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Archive for the ‘Microsoft Dynamics’ Category

New Microsoft Exams (English Language Only) released within last 6 months!

Posted by Rubel Khan on December 30, 2010

Microsoft is committed to offering certifications that are relevant, valued, and respected indicators of IT professional and developer technology skills. To fulfill this commitment, the Microsoft Certification team continually monitors industry trends and adjusts exams and standards accordingly, developing new exams to ensure that certification requirements keep pace with technology updates.

The following table lists new exams, beginning with those most recently released. Follow the links to the corresponding exam preparation guides to learn about the skills measured and credits you can earn toward certification.

Exams released in November 2010

Preparation guide

PowerPoint 2010 (English)

Exam 77-883

Exams released in October 2010

Preparation guide

Upgrade: Transition your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Developer Skills to MCPD .NET 4 Windows Applications Developer (English)

Exam 70-521

Upgrade: Transition your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Web Developer Skills to MCPD .NET Framework 4 Web Developer (English)

Exam 70-523

Exams released in September 2010

Preparation guide

TS: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying (English)

Exam 70-681

Exams released in August 2010

Preparation guide

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Financials (English)

Exam MB3-859

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Project Series (English)

Exam MB3-860

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Installation & Configuration (English)

Exam MB3-861

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Inventory & Order Processing (English)

Exam MB3-862

Exams released in July 2010

Preparation guide

TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development (English)

Exam 70-573

PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications (English)

Exam 70-576

TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring (English)

Exam 70-667

PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Administrator (English)

Exam 70-668

Software Development Fundamentals (English)

Exam 98-361

Windows Development Fundamentals (English)

Exam 98-362

Web Development Fundamentals (English)

Exam 98-363

Database Fundamentals (English)

Exam 98-364

Windows Server Administration Fundamentals (English)

Exam 98-365

Networking Fundamentals (English)

Exam 98-366

Security Fundamentals (English)

Exam 98-367

Posted in Dynamics GP, Exam, MCITP, MCTS, Microsoft Certifications, MOS, MTA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Career Packs: Second Shot + discount!

Posted by Rubel Khan on August 19, 2010

Heads up if you are planning your next career/certification steps right now: Microsoft Certification Packs with Free Second Shots can help you get your Certification, validate your knowledge, launch your career, or move to your next position. Purchase packs of one to five exams along with free re-takes on every exam purchased and save up to 20%.

That’s right, using a Certification Pack you can take a Second Shot at each exam you take; should you fail the exam you can simply try again without any additional cost. And the certification packs also include a discount. See the table below which can help you choose the exam pack that is right for you:

Certification pack


Second Shot

5-exam pack


Included with each exam

4-exam pack


Included with each exam

3-exam pack


Included with each exam

2-exam pack


Included with each exam


Regular price

Add 15% to single exam price*


*If you prefer to purchase just one exam with a Second Shot offer, note that an additional 15 percent will be added to the price of the exam. For instance, with the cost of an exam at US$125, you can purchase one exam plus a Second Shot at US$143.75.

So how do you get the most out of this offer? Well, here’s my quick and dirty FAQ and please find more details on this exciting offer here. Basically, if you start planning your next steps in certification today you will have 10 months; if you register and buy a certification pack now, you should plan to sit for all exams in the packs by 6/30/2011. The offer is available worldwide through Prometric; certification packs can be bought in one single purchase where you pay for the pack upfront. Exams within packs cannot be split-up amongst multiple customers. All Microsoft Certification exams with a prefix of ‘070’ or ‘MB-X’ are eligible.


Posted in Dynamics AX, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, Exam, MCAD, MCITP, MCM, MCPD, MCSA, MCSE, MCT, MCTS, Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Learning, MOS, MTA | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Microsoft Learning Product Releases for July 18-31

Posted by Rubel Khan on July 28, 2010

1.       Microsoft Official Courses (MOC) are instructor-led training courses offered by our Certified Partners.  Not all classes will be offered by all partners.  Find a training center through Class Locator and see if they will be offering the course you need.

2.       Community Courses (CC) are instructor-led training courses offered by our Certified Partners wherein the content is authored by our learning community.

