Category Archives for "Administration"

CRM 2011: Changes to the way things are deleted

It is worth nothing that there was a major change in the way that Dynamics CRM handles the deletion of records.

In CRM 4.0, records were merely "marked" for deletion when the user deleted the record. An automated process would occur once every 24 hours to physically remove the records from the database.

In CRM 2011, when you delete a record, it is removed immediately, with no post-processing required.

I make note of this because with CRM 4.0, it was possible to "save" a record from being physically deleted by resetting the record’s DeletionStateCode field manually using SQL.  This was an unsupported action but was sometimes used by administrators in an emergency.

That option is no longer available.  However, there is a free tool to perform this action available here:

CRM Codex – Record Recovery

More information about the technique can be found here:

Recover your deleted CRM data and recreate them using CRM API

CRM 2011: Using Sample Data

As you may know, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a log of parts and pieces and sometimes it is difficult to determine what data goes into what box.

Part of the problem is that when Dynamics CRM is first installed, it is a blank canvas, with no data to show you the interactions between the various Entities within the system.

Since you don’t have any data, it can be a little intimidating as you try and navigate through the system.

Thankfully, Microsoft provides a way to install Sample Data into the system so that you can get a better idea of what CRM will look like after being used for a short amount of time.

Installing Sample Data

To enable Sample Data, follow these steps:

1) Click Settings, Data Management, Sample Data, which will display the following dialog:


2) Click the Install Sample Data button.

The installation process occurs in the background so after clicking the button, you may go on about your business.  In a few minutes, CRM will be populated with a variety of sample data.


Removing Sample Data

Once you are comfortable with the new system, and it’s relationships and methods of work, you can remove the sample data using exactly the same process:

1) Click Settings, Data Management, Sample Data, which will display the following dialog:


2) Click the Remove Sample Data button to have the Sample Data removed from the system.


Good luck and happy CRMing.

CRM 2011 Tip o’the Day: Hide the Getting Started Pane

CRM 2011, by default, displays a feature at the top of every data view called the Getting Started Pane.  Here’s how it looks for Contacts:


This is great for new users, but after some period of time, you may wish to have that screen real estate to show more records on the screen.

Luckily, you can hide the Getting Started Pane for everyone, or for specific users.


Hiding the Getting Started Pane for all users

Select Settings, Administration, System Settings.

When the dialog displays, change the following setting to No.


Click OK to save your change.


Hiding the Getting Started Pane for an individual user

Each user has the ability to change this setting as well.

The user needs to select File, Options, then uncheck the following option:


Click OK to save the change.

Note: If the administrator has turned hidden the Display Getting Started Pane using System Settings, the user will not be able to override that setting to turn it back on.

1 What is CRM doing with my Email?

If you have ever wondered if Dynamics CRM is holding on to your email and not sending it, there is a way to check:

CRM 2011

In CRM 2011, just perform the following steps:

1) Select your Workplace area.

2) Click Activities.

3) Change your Activities view to E-mail.

4) Select My Pending E-mails:


This will show emails that belong to you.  But what about everyone else?

While the My Pending Emails view is loaded, perform the following steps:

1) Click the Advanced Find button on the Ribbon.

2) Click the Details button to make your criteria editable:


3) Delete the row that states: Owner Equals: Current User.


4) Click the Save As button.

5) Work the Query Properties dialog is displayed, remove the word My.

6) Click OK.

7). Click the results button to perform the query.


if you go back to the E-Mail Views list, you’ll now see Pending E-mails under My Views:


1 Changing the CRM startup experience

In case you didn’t know, each CRM user can change their initial web client startup experience by modifying several different settings that control how the home page is displayed.

Let’s walk through the process:


Changing the Workplace

You access your personal options through File, Options:


When the Set Personal Options dialog is displayed, click the Workplace tab:


This tab shows a Preview of your workplace showing the current configuration. The Workplace is intended to contain the most common items a CRM user needs to access during the course of their work day.

By default, you have the following areas displayed:

  • My Work
  • Customers
  • Extensions
    • if you have any custom Entities that you have set to display there.

You can add additional areas to the Wordplace by checking the boxes of the items in the Select Workplace Areas section.

Here is how the Workplace Preview will appear if we select sales:


Note: You cannot remove My Work, Customers, or Extensions through this interface.


Select the areas that you wish to appear in the Workplace, then click the General tab.


Selecting your Home Page

The next step in the process is to set your Home Page.

