Inside of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK, there are a number of tools available from Microsoft that you may or may not have worked with.
At Rockton Software, we've been testing out with the Package Deployer tool provided to see how that will help us put
The idea behind it is a good one. You can create small packages that will install your product from a central interface. For most, smaller projects, installing into CRM is as simple as importing a single solution file. Because of the size of our product, we need to install 2 CRM solution files along with some system data. The Solution Packager is perfect for getting everything into the systems with the minimal amount of user interaction.
Additionally should another ISV build a custom integration that leverages Rockton Connect, they can create their own install package and everything can be installed from the same place. This is something that would not be possible if we were to write our own custom installer.
One trouble spot that we came across, with the Package Deployer tool, was that they offer the ability to import a collection of sample data from a .zip file. Problem being was that the file would fail to import when it was in a .zip format. What was found is that when you .zip the files together, you need to add a [Content_Types].xml file inside of the .zip file. I borrowed a copy of this file from a CRM Customizations export as that same file is included there as well.
The data inside the file is as such:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Default Extension="xml" ContentType="application/octet-stream" />
<Default Extension="xaml" ContentType="application/octet-stream" />
If you look in the SDK documentation for this key piece of information--you will not find it anywhere. I do have a few friends in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Support world and have recommended this to be added to the documentation. But until that is officially updated, hopefully this will help you be able to move past this sticking point in your own testing of the Package Deployer. I do suggest trying it out if you have to install multiple solutions into a CRM environment. There are a lot of places that you can make the tool your own. Besides just importing solutions, you can add your own logos, run custom code logic, and install sample data.
If you have any other tips or tricks around using the CRM Package Deployer or a different CRM tool, please share below. I'd love to hear about them!
Written By Bryan Page,