3.       General Availability for MOC and CC is dependent on our Certified Partners, but the earliest is Orderable Date + 7 days.

4.       Products with no link currently don’t have a URL – search for the course in the training catalog

 Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Title Type RTM (MCT Availability) Orderable Date (MPN Availability) General Availability
Deploying Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Configuring Mailbox Servers in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Managing Recipient Objects in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Managing Client Access in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Configuring Message Transport in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Implementing Messaging Security in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Implementing High Availability in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Implementing Backup and Recovery in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Configuring Messaging Policy and Compliance for Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Maintaining Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Deploying Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Managing Mailbox Servers and Recipients in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Managing Client Access in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Managing Message Transport and Security in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Implementing High Availability and Disaster Recovery in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Configuring Messaging Policy and Compliance in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Introduction to Planning an Exchange Server 2010 Deployment E-Learning     7/23
Planning the Exchange Server 2010 Infrastructure Environment E-Learning     7/23
Planning and Deploying Client Access Services in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Planning and Deploying Message Transport in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Planning and Deploying Mailbox Services in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Planning and Deploying Messaging Security in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Planning and Deploying Messaging Compliance in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Planning and Deploying High Availability in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Planning and Implementing Disaster Recovery in Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Transitioning to Exchange Server 2010 E-Learning     7/23
Configuring, Managing and Troubleshooting Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 (German, Japanese, French) MOC  7/30 8/16 (Japanese, French), 8/30 (German) 8/23 (Japanese, French), 9/6 (German)


Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

Title Type RTM (MCT Availability) Orderable Date (MPN Availability) General Availability
What’s New in Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 for IT Professionals E-Learning     7/21
TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring (German, French, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil)) Exam     7/27, 9/30 (Portuguese(Brazil))


Microsoft Office 2010

Title Type RTM (MCT Availability) Orderable Date (MPN Availability) General Availability
Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Outlook® 2010 (Italian, French) MOC 7/19 8/2 8/9
What’s New in Microsoft® Office® 2010 MOC 7/28 8/11 8/18
Beginner Skills in Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2010 (Spanish, Japanese) MOC 7/28 8/11 8/18
Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Outlook® 2010 (German) MOC 7/28 8/11 8/18
Beginner Skills in Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2010 (German) MOC 7/28 8/11 8/18
Skills Training in Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer 2010 MOC 7/29 8/12 8/19
Beginner Skills Training in Microsoft® Visio® 2010 MOC 7/29 8/12 8/19
Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer 2010 Part 1 – Setting up a New Site MOC 7/29 8/12 8/19
Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer 2010 Part 2 – Workflows MOC 7/29 8/12 8/19
Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer 2010 Part 3 – Content Types MOC 7/29 8/12 8/19
Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer 2010 Part 4 – Integrating Business Data MOC 7/29 8/12 8/19
What’s New in Microsoft® Access® 2010 (German, Spanish, Japanese) E-Learning     Now
What’s New in Microsoft® Publisher 2010 (German, Spanish, Japanese) E-Learning     Now
What’s New in Microsoft® Visio® 2010 (German, Spanish, Japanese) E-Learning     Now
Skills Training in Microsoft® Outlook® 2010 (German, Spanish, Japanese) E-Learning     7/28
Skills Training in Microsoft® Word 2010 (German, Spanish, Japanese) E-Learning     7/28
Skills Training in Microsoft® Excel® 2010 (Spanish) E-Learning     7/28


 Microsoft Essential Business Server

Title Type RTM (MCT Availability) Orderable Date (MPN Availability) General Availability
Configuring, Implementing, and Managing Windows® Essential Business Server 2008 E-Learning     7/28


 Microsoft Windows Server 2008

Title Type RTM (MCT Availability) Orderable Date (MPN Availability) General Availability
Implementing and Managing Microsoft® Server Virtualization MOC 7/20 8/3 8/10
Fundamentals of Windows Server® 2008 Network and Applications Infrastructure (Spanish) MOC 7/30 8/13 8/20
Configuring and Troubleshooting Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory® Domain Services (Spanish) MOC 7/30 8/13 8/20
Configuring and Troubleshooting Internet Information Services in Windows Server® 2008 (Spanish) MOC 7/30 8/13 8/20

