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Crash Course on Intellectual Property…what a GREAT session (recording)

xRMVirtual had our regularly scheduled meeting yesterday, but as it turned out, it was far from regular.  My friend Jonathan Zuck from The Association of Competitive Technology ( agreed to give us a crash course in intellectual property.  It was about as non-technical as a user group meeting could be, but probably one of our most valuable lessons.  I learned a ton and will be referring back to the content myself.

It started with technical difficulties, my microphone (and the backup one too) wouldn’t work, even though I was fine at the sound check one hour before.  So Jonathan even did the intro slides for me :), what a hero.

So my thought process behind asking for this presentation to our DEVELOPERS was that we are giving our members the tools to go out an create intellectual property, so we also need to give them the tools to protect and respect intellectual property, no?  Many of our group members are new to this whole concept.

Jonathan did a great job explaining the different protections like patents, trademarks and copyrights.  He fielded great questions from the attendees.  And I would recommend any type of developer, any small business owner in the technology space, project managers, all need to view this recording, it lasts right at one hour.  The content is not specific to the US, Jonathan is an expert internationally as well, so that was covered here too.  Send the link to your co-workers, project managers, bosses, friends, etc.

Live mtg recording here

xRM Newsletter May 2010

Loads of exciting things going on in the Dynamics CRM world, they all pretty much spill over into our xRM world.  Read on after the upcoming meeting links for the cool news!  This is by far our most jam-packed newsletter yet.


All meetings are at 9am Pacific time, and all meetings are recorded.  We use the web-based audio with Live Meeting, no call in numbers.  Visit our events page for meeting links and watch your inbox for the meeting invitations.
May 27- Crash Course in Intellectual Property.  As an xRM developer you are now out there creating intellectual property, either for yourself or someone else.  Should you handle this property any differently?  What is your exposure?  What risks and benefits do you face? 

June 1- New Portal Accelerators for Beginners.  You’ve heard some of the buzz around the release of the new Portal Accelerators, now get a hands on look and an introduction to the new portal accelerators, see how to set it up on the demo VPC and walk through the site functionality.  Bring your questions, our presenter worked as part of the team that created this accelerator.

June 24- An Advanced Look at the new Portal Accelerators.  See the code behind the newest accelerator!  Join us and see how to customize and then a code-walkthrough of the site code.  We’ll be showing off some of the techniques like generating user interfaces from CRM views and forms. Bring your questions, our presenter worked as part of the team that created this accelerator.

xRM News

xRM showcase- The xRMShowcase is in full swing, loads of entries, loads of votes!  The showcase site itself is its own xRM story and one of the projects you can vote on to win.  Even if you don’t have a project of your own to submit, the site is worth a visit to see what other great solutions based on xRM are out there. .

New SDK release-   A great blog post from MVP David Yack here with details on how to get started with the new SDK.  Microsoft released CRM SDK 4.0.12  - before you just download it and think its just another minor update – read on. This update includes what is being referred to as Advanced Developer Extensions.  Before you stop reading saying “I’m not advanced” – “Advanced” I believe is marketing’s way of saying this builds on top of the strong foundation that CRM already provided – not that you need to be a “Super Advanced” developer to use it.  In reality, it’s advanced because it’s going to simplify how you interact with the CRM data.  More specifically, it will allow you to use the LINQ expression syntax that developers have been using since C#3/VB9 to build queries.  Additionally, this introduces the idea of using the normal .NET data types instead of the CRM specific ones e.g CRMBoolean.  In the past, CRM had specific types for CRM Boolean because at the time .NET didn’t support nullable types… more at

New extensions released- Another great blog post with details, this time from MVP David Jennaway.    The CRM 4.0.12 SDK has recently been released. Normally an SDK update is not particularly significant, but in this case it includes some major enhancements, which come under the banner of 'Advanced Developer Extensions'. This post is intended to cover the scope and limitations of the new extensions as I see them, and how they differ from the original CRM programming model. What are the new extensions…more at

New Statement of Direction- Yes, it even has some more CRM5 details for your review.  Blog post on it here…  Let me know if you want a copy, I can send it along.

New xRM Whitepapers- These papers cover various aspects surrounding the use of xRM as a custom solution platform. These papers could be the starting point or seed for a new way of creating customized solutions that are based on the way your company does business.

The most excellent new feature in Word 2010

For years (seriously years) I have complained that in Word I could only select connected items.  So for example, in versions past, I might have reason to make changes on a document to only bits and pieces of the text.  Items that probably don’t have an easily definable relationship.  Say, in a group of paragraphs I need to change the words Dynamics and enterprise and work to all be RED.  I could not select them all, just one at a time.  Now in Office 2010 I can select bits and pieces and apply formatting.



Apply formatting


So, how did i do that?

