All the links you need to find key CRM Training materials

Recently I was asked where can I go to get some online training and get a bit of a refresher on the latest product. I came up with four links that I thought I would share:

You Tube Video Channel for Dynamics –

Good blog on release content –

Dynamics CRM Customer centre –

Main Help centre page –

Limitations of the new Updated Forms (process flow) – Top 10!

So Polaris is live, and the new process forms now known technically as the updated forms look good, but what are the limitations of their use, what does this mean for my CRM instance? I have listed below some of the limitations of these forms so that you are all aware on when to use and when not to use!

  1. Only one Updated form can exist for any of the COLAC entities (Contact, Opportunity, Lead, Account and Case entities), multiple forms still exist for the Classic forms [Steven Foster Update] You can create multiple forms in the new mode, and visibility of these can be controlled by security roles, but only one form can be the default and there is no easy way to switch between the different updated form types other than switching to classic, changing to the different form and then closing the record and re-opening the record.
  2. No Javascript event handlers on On load, On change or On save, if included the form will return to Classic
  3. Only Web Resources can be added to the forms, which can interact with the fields on the form but they load asynchronously  which means there will be a delay
  4. Left hand navigation – you can view related records but cannot add new ones, so if you want to create an opportunity against an account then you will need to either add the opportunity as a sub grid or switch to classic forms
  5. You can only add Phone calls and tasks to the record, so as above if you want to create an appointment then you will need to add a subgrid or switch to classic
  6. The command bar cannot be changed in anyway, unlike the ribbon
  7. If you switch to Classic forms then these will become the default, and to enable the Updated form you will first need to open the record again and switch the form to the updated form, close and then reopen
  8. Cannot change the bing maps integration if you wanted to show a different address or different address fields
  9. Only one process form can exist for Opportunity, Case and Lead, so if you have different sales processes then you will either need to simplify to one or switch to classic
  10. You cannot change any of the locked components, which is a shame as the Case presents some core fields from the Account or Contact associated to the Case, but you can not change this if for example you wanted to add the Customer Pin to the form for validation purposes

The list could go on but that is a good start, so before you use the new forms, think about the impact! To turn off the new Updated Forms see my blog post

First Glance Dynamics CRM Polaris Cross Browser via Online Trail org

In the third series of first glances, here are some screenshots of CRM via Chrome and Safari on a Windows PC.

So again this is an organisation that at Intergen we created as a trial through the standard process of requesting a 30 day trial except it was published as Polaris which was strange as it was requested on the 10th Jan, 6 days prior to what we have been led to believe was the rollout to APAC!

Since this trial all other requested trials has been pre polaris releases, so do not know what happened but hey its great to get a glance at the production view of this functionality post the Microsoft TAP program that I was on.

Chrome via a Windows PC:




Safari via Windows PC:



Firefox via Windows PC:


On my ACER A500 tablet via Chrome using /main.aspx URL as per safari comment, only opens records where new process UI forms are not enabled.

First Glance at Dynamics CRM Polaris new Service Flows

So after posting some first glance images of Polaris sales processes and new user flow user interface, I thought I would post some images of the new Case Management flows.

So again this is an organisation that at Intergen we created as a trial through the standard process of requesting a 30 day trial except it was published as Polaris which was strange as it was requested on the 10th Jan, 6 days prior to what we have been led to believe was the rollout to APAC!

Since this trial all other requested trials has been pre polaris releases, so do not know what happened but hey its great to get a glance at the production view of this functionality post the Microsoft TAP program that I was on.

As promised here are some screen shots of the Service flow.

The new Outlook folder composition, note the extra sub folders to clearly define the content:

Additional options to start a new Case from, Phone support enables a phone call activity to record on creation of the case to record the details of the call into:

New Case, clear process and easy to select existing customers:

On selection of a Customer, the customer details are populated, recent cases and recent activities, to remove the need to open the contact record up, plus the Find cases presents an easy way to select an existing case from within a new case flow:

Stages control what the options are in the flow, notes can be taken in the phone call activity at the same time the case is being edited and saved:

Selecting the Find button allows a user to search for similar cases based on the subject or key words and review the activities, posts and notes regarding them:

If a solution is found then you can select Found a solution to create a connection between the records:

A connection to the similar Case is created:

To close the phone call select OK, to resolve the case, select the next stage or click resolve in the quick action buttons, note no new screen pop up, all inline:

Finally you can create tasks or phone calls be clicking the Add Task, Phone Call buttons:

I hope this has given you a quick glance at what will be available as part of a rolled up Polaris CRM instance.

All in all, a much improved user experience for managing incidents and enquiries, providing a much more intuitive user interface.

APAC Polaris Online Instance First Glance

On Thursday 10th at Intergen we created a new Trial CRM org and was surprised to see that Polaris had been installed, our understanding was that it was to be released on the 16th at the earliest to APAC. Since then all new orgs have not had Polaris loaded, which is strange, we obviously got lucky!

So here are a few screenshots of the new Flow UI and Outlook as a little teaser. I will post again later on the new Service side screens.

Outlook Opportunity process:
Outlook Opportunity close as Won:
Outlook Opportunity add new phone call:
Outlook Account Form:
CRM in the Browser:
CRM Sales Process Flow Management:

Polaris Release Dates

Great post by Chris Cognetta (CRM MVP) on the release dates of Polaris .

