In part two of this blog series, we examine the role of technology in enhancing the customer experience in government with a focus on streamlining and automating customer-facing processes.
As you may or may not have heard, a new version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM called CRM 2013 is headed our way! This blog will discuss items to review while thinking about this upgrade. The CRM 2013 upgrade path requires the CRM system be on CRM 2011. Those currently running CRM 4.0 or earlier will have to follow the upgrade path to CRM 2011 before going to CRM 2013.
Let's talk about the impact to the various deployment types:
CRM Online Customers: Microsoft intends to upgrade all CRM Online customers to CRM 2013 between October and early January 2014. An email notification of your planned upgrade date will be sent to a number of addresses involved with your CRM organization. Customers will have the ability to reschedule to available time slots up to two hours before the upgrade appointment. Customers will need to provide two potential upgrade dates.
Partner-Hosted and On-Premise CRM customers: PowerObjects will work with those wishing to upgrade their partner-hosted or on-premise CRM systems using our proven upgrade process. To serve those without test environments, we will be offering the ability to test the upgrade in our datacenter before running the upgrade in production.
With CRM 2013, legacy support for CRM 4.0 references are no longer available. That's why it's important to know if your current CRM 2011 system is "up to code" (forgive the pun). Fortunately there are ways to find out.
First, check your organization to see if HTC support is enabled. This checkbox is located at Settings, Administration, System Settings, Customization tab.
Next, run the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Custom Code Validation Tool. The tool needs to be downloaded and then imported to CRM 2011. When the solution is imported, double click the solution record called "Custom Code Validation Tool," then click the button to load the tool. This tool reviews your CRM web resources for compatibility with CRM 2011. Run through each file and make sure there are no issues found.
Ideally all of the script in your web resources will pass validation and we could go out for ice cream, but if not, the issues to really look out for are related to discovering old CRM 4.0 script such as crmForm, DataValue, etc. If you find these items, you will need to update your web resources prior to moving to CRM 2013.
Note: The key at the top of the screen indicates that underlined items that may be OK with HTC support. Remember, HTC support is not available in CRM 2013.
In addition to checking the form scripts, custom code such as plugins, external resources such as custom aspx pages and web services URLs should be checked. CRM online users are off the hook here because backward compatibility of these items was not provided for CRM 2011 Online.
For partner-hosted or on-premise folks, the source code for plugins will need to be reviewed for compatibility. This is something that should be done by a developer, or if your plugin was provided by a third party, request an updated version that is compatible with CRM 2011.
Microsoft has said that support for the ISV folder will be dropped with CRM 2013. This location was commonly used by developers to deliver custom aspx pages. Use IIS to explore the ISV folder under the Microsoft Dynamics CRM website to learn if your solution relies upon anything in the ISV folder. Items that are found there should be replaced with solutions that can be created as web resources within CRM 2011.
Integrations or applications that rely upon CRM web services should be checked to make sure they are using the 2011 version of the endpoint URLs. To learn what your CRM 2011 service endpoint URLs are, go to Settings, Customizations, Developer Resources in CRM 2011.
That pretty much covers the things that could "break" CRM 2013, but clearing these tests doesn't mean it's time for ice cream quite yet. You will want to think about reworking your forms for the new process based forms being delivered with CRM 2013, and everyone should be provided upgrade training so your users don't "break" J. If you have an opportunity to test CRM 2013 before diving in, you should take it.
PowerObjects will be your partner of choice throughout the upcoming weeks, as we're currently preparing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 with a slew of training and educational resources, and additional information will be delivered through our blog.
We love CRM and we're excited for the new version. We hope you are too. If you're ready for that ice cream now, we'll be happy to help or even do all the heavy lifting for you, just give us a call.