Exporting a Large Number of Records as an Excel Spreadsheet from CRM Online | Stephanus Natawardaja’s Blog


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.


Simple way to copy workflows

So you have a complex workflow that you want to copy and re-purpose for another decision point. Now you do not want to re create it, but just copy it. Its easy do not panic, follow these simple steps.

1. Change the workflow temporarily to a process template, save and close
2. Now create a new workflow and select start from a template
3. Select your template
4. Tweak and change it
5. Activate it
6. Now open up the original workflow and change back to a process and activate it

You have now copied a workflow to create a new one. Simple.

You have an existing CRM online instance, your organisation has been updated with the latest Polaris release, but where is the new flat UI?

Polaris updates were rolled out to the CRM online hubs during January. This included the normal bug fixes, activity feed updates and cross browser support, but where is the new flat UI or other features that were mentioned?

To enable the Polaris functionality, you have to actually accept the changes and apply them to your organisation. After the initial update you will find a new menu option in the settings administration area called Product Updates. Product Updates will enable the new releases of functionality to be applied automatically to your solution.

So to apply the Polaris release you will need to follow the following steps, please note CRM will be out of action for approximately 10 minutes during the updates and once updated you can not uninstall.

1.     Step one – Log in as a System Administrator and navigate to Settings Administration and select Product Updates

Polaris Image 1

2.     Click on the update button to start the process

 Polaris Image 2

3.     Click Yes to accept the changes and to install, note you will not be able to roll back once you have accepted so please test in a non-production environment first.

Polaris Image 3

4.     The install will commence and during this period your CRM will be unavailable.

 Polaris Image 4

5.     On completion you will now notice that the generic font has been updated, to complete the process you will have now apply your customisations to the new UI forms.

 Polaris Image 5
6.     To do these navigate back to Settings Administration and click the Product Update button. Two new options are available, migrate to new forms and enable new forms.

 Polaris Image 6
7.     So what this enables is the ability for your system admin or partner to help migrate over the customisations to the new forms and test them prior to enabling them for all users. So the first step is to migrate customisations, what this means is that you will need to open your solution and update the new Account, Contact, Lead, Opportunity and Case forms to include the fields that you would like to appear.  

8.     Once you have migrated the changes you can test the new form layouts by publishing your changes and manually switching to the new forms via open up a record and clicking on the form selector and selecting the new form i.e. Contact. You will then need to save and close and re open the Contact to see the new UI form and your changes. 

Polaris Image 7
9.     So once you are happy with the changes you can now apply the new forms to all users. This will mean the new forms will open by default for all users. They can still switch back to classic mode via the form options once the new form has opened. So to enable the new forms click back on to product updates and select Enable new forms and click Yes to continue.

Polaris Image 8
10.  You have now completed the process and all users will have access to the new flat UI forms by default.


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
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
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.

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.

First Glance Dynamics CRM Polaris Skype Call via Online Trail org

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.

So how does the skype call work?

Simply click on the phone number and Skype if running will dial the number. When you complete the call and return to the CRM contact window or during the call, a new phone call activity will have already been created to enable you to capture the discussion that you have had!

Simple and intuitive, the way forward!

Some screenshots:

Click on a phone number:

Update the Phone Call activity with details:

Phone call Activity created:

System Setting to default country code: