Toolbox for Dynamics CRM 2011 by Tanguy MVP

Tanguy has developed a toolbox to house his existing Windows based tools developed for Dynamics CRM 2011. You can read more here and also download it from CodePlex at http://xrmtoolbox.codeplex.com/

Here is the list of available tool plugins.

  • Attribute Bulk Updater
  • Iconator
  • Role Updater
  • Scripts Finder
  • SiteMap Editor
  • Solution Import
  • View Layout Replicator
  • WebResources Manager

Tanguy has designed the toolbox so you can develop your own plugin tools and include them in the toolbox. https://xrmtoolbox.codeplex.com/documentation

 

 

Troubleshoot and analyse CRM 2011 using Log Parser

Sometimes you have issues that you want to troubleshoot and other times you may choose to investigate/analyse/review your CRM 2011 environment.  Often performing health checks is necessary and I suggest necessary if you haven’t already thought of this. One of the tools I promote for searching and crunching logs is Log Parser. This awesome tool is a powerful, versatile tool that provides universal query access to text-based data such as log files, XML files and CSV files, as well as key data sources on the Windows® operating system such as the Event Log, the Registry, the file system, and Active Directory®. If that doesn’t sound awesome enough for you how about if you could write a sql type query against the server’s Application Event Log to find where lock is found in the message attribute like so.

SELECT * FROM \\server1\APPLICATION where message like ‘%lock%’

or lets look at the Application and System Event Log entries for server1

SELECT * FROM \\server1\APPLICATION, \\server1\SYSTEM where message like ‘%lock%’

but wait there, what if I have 2 front end CRM servers, server1 and server2.

SELECT * FROM \\server1\APPLICATION, \\server1\SYSTEM, \\server2\APPLICATION, \\server2\SYSTEM where message like ‘%lock%’

This is just touching the surface of what this tool can do to dig through information held in your environment, this is also all from my own desktop machine, there is no need to log on to various servers to gather this information. So command line is so yesterday I hear you say, well there is also Log Parser Studio which presents a library of ready to go queries for various sources. You need to install Log Parser first and then you’re ready to go.

You can also take a look at Log Parser Lizard by Dimce Kuzmanov, a free GUI tool for managing queries and exporting results to Excel and charts. In addition, you will find input filters for RegEx and log4net input log formats (with support for regular expressions) and SQL server T-SQL queries.

Here is a useful article from MS Support regarding some useful Log Parser queries http://support.microsoft.com/kb/910447

So what about CRM Trace Files

SELECT top 2 * FROM C:\Temp\server1-w3wp-CRMWeb-20120210-1.log where Text like ‘%Error%’

As you can see this is fairly awesome stuff and there is so much more that you can use this tool for. Hopefully this has introduced you to something new and useful for your future discovery.

CRM 2011 Validate User Security Roles using JavaScript/REST

This example I’m sharing today is demonstrating a few techniques which promote JavaScript and REST, along with using namespaces and creating a library of functions/properties. This example declares a library Security.UserInRole and defines a number of properties and functions. The general idea is to allow the data access via REST to be asynchronous which then offers a valid and invalid function callback option to be defined to handle the outcome. You can specify an array of security roles to check against the current user and then with the callback functions you can perform the actions that you require.

Ideally I want to call a function that is easy to use and it will look like this.
Security.UserInRole.checkUserInRole(
["System Administrator", "System Customizer", "Custom Role Name"],
function(){alert("valid"); // The user is in one of the specifed roles.
},
function(){alert("invalid"); // The user is not in one of the specifed roles.
}
}

To define the library namespace and object we use
//If the Security namespace object is not defined, create it.
if (typeof (Security) == "undefined")
{ Security = {}; }
// Create Namespace container for functions in this library;
if (typeof (Security.UserInRole) == "undefined") {
Security.UserInRole = {
__namespace: true
};
}

 

The library functions and properties declared include the following
Security.UserInRole = {
isInRole: null,
roleIdValues: [],
validFunction: null,
invalidFunction: null,
checkRoles: [],
checkUserInRole: function (roles, validFunc, invalidFunc) {},
getAllowedSecurityRoleIds: function () {},
validateSecurityRoles: function () {},
querySecurityRoles: function (queryString) {},
__namespace: true
};

 

The entire library is implemented so that you call a function, it performs the processing asynchronously and then gives you the outcome to handle the response. Whether you want to show/hide form elements or disable fields etc, you can handle this in the callback function parameters validFunc and invalidFunc defined in the checkUserInRole function. The entire library content can be placed in a CRM webresource and added to a form. The full library is as shown below.

