XRM Virtual User Group - Newsletter Summer 2010

xRMVirtual Newsletter Summer 2010

Some great up-coming meetings, a new product to talk about, xRM showcase results, new CRM4 VPC. So it’s loads of info in the newsletter, so much that we just called it Summer instead of assigning it a month.

Follow us on twitter? @xrmvirtual

First, it’s August meetings

All meetings start at 9am Pacific on their date. All meetings are recorded so if that works out to be 3am for you, you can still join us later. Recording links are posted on each event page within a day (or so) of the meeting and we will tweet when it’s been posted.

Form Customizations with Larry Lentz- August 10
Join xRMVirtual as we welcome Dynamics CRM legend and MVP Larry Lentz (@CRMLarry) for this informative talk about form customizations at a special session scheduled Tuesday August 10 at 9am PST. This session is perfect for developers new to CRM and CRM power users and customizers.

SSRS in CRM with Arie Jones- August 26
Join Arie Jones (@programmersedge), Principal Technology Manager of Perptech, as he shares with us what’s new in SSRS 2008 R2. This session will cover reporting basics and will have some deeper technical content as well. System customizers, power user, DBAs, developers, technical users, numbers people (pretty much anyone USING or MAKING CRM) will learn a great deal in this session.

xRM Showcase, by the numbers

Who could have predicted the popularity of this contest? Well, all of us could obviously! Go have a look at the site, see the solutions, and get your own ideas for new solutions.
Here’s an excerpt from the blog post about it that you can find here in its entirety. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2010/07/22/xrm-showcase-challenge-results.aspx

The xRM Showcase Challenge is over!  Thank you, CRM community, for your participation and votes.  And the winners are:

Overall we were impressed with all the solutions submitted; there were so many fantastic examples of what partners and customers have done with xRM.  Here are some more highlights:

  • We had 83 unique solutions submitted over 10 weeks
  • 2,570 individuals registered in the showcase to vote and submit solutions
  • Votes submitted totaled 2,942
  • The US led in solutions submitted with 39, UK with 10, and a three-way tie between Canada, Austria and Australia at 4

CRM 2011 debuts at World Partner Conference

Here’s a collection of details and links for info on CRM 2011 (the software formerly known as CRM5)

Introducing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2010/07/12/introducing-microsoft-dynamics-crm-2011.aspx

Dynamics CRM 2011 Beta in September Info http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2010/07/14/microsoft-dynamics-crm-2011-beta-coming-in-september.aspx

Sign up for notification of the Beta https://offers.crmchoice.com/betaofferlanding/

Video and demo of Dynamics CRM 2011

Details of features http://www.dynamicscrmtrickbag.com/2010/07/25/taking-the-covers-off-crm-2011/

New VPC for CRM 4

With all the buzz about CRM 2011, we can’t forget CRM 4. There’s been a new VPC released for partners and customers for demos. You must have access tto either Partner Source or Customer Source to access the links in the blog post. We’ve heard mixed reviews, but links and details are in this blog post http://julieyack.blogs.com/my_weblog/2010/07/newish-vpc-for-crm4-is-out.html

XRM Virtual User Group - Newsletter Summer 2010

Importing contacts to Dynamics CRM and assigning to more than a single list

I am importing just over 15,000 contacts for an established organization into a new instance of CRMOnline.  The import is a very flat file, no history, no relationships.  About as basic as you can get.  However, as I said it is an established organization and they have several different email lists, marketing lists.  CRM has a concept of importing new contacts and assigning to a list, but with that the concept is 1 new contact will reside on 1 new list.  With this organization a single contact might already reside on more than a single list.  That’s a lot of hunting and pecking for me, this org has about a dozen lists, and some contacts reside on 5 or 6 or 10 of these lists.

Here’s my work-around.

1. Create the lists in CRM.  Nothing special about them, easy peasy, like normal.

2. Create new bit (yes/no) attributes on the Contact record, no need to put them on the form, just create them, default to “no”.  We are just using these as disposable attributes for assigning of list placements.   (don’t forget to publish)

3. Make sure the source csv file has the proper columns identifying each contact as a member (or not) of each list.

csv preview

4. Do the whole mapping thing, make sure each list from the source is mapped to the corresponding new attribute.  Then import just as you would normally.

5. Once the import is done go to each marketing list and manage members and add based on an advanced find, where the bit for that specific list equals “Yes”.

evaluate members

6. Then add to list.

add to list

Do this for each list and tadah, 15,000 records organized into a dozen overlapping marketing lists in a semi-automatic way.

You can go clean up (delete) the disposable attributes or not, up to you.  I would suggest leaving them in case you wind up with a large import again.

“New” gov't rules allow unapproved iPhone apps and more

So they have ruled that jailbreaking your iphone is legal.  Not surprised at all.  There is no change to anything, merely clarifying how current laws apply to current technology.  No brouhaha happening.  But loads of free publicity for Apple. 

Yes, this will make Apple devices more prone to viruses, the reason they have been less prone to viruses is because the bad guys are opportunists.  If the multiplier is bigger, then target that group and Microsoft has long had a bigger market than Apple.  It’s not that Apple owners haven’t been jailbreaking already, but those that may have been on the fence will be more likely to do it now.  So that makes that group a bigger target.  Now Apple needs to have a bigger/better team of folks working on virus protection, recognizing vulnerabilities to their products, etc.  Welcome to the majors Apple.  Competition is good.

I assume the Windows Phone 7 team is listening, it applies to them too.

New gov't rules allow unapproved iPhone apps - Yahoo! News

Help me build my new bucket list?

This year has had more travel and more adventures and I have checked off the Africa box and the Ireland box.  I need to make my new list of places I have to see.  Help me?  Tell me where I should visit, give me links, tell me stories?

I need to get to someplace in South America, Asia and (brrr) Antarctica so I can claim each continent on my list, I’ve covered the others.

What do I need to see?  What else does our world have to offer?

Updates to new-ish VPC for Dynamics CRM4

Some errors/issues found and corrected, details below.

You still need Customer Source or Partner Source credentials to access.

Here are the file links for now if you need to download it:

CRM 4.0 July 2010 VPC.part01.exe https://mbs.microsoft.com/fileexchange/?fileID=9548ce72-6fb0-49ca-b63e-1c1105401bcf

CRM 4.0 July 2010 VPC.part02.rar https://mbs.microsoft.com/fileexchange/?fileID=f52f2e65-92c3-46b8-b336-785052c3183c

CRM 4.0 July 2010 VPC.part03.rar https://mbs.microsoft.com/fileexchange/?fileID=b84e4e74-d878-42e9-9b11-946e2e22a7b6

CRM 4.0 July 2010 VPC.part04.rar https://mbs.microsoft.com/fileexchange/?fileID=e6f195f3-d929-412d-b73a-9b83f067db93

If you are just looking to fix the copies you have simply copy the directories ‘C:\Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0\Accelerators\CUSTOMER_PORTAL_RTW_R1’ and ‘C:\Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0\Accelerators\PARTNER_PORTAL_RTW_R2.01‘ to the root of C: then all should be right in the universe and you will not have to restart anything.

New(ish) VPC for CRM4 is out

(errors/issues were found, corrections here )

The last one will expire soon so it’s being re-released.  Not only will this one wait until next April to time-bomb but it has some cool additions like Office 2010, portal accelerators, and cool new profile tool that starts and stops services and caches pages for better performance on smaller machines.  Not only that, but it’s been made to work against active directory so you won’t need an internet connection to make it work, kinda a handy dandy little tool when doing an on-site demo somewhere with sketchy internet access.

The links are good for partners and customers via PartnerSource and CustomerSource once you are logged in. 

CRM 4 July 2010 VPC.part01.exe


CRM 4 July 2010 VPC.part02.rar


CRM 4 July 2010 VPC.part03.rar


CRM 4 July 2010 VPC.part04.rar


Happy CRM-ing.

Free online event on SSRS

On Tuesday July 27 at 11am Eastern my friend AJ Jones is delivering a webinar on SQL Server Reporting Services.  If you are a CRM/xRM developer and are not familiar with SSRS, you pretty much have to attend.  The power that SSRS adds to Dynamics CRM reporting is soooooo cool, you will start finding new ways to add it to your deployments all the time.  While this webinar is not directed to CRM itself, I know that AJ has vast CRM knowledge and will surely tie that in as well as be able to entertain your questions about that as well.

Registration link below.


(I am aware that I call a lot of people here my friends but be assured that I don’t use that term lightly.  AJ has for two years running flown from Indianapolis to Denver to present at the Rocky Mountain Tech Tri-fecta (in a Colorado winter no less) and has been one of our highest rated speakers at either event.  He is pretty good and smart.)

XNA Game Dev for Windows Phone 7?

I know this resembles a commercial, but hear me out…

Windows Phones, everyone’s talking about them.  In my office we’ve been throwing around cool app ideas, trying to out-do each other. (just wait, nifty and even some practical ideas coming out of our office)  It’s new, it’s cool.  Right?

Add a game to it, toss in some XNA…it’s really cool.

So, AT&T brings this developer webcast, it’s Thursday, July 15, 10-11 AM Pacific Time.  Click thru below to register.

Any bets on if my 17 year-old will get up that early on summer vacation to attend?

Marketing blurb from the AT&T site…

“This webcast is designed to provide a developer overview of how to build games for Windows Phone 7 with Microsoft XNA Game Studio 4. Learn about the developer tools, the XNA Framework, and the resources available to build interactive, compelling, games with Windows Phone 7.”

Folks that attend (actually attend, not just register) might win a Smartphone.


AT&T Developer Program | XNA Game Development for Windows Phone 7