Source: Born to Learn

Posted in ASP .NET, Azure, Bing, BizTalk Server, Business Intelligence, C#, Certification, Cloud Computing, Dynamics AX, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, E-Book, E-Learning, EPM, Exam, Exchange Server, Expression, Forefront, MCAD, MCITP, MCM, MCPD, MCSA, MCSE, MCT, MCTS, Microsoft, Microsoft Certifications, Microsoft Press, MOC, MOS, MTA, Novell, Office 2010, Operations Framework (MOF), PerformancePoint Server, PowerShell, Project Server, SCCM, Security, Server 2008, SharePoint, Silverlight, SQL Server, SSIS, System Center, Virtualization, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual Studio (.NET), Windows, Windows 7, Windows Live, Windows Phone, Windows Server, Windows Vista, Windows XP | Leave a Comment »

Snack Time: A Dynamics Buffet – Yammy

Posted by Rubel Khan on June 27, 2010

  • Using Field Service Depot Management in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010
  • Basic User Configuration Options in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, Configuration, Global Environments
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, Configuration, Internet Facing Deployment
  • Importing Data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
  • What’s New in Management Reporter 2.0 for Microsoft Dynamics ERP
  • Configuring and Using the Product Catalog in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
  • Source: Ken Rosen

    Posted in Dynamics CRM, Dynamics GP, Learning Snacks | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Snack Time: Microsoft Dynamics GP

    Posted by Rubel Khan on May 4, 2010

    From Ken Rosen’s Blog Post (Born to Learn), I have found out about these Learning Snacks. As he mentioned “It’s a virtual buffet for Dynamics GP users”. LOL

    Check out these new learning snacks!

    Microsoft Excel and Excel Reports Together with Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0
    What’s New in Advanced Distribution in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010
    What’s New in Manufacturing Applications in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010
    Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step for an Agile World
    What’s New in Field Service Call Management in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010

    Posted in Dynamics GP, Learning Snacks | Leave a Comment »

    New Learning Snack: SQL Reporting Services + Dynamics GP 10

    Posted by Rubel Khan on April 28, 2010

    New Learning Snack: This one’s for the DBAs and Dynamics users  Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services together with Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0

    Source: Born to Learn

    Posted in Dynamics GP, Learning Snacks, SnackBox, SQL Server | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

    GP 2010 Launch coming your way!

    Posted by Rubel Khan on April 15, 2010

    My buddy  Tjeerd Veninga just posted this in Born to Learn.

    “I just spoke to my colleagues in Dynamics this morning and wanted to share the excitement about the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics GP2010 launch. We’re working around the clock on all fronts, there is a lot of excitement everywhere and we cannot wait to get the news to you. Check out our launch Website for more launch details and events.

    MCTs, customers and partners on a service plan can view our on-demand courses now, beginning with the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 What’s New eLearning courses (sign in required). More Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 eLearning and ILT titles are scheduled and will be available soon!”


    Posted in Dynamics GP | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

    Deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

    Posted by Rubel Khan on October 31, 2009

    At a Glance:

