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SharePoint Conference 2009 is Sold Out

Well, we’re now only 3 days away and I know everyone is excited about SPC 2009. Looks like it is completely sold out, which is fantastic:

SharePoint Conference 2009 Sold Out

Straight from the SPC 2009 site, here are just a few of the ‘sneak peek’ sessions that we will be attending:

  • SharePoint 2010 Overview and What's New
  • Upgrading to SharePoint 2010

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Amazon S3 Integration with

We recently had an opportunity to do some work to integrate S3 Amazon Web Services into provides some sample code that was very useful in getting the S3 services to work.  However, along the way I ran into a number of challenging issues that I'm sure many other developers have tackled. The first big issue was that we would be dealing with very large files, greater than 2GB in some cases.  Unfortunately, the web services can't handle l ...

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Customer Portal Access

Every day I'm amazed by the new features in  Over the past week, I've been working with a customer to get their Customer Portal setup and functioning.  We're building some very cool functionality using the platform to expose some custom objects to their customers. However, we ran into a situation where sharing rules needed to be setup and the UI is just a bit more than we really like our users to have to take in.  Sharing is a great feature, but the last ...

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Copying a Microsoft CRM Workflow

Oftentimes, you will want to copy an existing Microsoft CRM workflow.  You might want to create a similar workflow with a few minor changes.  Or, you might have a workflow that is "in production" and you need to make some changes to it - but you don't want the current workflow to be unavailable while you're making changes.  But CRM doesn't provide a way to copy a workflow - this entry explains a quick and simple way to copy a workflow in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.

[Read the full entry for the "how to"]

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Connecting Microsoft Outlook to your Salesforce.Com Test or Sandbox Instance

After downloading the Salesforce.Com Connector for Outlook I noticed that it was hardcoded to what SFDC server I could connect to. I needed to do some testing and struggled to find where I could change the URL.  My end goal was to change the Server URL to point to

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Error When Upgrading CRM 3.0 to CRM 4.0: ImportDefaultDataAction failed

A couple of hours into an upgrade of CRM 3.0 to CRM 4.0, I got an obscure error that, at first, had me a little stressed out: Action Microsoft.Crm.Setup.Server.ImportDefaultDataAction failed. Entity with id 5f2e7ae7-d327-49b5-a343-61d48f1bcd28 already has the label Currency for the column LocalizedName and language 1033 - update entity with id 43bec19f-dafc-4e1f-b0a7-243907ca3db0 cannot have the same label -- Retry -- or -- Cancel -- I left the error message where it was (after clicking Retry ...

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Removing a Single Picklist Item

I've seen lots of tools and BLOGs about how to manage dynamic picklists.  But after much searching, I could not find anything about removing just a single item from a picklist on a Microsoft CRM 4.0 form using JavaScript.

Read the full entry for the "how to"

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Workflows Failing: "The text entered exceeds the maximum length"

We implemented a workflow that was frequently failing with a message stating "the text entered exceeds the maximum length."  Fortunately, the fix was fairly easy.

[Read the full entry for more information]

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Accout to Lead

 We seem to regulary run into clients who like the idea of converting a Lead into an Account, Contact and Opportunity - but they would also like to be able to convert backwards into a Lead again. 

Why?  Well, maybe someone in the Lead Management group qualified the lead, but when they passed it along to Sales, they could not longer get in touch with the lead.  The options are: (1) make Sales work it until they can get back in touch, (2) train Lead Management to work with Accounts, Contacts and Opportunties, (3) forget about it (which most of them do), or (4) re-create the entire record as a Lead again.


 But now there is another alternative (read the full story for the rest)...

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Users can't access Visualforce pages?

A coworker came to me yesterday with a frustrating question - why can't non-system adminstrator users see a new Visualforce page that had just been created? Instead they see the "Insufficient Privileges" error. I remembered struggling with the exact same problem when I first started working with Visualforce. The answer is available in the Visualforce discussion boards, but is difficult to find. So, here is a quick summary: Access to Visualforce pages and Apex classes is ...

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Removing Duplicate Records from CRM

After a recent migration, we had a number of duplicate account records in CRM. We were loading hundreds of thousands of records for performance testing, and then we wanted to continue to use the same database for integration development, so we wanted to clean up the data and get rid of duplicates to minimize errors with the integration. You can use the built-in Duplicate Detection to identify duplicate records, but this doesn't help you get rid of them - you would still have to manually merge or ...

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Sample Subject Trees for Microsoft CRM

Even though I've written before about the concept of Subjects in CRM, it can sometimes be difficult for me to get my head around the best way to create a Subject tree for a given implementation. Subject trees help to categorize cases, knowledgebase articles and sales literature in CRM, so you want them to be relevant. 

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Role-Tailored Dashboards

 Most organizations with CRM will eventually want to have some kind of dashboards to help their employees focus on the KPIs and CRM lists that are important to them. Creating the dashboards themselves is outside the scope of this article, but there are a variety of ways to build them, from the popular SharePoint dashboards with PerformancePoint analytics, to custom webpages with embedded gauges and reports. The result should look like this: 3) Now add two custom entities. I've added one c ...

