Tag Archives: Rhett Clinton

The CRM Field Guide – How to CRM like an MVP


The CRM Field Guide is an essential guide to Microsoft Dynamics CRM that everyone should have on their bookshelf.  This book offers you details not only on CRM fundamentals and extensibility points but also the tried and true best practices and strategies of the combined experience of some of the most recognizable global experts in the CRM industry.  The field guide contains insights from many CRM MVP contributors and is intended to be a book you pick up over and over again as you use CRM.

Having the CRM Field Guide by your side is like having the “hotline” to the industry experts.  When you hear the term Field Guide you likely think of nature; identifying key plants or animals in a new and exciting place.  Obviously this book is not that type of a guide.  This book is what you pick up when it’s Friday night and you are stuck with one last CRM problem between you and the weekend.

The CRM Field Guide is not a reference repeating all the contents of the CRM documentation, but it is designed to complement what Microsoft provides offering insights from real world deployments of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.   There’s so much content in the CRM Field Guide, one of the MVPs joked it could probably have enough weight to hold down your desk if a tornado passes through your office!

In the CRM Field Guide you will find details that can help administrators, customizers and developers; not to mention power business users wanting to know all the details the admin never tells them.  If you run CRM in the cloud or sitting in a server room at your office the information is useful.


19 Dynamics CRM MVP authors tells you a lot and nearing 1000 pages it is packed full of goodness.


  1. Joel Lindstrom
  2. Richard Knudson
  3. Donna Edwards
  4. Julie Yack
  5. Pablo Peralta
  6. Rhett Clinton
  7. Jakub Skalbania
  8. Feridun Kadir
  9. Shan McArthur
  10. David Berry
  11. Larry Lentz
  12. Leon Tribe
  13. Scott Sewell
  14. Alex Fagundes
  15. David Yack
  16. Neil Benson
  17. Mitch Milam
  18. Jerry Weinstock
  19. Giorgio Garcia-Agreda


Chapter Overview

Chapter 1 – Building the Foundation – This chapter lays the groundwork for understanding the various terms and parts of a CRM Organization. It includes helpful tips not covered elsewhere in the book.

Chapter 2 – CRM Server Installation & Configuration – Learn the requirements, the planning steps, and the process for installing and configuring your CRM server.

Chapter 3 – CRM Outlook Client Installation & Configuration – addresses the different choices and troubleshooting techniques for installation and configuration of Dynamics CRM Outlook Client.

Chapter 4 – CRM 4 Upgrade to CRM 2011 – In this chapter you’ll learn the software and hardware requirements, develop an upgrade plan, prepare your database, upgrade customizations, perform and test the upgrade and train your users.

Chapter 5 – E-mail Router Installation & Troubleshooting – covers the necessity of the e-mail router, the deployment wizard, the configuration manager, hardware and software requirements, installation and configuration and user settings for the e-mail router.

Chapter 6 – Security Best Practices – covers the why and the how of security in Dynamics CRM, including the security tools already built in to CRM as well as a look at special case handling.

Chapter 7 – Sales Management Best Practices – examines critical success factors for sales management, activity and lead management, customer, opportunity and pipeline management, and workflows and sales processes.

Chapter 8 – Service Management Best Practices  -explains the optimal use of cases, contracts, articles, service scheduling and the service calendar.

Chapter 9 – Marketing Management Best Practices – is a detailed look at the benefits of CRM’s marketing tools, including marketing lists and campaigns, as well as campaign reporting.

Chapter 10 – The Power of CRM & Outlook  – explores the benefits of integrating and synchronizing CRM and Outlook and explains how to make it happen and make the most use of the combined tools.

Chapter 11 – Dynamics CRM Goal Management – is an in-depth look at the foundations of goal management, ranging from Sales to Marketing to Service and beyond.

Chapter 12 – Processes –  delves into the power and scope of Workflows and Dialogs, how they work and how you can use them for maximum benefit.

Chapter 13 – Aligning Reports to the Audience  – helps the reader understand and meet the needs of different users and stakeholders by exploring the varying needs and expectations of users and using the array of out-of-the-box tools. (Note: My personal favorite chapter)

Chapter 14 – Report Development – shows how to create the best (read: most useful) reports by utilizing SQL, FetchXML and other tools to build custom reports in CRM.

Chapter 15 – SharePoint & CRM: Better Together – discusses the benefits of SharePoint collaboration tools being integrated with CRM in order to provide the 360° view of the customer, including how to set up integration and how to access CRM from SharePoint.