    • Software components of a CRM system
    • The development lifecycle
    • Elements of a CRM solution
    • A look at multi-tenancy
    If you’re used to thinking of CRM as just a sales and marketing management tool, think again. Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management is a platform for developing applications that manage and track information and processes related to real-world objects. Those objects might be customers, but they can also be just about any entity (and related activities) that you need to manage.
    As with any large-scale custom solution, there are some basics related to deployment that need to be understood. In this article, I am going to cover a few fundamental concepts related to Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment, including how these concepts can be used to support a full product lifecycle deployment. I will also discuss managing multiple deployments as part of a single-solution release, and how multi-tenancy should and should not be used as part of the entire solution lifecycle.
    I want to make clear at the outset of this article that when I refer to a Microsoft Dynamics CRM “solution,” I mean the totality of all customizations, extensions, custom coding, schema changes, and so forth. A solution is not just one thing; it is all of your changes together.
    Behind the scenes, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution is a standard ASP.NET 2.0 and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 data-driven Web application. The three-tier system includes the following major components:
    Data Tier SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008 database. Using SQL Server 2008 requires a hot fix as described in the Knowledge Base article “Support for Running Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 together with Microsoft SQL Server 2008.”
    Middle Tier Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 or later Web front end; SQL Server Reporting Services (SRS) 2005 or SRS 2008; ASP.NET 3.5; custom Windows Services.
    Client Tier Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later client; ASP.NET 2.0 or later; Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or Office 2007 client (with optional offline access); others such as SDK consumers and third-party mobile clients.
    Microsoft Dynamics CRM also relies on a variety of external systems including Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or later and Active Directory.
    The Solution Development Lifecycle
    A Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution goes through the same lifecycle that a custom application development project would, which might look something like the process depicted in Figure 1.
    Figure 1 The application development cycle
    This entire process would be supported by several environments that together comprise the development, test, and production systems. In the world of any multifaceted enterprise application, this, of course, can turn out to be surprisingly complex. If, for example, you were to mirror your environments, you might end up with something that looks like Figure 2.
    Figure 2 Mirroring your dev, test, and production environments
    That’s three domains, three domain controllers, three mail servers, three Web servers and three database servers—and this model assumes that SRS and CRM are on the same box, and it does not take into account things such as load balancing. Now let’s imagine you add redundancy and a few external services such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Services (MOSS), and you could end up with a scheme like the one in Figure 3.
    Figure 3 Increasing complexity
    For cost and complexity reasons, trade-offs might be considered to balance the need for environment isolation against the need to keep costs down and manageability up. Organizations have thus looked to a variety of techniques, such as virtualization and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM built-in multi-tenancy features, to address these challenges.
    When designing a set of environments to support your CRM project’s lifecycle, there are several schools of thought and, depending on what principles are important to you, you might choose to go one way or the other. At one end of the spectrum, designers promote total isolation using exact replication. These folks believe that the only way to validate that something will work outside of production is to have a test environment that is 100% identical to the production environment. Every server, every bit, and every setting must be identical and completely isolated from development and production for testers and IT to accept and believe something will work in production.
    In contrast, others think that sort of isolation doesn’t really matter at all. If they could, they would develop and test directly in the production environment. They tend to see the redundancy as a waste of time and money, and they are certain delivery would be easier if they could just get in there and make things work.
    Hopefully, you fall somewhere in between these extremes and will be open to the idea that when it comes to a Microsoft Dynamics CRM-based solution, it is possible to develop a hybrid that balances complexity, cost, isolation, and manageability.
    Elements of a CRM Solution
    Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions components can be divided into four major buckets, and your solution may include one, two, three, or all four.
    Customizations They include form, grid, schema, and metadata changes; security roles; workflows; system settings; and templates. Microsoft Dynamics CRM customizations are provided as one or more (typically one or two) zipped XML files. They are imported into a CRM deployment via the Outlook or Web client “Settings | Customization” area and then are “published” to make them active. All of this can be automated using code that is written against the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK.
    Extensions These include reports and custom code such as plug-ins that must be deployed separately from the customizations. Plug-in registration information is stored as an XML file and can be deployed via either a command-line or Windows Form application provided by Microsoft. This also can be automated via code written against the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK.
