submit your ideas.

What can you do at the site? Provide suggestions, discuss ideas suggested by others and give feedback.

There are 4 forums for the product family.

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics Marketing
  • Microsoft Social Engagement
  • Parature, a Microsoft Company

What’s it the number 1 voted item in the Dynamics CRM category? Allow Not In searches in the advanced find with 854 votes.


Spin up  a 30 day CRM Online trial, get to day 29 and what do you do? Up to just recently you could have called CRM Support and gotten a 30 day extension. While this was free it took some time to get connected to support to request the extension.

The process has now changed. You can determine if it is has gotten easier or harder.

Today you go to the Office 365 portal, enter your credit card and the trial is extended for another 30 days. Obviously if you are just testing and don’t plan on converting that instance to a  paid subscription you better give yourself a few calendar reminders to cancel the subscription.

I think this is an excellent improvement in the process.

CRM Online 30 day trial pending expiration

CRM Online 30 day trial pending expiration

CRM Online Trial Credit Card Input

CRM Online Trial Credit Card Input

30 Day Trial Extension Approved

30 Day Trial Extension Approved

Recently I was presented with a situation where one of our CRM clients that we had help upgrade from CRM 2011 to CRM 2016 came to the realization that their 90 day trial of SQL Enterprise that they had used was coming to the end and it was time to buy a license.

Uh Oh! Have you ever looked at the price of Enterprise vs Standard? It is a huge difference. You better be a Fortune 500 company before you make the call to use Enterprise.

So what to do? Backup the CRM database, uninstall Enterprise, install Standard then restore the CRM backup. Hold on, not so quick as that is a long way from working. Read on if you want to know how to get it done.

First off you need to run some scripts to remove the partitioning created to support the AuditBase table. Partitioning is an Enterprise feature it isn’t supported in Standard. If you search for these scripts online you will find several blog postings with the scripts. DON’T USE THEM! The only place you should reference for these scripts are the ones provided by Microsoft in KB2567984 (thank you Gage Pennisi!)

Read through the KB article and then follow these steps:

  1. Backup myorg_mscrm
  2. Rename to myorg_mscrm to myorgSTD_mscrm
  3. Restore to SQL Server
  4. Run the scripts from the KB against myorgSTD_mscrm. That way if something goes wrong your production system won’t be impacted.
  5. Backup myorgSTD_mscrm
  6. If you have an reports developed outside of CRM and published to Reporting Services backup those RDL files now.
  7. Uninstall SQL Enterprise, including Reporting Services
  8. Install SQL Standard with Reporting Services
  9. Configure Reporting Services
  10. Restore the RDL files from Step 6
  11. Uninstall CRM Reporting Extensions
  12. Reinstall CRM Reporting Extensions
  13. Restore myorgSTD_mscrm as myorg_mscrm
  14. Import Org via the Deployment Manager
  15. Run through ADFS and IFD Setup Wizard in the Deployment Manager
  16. Test your CRM system using the new database version.

Put on your happy face 🙂

We have all been seeking the answer to the question – Are users actually using the CRM system and if they are what are they doing in the system. Over the years a variety of coding solutions have surfaced to track user engagement.

Now with the CRM 2016 Spring Release we will start to see some built-in functionality to give us this insight.

If your organization has been updated to build or later or you have spun up a new 30 day trial in the last two weeks are so then you have the capability to enable the preview. Go to Settings, Administration, Systems Settings, Preview tab and then select yes for Organization Insights Preview.

What does Preview mean? It means – Microsoft doesn’t provide support it (just yet). Microsoft Dynamics CRM Technical Support won’t be able to help you with issues or questions. Preview features aren’t meant for production use. What the heck, we have turned them on in our production anyway.

There are six charts that come with the dashboard. They aren’t customizable and they don’t offer any drill down like ‘regular’ charts.

They do offer the capability of a 2 hour, 48 hour, or 30 day lookback. And no it doesn’t know how to skip weekends etc. The data is updated every 5 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day respectively.

