Thursday, October 30, 2008

Announcing Release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Accelerators

Ahh… Finally we have a release of 2 of the new CRM Accelerators. 

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the Microsoft CRM team had announced in a live meeting that 5 of the 8 CRM Accelerators were to be released very shortly. Just as I was about to fall off the edge of my seat, I found the release of the following 2 CRM Accelerators as of 30-Oct-2008: 

  • CRM Notifications Accelerator
  • Extended Sales Forecasting Accelerator

I guess 2 are better than none.

As a Microsoft Partner you can access these from the Partner Source website: 

All installation files, documentation and source codes are freely available and fully supported.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Liberation Day! Steve Ballmer - Sydney - 6 November 2008

A rare event is at hand! Steve Ballmer is coming to Australia.

This is truly one of the rarest opportunities to hear fist hand, the most influential person in the IT industry. 

Together with Gianpaolo Carraro', Senior Director, Microsoft Corporation, and Tim Sneath, Director, Microsoft Corporation, we will be hearing about Microsoft's vision of the future of software development and cloud computing.

This event will be held at Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour. Tickets are available by invitation only. If you don't have one yet, then there may still be a handful available from your favourite user group. On the other hand, if you miss out on Sydney tickets, don't panic. The event will be available on Live Rally. Don't miss out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

CRM Accelerators Due for Release This Week

5  of the 8 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Accelerators are due to be released within the next few days:

The remaining 3 will be available by the end of November:

All accelerators will have multi language compatability and are fully supported my Microsoft. Read more about them at the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog.

I'm sofar very impressed with the Beta and previews. The idea is to fully empower CRM developers to modify and customize these tools to fully suit their needs, so the package on offer will be quite extensive...

  • Compiled Installer + full source code
  • Installation, setup and usage documentation
  • Technical documentation
  • Walkthrough and tutorial videos

Upon release, there will be a discussion forum set up for developers to discuss and get help on customizing these tools.

Incidentally, some of these tools are due to be included as the standard package in CRM 5.

More posts on these tools to come shortly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Data Migration Manager encountered an error while setting up the temporary migration database

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Data Migration Manager can be used to import data from other systems into CRM 4.0 and is a vastly improved version over 3.0. This tool can be used to map data into all standard and custom entities and is very simple to use.

However, I ran into a couple of small issues on my first encounter with this tool.

Having made my installation on a different machine to the SQL Server, I immediately encountered security issues. The selected user needs to have full administrative rights to the SQL Server installation. After making the necessary changes to my administrative rights, installation and setup proceeded smoothly, bet then upon sign in I encountered the following error:
The Data Migration Manager encountered an error while setting up the temporary migration database. Restart the data migration manager and try migrating the data again.

With Albert Einstein's looming in the back of my mind I did the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result... Needless to say, it drove me mad.

Interestingly I found that the temporary migration database was actually created on the remote SQL Server.

The accompanying Readme file suggests the folowing:
One possible source of this error message may be the UserReplicationID registry key. You can resolve this issue by deleting the registry key, restarting Data Migration Manager, and signing in again.

You can find this registry key in the following path (depending on your system type):

* 32-bit systems: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Data Migration Wizard
* 64-bit systems: HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Data Migration Wizard
Unfortunately this did not work for me. My solution was to uninstall and re-install the package, using SQL Server Express on the same machine as the DMM installation. Due to performance issues, we were finally forced to move the entire installation to the local machine hosting the full SQL Server deployment.

It seems this issue was related to the use of DMM with remote access to the temporary migration database. Although my user is a local admin of all machines involved and has full access to SQL Server, I still believe the issue is caused by a lack of security rights to something along the chain.

I've since found that the package will install, but configuration will fail for 64bit SQL Server 2005, even on the local machine. This is entirely unsupported by that application.

See the Dynamics Team Blog for more tips on using and getting the best performance out of DMM and the Dynamics Data Migration Trouble Shooting page.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Error installing CRM 4.0 and reporting services on SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition

While making a new insallation of CRM 4.0 recently, I encountered a little error:

Setup requires SQL Server Reporting Services 2005 Hotfix for role creation on SQL Reporting Service SP2 Workgroup edition at the specified Reporting Services Report Server http://CRMServer/reportserver.

I found it fairly difficult to locate this elusive hotfix. So for anyone else looking for it.. Request your hotfix from

Now, before everybody gets up in arms about the idea of "Requesting a hotfix", you should be aware that although Microsoft Dynamics CRM hotfixes are not so freely available to download, they are simple to aquire. Just make your request from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Hotfix site, and within seconds the download link and password(if applicable) will be emailed to you.