    Custom Code Anything developed as part of your solution, and it might consist of external Web services, custom Web application components, and so forth. The rules and practices for deploying the custom code should be no different than for any other custom Web application.
    Data Any information that needs to be imported into an environment for that environment to function. This might include domain data (such as a list of product codes) or users. The data that your solution needs can be deployed into your Microsoft Dynamics CRM instance using scripted code or CRM’s Bulk Import feature, or with some form of external process using BizTalk or other ETL (extract, transform, load) tool. Some data, such as Users, needs to be created manually or through Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK calls.
    I like to think of CRM solution deployments just as though they were custom application development deployments. This means that during development and test, each new build of the solution is installed from a clean base system and the process is as repeatable and scripted as possible.
    What about Multi-Tenancy?
    Now let’s discuss what the environment you are going to deploy them into should look like. You may have read about the Enterprise Edition of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 support for a feature called multi-tenancy, which lets you partition multiple instances of Microsoft Dynamics CRM within a single deployment. This means that several completely distinct organizations with their own reports, workflow, customizations, and schemas can be run on the same set of hardware using the same physical servers and the same database instances and IIS Web sites.
    At first glance, this might appear to be the panacea that solves all of our manageability, isolation, and cost conundrums. Such a solution might be visualized as in Figure 4.
    Figure 4 A multi-tenancy-only solution
    This seems logical because each organization gets its own physical database on the shared SQL Server or instance (which includes customizations, workflows, users, roles, and settings) and its own SQL Reporting Services folder.
    This model works perfectly well if those distinct organizations are part of different team or departmental solutions. This, after all, is what multi-tenancy was designed for. While it is true that each organization (or tenant) gets its own database, they all share the same organizational unit (OU) and Active Directory groups, and they will all share the same platform services and front-end application as well. This means that the same asynchronous service and IIS Web site will be shared among organizations. The front-end servers are able to “host” these different organizations through a URL provider that determines, based on the URL, which organization to host.
    Take these URLs as an example: crmserver/ContosoDevOrg/loader.aspx and crmserver/ContosoTestOrg/loader.aspx. The CRM server looks at the root directory to determine the name of the organization to serve up. If no root organization name is found, as in the case of crmserver/loader.aspx, the server defaults to the first organization created in the deployment or the one where the calling user has access.
    Because the same Web site is used for both organizations, if you have custom code as part of your solution, it too will be shared by both organizations; for example, crmserver/ContosoDevOrg/ISV/mycustomdialog.aspx and crmserver/ContosoTestOrg/ISV/mycustomdialog.aspx.
    Both point to the same physical file on disk, such as C:\inetpub\wwwroot\isv\mycustomdialog.aspx. Since it is likely that the version of a custom extension would be different between Dev, Test, and Production, this can pose a serious problem. Let’s assume, for example, that Build 11 of your application is currently being developed, while Build 9 is in UAT (user acceptance testing) for test. If you attempt to use multi-tenancy to solve your environment problem, you will have a hard time isolating these two builds. In such situations, some of you might be tempted to try the solution shown in Figure 5.
    Figure 5 Attempting to use different IIS servers to segregate your custom solutions code
    In that model (if you are no longer using the Network Load Balancing address), users might hit a URL that looks like this:
    This model lets you have three separate front-end servers, hosting three different organizations, with three different code bases on disk. As long as a user doesn’t inadvertently hit the wrong organization on the wrong server, everything should work out perfectly.
    Unfortunately, since all front-end servers are considered a part of the same deployment, difficulties start to arise a little further downstream than you might realize at first glance. This really becomes a challenge if your solution uses asynchronous plug-ins or workflows, because while you can control which servers your users hit, you cannot control which asynchronous service will process events and requests for which organizations.
    This is because all asynchronous services in a deployment work in a round-robin manner, and, as such, your development server’s asynchronous service might process a workflow, system job, or asynchronous plug-in response to a request from your test server, thus blowing the isolation requirement right out of the water. In addition, if your custom code that is run by this asynchronous process relies on files that must be deployed on disk to the server (such as a configuration file or a file in the Global Assembly Cache, or GAC), you will get version conflicts.
    It is important to note that, for the most part, these challenges arise only when you are writing custom code that needs to be deployed on disk or if your custom code relies on resources that would be available only on or from a particular server. If your solution is simple and only uses customizations (schemas, forms, views, and so forth), workflows, and reports, you won’t have any problems using the approach in Figure 4.
    So what is multi-tenancy for and when is it a good solution for product lifecycle environments? Multi-tenancy was originally designed to solve a hardware problem related to the hosting of multiple distinct tenants in a production environment, and it does this very well. Previously, in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, each deployment, or tenant, had to have its own dedicated SQL Server or SQL Server instance, as well as a front-end server.