Some of the charts have filters so that you can click on a chart element to switch the display.

Organizational Insights

Organizational Insights

Chart Description
Active Users This chart shows the adoption and usage of your CRM instance based on active users (unique users) with read, write, create, and update actions.
Most Active Users (Reads) This chart lists the top ten users who performed the most Read operations in your CRM instance.
Most Active Users (Changes) This chart lists the top ten users who performed the most change operations (creates, updates, deletes) in your CRM instance.
Active Users Performing Specific Operations
This chart shows how many unique users are performing which types of operations (create, update, deletes, reads) in your CRM instance over the specified time.
Total Operations

This chart shows how many operations (create, update, deletes, reads) have occurred in the CRM instance over the specified time.

Total Page Requests

This chart shows the number of page load requests for forms, dashboards, and reports. This is a count of requests received by the CRM server. Pages that are cached while browsing won’t be counted.

There are been some changes to the presentation and ‘rules’ related to storage space status and also allowances for custom entities and workflows and dialogs. This kind of got right past me but thanks to fellow MVPs Adam Vero and Feridun Kadir, I am all caught up. Let me share it with you also, in case you missed the original ‘memo’.
Up to a few months ago there used to be a Resources in Use display that you could get to by going to Settings, Administration, Resources in Use. It looked just like this:

Resources in Use v1

Resources in Use v1

 Now it looks like this.

Resources in Use

Resources in Use

A little empty? What happened to the Workflows and Dialogs and the Storage space visualizations? Well it appears in the case of Workflows and Dialogs the limitation has been dropped completely. It never really was being enforced anyway it appears. The suggestion now is to just use common sense. There is actually a best practices technet article.

As it pertains to Storage space, that still is being enforced. No way to get around that. But the status for where you stand for all your organizations has been moved to the O365 Portal. Login to the portal. Go to Admin, CRM, in the CRM Online Administration Center, go to Service Health. I have a snippet of what the storage report there looks like. This actually makes a little more sense as storage usage is a culmination of the storage for all your instances. The best place to see that is in your admin portal, not on a single CRM org page.

O365 CRM Online Admin Center Service Health

O365 CRM Online Admin Center Service Health – click for bigger view

Although it is well placed in the CRM Online Licensing and Pricing Guide who wants to flip through 35 pages just to find it.

And since it keeps coming up with new and current CRM Online clients I thought I would post about it.

So here are the basics.

  1. You get 5GB for your initial CRM Online subscription.
  2. After that for every 20 Professional subscription (or higher, not Basic or Essential) you get an additional 2.5GB.
  3. So the first bump kicks in at 25 Professional licenses (remember you got 5 with the initial subscription).

Here is a little chart from the guide to help you out.

Click to enlarge.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM OnLine Storage

Microsoft Dynamics CRM OnLine Storage


Do you need to add photos from your phone to your Microsoft Dynamics CRM records? Do you want to take pictures of your contacts and update there contact record entity image? Do you need to add photos to a Case you are documenting like a building inspection, auto damage, site inspection?

The best solution is to use our CRM QuickPic mobile application.

It is a complementary application we are providing to the CRM community. You can learn more about it at: http://www.CRMQuickPic.com

QuickPic works with CRM Online 2015 or 2016. It connects directly to your CRM system and no solution needs to be imported to CRM to use. Since it is a free application there license keys necessary.

QuickPic is an example of a task based application that with a focused function, it minimizes the taps and steps necessary to perform the actions.

With the mobile application which is currently available for iOS, you can upload and view images for Contacts, Opportunities, Leads, Accounts, and Cases. We also include the CRM Selfie feature which allows the CRM user to take their own Selfie and update their User record entity image. Note that due to some nuances in the CRM security model, you will need our free CRM Selfie managed solution to allow your users to use this feature.

What happens if you want it to do more? No problem we would welcome the opportunity to create a custom version for your organization.

CRM QuickPic Mobile App


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