Friday, October 23, 2009

Could not find GUID for server...

Interesting error today.

All of a sudden our development server stopped working. We got the following error in CRM:
Microsoft CRM Error Report:

Error Details:

Could not find GUID for server: CRMSERVER$

Full Stack:

[ActiveDirectoryObjectNotFoundException: The local computer is not joined to a domain or the domain cannot be contacted.]

at System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory.Domain.GetComputerDomain()

at Microsoft.Crm.BusinessEntities.SecurityUtils.GetGuidFromServerName(String serverName)...
It seems that it was caused by the fact the the domain servers DNS was down. I have read of other causes for the same error, but make sure that the DNS service of the domain server is up and running.
Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Chief Architect


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SharePoint 2010

The NDA of the new version of SharePoint 2010 has been lifted and hence a lot of new functionality is out!

You can read a lot about it on the SharePoint Team Blog here:

From a CRM perspective, this is very interesting. The new version of CRM is rumored to have a much tighter integration with SharePoint, so from that perspective it is almost essential to learn a bit more about SharePoint.

There are some areas of SharePoint that are of special interest from a CRM perspective:
  • Enhance BI functionality including performance Point server now included in the new SharePoint
  • Business Data Catalog enhanced - an excellent tool to work with in relations to CRM
  • Enhanced Document Management - one of the weaker parts of Dynamics CRM 4 is the built in document management so integration with SharePoint in regards to document management is often used.
  • Enhanced API and development capabilities. When integration with SharePoint development is often required to create the necessary functionality. The SharePoint API is currently ok but compared to the excellent API of Dynamics CRM, it can do with an upgrade. Hopefully to the mark set by Dynamics CRM.
So that is all good news.

However, there is still one major issue from a CRM - SharePoint integration perspective that Microsoft REALLY need to address and that is the licensing issues of SharePoint users working in a very slight way with CRM data by, for instance, looking at data from a data warehouse in SharePoint with drill-down functionality. Today, all users with access to this need to have a full read only CRM license. Similarly, if there is a webpart used in SharePoint to create leads in CRM, but with no other need for access, a full CRM CAL is required for all users of the Intranet since they are employees and hence cannot use the external connector license. This is preposterous! Please Microsoft, we really like CRM, and we want to pay our dues, just make it fair!

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Chief Architect


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Strange problem with Country and Country Code

A couple of days ago I had the wierdest error. We have added some fields on Acccount and a new entity called Billing Account so that there is Contry and Country Code in both. The wierd thing was that when I opened the tab with the field, after about 1 second, the country changed to "United States" and the country code to "1". This even happened to the custom entity.

I was confused. The country code was supposed to be according to the so and so ISO standard, where Sweden is SE. Hence 1 was very incorrect. I started looking if some tired programmer might have added some javascript or similar but found nothing out of the ordinary. Then I though I'd just like to see what happens when I run IE directly from the CRM server, and praise and behold, it didn't change the field! That narrowed it down. First I thought it was google Toolbar, so I uninstalled it, but the error was still there. Then I tried running IE in InPrivate surfing and then it didn't change it! So, there must be some plugin in IE that causes it. After some uninstalling and testing I found it, Swedbank has this "e-kort" or e-card program that let's you generate a one-time VISA number, this was the program that caused this error. It is probably some program this Swedish bank has bought from some american company and it has this weird feature.

Well, that just teaches you, don't install a lot of crap into IE. :)

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Chief Architect


Create replacement entities

Sometimes, using a standard entity like product or invoice might not be the most optimal choice. Often due to the fact that there is quite a lot of business logic built into these entities. Therefore it is somtimes better to create you own entity instead. However, if you try to create a new entity with the name "Product" you will notice that it cannot be done since there already is an entity with that displayname.

The solution is quite simple, change the displayname of the built in product to "Old product" and remove all rights for all users to it and it will disapear for all normal users. You can then create your new entity with the displayname "Product".

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Architect


Friday, October 16, 2009

CRM Customization Manager

My colleague Daniel Halan, has developed a very useful tool for handling customization files. As you might know, the standard tool for this is a bit limited so there is a need for this kind of tool.

Daniel writes a bit more about it on his blog:

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Architect


Friday, October 02, 2009

Off topic: P1i playlist creator

This is a bit off topic but I thought that some of you might be interested anyway. If you don't have a Sony Ericsson P1i or similar, you can stop reading now.

I like to listen to audio books on my Sony Ericsson P1i but it is a bit problematic since the phone doesn't support normal playlists with relative addresses and you cannot select a directory and play all files in the directory either. This is problematic when you have an audio book that you have ripped from your bought CD box since you don't want to play the tracks in any order.

The phone also requires the absolute path of the playlist to use the drive "D:" and nothing else. This is very strange and I think it is a big flaw with an otherwise good phone.

To ease my troubles I created a small program that can create the m3u files in the correct format to support the P1i and I don't see any reason why I shouldn't share it since it only took an hour or two to create.

Just copy the directory with the mp3:s to the memory stick and run the program and select the directory and enter a fitting name for the m3u file and click run. The m3u file is created. Enjoy.

Not much CRM or SharePoint but it's free! Right?

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Architect