Key dates to be aware of are:

  • New Trail sign ups in North America will commence from 14th jan 2013
  • New Trail sign ups in EMEA and APAC will commence from 16th jan 2013
  • Existing Online Customers will commence on 1st Jan 2013 rolling out to the data centre scale groups, expected completion 31st jan 2013
  • On premise UR12 available on the 10th Jan 2013
  • Yammer and IPAD experience update from Feb 2013 through to the 28th Feb 2013

Extracts from the CRM Q2 2012 Release Notes

The following article are extracts from the CRM 2011 Q2 2012 Release notes:


Today’s businesses use a wide variety of technology platforms and form factors across many different locations. Microsoft is deeply committed to a rich application experience for users wherever they are. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 2012 service update provides the flexibility to consume Microsoft Dynamics CRM through the most popular web browsers running on both PC and Apple Macintosh computers. It also delivers a range of rich device-specific applications for popular mobile devices that keeps the user informed and productive when they are out of the office. This update showcases our interoperability with non-Microsoft platforms and alignment with industry standards to promote choice. Flexibility of device and browser, coupled with the productivity features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, enables individuals to access the right information at the right time on the right device.


The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 21012 service update brings a new cloud based mobile CRM service called Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile to customers of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. As part of this new mobile solution, Microsoft will provide a full range of rich native CRM applications (apps) for the most popular smartphones and tablets. These new applications allow a sales, service or marketing professional to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM both Online and On-premises. These apps allow organizations and individuals to be productive with their device of choice thereby enabling them to manage customer relationships anywhere.

It is common for sales, service and marketing professionals to use a variety of devices e.g. a sales person might have both a phone and a tablet device from which they need to access their CRM data and processes. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile, each licensed mobile user can access Microsoft Dynamics CRM from up to three different mobile devices. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile will also offer an offline mode on most devices* so that Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be accessed even when there is lack of Internet connectivity.

Native apps for devices supported by this offering include:


Operating System

Windows Phone


Apple iPhone 3GS+

iOS 5+

Google Android


RIM Blackberry

6.x and 7.x

Apple iPad/iPad2

iOS 5+

 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile offers the user the full breadth of Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality, including the dashboard capabilities, on the mobile device of their choice. There is no need to load multiple apps onto their device; Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile provides a single consistent application experience


In addition to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 2012 service update provides the ability for end users to access the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web Client across all modern Internet browsers on various platforms. This includes browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari running on PC, Apple Macintosh or iPad. The list of devices and specific browser versions that will be supported is as follows:






In many organizations there are groups of users who typically use a CRM system to look up key information about their contacts, accounts, opportunities and cases but have no immediate need to modify that information. For example, many contact centre employees or managers primarily use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to review business information before deciding whether any action is required. For these users the optimal experience is to load this information very quickly so they can immediately assess a situation and determine the correct course of action. In order to provide this type of user experience, we’re introducing rapid view forms.

The rapid view form is a read-only form that can be configured like any other form in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to display any record in the system.

When viewing information in these forms, users can switch to an editing experience with the click of a button. Administrators of Microsoft Dynamics CRM will have the option to set all forms to load in rapid view mode if appropriate for business needs. Individual users will have the personal option to choose the form mode they prefer (Rapid View or Standard Edit).


Organizations are constantly seeking new ways to facilitate simple and effective communication and collaboration between their employees. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook provide a very simple micro-blogging user experience to post observations and information as well as ask questions and find expertize. More and more users are demanding these types of social experiences in business applications such as CRM. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM November 2011 Service Update delivered these capabilities through Activity Feeds which introduced micro-blogging and social collaboration capabilities within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. With the upcoming Q2 2012 service update, Activity Feeds will be further enhanced to provide additional functionality and simplified access to relevant feeds.

 We are adding the ability to “Like” and “Unlike” posts in Activity Feeds similar to the concept in Facebook. Activity Feeds will also offer improved filtering capabilities. A user can view a timeline wall of all posts that mention them (the @me filter). Users can also filter posts relating to types of records they follow. For example, a user can create a filter to only show posts related to the Accounts that they follow. Finally, filters can be based on data views configured within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. For example, ‘My Direct Reports’ view will show all posts related to anyone who reports to me regardless of whether I follow those team members or not. These new filtering capabilities provide a user with even greater flexibility over the information they want to see on their wall.


Microsoft SQL Server 2012 introduces a new Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 called Power View, previously code-named Project Crescent. Power View is a next-generation BI tool for interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation. It provides intuitive ad-hoc reporting for business users such as data analysts, business decision makers and information workers. In short, Power View provides better business insights and collaboration for casual and experienced users alike. Power View allows a user to configure reports that connect to Microsoft Excel’s PowerPivot or SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS). Power View is so much more than just breath-taking end user analytics visualizations and tools, it redefines the data analysis process for business and technical users alike.

 With the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 2012 service update, we’re releasing a set of Microsoft Excel workbooks with pre-defined PowerPivot models and Power View Report templates. These templates will be available in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace as a Microsoft Dynamics Labs solution.


With the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 service update, developers can build custom .NET Workflow activity assemblies for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. These custom assemblies can be developed and deployed as part of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution package. Once a custom workflow activity has been deployed, it can then be utilized within the workflow engine for business process management. These new capabilities ensure parity in the developer experience between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and on-premises. It also empowers organizations to bring external data, custom actions and integrations into their standard CRM