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Auditing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Post Author: Joe D365 |

For users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, there are a few options for auditing changes to a record in CRM. For free open source tools, there is the Audit Plug-in available on Codeplex. Then there is the Auditing Plug-in available for download from MSDN. If you only need to audit a couple of fields, there is always the option of creating a custom auditor with workflow.

In the beta of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, we are seeing the audit ability included in the out of the box features. In the example below, I will make several changes to the Relationship Type on the Account from "Consultant" to "Partner," each time saving the record.

The change history can be viewed by selecting Audit History on the left navigation of the Account. It shows the Changed Date and Time, Changed By, which field changed, the Old Value and the New Value. Note that in the screenshot below I can narrow my view of the Account history using the Filter on just one field in addition to being able to see All Fields.

The Audit feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 beta is managed from the interface. Found under the settings area, you begin by starting the audit in the Global Audit Setting. You can choose to audit Common Entities (Account, Contact, Goal, Goal Metric, Lead, Marketing List, Product, Quick Campaign, Rollup Query, and Sales Literature), or just specify the audit for a certain discipline.

For a more advanced control over audit, you can set each individual entity and field to be audited. Looking at the list of entities in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 beta, you can see which entities are being audited in the Audit Status column.

Drilling into the Account in the screenshot below, we are indicating that the Account fields can be audited.

From there, you can drill into each individual field to indicate whether it should be audited or not.

Note: it is recommended to set these up early on in your implementation and leave them, as data may be lost if auditing is disabled on a field where it was previously enable. A message appears saying, "If you disable auditing, some change history data may be lost. Do you want to continue?"

The ability to view Audit History on an individual record as well as a Summary of Audit History (all Audits in the Audit logs) are controlled with separate security settings. There is not ability to delete an individual audit record. However, as audit logs accumulate, those with access may view and delete old logs to keep the database smaller.

Hope you find the about information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM useful. Keep an eye on the PowerObjects blog and we will post more information as we can – feel free to Contact us about MS CRM if you are looking for assistance.

Happy CRM'ing

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

6 comments on “Auditing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011”

  1. Is it possible to extend the Auditing Data that is captured? can't find anything realted in the SDK
    I'm thinking of possiblities to capture some information from the user when he/she updates a field. Traditionally I would have used either workflow based approach or simply adding a second field when user must enter a reason. And auditing can be enabled on the actual field and the reason field.

    1. Hi - unfortunately not. The auditing area is fairly locked down and is not extensible. There is nothing in teh SDK related to autiditing, besides turning it on or off.

  2. Is there anything out there that will allow me to update auditing into a DB rather than individual files? I have a deployment that will see considerable changes with quite a few auditing fields. Do you know if there's anything db integrated that will allow me to track the changes via an alternative DB instance or something similar w/out having the need to write log files on the app server directly?

    From a capacity planning and performance standpoint, the flexibility would be nice, however, not sure if it's out there. Thanks for your help.

      1. I can't wait until ur12 comes out and CRM can use sql 2012. either way, I wish enterprise licensing for sql wasn't so dang expensive. 🙂

        Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

  3. Can you audit a queue item? I would like to know if an email comes into a queue and a user removes or deletes it. Right now I only see record unavailable and cannot see what record it was.

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