CRM 2011 Pricing and Licensing Guide updated Feb 2012

Kevin Machayya posted links in this article to an updated version of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Pricing and Licensing Guide. This is the definitive document for figuring out what you can and can’t do in various situations with different types of licence.

You can download it via Partnersource here (authorised LiveID required):

CRM 2011 Pricing and Licensing Guide Feb 2012 update

<edit> or the direct link here: http://crmdynamics.blob.core.windows.net/docs/Pricing_Licensing_Guide.pdf (I’m not sure if this only works when logged in with an appropriate LiveID)

Read more about the Activity Feed changes and different licence types»

What are the URLs for CRM integration?

This is one of those really simple things that I don’t need very often so it is easy to forget and then I have to go looking for it, so I figured I can’t be the only one and it might be worth posting.

You may occasionally need one or more of these URLs for integration with other applications or components such as the e-mail router, or you may need your Organisation name to licence a third party plugin or solution (which is a rather annoying GUID if you use CRM Online, rather than the actual name of your Organisation as it appears in your URL).

Whether you are using CRM Online or have CRM 4.0 or 2011 installed on your own servers or hosted by a partner, you can find all the URLs you might need by going to Settings > Customization > Developer Resources as shown in the screenshot below: Link to Developer Resources in CRM

When you click on the link you will see something like this:Developer Resources in CRM Online

Notice that the Discovery Service endpoint is the same for all CRM Online implementations in your territory, starting https://dev.crm… Outside the US replace “crm” with “crm4” for EMEA and “crm5” for Asia Pacific. The Organisation Services for SOAP and OData both use your organisation’s “friendly name” rather than the GUID.

CRM 2011 and CRM Online Q2 2012 Service Update aka R8

Microsoft have made a much-awaited announcement today about the features we can expect to see in the next service release for CRM Online and CRM 2011 on-premises. They remain committed

Earlier information made it clear that the key aspects of this update would be to make CRM available to a wider range of clients, specifically by providing cross-browser, cross-platform support. Whispers had also indicated that some form of ‘real’ client for one or more mobile operating systems. Today’s press release is titled “Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile” and the opening lines confirm the rumours:

Next Microsoft Dynamics CRM service update will include a new, cloud-based, cross-platform, native mobile application…This service update will deliver the capability for customers to access the complete functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM on virtually any device with a new cloud-based, cross-platform, native mobile client service for Windows Phone 7, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry mobile devices.

So, before discussing the news any further, the first thing to do is go and read some of the official information. The new General Manager for Dynamics CRM, Dennis Michalis published an article on the CRM Community blog entitled “CRM Anywhere” which looks like it will become the shorthand phrase to describe many of the changes being delivered in this next update.

A more lengthy and detailed discussion of the full range of features expected to be included in R8 can be found in the Release Preview Guide (aka February 2012 Roadmap). There is also some great information and various screenshots at the roadmap page of the CRM microsite.

So, the key features of the release will be:

  • Cross browser support including Firefox 6+ on Windows and Mac OS-X, Chrome 13+ on Windows and Safari on OS-X and iOS 5 (iPad 2). Oh, and a little thing called Internet Explorer 7+ on Windows.
  • Native mobile client for Windows Phone 7.5, iPhone 3GS / iPad (iOS 5), Google Android 2.2, RIM Blackberry 6 / 7
  • Support for SQL Server 2012 when it is released
  • Extended functionality of the “social CRM” features in R7 based around Wall Posts / Activity Feeds
  • Support for custom workflow assemblies in CRM Online, previously not an option and for some customers a reason to go with an on-premises deployment instead.
  • New UI options to give users a more responsive experience when doing read-only operations.
  • “Template” solutions for a variety of vertical industries

Multiple supported browsers

One of the most common requests from customers will finally be answered with support for the most popular browsers on a range of operating systems. These do not require the latest versions in most cases, and although no Linux systems are specifically supported, it may well be that appropriate browsers will work anyway.

Native mobile client

This is the big one in business terms. A ‘real’ application that can be run on various smartphone devices for the users that need a much richer experience on the move than has previously been provided by the Mobile Express service or via a browser. Crucially, the apps are planned to provide for offline access to data for when network connections are unavailable. This won’t be a free option however, but is expected to be charged on a monthly basis per user, pricing not yet finalised.

