Friday, January 23, 2009

Convergence CRM Sessions

Convergence is quickly coming upon us and I was interested in seeing what Convergence had to offer for someone more interested in the technical aspect of MSCRM. So, I perused some of the courses and these are the ones that I found to be interesting (in no particular order), at least from a CRM point of view. This is definitely not all of the courses that are available for CRM, just ones that I thought that would be interesting for a MSCRM Consultant like myself.

For a full listing of courses at Convergence 2009 (in New Orleans) click here.
Click here for the Convergence Home Page.

Below is the text version (in alphabetical order) of the session ID's of the above graphic, just in case:


If you've never been to Convergence, it's definitely worth going. You get your eyes opened to the vision that Microsoft has, especially for their business platform (Microsoft Dynamics) and how everything works together and how all this software will benefit you and your company. Even though Microsoft is putting on the event and presenting in a vast majority of the sessions, they really make the whole thing be focused on you and your business. It really is Microsoft's event for their customers.

Hope to see you there!

David Fronk
Dynamic Methods Inc.

Rollup 2 available for MSCRM 4.0

Rollup 2 is now available for download and deployment from Microsoft's website:

Here are all of the details about what is included in the rollup:

Considering Rollup 1 came out not too long ago, there are a decent number of fixes included in this rollup. We've installed inhouse and things look great. There was a report of not being able to publish workflow after installing the update but we haven't seen any issues with any of the deployments that we have applied the rollup to.

There are a couple things of note with this rollup to be aware of:
1. This rollup can be unistalled
2. Rollup 1 is not a prequisite (it doesn't have to be installed be, nor will it be installed when Rollup 2 is installed)
3. There is a different rollup download for each language, so look out for that
4. The client rollup can be installed before the server

Other than that, just have at. It's pretty quick and doesn't always require a reboot, but be ready for one just in case.

David Fronk
Dynamic Methods Inc.

Friday, January 16, 2009

MSCRM 4.0 and Internet Explorer 8

I've always been a fan of tabbed browsing, so I was very excited about the release of IE7. When IE8 came out I felt that there were enough features that it was worth trying out the beta on my XP machine. I was interested to see the related tabs feature, saving a session seemed like a neat idea (I'd seen it done on Firefox so I wanted to see how it compared), an embedded find control (finally!), and it boasted faster load times, just to name a few. Needless to say I took the plunge and I've been using it for about 2 months now and I'd say that I've put it through it's paces pretty well.

Of course, being the HUGE CRM nerd that I am, the first web page I brought up was our internal CRM just to see how it handled it. Why I expect it to look different or cooler or something like that I'll never know, but needless to say, I didn't see anything like that. We had just recently upgraded our CRM server to a screaming 64bit server and I had just gotten over the speed improvement from that when IE8 loaded my CRM in record time. I was amazed at how much faster IE8 was loading my CRM pages. I would say it was cutting out a full 1 to 2 seconds on most pages. It was awesome.

Overall I've like my experience with CRM in IE8. However, I do have one major complaint. Every so often, IE8 won't open a certain record that I've been opening and closing consistently. For instance, I work on numerous projects so I spend time looking at each project to make sure everything is ok and there aren't budget or hour problems. However, after I look through a few I would double click on a project watch the frame open and then immediately disappear. My first thought was that some pop-up blocker got it...but wait, I've been opening this page for the last 15 minutes without problem? What's the deal? I've turned off pop-up blockers, set up CRM in every trusted site location I knew of, etc and that did make it better. But the problem still continues on my PC. The only sure fire way for me to get rid of the problem is to completely close IE8 and start CRM back up again. Good thing my CRM is fast or else I'd waste probably 5-10 minutes each time this happened due to the number of CRM windows I'll have open when I'm reviewing my projects, or working on a client's system.

While that is a pretty big gripe I do have to realize that it is beta and that it shouldn't be an issue with the full version. I'm excited about the new release and excited to see the good things coming out about Windows 7 and IE8 together. Hopefully there will be more to come in terms of enhancing productivity through their use together. I'll have to fiddle with it myself, but if anyone has played with the new things coming out and their use with MSCRM, let me know, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

David Fronk
Dynamic Methods Inc.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Keyboard Shortcuts in MSCRM

I'm all about using CRM more efficiently and if I can limit my time going from mouse to keyboard I'm much happier. Here are some keyboard shortcuts that I found to be really useful:

From any CRM Form you may use:
Save - CTRL + S
Save and Close - ALT + S
Save and New - CTRL + SHIFT + S
Delete the record - CTRL + D
Close - ESC or ALT + F4
Expand or Collapse Form Assistant - CTRL + SHIFT + F
Move to next field - TAB
Move to previous field - SHIFT + TAB
Trigger lookup field to autofill (only in CRM 4.0) - CTRL + K
This is where you would type part of the word in the lookup field and instead of tabbing out of the field you can use CTRL + K to trigger the search to run and autofill the field.

All regular Windows shortcuts, such as:
Copy - CTRL + C
Cut - CTRL + X
Paste - CTRL + V
Select All - CTRL + A

You can search the MSCRM Help file for "Keyboard Shortcuts" and you can then find some more.

David Fronk
Dynamic Methods Inc.