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 8.1.0.359 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

 

CRM 3.0 – Time to Upgrade

April 13th, 2016

If by any outside chance your organization is still using CRM 3.0 it is now finally time to upgrade.

It’s been 10 years since it was introduced. Those of us with clients or using CRM 1.2 ourselves at the time welcomed this major, major enhancement to the platform. One not so fond memory I had of CRM 1.2 was it’s reliance on Crystal Reports. The release of 3.0 moved us to SQL Reporting Services. A huge leap in reliability and functionality.

But, beginning April 12, 2016, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 will no longer be eligible to receive technical support and security updates.

If you have been on Software Assurance all these years, now is the time to cash in those chips and upgrade. You are 5 releases behind.

Real people work at Microsoft, they are just like you and me. They like what they do and want to make their product the best it can be.

The Microsoft Dynamics Research Team wants to understand what you think so they can improve the CRM for Outlook (Outlook Add-in) and the CRM App for Outlook.

If you use CRM then this is a product you use everyday. Help make it better!

I ran through the questionnaire in less than 10 minutes.

PS

It doesn’t matter what version of CRM you are on – online or onpremise, or what version of Outlook you use.

However, the survey needs to be completed by Tuesday, April 12, 2016.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook Client Survey

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook Client Survey

While navigating to the Email Templates view – Settings, Templates, Email Templates instead of a getting a list of templates you get an Invalid Argument error message.

Invalid Argument Error Message

Invalid Argument Error Message

While this could mean several different things, including an intermittent error, it most likely has to do with having two default public views configured for this entity. CRM gets confused and doesn’t know which one to display so it gives you an error. It can happen actually for any entity, in this case it just happened to be email templates. The underlying cause is likely from an import of a solution from a third party.
To start the resolution process let’s do a little troubleshooting first to confirm that this is the issue: Navigate to Settings > Customizations > Customize the system > Expand entities, further expand Email Templates > Click on View > Do you see that there are two Default Public Views? If so proceed with the following resolution process.
 

Export the Email Template entity into a (an unmanaged) solution. Unzip and extract the file. Open up the Customizations.xml in Notepad++ or a similar tool.  Locate both views that are set as Default Public Views. Change <IsDefault>1</IsDefault> value to 0 (zero) for one of the views. Save the changes, Zip up all the files and import it back into CR

Publish Customizations and refresh the browser view of  CRM.  Then see if it works by going to Settings, Templates, Email Templates.  The Default view should load! TaDa!