For most customers this is likely to be an option reserved only for those who really need it, and of course may require an investment in devices not already used in the business. Ironically, the one platform which won’t have offline capability on day one is Windows Phone 7

Of course, there are other vendors in this “mobility” space such as CWR Mobility, Resco and Ten Digits. They already have existing customers and partners and flexible development platforms which will help them to retain some market share, but inevitably some new customers may not look any further than Microsoft themselves to provide an end-to-end service.

More soon when I’ve digested the rest of the details.

CRM 2011 Opportunity Revenue field is read only

I’ve just had a slightly strange situation with some customisation for a CRM online project I am working on that I thought I would share in case anyone else has a similar experience with this particular scenario or other odd results of customisations which may have a related cause.

Customising the Opportunity form

I have been customising various entities and forms to build the system to suit the particular customer’s requirements. One of the things I was changing was the Opportunity form. I added some of the custom fields, moved some things around and tidied is up generally. Published and everything seemed fine.

Estimated Revenue always read only

Then I noticed that I could not put a value in the Estimated Revenue field. It was disabled, dimmed as unavailable, read-only, “move along, nothing to do here…”. Nothing I did would change this, Est. Revenue was always read only.

I had quite deliberately already changed the “IsRevenueSystemCalculated” field default to “User Provided”, and this is the value it correctly showed up on the form.

In general this organisation will be quoting their clients as part of longhand written proposals or formal RFPs for very flexible services work which does not lend itself well to using the Product Catalogue, although they may do that later for standard, fixed price, “commodity” services they offer. So their Opportunities will be used to manage the sales pipeline but not to figure out the values for them, and user provided figures are the most sensible way to handle this.

If I changed isrevenuesystemcalculated to “System Calculated” it correctly added in a value (£0.00 at the moment since I have added no line items) and it remained disabled, as it should. Change it back to “User Provided” and nothing happens, still read-only and unavailable. Currency was set, no Price List was added (and none needed as there would be no line items). All very strange.

What else could be causing this?

I had included Est. Revenue in the form header, and thought this might be causing the problem in some way because it would be a read-only field, but I removed it and it made no difference. I checked and rechecked that there were no scripts or anything else that could be affecting this behaviour. Nothing.

But one other thing that I had changed from the default OOBE is the way the field was displayed – rather than a pair of radio buttons I had chosen to save some space on the form by showing isrevenuesystemcalculated as a picklist since the user would only very rarely want to change this.

Switching back to radio buttons fixed the problem.

Why would this be buggy?

So it seems that the built-in functionality which is triggered by changing this field and updating the Est Revenue field accordingly is not particularly flexible. As far as my testing shows, it looks like it explicitly uses the status of the radio buttons as part of the DOM, rather than the underlying value of the bit field to figure out the state of the user selection in the isrevenuesystemcalculated field.

I would argue that this is a bug, since it should be possible to display this field in any way I choose. Albeit if I chose a single check box the label would need to be more explicit than simply “Revenue”, and this would not work as tidily in any case as selecting or clearing a checkbox does not trigger an “onChange” event until the focus changes (ie you click away from the field).

Have you had any similar experiences where the built-in functionality is very picky about how things are displayed, or where changing the default forms has affected things in strange ways? Please feel free to share via the comments.

CRM 2011 now works with SharePoint online

I don’t usually blog unless I have something original to say, and try to avoid becoming just another echo in the blogosphere, but felt this announcement is important enough to merit it.

You can now properly integrate CRM 2011 with SharePoint online – in other words the SharePoint list component can be installed and configured properly and the previous problem whereby you could not get the SharePoint online server to serve up .htc files which are a vital component of the “seamless” document management experience enjoyed by on-premises customers has been resolved.

This also means by extension that you now use CRM online with SharePoint 2010 online (eg via Office 365) for a totally cloud-based setup. Note this is supported for SharePoint 2007 and 2010, but only 2010 gives the completely integrated look and feel inside CRM.

Thanks to Donna Edwards for tweeting this article by Eric Boocock: CRM Integration with SharePoint online is here

Previous problem is described and documented very well by Jukka Niiranen here: Office 365 launches without Dynamics CRM integration

More information on how to setup SharePoint to work with CRM 2011 is on MSDN: