CRM 2015 – Get ready for the next release

September 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Microsoft has release a page in the Dynamics CRM Customer Center which is worth a read. This blog post is basically an “awareness” post.

So head over to the link below to get a brief overview of the next release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM – CRM 2015.

Get Ready for the Next Release


Greg Olsen

CRM 2015 – Release Preview Guide

September 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Its coming … and named CRM 2015.  The next major release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be known as CRM 2015. Here is the naming breakdown for both On-Premises and Online:

  • On-Premises – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 – (aka v7.0)
  • Online – Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (2015 Update) Note: Customer Driven Update. This means you will need to turn it on inside your CRM 2013 instance.

With this major release comes a new Release Preview Guide (September 2014), which is available to download. You can get your copy from here.  I have put a copy for future reference here. I encourage you to take a read of its content and become familiar with some of the new features and improvements coming with this release.

CRM 2015 - Release Preview Guide

Greg Olsen

Office 365 – Clean up your AD with IdFix before Migrating

September 16, 2014 Leave a comment

There is a handy tool from Microsoft called IdFix, which helps you clean up your On-Premises Active Directory (AD) before you synchronise or migrate it to Office 365 i.e. into the cloud. IdFix will cleverly identify errors such as duplicates and formatting problems in your On-Premises Active Directory before you begin the migration to Office 365. I recommend you run this as a prerequisite step before you start your migration to Office 365.

You can download the tool directly from Microsoft: IdFix DirSync Error Remediation Tool.  I have put a copy of this for future purposes here.


The Guide


Before I get any further, I would like to mention that you also get a guide with the tool download. It is called the IdFix – Directory Error Remediation Guide. You can download version 1.07 of the guide directly from here. Therefore I won’t mention the software and hardware requirements of the tool, I recommend you read the guide for this information. The tool is aimed at IT Administrators.



Using IdFix


Once you launch the tool (I am currently using version 1.07), IdFix will search your On-Premises Active Directory for any objects which do not conform to Office 365. 


After IdFix completes the query, you will get an object count in the status bar at the bottom, as shown below.


Like my example, if there are no errors in your directory (cool, I’m good to go), you can go ahead and synchronise your On-Premises Active Directory with Office 365. If there are errors in your directory, it is recommended that you go through each one and fix them before you synchronise to Office 365. You can fix them directory into your On-Premises Active Directory first and then do another query in IdFix to see your issue has gone.  It’s not mandatory to fix the errors before migrating to Office 365, but I would recommend you do. This allows for your Office 365 tenant to be a clean one from day 1.  If you are to fix an error, you will need to agree with the suggested change in the UPDATE column (check this to see what the issue is first), and then in the ACTION column select what you want IdFix to do to implement the change and then click Apply. Note: Once you hit Apply, IdFix will update your Active Directory immediately. So make sure you are aware of what changes are going to take place. 

The IdFix – Directory Error Remediation Guide has the following ACTION options documented. These are available from the ACTION drop down list:

·COMPLETE – The original value is acceptable and should not be changed despite being identified as being in an error state. For example, two users may have a proxy Address identified as duplicate. Only one can use the value for mail delivery. The user with the correct value should be marked as COMPLETE, while the other user is marked as REMOVE.

·REMOVE – The attribute value will be cleared from the source object. In the case of a multi-valued attribute; e.g. proxy Addresses, only the individual value shown will be cleared.

·EDIT – The information in the UPDATE column will be used to modify the attribute value for the selected object. In many cases, a valid update value has been predetermined. In these cases, you can mark the ACTION as EDIT and go on to the next error. If the predetermined update value is not desired, you can manually input the new value.

·UNDO – This value is only shown if the user has loaded a previously saved Update file. The sole operation that can be executed is to restore the original value.

·FAIL – This value is only shown if an update value has an unknown conflict with the directory rules. In this case, you may attempt to edit the value again. It may be necessary to analyse the values in the object using ADSIEDIT.

Note: on empty ACTION – Only errors with a customer selected Action will be considered for update. To reiterate; unless a specific choice is made IdFix will not perform any operation on the error.

If you would like to know more about the tool IdFix, I suggest you read the guide first before running the tool. The guide has everything you need to know. You should find the tool straight-forward to use.

If you have any comments or feedback on the tool IdFix, I would be keen to hear them. Simply add a comment below.

Greg Olsen

Microsoft Social Listening – Helpful Videos

This blog post I will provide a list of some helpful videos relating to Microsoft Social Listening, which has just been released by Microsoft recently.

The list below outlines the different areas relating to Microsoft Social Listening with their corresponding links to the video. 

Microsoft Social Listening Spring ’14 Understanding Sentiment
Microsoft Social Listening Spring ’14 Tuning search topics
Microsoft Social Listening Spring ’14 Setting Up Search Topic

Microsoft Social Listening Spring ’14 Sales Scenarios
Microsoft Social Listening Spring ’14 Overview
Microsoft Social Listening Spring ’14 Marketing Scenarios
Microsoft Social Listening Spring ’14 Customer Care Scenarios
Microsoft Social Listening Spring ’14 Trial Overview
Microsoft Social Listening Spring ’14 Trial Walkthrough



Greg Olsen

Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Performance Center / Form Load Analysis

Some won’t be aware of the Performance Center with CRM 2013. It is a handy tool activated by hitting CTRL+SHIFT+Q when a record loads. It’s best used with Internet Explorer (it crashes for me when using CRM in Chrome). You can use this tool to analyse the form load times within your instance of CRM 2013.

Below is a quick view of what the tool looks like in CRM 2013. (my screenshot is taken from CRM Online v6.1.0.1043). You can get a better view of the screenshot in full by clicking on this link:

CRM Performance Center


Note: This tool only displays with CRM 2013 once you have Service Pack 1. before that when you press CTRL + SHIFT + Q, they only show plain text format as illustrated below (run from CRM 2013 v6.0.2.51 IFD on premises installation).

CRM Performance Center - Old Version

Remember, you can still add on /tools/diagnostics/diag.aspx to find the diagnostics tool.

If you hit the button Select Major, the tool will output the results as illustrated below.

CRM Performance Center - Select Major

Handy tool? I think so ….

Greg Olsen

Windows Server 2003 – End of Microsoft Support July 14 2015

Just under a year out from this blog post, Microsoft will end the support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14th 2015. This means no more security patches or bug fixes will be available. So if you are running Windows Server 2003 you need to plan for this date and the impact it will have on your server(s). If you intend sticking with Windows Server after July 14th 2015 then you will need to have a custom support agreement with Microsoft to receive any new issues or updates.



Greg Olsen

Office 365 – New Small and Midsized Business Plans from 1 Oct 2014

From the 1st of October 2014, Microsoft will release 3 new Office 365 plans aimed to meet the needs of small and midsized businesses (SMBs),  ranging from 1 to approximately 250 employees.  These will be made available to new subscriptions first, you will need to wait if you are on one of the current SMB plans.

The 3 new plans are defined as Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium. These plans will replace (phased out approach taken) the current Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business.

A breakdown on what is included in the 3 new plans is illustrated below.

New Plans

What happens if I already have one of the current SMB plans?

Take a look at the illustration below for a summary of what you should be aware of.

Migration Plan

The current Enterprise plans will remain the same.

Greg Olsen

Categories: Office 365

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