CRM Field Guide - Curriculum Guide

Co-author Jerry Weinstock recently prepared a curriculum guide for the CRM Field Guide. Jerry explains the purpose of the curriculum in his introduction:

The CRM Field Guide was published in October 2012. It is collection of contributions by 19 Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVPs. The book is an essential guide to Microsoft Dynamics CRM that everyone should have on their bookshelf. The Field Guide 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 challenge with the book is that it is potentially overwhelming in the content it contains at 900+ pages in 25 chapters. The chapters were loosely organized, but not in any specific sequence since it was designed to fit the needs of a broad audience. This curriculum guide is designed to solve the issue for owners of the publication – which chapter do I start with, which ones do I read and is there a particular sequence that they should be read to maximize my learning?

The curriculum guide is based on six personas and one environment. The most relevant chapters for each discipline are organized in recommended reading sequence. It ranges from about 8 chapters on the low end to 16 on the high end for each group. Can you read other chapters that weren’t highlighted in the curriculum? Absolutely! Depending on the way your organization uses the CRM system there may be other chapters that were not in the recommended sequence that could complement your learning program.

The curriculum guide is available as a free download for anyone that has purchased the book.

Critical Update for CRM 2011 Update Rollup 11

In what seems to be an unusal move, Microsoft has released a critical update for systems stuck on Update Rollup 11. The release article states that the update is (the emphasis is mine):

specifically for customers who cannot upgrade their Dynamics CRM installation past Update Rollup 11 for compatibility reasons, such as unsupported Javascript customizations.

If you have installed later update rollups then you do not need to install this critical update.

A new book on Microsoft Dynamics CRM report writing

Fellow MVP, Damian Sinay, has published a book on report writing for Dynamics CRM.

Writing reports for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an area that needs more coverage and I was particularly pleased to see the publication of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Reporting from PACKT Publishing. You can find the book at where there is also a link to a sample chapter.

As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM (CRM) consultant I’ve sometimes struggled to find good examples of how to approach report writing for CRM and so it was with eager anticipation that I read this book. I was not disappointed; the coverage of topics is comprehensive.

The first chapter, Introduction to Reporting, covers setting up required components for writing CRM reports and describes the report entity in CRM. I found the topic on the history SQL reporting services versions interesting and a useful summary. Did you know that SQL Reporting Services 2008 and later use their own HTTP server and not IIS?

The second chapter, Database Basics, provides a short description of database basics and how records in CRM are linked using relationships. If you already use SQL extensively then there isn’t much to learn here but if you are new to SQL then this section provides a good starting point but you will need to look elsewhere to learn more. This chapter also includes a description of FetchXML which you will have to learn if you need to write reports for CRM Online.

Running workflows disappearing at random

I had to investigate a client’s on-premise installation (with UR13). The reported problem was random running workflows disappearing.

The client has an on-demand workflow against leads which includes several time waits and record creation (such as send e-mail) actions. For many leads, the workflow starts, creates records and then disappears. There is no system job record for the workflow. It is as if someone cancelled the workflow and then deleted the system job.

However for some leads the workflow system job is present. Very strange, how can running workflows disappear with no user intervention?

Well it turned out that there was a bulk deletion job against suspended system jobs and the behaviour of trying to delete suspended system jobs changed in UR12 or UR13. Read more at