Normally to select you click the left mouse button and drag the mouse to highlight your selection.  You still do that, but to add more items, click CTRL then left mouse and drag.  Takes a couple times of doing it before you’re used to it, but it’s pretty cool.  I found it totally on a whim, I was hoping the feature was added and guessed on how I would do it if I were designing Word, and tadah, it worked!

Score one for Office 2010.

Now if the product team is listening, why can’t I multi-select and make a comment linking the items together in my single comment?

Preparing for Tech Ed 2010

I’ve been to Tech Ed a handful of times and am going this year.  This year will be different.  For me at least.

Different how?  I will be working in the Technical Learning Center and I am bringing my son and he’s helping out in the Birds of a Feather sessions.  We will also both hang out at the INETA booth in the community area often, come say hi.  Also different for me this year is the 2010 INETA Community Leadership Summit.  The summit is not new, they’ve happened many times before.  New for me this year?  Not an attendee but I’m leading the charge to run it this year.  It looks a little different from this side, but not much.  Still looks like a day full of awesome content and interaction between our user group leaders and influencers.

I hope to get to some actual sessions this year, last year I arrived late and managed to spend most of my time working and networking.

Never been to a Tech Ed before?  Here’s what you need to know… it’s huge, a bit overwhelming if it’s your first big conference.  Have a plan of attack, make sure to include the important sessions of course, time in the expo hall (cool products and cool swag), networking events/parties.  The learning you get from attendees will be just as valuable as the stuff you get from the actual sessions themselves.  Talk to the right people.  The networking is a big deal, especially for me, a consultant.   My name needs to be out there, it gives me credibility.  I need to have meet/greet time with many people so they remember me when they go back to the office and need to hire someone to help their team.  Hire someone like me :)

I wish there was more Dynamics CRM on the agenda, but not my call.  There are some powerful and compelling opportunities out there for development, but the average developer has no idea, they’ve never been exposed.  There is also a shortage of qualified CRM developers.  Sounds like it would be a great match, but again, not my call.



Microsoft TechEd North America 2010 - Home

My gender is NOT a handicap

I’ve been writing this blog post in my head for a couple of days.  It is not at all techie so if that’s why you’re here, save some time; no hard feelings.

This article I’ve linked to in Time Magazine is about the new “revolution” of passing laws to require a certain percentage of board members of large corporations to be women.  This just flat out pisses me off.  Yup.

There are plenty of women, like me, that insist on being treated as an equal where we are one.  I don’t need a law to get me a job. I need my brain.  My confidence.  My education.  I need to advocate for myself, demand the salary I am worth. 

(ladies, get your house in order.  Make sure that you are not always the parent that stays home with a sick kid.  You can’t blame your boss if you always take time away from work, regardless of the reason. If you are a single parent (I’ve been there) you need to work harder, sorry but it’s what you signed up for)

What we do need… programs to teach little girls that confidence they need and little boys to respect little girls as the equals that they are.  We need to change perceptions that a professionally confident competent woman is not a bitch but simply a professionally confident and competent woman.  We need to actively recruit women in non-traditional jobs, our brains are just as good as the men.  We possess the problem solving, logic, reasoning needed for the high-tech jobs, upper management/executive jobs, we can (and do) run successful businesses.

(I will concede that when it comes to brute physical strength I cannot compete with a man.  That’s ok, let’s see them nourish and breastfeed a child.  It evens out.)

We need to help each other.  We is the full collective in the workforce, men and women alike. 

Men, do you want your wife, mother, daughter passed over for a job because of her gender?  Or maybe even worse, set up for failure because she was given a job she was not qualified to do simply to meet a stupid quota?  Raise your daughters as intellectual equals.  Treat your wife and mother as intellectual equals; because they are AND because your actions teach far more than your words to your children.  Take your turn taking care of the sick kid (no one likes this job, so quit whining about it).

Women, stand up for yourself.  Advocate for what you know you can do.  Let that voice in your head that tells you that YOU ARE CAPABLE speak for you.  It’s right.  Demand equality at home and work, and give it also.  Those toxic women that give us all a bad name, stay away from them unless you can find a way in to help her get past her toxicity.  Find the women in your life that need your confidence, help them start their own journey.  Teach your sons to respect women, they will see how you allow yourself to be treated and they will treat the women in their life this way.

And finally, be the example you want your daughters to become.

Boardroom Revolution - TIME

Microsoft Integrates Adxstudio xRM Technologies

Isn’t it great when the nice guys finish first?  That is the case here with the inclusion of tools developed by Adxstudio into the newest release of accelerators for Dynamics CRM.  You can read the full press release below so I won’t go into all that here. 

I’ve used their software tools and they make me look much smarter than I am. 

Great job guys!  Loads of hard work, paid off!


ADXSTUDIO: xRM Portals for Dynamics CRM -Microsoft Integrates Adxstudio xRM Technologies