Off topic – ease your work with Remote Desktop

Many of you probably use Remote Desktop to connect to your clients computers. Sometimes you manage to lock the two sessions you are allowed and you can’t reach the computer. What you need to do then is to connect using the console command. The easiest way to do this is to create a bat-file with the following content:
mstsc %1 /console

Now, you just have to drag-n-drop the rdp-files on the batfile and the connection will be made using the /console and you can access the computer. No cmd-hacking, no remembering the syntax… just drag-n-drop! You have to be a local administrator to connect using /console, but arn’t you always?

To log out the old connections, open the task manager and select the tab users. Mark the users that do not have id=0 (thats the console connection) and select logoff.

Hope it is usefull!

Gustaf Westerlund
CRM and SharePoint Consultant

Humandata AB

Migration and the Migration Framework

The migration framework is based on a very good intention from MS since it can usually be a hassle. It is quite competent but has one great lack being that it only handled system entities and not cusomtized entities.

The feature of customizing entities is one of the greatest USP (unique selling points) for MS CRM, and being a system in directed at mid-market it is more than likely that a customer has to migrate from previous data, if only being excel, access or Outlook. To not support customized entities is a great flaw that severly limps the otherwise fine product.

If you need to migrate to MS CRM 3.0 and you are using customized entities there are two choices:
1. Make your own speciall program that communicated directly with the webservice.
2. Buy a third party product.

In most cases I think the later choice is best, there is a very good product called ImportManager Studio 2006 Professional made by the Danish company CRM Extensions. link.

Not only is this product good for migrations it is also replaces the very rudementary import function found in CRM. Other than being able to import data to custom entities, it can also store an import set-up to be used at a later date and link imported entities to eachother (like linking a contact with an account).

It is only €1700 which is quite cheap when you compare it to the costs of writing your own program.

It will be interesting to see if MS updates the migration framework to handle custom entities. Until then, count on paying €1700 for a product that can.

Gustaf Westerlund
CRM and SharePoint Consultant

Humandata AB

On the IE bug again…

The bugg in IE described bellow will according to PC-World be corrected in an upcomming update of IE. Please see the article.

I would also lite to recommed the following Blog, where I noticed this.
Sonoma Partner Blog

Gustaf Westerlund
CRM and SharePoint Consultant

Humandata AB

Tectura – CRM and Navision integrator

As many of you might know there is an integration product by the company Tectura to use for integration between MS CRM and Navision. I have been working with this and would like to share a few thoughts on this.

In general it works well when you get it installed properly, something you have to allocate quite a lot of time to. At least a couple of weeks.

It is, out-of-the-box, a technical integration of the products, i.e. it transfers information but implements very little business logic, something you have to add later. For instance if you block a product in Navision, this information is propagated to CRM to a field but it does not stop users from placing orders with the product.

The integration does not concern all entities. The integration mainly concerns account, orders, quotes. Products, Invoices and Units of Measure (and schedules) are sent from Nav to CRM but not back. Note that the integration does not treat contacts, pricelists, oppurtunities. Many salespeople also like to get information on the payment status of invoices. This is not included by default.

Summary being that Tectura is a good foundation for integration between CRM and Nav but be sure to note its limitations and make sure you have skilled CRM and Nav programmers to make the integration as tight as the customer most likely would like it to be.

I will probably blog some more on this subject later.

Gustaf Westerlund
CRM and SharePoint Consultant

Humandata AB

DevToolBar and style.display=none

There is a great tool from MS called the Developer Toolbar. It is great for finding parts of the GUI in CRM that you want to hide or change in some other way. To the download page

For instance, I wanted to block the use of write-in products. There is no security setting to use for this, so what you can do is write protect or hide the write-in product switch in the order view (and in quote and opportunity).

However, there is also a menu item for write-in products and it can’t be disabled (as far as I know). So, by first, disabling appmode in web.config (should always be used when developing/customizing) and then accessing the orderform with the direct url: /SFA/salesorder/edit.aspx”>http:///SFA/salesorder/edit.aspx you can browse the DOM-tree and will find that the menu item for Write-in products has the id: navWriteInProducts

Then in the onLoad event of Order, you just add the following: = “none”;
which simply removes the item from the menu when loading an order.

This is a simple way to modify items in CRM as long as they have an ID. It is quite common that customers want things to be hidden and defaulted, and this can’t be done for some parts of CRM using normal customization. This method doesn’t require any coding and will work.