    This was true for many reasons, including the fact that deployment-specific settings used to be stored in the registry and on disk. All of these configurations have now moved to the database, so a single application server is able to handle multiple organizations. Multi-tenancy comes in handy for hosted versions of CRM including Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
    Design Considerations
    Now that you’re aware of some potential issues, let’s discuss some points to keep in mind as you design your deployment. The answer, of course, is that it depends. It is certainly possible to run a full CRM environment (including the domain controller, SQL server, and Web server) on a single box, as you can see on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Virtual Machine demonstration (see the “CRM Resources” sidebar for the URL). It is very common to use a single machine virtual image for a development environment. For test, however, it is important to validate key production environment challenges, and, for this reason, I recommend having your test environment mirror your production environment in terms of structure but not capacity. Your environment might look like the one in Figure 6.
    Figure 6 The test environment structure should mirror the production structure
    In this approach, you try to minimize physical hardware of the infrastructure using virtualization and further attempt to minimize virtualization resources by virtualizing only key scenarios that need to be tested. You will be able to allow your developers to develop on a single server image (or images, if they have their own virtual machine on their personal desktops) if you ensure that they will pay attention and be aware of the environment to which their solution will be deployed. The issues that developers should be paying attention to are the same issues you should be building your test environment to validate, including:
    Make the Settings Configurable Don’t, for example, assume the server will respond to localhost or a particular port.
    Be Aware of Multiple Servers Don’t assume things will work without setting up proxy users or trust for delegation.
    Keep Load Balancing in Mind Be very careful with session state and caching. Note that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed to be completely stateless and work well with a round-robin load balancer.
    Think about Multi-Tenancy When multiple tenants are hosted on a single machine, they share the same process space. This means that elements such as caches need to be keyed by the organization name so that users from one organization will not inadvertently utilize data from another organization. In addition, when you have client-side code that has links or calls back to the server, you need to be sure that the calls preserve the organization name in the URL; otherwise, you might hit the default organization or an organization you do not expect.
    Key Takeaways
    Isolation Is Important When designing your solution, keep in mind which approach (as illustrated in Figures 4, 5, or 6) will work best for you and be aware of when and where your custom code might run. It’s also worth noting when you do not need to worry about such issues because of the type of extensions your solution uses.
    Virtualization Virtualization helps reduce complexity in building an environment that mirrors key test scenarios of production. Here is some guidance about the setup. Put CRM and SQL Server on separate servers. This helps verify trust for delegation and other related issues. CRM servers should be load-balanced, which will help identify session, caching, and cross-server issues. Finally, put the domain controller and e-mail on separate servers; this helps in identifying connectivity issues.
    Refresh Environment for Each Build As a general rule, it’s a good idea to create backups either of the virtual environments or simply of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM databases (Data and Config) that can then be restored to get the server back to a “vanilla” state. You then do a full clean deployment into a fresh environment each time, including custom code, customizations, plug-ins, and domain data.
    Redundancy/Performance Testing Can Be Done Separately Except for very large organizations, you can usually tackle failover and performance testing through isolated simulations and not through “real-world” build-outs. This means that it is not necessary for you to attempt to build out a test environment that enables testing of these scenarios. As an alternative, you can rely on testing them either in production or in separate one-off environments.
    In closing, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a scalable, enterprise-class system that, when appropriately configured and deployed, can handle small teams, enterprise-wide solutions, and every option in between. Trying to determine which product lifecycle environment is right for you will depend on a variety of factors.
    Generally speaking, multi-tenancy is not an ideal way to address the product lifecycle development challenges of complex solutions and is best used when it is fully understood. Simple solutions that require only basic customization or that make use of properly coded and isolated custom extensions that don’t rely on disk resources or server-specific access should do just fine following the model depicted in Figure 4.
    If your solution demands more isolation, server-specific resources, or access (perhaps an external service is only allowed through your VLAN from one specific server to another), and so forth, I recommend going with the model shown in Figure 6. And I’d recommend avoiding the approach that Figure 5 illustrates, as it is a hybrid hack at best.
    Ultimately, Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be deployed in thousands of configurations, and exactly what is right for you will depend on what your solution requires. With a better understanding of multi-tenancy, single-server development environments, virtual test environments, and what testable scenarios are important to you, you should be able to design a product lifecycle deployment that is both functional and cost-effective.
    Aaron Elder (Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP) works for Ascentium, a technology consulting and interactive marketing agency. Visit the Ascentium blog at