Chapter 16 – CRM Outlook Optimization & Troubleshooting – examines what you can do to optimize the performance of the Outlook client and how to troubleshoot CRM for Outlook.

Chapter 17 – CRM Server Optimization, Maintenance & Monitoring – covers CRM server, IIS, and SQL server optimization, as well as maintenance and monitoring of the servers.

Chapter 18 – Data Management Best Practices – explores using the Data Import Wizard, duplicate detection, and bulk deletion, plus best practices for ensuring high-quality data in your CRM system.

Chapter 19 – User Adoption – shares key concepts and strategies for encouraging and improving user adoption within you organization.

Chapter 20 – Customization Strategies – discusses a variety of strategies that can be used to customize CRM to fit your business needs and reviews the solution architecture and management.

Chapter 21 – Introduction to Solutions – gives details on custom solutions and components, managed vs. unmanaged solutions, the importing and exporting of solutions, deleting solutions and managed properties.

Chapter 22 – Solution Management and Troubleshooting – is a more in-depth look at solutions, covering import behavior, managed properties, layering strategies and tips and tricks to get the most out of your CRM solutions.

Chapter 23 – Dynamics Connector – From Zero to Hero, in this chapter, you will learn what some of the considerations are when combining CRM with other members of the Dynamics family, what options are available, how to choose and implement the best option or combination of options, and some helpful resources for reference.

Chapter 24 – Rapid Development Best Practices – is an overview of the strategies of preparation, planning, execution and delivery of customizations in an efficient and effective way that meets the needs of the client without reinventing the wheel.

Chapter 25 – Community Resources – is a plethora, a veritable cornucopia, of resources from the global community of user groups, users, MVPs, Microsofties, social media masters and blogs that can help you maximize your CRM skills and guide you to the answers you seek.


As you can see, its a lot of information for one book. We hope you enjoy! http://www.crmfieldguide.com/




Oh my god, I’m now a Microsoft CRM MVP

This is totally awesome and a massive thanks goes out to everyone for there support especially the Microsoft CRM Team for creating a product that is so amazing and enjoyable to work with.

I’m  looking  forward to another exciting year in the Dynamics CRM world and I hope to see you all there….


Rhett Clinton MVP

CRM 2011 OData Query Designer

This project is superceded by the new application Dynamics XRM Tools which includes improved features http://dynamicsxrmtools.codeplex.com/


I’ve developed the CRM 2011 OData Query Designer as a Silverlight 4 application that is packaged as a Managed CRM 2011 Solution. This tool allows you to build OData queries by selecting filter criteria, select attributes and order by attributes. The tool also allows you to Execute the query and view the ATOM and JSON data returned.  Once the managed solution is imported into CRM 2011 it is accessible from the Settings area under Customizations .

You can download the CRM 2011 OData Query Designer  from codeplex.


Latest Update 8th March 2011
1. Added dropdown list of available OptionSet values for a filter when of type OptionSet, Boolean, Status and State.
2. Attribute lists now show the UserLocalizedLabel Display Name instead of Schema Name.
3. Resolved issues with some attribute types not generating correctly when used in a filter.

Has this Tool saved you time…

If you have benefited from downloading and using this tool, please feel free to donate an amount of your choice. Thankyou

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Microsoft Community Contributor Award 2011

On Friday the 26th Feb 2011 I was honoured to receive recognition by Microsoft for contributions to the Microsoft online technical communities with the Microsoft Community Contributor Award.  

The Microsoft Community Contributor Award is reserved for participants who have made notable contributions in Microsoft online community forums such as TechNet, MSDN and Answers. The value of these resources is greatly enhanced by participants like you, who voluntarily contribute your time and energy to improve the online community experience for others. https://www.microsoftcommunitycontributor.com/overview.aspx

I would like to thank the Microsoft Community & Online Support Team for this award and congratulations to all others that have received the MCCA for all your hard work.


Panacea to Infusion Development

This last month has been quite hectic and people may have noticed my minimal presence within the Microsoft CRM Forum. In the last few weeks I have been finishing up on my projects at Panacea and have now moved onto Infusion Development in London. Over the next weeks I’ll hopefully get more time to get back into the forums and continue to add to my blog (hopefully with interesting articles for you all). I’m really excited about the new role and I can’t wait to start writing about CRM 5 for you, so stay tuned and hopefully we can all learn something new in the next few months.