Friday, 30 December 2011

How to Enable WCF Tracing for CRM 2011 Outlook Client

With CRM 4.0 I would use Fiddler to capture traffic to/from the client and server to see exactly what was happening. CRM 2011 Outlook client performance issues are not easy to tackle with Fiddler as The CRM 2011 Outlook client now uses WCF to request data from the CRM server. If you ever view the WCF traffic in fiddler or Netmon you will notice the request/response data is no longer in a readable format. In order to get details of the request/response you will need to use WCF tracing on the client machine. Below are the steps to enable and view the WCF tracing.

1. Create a folder directly on the c: drive called “log”. The name and location doesn’t matter as long as it matches the path provided in the config file.

2. Navigate to “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics CRM\Client\” and open the “client{guid}.config” file in a text editor such as notepad.

3. Insert the following block of XML in the section of the CONFIG file. This XML will specify the WCF trace levels, trace name and location.

4. Save and close the CONFIG file.

5. Launch Outlook and you will see a trace file called CRMTrace.svclog will be created in the log folder you had created in step 1. All WCF traffic to the server will be logged while the client is running.

Viewing the WCF Traces

Once you have collected the trace it can be viewed using the SvcTraceViewer.exe utility which is only available in the .Net SDK. The SDK is an ISO file and can be downloaded at the following location.

The SDK contains a lot of stuff, but if you just want the viewer you can select “Developer Tools \ .NET Development Tools” during the setup. The SvcTraceViewer.exe utility will then be located at C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.1\Bin

The SvcTraceViewer.exe can be found at the following location.

Download SVCTraceViewer.exe

1. Launch the SvcTraceViewer.exe utility and choose file – Open. Select the trace file and choose Open.

2. Once the trace is opened you can click on the Message tab and choose specific messages to see the details. The details can be viewed in a formatted view or raw XML. In the following screenshots you will notice the WhoAmI request/Response, each showing up as a separate message.



Each request/response message pair will have a urn:UID that identifies them. This guid can be found in fiddler or netmon since it shows up as plain text in the WCF header. You can then match up the fiddler/netmon data to that in the WCF trace by searching on this guid as shown below. The combination of Fiddler and WCF tracing is very helpful with performance work. Using Fiddler you can identify large/long running requests and then use WCF tracing to get details of what the request is doing.



For more information about tracing and using the tool you can refer to the following MSDN article.

XCEL Technologies Ltd, Microsoft Partner

CRM Online Document Management with SharePoint Online (365)

Configuration steps for CRM Online organizations with SharePoint Online for document management purposes. The following steps should walk you through this process:
  1. Create a CRM Online organization. If you need to create a 30 day trial organization, click here.
  2. If you haven’t already, set up an Office 365 organization. You’ll want to verify that you can reach the SharePoint site (ex. To sign up for a free 30 day Office 365 trial,click here.
  3. Download and extract the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 List Component for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
  4. Add the crmlistcomponet.wsp file to your SharePoint Online site:
    1. Click Site Actions, and then click Site Settings.
    2. Under Galleries, click Solutions.
    3. On the Solutions tab, in the New group, click Upload Solution.
    4. Click Browse, locate the crmlistcomponent.wsp file, and then click OK.
    5. On the Solutions tab, in the Commands group, click Activate.
  5. Add the SharePoint URL to the Document Management Settings area in your Microsoft CRM Online organization:
    1. Settings – Document Management Settings
    2. Select the entities you want to enable document management on
    3. Specify the SharePoint Online URL
    4. Select Next
    5. Select whichever option you’d like for the “Select folder structure” page. If you want to keep things basic where you have the following format, Contacts – [Contact Name] – [Documents], you’ll want to leave this section blank.
    6. Continue to select Next

At this point, you should be ready to add document storage locations to your enabled entities. You’ll need to open a document management enabled record (ex. Contact) and select the Documents are on the left-hand pane. If things are working correctly, you’ll be presented with a message that says the following “A folder will be created in the location: [SharePoint site] Click OK to continue.”