On the General tab, you’ll find the following section:


As you can see, you can select both the Default Pane and the Default Tab.  In my configuration, I want CRM to display my contact list when I first open CRM so I have set my Default Tab to Contacts.

Note: The Default Tab options are dynamic and will change based on the Default Pane selection.


Hiding the Getting Started Pane

The final user interface modification we’ll cover today is the hiding of the Getting Started Pane which is displayed at the top of most Entity views within CRM and looks something like this:


If you do not wish to see this information at the top of the grids, click the Show Getting Started panes on all lists and they will no longer be shown.


Final Notes ( for Administrators )

Please read the following article that describes my experiences with users customizing the Workplace and some issue and items to note here.



Well that is a quick tour of the Personal Options that control.  Hopefully, it will help make your CRM experience just a little more personal.

CRM 2011 Tip o’the day: Disabling the Install Outlook Notification

When the CRM 2011 web client is opened, it performs a check to see if you have the Outlook client installed. If not, then it will display a notification at the top of the screen that will allow you to install the Outlook client, should you wish:


This can be very annoying, should have not wish to install the Outlook client.

Luckily, you, as the CRM system administrator, can turn this feature off.

Perform these steps:

1) Select Settings, Administration, System Settings.

2) Click the Outlook tab.

3) At the bottom of the Outlook tab, you’ll find an option to turn off the “Get the Outlook Client” message:


4) Set that option to No.

5) Click OK to save your change.

6) Refresh your browser using Ctrl+F5.

7) You should no longer see the Outlook client invitation.

1 Categorize your CRM Contacts using Relationship Type

One of the most powerful fields on the Dynamics CRM Contact entity is something called the Relationship Type.

This field allows you to categorize your contacts by specifying who they are: customer, vendor, partner, etc.

Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, this field is missing from the default CRM 2011 data entry form.  Let’s walk through the process of adding this field to the form and customizing CRM to maximize it’s use.

Step 1: Add relationship types

In order to make maximum use of this field, we first need to make sure it contains relevant data, which we will do with these steps:

1) Select Settings, Customizations, Customize the system.

2) Expand Entities

3) Expand Contact

4) Click on Fields

5) Locate a the Relationship Type field

Note: the internal or schema name for this field is customertypecode.

6) Double-click the field to open up the field editor:


This field is of the type Option Set ( picklist in CRM 4.0 ), and as you can see, it contains only the default value so let’s add some values.

7) In the Options list, click on the Default Value item.

8) In the Label edit box, change this value to Customer.

9) Click the plus sign on the Options list to add a new item.

10) Change the Item text to something relevant to your organization, like Vendor.

11) Repeat steps 9 and 10 until you have entered all of your selections.  Mine looks like this:


12) Set the Searchable field to Yes:


This allows the field to be used for Advanced Find searches.

13) Click the Save and Close button.

14) From the toolbar, click the Publish All Customizations button to publish your changes.


Step 2: Modify the Main data entry form

1) In the Solution Explorer, under Contact, click Forms.

2) Double-click the Main form row to edit the form.

3) Locate Relationship Type in the Field explorer on the right-side of the form editor.

4) Drag and drop the Relationship Type onto the first section so that it looks like this:


5) Click the Save button to save your work.

6) Click the Publish button to publish the form.

7) Close the form editor.


Step 3: Creating Views

1) Once back to the Solution Explorer, under Contact, click Views.

2) Click the New button to create a new View

3) When the View Properties dialog displays, enter Active Customers in the Name field:


4) Click OK.

5) When the view designer displays, click the Add Columns button.

6) Select fields that you wish to display in your view:


7) Click OK.

8) Click the Edit Filter Criteria button.

9) We need to set our filter criteria to the following:


10) Click OK to save your filter criteria.

11) Click Save and Close to close the View Editor

12) Click the Publish All Customizations button to publish your changes.


Step 4: Verify your work

To verify your work, perform these steps:

1) Select the Workplace or Sales area

2) Open a Contact.

3) Set their Relationship Type to Customer.

4) Click the Save and Close button.

5) Select the Active Customers view:


6) Verify that the Contact you modified in step 2 is in the list.


Next Steps

Now that you have a view showing your Active Customers, you’ll need to create a view that corresponds to each of the new Relationship Types that you created.

This allows your users to quickly filter and navigate your Contacts which can be very helpful should you have a large number of Contacts.