Do you ever need to verify the identity of an individual filling out a form on your website and then store the results of that verification in your CRM system along with the other data submitted?

We solved this requirement for a bank that allows individuals to apply for a business checking account online at their website.

The system passes back to the individual filling out the website form multiple choice questions that come from the LexisNexis database on their history. They have a set amount of time to respond to the questions to validate their identity. After submitting their responses, the integration passes the ID check results back to a custom web page that informs them if their ID has been verified or not. This all happens instantaneously without any noticeable interruption in the application submission process.

The information results of the Instant ID check along with the form data filled out by the website visitor are pushed into a custom record in CRM. Once in the CRM system, the CRM user can inspect the results and make a decision on whether to proceed with the processing of the application. The results of the check can also be used in Business Workflow to drive outgoing emails or alerts for internal personnel.

By harnessing the power of the LexisNexis identity and repository along with the proprietary scoring and analytics technologies, InstantID provides a strong foundation for relying on the validation that the person submitting the form data is actually that person.

The integration we built also can retrieve information regarding OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) and other compliance requirements for Section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act. President Ralph Leno had this to say about the integration CRM Innovation built for their Bank, “The team at CRM Innovation allowed our small bank to have the benefit of automating what had been a tedious manual process of screening for new deposit accounts. Their company’s approach to customizing key reports was revolutionary for our operation”.

InstandID is the only verification and validation solution endorsed by the American Bankers Association.

Very often in a Workflow we want to send an email out of CRM based on a previous step in the workflow. Often when you set it up so that it supposed to go to several people you may find out that it only gets sent to one.

The classic case is where you send it to a person, from you, and CC (carbon copy) several other individuals – either internal or external to you organization. You then discover that of the 3 people you CC in the email, only one received it. On closer inspection you see that it is the first person in the ‘slug’ list.

Let me show you what you did (see screen shot below) and what you need to do to fix it.

What you did was ADDed all three (or more than one) to the box and then you clicked on OK. This put them into the CC field with OR logic. So as soon as it found the first slug with an email address it stopped looking to send to the others.

So what it looks like in the CC box is this:

{Contact(Contact);Primary Contact(Company Name (Account));User(Owning User (User))}

What you want is this:

{Contact(Contact)}{Primary Contact(Company Name (Account))}{User(Owning User (User))}

Notice the difference in the placement of the braces and the semi-colons between the slugs?

To get that you need to Add one slug, then click OK, Then remove that slug from the Box, Add then next Slug and then click OK. This adds each slug with AND logic. Repeat as necessary

Grouping Email Slugs




This was my third year participating as a judge in the Imagine Cup, an international student technology competition sponsored by Microsoft.

The Imagine Cup Innovation Competition is a global contest for the best new innovative software where the winning team will take home $50,000. The idea is to create a desktop or tablet project using Windows, or a mobile project using Windows Phone or a browser project using Windows Azure. The World Finals will be held in Seattle 2016.

This year I was a judge for the 2016 Big Idea: Plan Challenge. Competitors from around the world outline their plans for a software/hardware solution that is of game changing impact. I am not speaking about an application to enable better movie reviews or exchanging photos between friends. I reviewed ideas outlined by students that would impact the world wide transportation industry, health care in developed and undeveloped countries, and more. All of the plans would impact the quality of our life on this planet.

The ideas put together by these students we clear demonstrations of pure problem solving, unencumbered by the normal constraints we in business deal with today.

There were eight team submissions I reviewed. As I judge I was responsible for grading the plan submission in three major categories:

  • Concept – 30%
  • Research – 40%
  • Feasibility – 40%

Two of the teams made it to the next level. I was asked to provide those teams with guidance in the areas of: feedback on their concept, competition they should be aware of, important aspects to consider, relevant market trends, design issues and technical suggestions.

It is exciting to see the ideas our young people can dream of these days. I look forward to being a judge in next year’s competition.

Rollup Fields and Workflows

October 29th, 2015

A few notes about how you can or cannot reference Rollup Fields from within a Workflow:

  • Can be used in a Conditional Logic step of a Workflow or a Business Rule.
  • Is available as a Dynamic Value in a Workflow.
  • Cannot be used in a Wait step of a Workflow.
  • Is not available in the Set To (Field) list in a Business Rule.

One of the key points during my session at the CRMUG – Mastering Calculated and Rollup Fields was the importance of planning ahead before jumping into creating fields and using the wizard.

I didn’t bring it up during the session but here is another example of how critical this is to not only the first user experience but to your ongoing data integrity.

Once you create a Calculated or Rollup Field you cannot change the Minimum/Maximum Values. If your field doesn’t allow the complete range of values that could be produced from the underlying fields to be submitted the Save event will fail. Once you get into that situation it will be necessary for you to remove the current Wizard driven field and go back to creating a new one. This will of course reek havoc on your views and reports that rely on the Calc/Rollup Field.

Here is an example of where the Calculated field didn’t allow for the sum of the two fields to be less than Zero.

Caclulated field Min/Max Values are not editable

Caclulated field Min/Max Values are not editable

Calculated Field Out of Range Error

Calculated Field Out of Range Error

We just got our notification that our orgs are going to receive Update 1 later this week.

If you haven’t gotten the word yet, here are the new features:

  • Switching an instance enables administrators to easily change the CRM Online instance type:
    • Switch to production – ability to change an instance from Sandbox to Production
    • Switch from production – ability to switch an instance from Production to Sandbox
  • Deleting a Sandbox instance provides the ability to remove an existing sandbox when it is no longer needed:
    • Delete allows you to recover sandbox licenses and storage
    • You must switch production instances to sandboxes before you can delete them.
  • Enhancements to instance reset provides the ability to change your base language and currency during the reset. This allows you to use a single sandbox for testing across many different languages or currencies.

The update will be applied without any disruption – Zero minutes for the Outage.

What is a Sandbox instance? A Sandbox instance is any non-production instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Isolated from production, a Sandbox instance is the place to safely develop and test application changes with low risk.

How should I use a Sandbox instance in my environment? You should always use Sandbox instances when you test new functionality, such as a product update, a new add-on solution, changes to a form, or any customization you may include. You will be able to schedule your Sandbox instance to be updated prior to your production update, allowing you to test first.


Today I received my CRM MVP award packet. Next to running a successful professional services firm and meeting payroll for our valued team members twice a month, it is my proudest professional accomplishment.

It’s my 6th year as an MVP. This year I gave back to the community by being a member of the CRMUG Board of Advisors, helping to organize the CRMUG Summit, contributing to the support forums, co-authoring a CRM book and interacting with the product team to name a few areas. I expect to be a contributor again this year helping the community and envangelizing the product so I can be awarded for 2016.

What’s the best perk of being a CRM MVP? Hanging out with 60+ other CRM MVPs from around the world each November locked in a room on the Microsoft Campus with the great people from the product team!

The award packet includes the instruction booklet (hey it’s the software business), spiffy lapel pin, the award disk ring, name badge, and the wall plaque. Not shown is the secret decoder ring which automatically solves all CRM problems and writes 100% correct code. Just kidding, but keep on wishing!

Dynamics CRM MVP Award Packet

Dynamics CRM MVP Award Packet