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

Did you know that there are two similar but different Set Personal Options inside of CRM? There is one that is called from the browser via the gear icon in the right side of the main navigation bar. The one accessible from the Outlook client is arrived at by going to File in Outlook, selecting CRM in the left side navigation and then the Options icon.

The tabs aren’t the same and even within some of the tabs the options are different.

Set Personal Options - Web Browser

Set Personal Options – Web Browser

Set Personal Options - Outlook Client

Set Personal Options – Outlook Client

The Outlook options include tabs for Activities, Address Book and Local Data which aren’t on the Browser Options.
The General tab on Outlook includes the ability to Select which forms to use for new activities. The synchronization tab includes Update Company fields with parent account names. Alternatively, the Browser Activities tab allows the setting of the Default View and the work hours. That covers the differences between the tabs that are common to both.
 The tabs that are on the Outlook Options that aren’t in the browser version include these functions:

  • Email
    • Select whether other users can send email for you
    • Tracking Options
    • Configure Folder Tracking
    • Automatically create records in CRM
    • View your Mailbox
  • Address Book
    • Select how mail recipients are reconciled with CRM records
  • Local Data
    • Select how often to update local data
    • Select how duplicate records should be handled during synchronization

When you go about ‘cleaning’ up irrelevant out of the box components of your CRM system whatever you do, don’t delete the System Dashboards. This will likely create unpredictable issues for you downstream. For example later on if you try to import an ISV managed solution that references a dashboard that it expects and it isn’t there the import will fail.

The best practice is to use security roles to hide them from your users.

In the example below we changed the default status from “Display to everyone” to “Display only to those selected security roles.” We then unchecked all the security roles. Therefore, they wouldn’t appear in the UI to any user, including the CRM admin. If the Admin needed to see it they would go to the customizations area.

Systems Dashboards - Managing via Security Roles

Systems Dashboards – Managing via Security Roles


The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team recently published an Architecture white paper – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Outlook Synchronization in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Within that paper there were many links to other important resources that complemented the architecture overview.

I have extracted those links and put them into the following handy reference list.

Choose the records to synchronize between CRM and Outlook or Exchange

Configure folder-level tracking

Control field synchronization between CRM and Outlook or Exchange

Install Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 for Outlook for desktop virtualization

Offline and Online Synchronization in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Offline and Outlook filters and templates

OrgDBOrgSettings tool for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Outlook 2013 MAPI Reference

Overview of tracking records in CRM for Outlook

Set address book options in CRM for Outlook

Set an option to automatically track incoming Outlook email in CRM for Outlook

Set personal options that affect tracking and synchronization between CRM and Outlook or Exchange

Set up server-side synchronization of email, appointments, contacts, and tasks

Synchronizing data with Outlook or Exchange FAQ

System Settings dialog box – Email tab

System Settings dialog box – Synchronization tab

Troubleshooting and things to know about Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook

Turn on Cached Exchange Mode

What fields can be synchronized between CRM and CRM for Outlook?

Work offline with CRM for Outlook