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Sikich Boston

Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Tech Tip Digest

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Marketing is my game.  It’s what I do every day.  I eat, breathe, and sleep marketing.  Therefore, my blog posts tend to be very marketing oriented and “prospect facing” as we say in the industry.  But I decided for a change of pace to get technical.  So with the help of some techie colleagues and friends, I’ve collated a Tech Tip Digest.  If you’re already using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, these tips may be helpful.  If you’re evaluating Microsoft CRM, these tips will provide some insight into the breadth and depth of Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Tip #1 – Automatically purging records

Thanks to Joel Lindstrom, CRM Technical Specialist, for this great tip based on his actual experience with a company that wanted to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to store sensitive information, but they wanted the records to be purged out once they reached a certain age, mainly to mitigate risk of e-discovery. Once a record was 18 months old or greater, they wanted the records to be automatically deleted from the system.

Their expectation was that this was going to be something that required custom development or costly configuration. However, they were pleasantly surprised to see that it can be done using the standard bulk delete functionality available in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Here are the step-by-step instructions and screenshots for automatically purging records in CRM.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Tip#2 – Installing a CWR Mobility license

Here’s a brief blog post to describe how to apply a license key in CWR Mobility, if, for example, you have just purchased access for additional users. CWR Mobility is a fantastic application for mobile CRM, but the documentation is somewhat lacking. Bob Hatcher, a CRM power user and  implementation specialist here at Altico Advisors provided this tip, saying: It took me a while to figure out the steps outlined below so I wanted to share the instructions with Microsoft Dynamics CRM users everywhere!

NOTE: These instructions apply to the CWR Mobility on-premise version 4.x only.

1. First, login to your CRM server.
2. Open the Deployment Manager (not the Mobile Configurator)
3. Choose your organization from the tree on the left.
4. Right-click and choose “License Info”. Note that this is not the same as “Server License” in the Options menu.
5. Click “Import License.”
6. Click the small box with two dots in it and browse for your file.
7. Click “Save License”
8. You will receive a confirmation message.

Good luck and enjoy your mobile CRM!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Tip#3 – Using jScript with disabled fields

Here’s another tidbit from our resident CRM guru, Bob Hatcher.

I recently wrote a jScript routine to calculate a tax amount on a Quote and place it in a field. Since the tax rate was not something that could be overridden, I set the field to Disabled.

Problem was, once I exported the field using “Print Quote for Customer,” the calculated tax field was coming out blank. This was mysterious – and maddening – because the value was being set right there on the screen, I could close and open the Quote and it looked just fine.

I learned that if the field is set to Disabled the value is not saved into the database, even if I modify it using jScript, unless you override using setSubmitMode. (This is true whether in the UI or using the setDisabled() method.) In my case, I saw the value when I re-opened the Quote because there was an onLoad() event that was resetting it on the fly for me. In other words, when I closed the Quote, the field went to the database as null, and when I reopened it jScript filled in again, making it look like everything was working properly.

The lesson here is that even though jScript can change the value of a Disabled field in the user interface, the value won’t be saved.

My workaround was to re-enable the field and set the tax calculation to run when the field changed (onChange()), so even if a user modified the value, the system would immediately override it.

Bob also discovered yet another way to deal with this issue.  View the code and a helpful screenshot for using jScript with disabled fields.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Tip#4 – Pre-filtered reports in CRM Online

We recently encountered an issue in Dynamics CRM Online 2011 where a client wanted to embed a report on a Product page and filter it to only show information related to that Product.

There are a lot of blog posts out there on this one, and we tried several different approaches and wanted to share what worked for us. Generally, we learned to not overcomplicate it and don’t be afraid of the jScript – keep it focused on the following simple steps:

  1. Create a FetchXML-based RDL file and add the filter clause
  2. Deploy the RDL into your environment and drop in the JavaScript that will pass the filtered parameter

Here are the details. As a very simple proof of concept, we created an RDL that returns all the Products in the system. Before starting, we assume that you’ve set up an RDL file with a data set in Visual Studio 2008 with BIDS and have a FetchXML handy with your query. Richard Knudson, the Tom Brady of CRM bloggers, posted a video on YouTube showing the basics of pre-filtered reports in CRM Online.

Visit the original blog by Bob Hatcher for more details, code, instructions and screenshots on pre-filtered reports in CRM Online.

If you’re of a technical persuasion, I hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into the world of java script, XML, and RDL files.  It’s way above my head but that’s because I’m “just” the marketing director.

 

By Marcia Nita Doron, Altico Advisors,  Microsoft CRM partner serving Massachusetts (MA)

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