Online vs On Premise the top level differences

The table below outlines some of the head line differences between CRM Online and CRM On Premise, hopes its useful.

Capability CRM Online CRM On Premise
Exchange Synchronisation CRM for Outlook, Email Router, or Server Synchronisation (if using Exchange Online/O365). CRM for Outlook, Email Router, or Server Synchronisation (if using Exchange on premise)
SharePoint Integration Server Side with SharePoint Online (if using O365). Client-side integration
Social Listening Included based on number subscriptions purchased (10+) and availability in region. Additional cost
Workflows/dialogs 200 Unlimited
Custom Entities 300 Unlimited
SSRS Reporting Fetch XML or T-SQL from a locally replicated reporting server. Import DLLs, Fetch XML or T-SQL
Power BI Reporting Yes No
PowerView Reporting Yes Yes
Upgrade/Update Process Office 365 admin approves the upgrade before it is installed, update rollups applied automatically. Upgrades and update rollups installed by your administrator.
Direct Server Access No Yes
Phone App Yes Yes if environment externally facing via ADFS.
Tablet App Yes Yes if environment externally facing via ADFS.
Storage Limited to the amount of CRM Online storage available when your organisation is created, additional storage can be purchased when required. Storage Utilisation is calculated based on Data Size and Index Size and is shared across all instances. By default an organisation is given 5gb of storage, additional 2.5gb of storage is granted in increments for every additional 20 professional licenced users up to a maximum of 50gb. Limited to the amount of storage available on your server.
Update Release Cycle Two releases per year. Spring release functionality exclusive to CRM Online, so new functionality available online first. Fall release released to both CRM Online and On Premises, includes the functionality released in the Spring release.
Migrating Deployments CRM Online customers can migrate to CRM On Premise at any time. SQL database can be provided to client at scheduled time that can be imported to an On Premise deployment using the “restore” process in compatible versions of SQL Server. CRM On Premise customers can migrate to CRM Online and customization for entities can be imported; however, the MSCRM database cannot be moved to Online data centre, so a data migration exercise would be required.
Sandbox environments CRM Online provides non production environments as part of your subscription that can be used for Dev/Test/UAT. The number of organizations received depends on the number of users. A free sandbox environment is provided for organisations with 25 or more professional licenses. Non production environments can be installed, depending on local server availability.

Sneak peek at my top 10 features of CRM2013

As you may or may not be aware Dynamics CRM will be having a facelift in October with the new release CRM 2013 being launched.

In short, CRM 2013 is the next release of Dynamics CRM. Dynamics CRM 2011 was released in 2010 and as such in line with the rest of Microsoft products has had a facelift to enable it to continue to be a market leader. With the range of new laptops, tablets and phones available to users, the Dynamics CRM user interface had to be re-imaged to support these devices more natively.

With a lot of information already out on what CRM2013 will deliver to users, I thought I would submit my “Top 10 feature” changes that you will experience with the new release. Keep an eye on this page for new postings about the upcoming release http://rc.crm.dynamics.com/rc/2011/en-us/Dynamics-CRM-Upcoming-Release-Information.aspx and Intergen’s blog www.intergen.co.nz/blog.

1. Ribbon goes, say hello to the navigation bar. The navigation bar is a replica of the navigation pane and represents the site map that you are used to and the ribbon buttons are replaced with simple worded command bar options. The reason for this change, speed up the UI, simplify the visuals and easy to touch.

2. No left hand navigation, expand the navigation bar

3. Process enabled forms, you can create processes to support users navigating through the system. A record type can have many different processes that can be started. A process drives a user through the information and related entities to complete the process. A user can change the process during a process if required. Example processes, Simple Opportunity Process, Complex Opportunity process, New Member, Renew Member etc.

4. Mobile for free, the new release includes an always online with cached offline mode for Windows 8 and IPad devices. The mobile user interface is dynamically created based on the same forms non mobile users utilise. This will provide a great tool for the mobile workforce to engage in CRM wherever they are.

5. Business Rules – remove the need for code. Business rules will enable some of the more simple business logic that we would have created in the past as plugins or JavaScripts to no longer be needed, simplifying your CRM system and enabling you to create and manage your own business rules.

6. Dynamics CRM and Server side e-mail and appointment processing. This is a great new feature, take this an example CRM 2011 process. A customer service agent creates an appointment for a user to visit a customer. The user will not see this appointment in their Outlook calendar until they sync Dynamics CRM with Outlook. If they are mobile using a smart phone or tablet then again they would not see this appointment until they sync their outlook, delaying the visibility of this appointment. With CRM 2013 the appointment will be pushed by CRM direct to the mail server and then it will immediately appear on your device. Great new feature.

7. Synchronous Processes. Basically processes in CRM 2011 have always ran in the background requiring a user to reload or refresh the screen to see the impact. CRM 2013 will now introduce processes that run immediately and update the form in real time, resulting in less code, less plugins and simplified management of business logic.

8. What is this Hero thing all about? The hero area of CRM is where you see all the recent activity of a record in one glance. If implemented well this will save all users an immense amount of time. Some of you may already be using this in CRM 2011 – activity feeds or in CRM online via the Polaris forms. Basically in CRM 2013 it takes this area to the next level with full capability to create all activity types, integrate with Yammer and view all notes. In some ways this is my number 1, as it provides the bare essentials to all users about the what is going on with the record with minimal clicks.