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CRM Hangs Using IE QuickTabs?

The other day, a collegue brought to my attention that simply having Quick Tabs set in IE7 might cause CRM to hang. Although I have not experienced this, I thought it would be helpful to others to get this out on our blog.  You may be chasing the wrong rabbit trail -- as through debugging, you might be zeroing in on some jscript that might be triggering the problem; a plug in or something else totally unrelated. If you're not sure if you have Quick Tabs set, your IE tabs will look like th ...

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MS CRM 4.0 Picklist Changes Not Saving (and on purpose)

In MS CRM 4.0 any field changes made that are enabled will be save.  Lets say on the Account form you have a picklist that will display the following in an IFrame. Map to Account Address Accounts Web-page Primary Contact Information Page to ERP showing Credit Stats. When you change the CRM picklist controlling the IFrame CRM will change to IsDirty (asking you to save or not on exit).  You really probably don't want to allow of force the user to save every time they lo ...

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Filebrowser 2.0 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Back in 2007 I developed a solution to show Windows Explorer directories and folders inside an iframe on a CRM form. I blogged about it for the Microsoft CRM Team blog on MSDN. Filebrowser allows users to directly access files and folders in a shared directory from within CRM records. The files and folders are stored on a UNC share on your server, so they’re also accessible to non-CRM users. In addition, Filebrowser incorporated some client-side script to create and display context-sensitive fol ...

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Avoid them, void them or destroy them - Integration Nightmares?

Integrating your data across applications can be a challenge, particularly when crossing organizational and application boundaries.  A lot of the control that IT organizations take for granted is lost when going outside of the organization.  Below, I will outline a number of challenges you're likely to encounter in an integration effort and provide some guidenace to help you work through them. In a recent project, the biggest issue I faced was integrating Sales ...

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Need Help Using Microsoft CRM?

Did your company just recently start using Microsoft CRM?  Is your boss hounding you everyday to enter your activities, leads, contacts, etc...  Did you attend training only to feel lost when you logged in to actually use it? 

You may just need something to reference for the basics in Microsoft CRM... There are several "How-To's" covered on our Microsoft CRM Fundamentals tip sheet.

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Queues Not Receiving Emails

We use queues in Microsoft CRM 4.0 to receive email for various sales and customer service functions. I recently set up a new queue and, when I tested it, I found that it was not receiving email at all. This led me to test our other queues, and, much to my chagrin, I realized they were not receiving email either!   As it turns out, there were two things that threw a wrench in our queues. Each of them alone would have caused the queues to break. 1) We recently set up a new SSL certificate f ...

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Review: AddressGrabber and Card Scan for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Users of CRM tools are consistently asking for the same thing: “Make me more efficient in managing my sales, marketing or customer service responsibilities.” Tools like card scanners, than can quickly scan a business card into CRM, or “parsers” that can grab a name and address from an email or website and instantly transfer it into CRM are great examples of efficiency boosting applications.

But do they live up to their promise?


I recently purchased two tools to take care of these tasks. Let’s walk through each of them in turn.

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Integration and Outbound Messaging

Outbound Messaging in is an incredibly powerful feature for doing integration, but it does have a few drawbacks.  Before I get into the negative points, I want to point out some of the good. The outbout messaging feature has two capabilities which are extremely important for integrating with other systems.  First, it insure messages get sent immediately after the workflow fires, and second, it insures delivery of your message. However, during ...

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MS CRM 4.0 Rename or Remove Left Nav Bar Menu Items.

     In MS CRM 4.0 have you ever wanted to rename or remove Left Nav links on an entity only to find the OnLoad script fails when trying to use the preview function on the form designer?  In many CRM installs companies prefer to not use the Microsoft CRM product catalog so that Write-In Products is really the list of products (on a Quote for example) and Existing Products never has anything listed under it.  Thus they would prefer to eliminate the Existing Products link ...

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Setting Read Only Colors with JavaScript

Using JavaScript/Jscript to dynamically set a field to disabled or read only can come in handy.  But when you make this change, the colors of the field don't match the standard read only field colors that CRM sets when you manually set the read only attribute.  This post describes how to set a field to read only in javascript AND make the colors consistent with other read only fields on your forms.

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CRM 5 Preview

Simon Hutson has a great blog post where he's compiled a lot of the publicly available information about what Microsoft is cooking up for the next version of CRM, creatively code-named "CRM 5." Lots of exciting stuff for us CRM geeks!

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MS CRM 4.0 How to Hide System Views

In MSCRM 3.0 to hide system view just took a simple trick to the system.  In MSCRM 4.0 Microsoft removed the work around now not letting you get rid of unused or unwanted system views.  Doing some searches I found 2 different System View Hiding Plugins but I did not Like having to recompile or edit XML outside of CRM to get rid of the View. 

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Blog Topics


CPR for CRM Study

The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.


SharePoint Readiness Assessment

This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.


CRM Self Assessment

Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.


SharePoint Feedback Solution

This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.


SharePoint Upgrade Checklist

Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.