CRM 2011 Technical Documentation URLs to reference

Below are the important CRM 2011 technical documentation urls to reference:

TitlesDate Published

Optimizing and Maintaining Client Performance for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and CRM Online

12/20/2011 (Refreshed)
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Software Development Kit (SDK)12/2/2011 (Updated Quarterly)
Using EFS and BitLocker to Protect Microsoft Dynamics CRM Data on Client Computers11/2/2011

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Implementation Guide

11/2/2011 (Updated Quarterly)
Deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and CRM Online Solutions from Development through Test and Production Environments10/25/2011
Optimizing and Maintaining the Performance of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Server Infrastructure10/21/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Performance and Scalability with Intel10/4/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook Quick Start Guide9/29/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Quick Start Guide for Business Users9/29/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online: Security Features9/22/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook Installing Guide for use with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online8/18/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 User's Guide8/12/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Performance Counters8/11/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Administrator's Guide8/11/2011

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Configuring Claims-based Authentication

8/1/2011 (Updated)
System Center Monitoring Pack for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 20117/12/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook Compatibility with Citrix XenApp 67/5/2011
How to configure the Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online E-mail Router in different deployment scenarios5/2/2011
Microsoft CRM Online Data Migration to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 on-premises4/29/2011
Deployment and Operational Guidance for Hosting Microsoft Dynamics CRM 20114/5/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Entity Relationship Diagrams3/24/2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for E-mail Router Installing Guide for use with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online12/9/2010
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 ISV White Paper11/4/2010

Friday, 12 August 2011

Microsoft Dynamics CRM-Top Sites and Downloads

Top Sites and Downloads

Whether you’re interested in an online or on-premises solution, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 has you covered. Check out these resources to help you create the perfect experience for your business.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM ~ The Microsoft Dynamics CRM website is the place to go for information on all things CRM. You’ll find everything from an introduction to CRM and its value to your business to white papers, product specifications, customer testimonials, links to CRM communities, and much more.

Resource Center ~ The Resource Center is a one-stop shop, designed to help you get started, maximize your efficiency, and build your business. Using a community-centered approach, the Resource Center brings some of the best community ideas via blogs and forums right to your desktop.

Community Home Page ~ The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Community site is the place to go for information about all things CRM. You’ll find links to blogs and articles, forums, newsgroups, MVPs, and much more.

Team Blog ~ The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog is the place to go to connect with the CRM team. You’ll find postings on customization, development, and implementation. This is one of the fastest ways to get to know the CRM team.

Forums ~ The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forums are your question and answer resource. You’ll find answers to some of your most pressing questions and a team of crack experts ready to help.

MVPs ~ The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) site recognizes exceptional technical community leaders from around the world. Here you can find experts who love to talk about all aspects of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

XCEL Technologies Ltd - Leading CRM Solution Providers

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Working From Home: How Advancing Technology Can Change the Workplace

Times are changing. Fast. The ‘typical’ job has traditionally consisted of a nine to five workday at a single corporate office where all employees commute to five days a week. Maybe there are small deviations from the rule where an employee can choose to come in at 8am and leave at 4pm. Perhaps a full hour is permitted for lunch, or perhaps it isn’t. Regardless of the details, the orthodox work schedule has had very little margin for freedom—until now.

The New World of Work Location Freedom
With the exception of traveling sales and business people, the concept of remote employees is a relatively new one. Thanks to technological leaps and bounds, the business world is quickly becoming highly mobile and versatile, and with these advancements come both technical and social considerations.

There are many different ways in which you can achieve remote access computing from a technical standpoint. However, it is essential that you carefully evaluate your specific environment to determine which mode best suits your business’ needs. Securing sensitive data from hackers may be your top priority, or perhaps fast and easy communication with your remote employee is your main concern. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have thought everything through. It’s advisable to have an IT professional help you establish which method of remote connection is most appropriate for your enterprise.

The other determining factors you will want to consider is how the change will affect your business on a social level, how work will be conducted by your remote employee, and how you as a boss are supposed to evaluate their work. Because it’s true, one can’t just walk across the office or plan an impromptu meeting to get an update on a worker’s progress.

There are aspects of employee management that would need to be reexamined and inevitably reshaped. How are employers supposed to evolve with the times? How can an employer keep tabs on a worker that isn’t there? How will it alter the camaraderie of your team? The conventional techniques an employer uses to assess an employee would have to be modified.

Trusting, Planning, Goal Setting

There is a big question that may be looming when considering remote location employment. How can I know my employee isn’t taking advantage of this untethered freedom?

Before any changes begin, a certain level of trust and respect must be shared between employer and employee. Without it, the initial plunge is unlikely to take place. If that fundamental combination has been established, ease the stress of transitioning from in house to remote employment by forming a steady and clear line of communication. Whether it is via conference calls, daily emails, or a shared calendar, a vehicle to maintain employer-employee interaction must be put in place in order to keep both parties feeling secure.

As more time passes, you will be better able to assess your worker’s level of production if you have established a well-defined set of goals that you both agree on. Understanding what projects need to be accomplished and the timeframe in which they must to be completed will make keeping track of your remote worker a far easier and less stressful task. If your employee repeatedly fails to finish the allotted tasks within the pre-determined period of time, then it may be an indication that working from home may not be the best option for that particular staff member.