    Posted in Deployment, Dynamics CRM | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

    Live Web Casts on Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 SP1

    Posted by Rubel Khan on September 16, 2009

    Microsoft is conducting a series of free preparation web casts on Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 SP1 in September and October, delivered through the internet via Live Meeting presentations for Dynamics partners. There will be sessions for Sales, Pre-sales, Consultants and Developers, presented by topic expert from Microsoft. More

    Posted in Dynamics NAV, Webcast | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

    Learn Microsoft Dynamics CRM

    Posted by Rubel Khan on August 30, 2009

    Get started

    Sharing and assigning records

    Learn to share and assign records to other users. Length: 3:02 minutes View this video…

    Converting records

    Learn to convert records from one record type to another as part of the sales life cycle. Length: 2:56 minutes View this video…

    Create a personal view

    Learn to create a personal view using Advanced Find. Length: 2:58 minutes View this video…

    Sales overview

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales functionality can help you track sales. This overview demonstrates how to create a lead, convert the lead into an opportunity, and provide a quote. Length: 12:00 minutes View this video…

    Customer service overview

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers many customer service tools. This video demonstrates how your customer service staff can create and track customer service requests and tasks. Length: 14:54 minutes View this video…

    Service scheduling overview

    This overview video demonstrates the customer service scheduling capabilities, including types of scheduling and defining services, in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You will also learn how to use the Help files to find the information you need. Length: 13:55 minutes View this video…

    Working with accounts and contacts

    This demonstration shows you how to work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM accounts and contacts in Microsoft Office Outlook. Length: 05:30 minutes View this video…

    Get data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM

    Importing customer data

    In this video, you learn how to import your data, and avoid the pitfall of having to spend time on repetitive data entry: 3:09 minutes View this video…

    Using duplicate detection

    This video guides you through the steps of how to run duplicate detection, and then merge or delete duplicate records. 3 minutes View this video…

    Data migration overview

    You have multiple options for migrating data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The video shows you three of these options, including using wizards to import your information. Length: 10:00 minutes View this video…

    Get data out of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

    Using Advanced Find

    In this video, learn the steps for running queries in Advanced Find, including entering the criteria, or fields, that will help you filter your search. Also, save your Advanced Find search results as a personal view that you can access any time you want. Length: 3:11 minutes View this video…

    Create a personal view

    This video walks you through the steps for creating a personal view and saving it using Advanced Find. Includes how to set the criteria and how to define which columns are displayed. Length: 3:08 minutes View this video…

    Reporting overview

    Take a complete tour of using Advanced Find to find information, exporting data to Microsoft Office Excel to analyze it, using default reports, and creating your own reports by using the Report Wizard. Length: 15:39 minutes View this video…

    Set up Microsoft Dynamics CRM for your business

    Customization overview

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a customizable solution for your business. This demonstration walks you through how to customize existing entities to fit your operations, and how to create your own entities. Length: 13:00 minutes View this video…

    Configuring data duplication settings

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM has data duplication functionality to keep unnecessary and redundant information out of the system. This demonstration covers how to configure the data duplication settings for your business as well as how to run duplicate detection jobs. Length: 08:27 minutes View this video…

    Set up your staff in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

    Working with security roles

    This demonstration steps your through maintaining security roles in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Learn how to create and modify security roles and privileges for your organization. Length: 09:58 minutes View this video…

    How to implement territory management

    This video walks you through the steps of creating and managing sales territories for your sales team. Length: 10 minutes View this video…


    Explore the possibilities

    Workflow overview: Implementing a sales process

    Using the sales process as an example, this video demonstrates how you can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM workflow tools to generate the activities necessary to complete a process. Length: 25:00 minutes View this video…

    Workflow example: Simple trade show lead process

    This video demonstrating how to create a simple follow up process that fires when you import trade show leads. Length: 10:30 minutes View this video…

    Posted in Dynamics CRM, How Do I? Videos | 1 Comment »


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