//If the Security namespace object is not defined, create it.
if (typeof (Security) == "undefined")
{ Security = {}; }
// Create Namespace container for functions in this library;
if (typeof (Security.UserInRole) == "undefined") {
Security.UserInRole = {
isInRole: null,
roleIdValues: [],
validFunction: null,
invalidFunction: null,
checkRoles: [],
checkUserInRole: function (roles, validFunc, invalidFunc) {
validFunction = validFunc;
invalidFunction = invalidFunc;
checkRoles = roles;
Security.UserInRole.getAllowedSecurityRoleIds();
},
getAllowedSecurityRoleIds: function () {
var filter = "";
for (var i = 0; i < checkRoles.length; i++) {
if(filter == "") {
filter = "Name eq '" + checkRoles[i] + "'";
}
else {
filter += " or Name eq '" + checkRoles[i] + "'";
}
}
Security.UserInRole.querySecurityRoles("?$select=RoleId,Name&$filter=" + filter);
},
validateSecurityRoles: function () {
switch (Security.UserInRole.isInRole) {
//If the user has already been discovered in role then call validFunc
case true:
validFunction.apply(this, []);
break;
default:
var userRoles = Xrm.Page.context.getUserRoles();
for (var i = 0; i < userRoles.length; i++) {
var userRole = userRoles[i];
for (var n = 0; n < Security.UserInRole.roleIdValues.length; n++) {
var role = Security.UserInRole.roleIdValues[n];
if (userRole.toLowerCase() == role.toLowerCase()) {
Security.UserInRole.isInRole = true;
// Call function when role match found
validFunction.apply(this, []);
return true;
}
}
}
// Call function when no match found
invalidFunction.apply(this, []);
break;
}
},
querySecurityRoles: function (queryString) {
var req = new XMLHttpRequest();
var url = "";
// Try getClientUrl first (available post Rollup 12)
if (Xrm.Page.context.getClientUrl) {
url = Xrm.Page.context.getClientUrl();
}
else {
url = Xrm.Page.context.getServerUrl();
}
req.open("GET", url + "/XRMServices/2011/OrganizationData.svc/RoleSet" + queryString, true);
req.setRequestHeader("Accept", "application/json");
req.setRequestHeader("Content-Type", "application/json; charset=utf-8");
req.onreadystatechange = function () {
if (this.readyState == 4 /* complete */) {
req.onreadystatechange = null; //Addresses memory leak issue with IE.
if (this.status == 200) {
var returned = window.JSON.parse(this.responseText).d;
for (var i = 0; i < returned.results.length; i++) {
Security.UserInRole.roleIdValues.push(returned.results[i].RoleId);
}
if (returned.__next != null) {
//In case more than 50 results are returned.
// This will occur if an organization has more than 16 business units
var queryOptions = returned.__next.substring((url + "/XRMServices/2011/OrganizationData.svc/RoleSet").length);
Security.UserInRole.querySecurityRoles(queryOptions);
}
else {
//Now that the roles have been retrieved, try again.
Security.UserInRole.validateSecurityRoles();
}
}
else {
var errorText;
if (this.status == 12029)
{ errorText = "The attempt to connect to the server failed."; }
if (this.status == 12007)
{ errorText = "The server name could not be resolved."; }
try {
errorText = window.JSON.parse(this.responseText).error.message.value;
}
catch (e)
{ errorText = this.responseText }
}
}
};
req.send();
},
__namespace: true
};
}

 

To use the library in the onload event of an entity form simply add the Security.UserInRole library webresource to the form and create a another JavaScript web resource to hold the onload function. The onload function may look like this. You define the roles to check as an array and pass this to the checkUserInRole function along with the valid and invalid callback functions. You don’t have to define the functions as anonymous functions like my example below but it can sometimes feel cleaner.

function onload()
{
Security.UserInRole.checkUserInRole(
["System Administrator", "System Customizer", "Custom Role Name"],
function(){alert("valid"); // The user is in one of the specifed roles.
},
function(){alert("invalid"); // The user is not in one of the specifed roles.
}
);
}

 

I would like to mention Jim Daly from the MS CRM Team for his examples of namespace and library structure along with his REST query code as this example I have created is derived from his outstanding work.

Happy Coding..

CRM 2011 Multi Browser Support

CRM 2011 from Rollup 12 now support multiple browsers, but which ones and on what operating system? See below for a quick reference.

