Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dev Day II Follow Up

I am realy pleased with how the day went we had almost 60 people in attendance all day and feedback was excellant. 

Anybody interested in speaking please let me know

Josh Holmes explains what HTML 5 is all about.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dev Day II Cork - Line up finalized

We have a great line up of speakers and topics for Dev Day II in Cork on Oct 10.  This should be a great event with the opportunity to hear from some real world experts. 

The timetable of talks is below and Microsoft have kindly sponsored the event.  Attendance is free however you must register here to attend 

Speaker Topic Start
Josh Holmes HTML 5 11:00
Vikas Sahni Demystifying SQL Azure  12:00
Bob Duffy SQL Denali Power Overview 14:00
Kieran Logan NoSQL Architecture  using Azure Storage and Lucene.Net 15:30
Andrew Woodcock ASP.Net MVC 17:00
Niall Flanagan Understanding Database Behaviour for Developers  18:00

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

CRM 2011 - How to refresh a form after subgrid changes

SubGrids are a great improvement which were added in CRM 2011 that allow you to easily add a grid of related entities to a form rather than navigating from the left menu. Here is a simple example of how to refresh the parent form when an update to the subgrid has occurred. 

Friday, May 06, 2011

Running virtualized CRM 2011 on Windows 7

One of the problems when you want to run a virtualized version of CRM 2011 on Windows 7 is that virtual pc does not support 64bit operating systems and virtual server does not run on Windows 7 not at least without some hacks.

When I was faced with this problem I toyed with the ideal of installing Windows Sever 2008 and Hyper V however I decided to give VMware Player a go. I must admit I was presently surprised with how easy it was to get up and running and natting worked without any configuration. Added bonus is that it is free. I would definitely recommend it.

If you have existing VHD images that you want to convert to a VMWare
VMDK virtual hard disk  then  I would recommend wimimage which allows you mount hard disk images and converts them. http://www.winimage.com/

I believe VirtualBox is also a good tool but I have not had a chance to try that yet.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dynamics 2011 Online - Custom Reports using FetchXML

If looks like FetchXML which went out of favour with CRM 4.0 has made a comeback and you need to use it you want to write a custom report for the online version of Dynamics 2011.  This is because you don’t have direct access to the database and crm's filtered views. 

Microsoft have provided an extension for BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio) which allows you to connect to CRM online and write FetchXML based reports. BIDS is a cut down version of Visual Studio with just the reporting writing components installed. You can get the extension from here
Once you install the extension you can use it to create datasets in your report by writing FetchXML. Unfortunately you cannot use it to modify any of the system reports because if you download one of these and open it you will discover it use sql rather than FetchXML.

If you are going to write a report from scratch there are a few things to note. The first is that you need to use an embedded data source in your report not a shared data source otherwise you will get an error when you import the report into CRM.  So add a data source to your report called CRM and add you online url as the connection string. Under credentials select the “Use this user name and password” and enter your live email address and password. 

I have not found a good tool for creating FetchXML that works with CRM 2011 online so one of the easiest things to do is to use advanced find in CRM to create a query and then select the Download Fetch XML option to save it to a local file and cut and paste this into your report query.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

CRM 2011 - Phone Format Validation using JavaScript and Regex

Reusing JavaScript functions in CRM 4.0 was not easy and many people simply copied the code from one form or field to another so they ended up with lots of duplicated code.

Dynamics CRM 2011 introduced the concept of web resources which are files of reusable resources. In this example I am going to create a JavaScript library as a web resource file to hold a function which validates the format of a mobile phone number using a regular expression. Under customization create a new resource file of type JavaScript.

Add caption

Click on Text Editor and add the following JavaScript to the source

function validateMobile(context)
var mobi =context.getEventSource().getValue();
mobiRegex = /^(083|084|085|086|087|088|089)\s?\d{3}\s?\d{4,5}$/;
if( !mobi.match( mobiRegex ) )
   event.returnValue = false;
   alert("The format of the mobile no is incorrect") ;

Customize the main form of the Contact entity and click on the Form Properties and add the new resource file we created as a library. It can now be used in the form

Click on the mobile number field to hook up the onChange event to our newly created validation function. Under the event tab add a new event handler as shown. Make sure you check the “Pass execution context as first parameter” so that we can access the field context in the Javascript function. Save the form and publish the Contact entity.

Now on the contact form when the mobile number is changed the validateMobile function will be fired and because we are using a web resource file we can reuse it throughout the solution.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Cash to switch to Dynamics CRM Online

It looks like Microsoft are going after SalesForce customers in a big way. If you switch from a competing CRM product to Dynamics CRM Online you get cash back. More details here