A CRM 4.0 to CRM 2011 Upgrade First Hand Experience

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We just completed our CRM 2011 upgrade and all is well.  We have an on-premise deployment where we ran CRM 4.0 on a Windows 2003 Server with SQL 2005.  Since CRM runs only on Windows 2008 64-bit, we decided to take the opportunity to upgrade the entire platform and implemented a new server to serve up Dynamics CRM.  While we were already aware of the new feature enhancements and upgraded user interface in the new version, the technology improvements were a welcome piece of the process.

The instructions are quite clear about the different options for upgrading: upgrade on existing server, upgrade to new server, upgrade to online solution, etc.  Each option had its own pathway to the new version with clear steps along the way.  Additionally, the technology behind such modules as the Rule Deployment wizard is upgraded, making it easier to deploy and use.  Internet Facing Deployment is more straight-forward than ever before.  I would say the only caveat is to make sure that CRM is not deployed to the default IIS website, which will be needed by ADFS.  The security double-hop issue for reporting is long resolved, and the pre-installation checks before committing to the installation are very useful.

One feature that made the upgrade easier on our end-users is the fact that the CRM client for Outlook for version 4.0 is compatible with CRM 2011.  This enabled all of our users to begin using the Outlook client right after the upgrade and not need to wait on the client-side upgrade, allowing them to get back to working order and not have to wait until it was their turn.  All-in-all, the live upgrade from CRM 4.0 to CRM 2011 took only a couple of hours, (since we did proper testing first), and our users are happy with the new version. Which means our IT staff is happy.

Director of Operations, InterDyn AKA, East Region Microsoft Dynamics Partner

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