OS Internet Explorer Firefox Chrome Safari
Windows 8 IE 10 (Desktop mode) 16+ 21+ Not Supported
Windows 7/Vista IE 8/9 16+ 21+ Not Supported
Windows XP IE 7/8 16+ 21+ Not Supported
Mac OS-x 10.7 (Lion) Not Supported Not Supported Not Supported 6+
Mac OS-x 10.8 (Mountain Lion) Not Supported Not Supported Not Supported 6+

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 web application and mobile device requirements

Support with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Windows 8

Support with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Internet Explorer 10

Note: IE7 is not supported with CRM Online

CRM 2011 Rollup 12 now available

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Sustained Engineering (SE) team have been hard at work to get the UR12 release to us on Jan 7 2013.

You can find the related Rollup 12 items here

Rollup 12 Build Number: 5.0. 9690.3218

Quick Summary

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg309589.aspx#BKMK_UR5

  • Extended Browser Support
  • Enhancements to Activity Feeds
  • Updated User Experience for Sales and Customer Service and Product Update Functionality
  • Custom Workflow Activities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
  • Developer Toolkit Support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2012
  • Retrieve and Detect Changes to Metadata
  • Use Execute Multiple to Improve Performance for Bulk Data Load

CRM 2011 SDK version 5.0.13 available

The MS CRM Team have released an updated CRM 2011 SDK version 5.0.13 which can be downloaded here http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24004 or viewed on MSDN here http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg309408.aspx Check out the release notes here http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj863620.aspx

Quick Overview

  • Custom workflow activities can now be registered in the sandbox and are supported by Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
  • The Developer Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online now supports Microsoft Visual Studio 2012.
  • Added information about the new getClientUrl method. This method returns the base URL that was used to access the application. This is now the recommended method to use to access the organization URL. The getServerUrl method is deprecated.
  • Updated the metadata browser to version 2.0
  • Added a new topic for the new metadata query capabilities included in the Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Metadata.Query namespace.
  • Updated the topic to include information related to support for browsers other than Internet Explorer.
  • Added information about the new Like/Unlike feature. Updated information about default number of records that you can follow, and the maximum allowed number of characters in the post and the post comment. Also, updated configuration information about obtaining full functionality for activity feeds.
  • Updated exported ribbon definitions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
  • Added support for the Microsoft online services environment to connect to Microsoft Office 365.
  • Added a new topic to address issues related to solution development when Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online includes features that cannot be enabled in an on-premises deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
  • Added a note to the Export an Unmanaged Solution section to indicate that, after Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update, un-customized form definitions will no longer be exported with unmanaged solutions.
  • Added new and updated information about using Windows Azure with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
  • Added a new sample to show a way to deal with the situation where portions of the Xrm.Page object load into the updated forms asynchronously so they may not be available to scripts in HTML web resources at load time.
  • Updated these samples to build with newer versions of the Windows Azure SDK, version 1.7 or 1.8.
  • A bunch of sdk samples have been added and others updated.

Prepare for Dynamics CRM Rollup 12

Are you ready for the multi browser support of your customisations with Dynamics CRM Rollup 12, do you even care? It sounds great doesn’t it, IE, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, take your pick but will your CRM script customisations be supported. I guarantee this is the number one question facing CRM implementers/developers/testers right now and hopefully most have had a chance to test against the latest build of Rollup 12.

If you are a single browser environment and it remains as IE then you may be feeling comfortable but I recommend you follow-up with some testing and review time before applying Rollup 12.

There are some key areas that need looking at and you can find a list of impacted areas here

Resolve Breaking Script Issues When Upgrading Microsoft Dynamics CRM

 

To aid in the validation there is a tool available from Microsoft called the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Custom Code Validation Tool  which helps to identify potential issues with custom JavaScript in JavaScript libraries and HTML web resources.

To see an overview of problem areas you can see the release blog regarding the validation tool which highlights and lists the various potential issues that have been identified.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Custom Code Validation Tool Released

 

The biggest threat to some may be the support of CRM 4 client side script or the lack there of as this becomes obsolete and unsupportable as CRM moves forward.

In many cases business requirements come first and in a perfect world we would never need to venture outside of the CRM 2011 client API so the main thought here should be before implementing unsupported customisations ask yourself if there is an alternative option to avoid future pain.

Don’t forget to check out the latest SDK when its available and read through the documentation covering this as it’s fairly complete and highly detailed for our needs.