9. Global search within the Mobile Client.

10. Quick Create forms are back! You can now quickly create a record without capturing all viewing the complete form, great if you are on the move and just want to get something in quick.

Enabling Web Resources on the New Polaris Updated Forms

Just a quick blog to remind people that if they want a web resource to fire on the new Updated forms in Polaris then you must remember to tick the following box on the web resource config form “Show this Web Resource in Read Optimized Form”. Miss leading I know!

UpdatedFormsWR

Dynamics CRM Online User interface for IPAD released

So the wait is over and you can now access Dynamics CRM 2011 online on an iPad in a supported manner, but wait their is a caveat! You have to have accepted the Polaris updates as the iPad expereince only supports the new look and feel of the Updated Polaris forms. What does this mean?

Well you have to have accepted the product update via the new administration screen and updated the new forms for Polaris with your set of fields and have deployed the new form to a set of users either by default or by defined security roles. The caveat is that the new Updated forms have a few limitations which if managed are probably ok for an on the road iPad experience, summarised below:

  1. No javascript on any event
  2. No ribbon extensions
  3. Can display web resources
  4. Certain form areas are locked i.e. social pane, contacts and bing maps
  5. Navigation area read  only

So what does the new iPad experience look like and what can I do with it:

Ipad UI 1

Ipad UI 2

So what you need to know specifically about this user interface is:

  • As it is based on Polaris it is designed to load quicker, notice no ribbons
  • The main home page displays the workplace only with the option to switch to Mobile Express to access more record types
  • I can work with Dashboards but not create dashboards
  • It only supports the new UI for displaying record, classic form is not supported. If you have disabled the new UI (i.e. through security role), then the Mobile Express form is displayed instead.
  • If you select any lookup that is not to the Account, Contact, lead or Opportunity then Mobile Express is displayed
  • Works on latest version of Safari
  • No offline capability you need a network access

In summary, a great advancement for mobililty access and supports the mobile sales team with access to core user friendly CRM data.

 

Updated office 365 Dynamics CRM Experience

With the latest rollup applied to Dynamics CRM Online, a whole of new capability has been added to the office 365 management of CRM instances. These improvements are some of the highlights of the Update Rollup 12 release for Online customers. Here is a list of some of those improvements and what they mean to you:

  • Multiple Instances under one Office 365 account – Buy one CRM licence access multiple instances, controled by group security (previously you would of had to have multiple Office 365 accounts), now you can have UAT and Prod in one instance with one username and password.
  • Single sign on across multiple instances – One user can log into multiple instances with the same username and password.
  • Share storage – You can now share the storage across the multiple instances i.e. majority goes to Prod, a little goes to UAT and DEV, any purchased storage can be shared as well
  • Group Security – Easy control of who can access which instance of CRM

So lots of new features and this is coupled with the potential power of Office 365 enabling online exhange, SharePoint and team collaboration.

Summary of newly released YouTube videos on Polaris new functionality by Microsoft

Here is a list of videos I would recommend viewing to get up-to-date on the changes that Polaris will bring to an Online organisation:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wstNhbXQkhA – Online Sign Up and Administration of CRM instances
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZEFkMhaxHo – Lesson 1 – Introduction – Opt In, Disable new forms
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdrJZzYdOos – Lesson 2 – Case management Process Flow
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDkYwZyc0FI – Lesson 3 – Sales user Experience Process Flow
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oA4HOGCWptg – Lesson 4 – Form Infrastructure
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GFvEHe33tM – Lesson 5 – Process Form Customisation
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6ypUNkDujU – Lesson 7 – Additional changes (theme, icons, simplified sitemap)
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtkeU-IOHEY – Expanded browser support
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9rG5D9f79M – New SDK features
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5WHgSofEis – Activity feed enhancements

How do I enable for some users by default the classic UI forms rather than the new Process UI forms?

I have had a number of queries around the fact that for some organisations the new process UI forms may not work for all users who require a little more functionality that what is offered or that their current implementation is highly configured, hiding and showing sections and fields based on other variables.

So my problem statement is:

How do I enable for some users by default the classic UI forms rather than the new Process UI forms?

Actually it is very easy! It comes down to form security and which security roles can access which forms. So solve the problem you will need to either restrict the new Process UI form to security roles that will access it or create a new dummy security role that you assign to users where you want them by default to have the new form loaded and do not assign this security role to users that you want to default back to the classic form.

So what is involved? I will take the approach of creating a dummy security role to enable or disable the form.

1) Create a new Security Role to be used to manage who will access the form or not, you do not have to add any permissions to this role i.e. for Account – Account Process UI Form Access
ProcessUISecurity1
2) Open up the customisations area and customise the system
3) Open up in this example the Account entity and select the Forms area (or any one of the other entities where the new process UI forms are presented)
4) Select the new process form (named for Account – Account) and choose Assign Secuirty Roles
ProcessUISecurity2
5) Select the new security role and remove all others except system administrator. This will now mean that only users that have this specific security role will be able to access the form, and all other users will revert to the classic form assigned to their security roles.
ProcessUISecurity3

6) Publish the change
7) Now assign the new security roles to the users that you want to access the New Process UI account form
8) When a user with this security role logs in and opens an account they will be presented with the New Process UI form and all other users without this role will see the historical classic form.

Problem solved.