Get Creative: Find a Happy Middle Ground

You’re the boss, so you don’t have to compromise, right? Well perhaps, but consider this: by understanding your employee’s situation and working to find a middle ground that suits both your needs, you may very well end up with a more productive employee that creates better quality work.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and be flexible as these characteristics just might be the ticket to a more successful business. Being open to your options may make all the difference for you, your employees, and the organization as a whole. For instance, if the commute of one employee is having a detrimental affect on his work, offer to let him work from home a few days a week. This way you can still have the face-to-face time while allowing him to breathe easier at the gas pump. Both of you walk away feeling satisfied: your employee’s production rate increases because he is happy and respects you, while you may have just saved yourself from losing a great worker. Your efforts will have a positive effect on the organization’s sense of community and bottom line.

Feeling the Fruits of Your Effort and Compromise

Having remote employees may end up being an experiment. See how it goes with a small number of employees, even one, and proceed from there. Make a concise list of expectations for each individual you plan on letting work remotely and be open to dialogue about the subject.

In the end you might find it works well for your organization, or it may not. Either way, you tested new ways to improve your business.

XCEL Technologies Ltd- Leading CRM Solutions Providers.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Getting Started with the LightSwitch Starter Kits

Visual Studio LightSwitch Starter Kits are project templates that help get you started building specific LightSwitch applications. You can download them right from the within Visual Studio LightSwitch and once installed they show up in your “New Project” dialog. Using the Starter Kits can help you learn about LightSwitch as well as get you started off right with a basic data model, queries and screens that you can customize further. Currently there are Starter Kits for:

  • Customer Service
  • Expense Tracking
  • Issue Tracking
  • Job Candidate Tracking
  • Performance Review
  • Status Reports
  • Time Tracking

It’s really easy to get started using them. There’s a few ways you can install the Starter Kits. The easiest way is directly through Visual Studio LightSwitch. You can find the Starter Kit templates when you create a LightSwitch project from the “File –> New Project” dialog. Select the “Online Templates” node on the left and you will see the Starter Kits listed. Each Starter Kit comes in both Visual Basic (VB) and C# (CS) versions.


Select the Starter Kit you want, name the project, and click OK. This will download and install the Starter Kit. You can also install the Starter Kits through the Extension Manager. Here you will also find LightSwitch third-party extensions that have been placed on the Visual Studio Gallery. Open up the Extension Manager from the Tools menu.


Then click the “Online Gallery” node on the left side and expand the Templates node and you will see the Starter Kits there. Click the download button to install the one you want.


Once you install the Starter Kits they will be listed in your New Project dialog along with the blank solutions you get out of the box.


You can also obtain the Starter Kits as well as other extensions directly from the Visual Studio Gallery.

Once you create a new project based on the Starter Kit, you are presented with a documentation window that explains how to use the Starter Kit and how the application works. You can then choose to customize the application further for your needs.


That’s it! For more information on building business applications with Visual Studio LightSwitch including articles, videos, and more, see:


XCEL Technologies Ltd. - Leading CRM Solutions Providers

CRM 2011: Installing Update Rollups silently

Many of my customers like to install CRM Outlook client update rollups silently in order to limit end-user interruption. It is possible to silently install Update Rollups. I've listed the necessary steps below:

  • Download the CRM update rollup that you'd like to apply from the Microsoft Download Center (ex. CRM2011-Client-KB2547347-ENU-i386.exe)
  • Extract the update rollup package (CRM2011-Client-KB2547347-ENU-i386.exe /extract)
  • After extracting the package, you'll see a file named CrmUpdateWrapper.exe
  • To silently install the update rollup via a command prompt, launch the CrmUpdateWrapper (ex. crmupdatewrapper.exe /q /log "C:\log\log.txt")
    • The above syntax silently installs the update rollup and creates a log file in the specified folder. Additional parameters that can be used are:
      • /? = available parameter options
      • /q = silent install
      • /passive = installer/uninstall runs in passive mode
      • /norestart = even if required, does not restart the computer after installation is completed
      • /forcerestart = even if it is not required, restarts the computer after installation is completed
      • /promptrestart = prompts the user to restart the computer after the installation is completed when a restart is required
      • /uninstall = update is uninstalled
      • /log = user can define the log file local path name

While it is definitely possible to run the above silent install from a command prompt, most customers will choose to use these parameters when pushing out update rollups through deployment software (ex. System Center Configuration Manager).

XCEL Technologies Ltd- Leading CRM Solutions Providers