Posts Tagged ‘CRM 2011’


The Microsoft Platform Ready (MPR) is designed to help us to take our solutions to the market faster. As a Microsoft Partner, we get access to tons of resources related from solution development, testing to marketing via MPR.  In fact, in most cases, MPR compatibility is a requirement to make available our applications via various Microsoft Marketplaces (Windows Marketplace, Dynamics Marketplace, etc.…).   In this post we will see how to perform the MPR compatibility testing of a custom developed CRM 2011 solution.

Register the Application

First, we have to register the application on the MPR portal. We may login to the MPR site by using our Microsoft Partner account (typically your Live ID) and click + Add an app link. This will present a form to include our application details. Here we can enter things like the technologies used (using) and target compatibility date in addition to general application details.

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Figure 1: Registering the Application at MPR portal

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In one of my previous posts, I have shown how we can implement dependent lookups in CRM 4. Fortunately, CRM 2011 has improved in this area and now we can implement this functionality with minimum effort. For the demo purpose I will use the same scenario which I used for CRM 4. If you have not read my earlier post, I suggest to go and read it so that you are aware of the scenario. In fact, you want be able to understand this post as I am basing this post on that.

As usual, lets consider the two lookup fields, Expense Category and Expense Type where expense type is depending on expense category.

exCats   exTypes

Figure 1: Expense categories & types

As usual, we will add these two as lookup fields on another entity (e.g. Expense Claim).

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One of the nice features we have in the Advanced Developer Extensions for CRM4 (since sdk v4.0.12) was the ability to define the connection details inside the connectionStrings section in the web.config file. However, this facility was missing in the early versions of the CRM2011 SDK. However, the latest update of the CRM SDK (March) has finally included this feature.  In fact, this is one of many extended set of features known as Developer Extensions (note the missing "Advanced" word from CRM4).

For instance, suppose you need to connect to a CRM 2011 server using Integrated security from a custom web project. First you have to define the CRM connection details inside the web.config (or app.config for other project types) as follows;

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The Problem
Recently I had to use a Guid as a required field of a custom entity (it’s a tracking id). Initially the records were created using an external web service, so I had no issues on populating this field. i.e. when creating a new record, I simply use Guid.NewGuid() C# method to generate a new Guid. However, later there was a new requirement that the users should be able to create new records using the CRM web interface. At that time we had a small issue as the users had to enter a Guid in order to successfully create a record on CRM.

Well there are few tools out there to generate Guids, but for regular users it’s not going to be the happiest thing in the world to generate a Guid and enter that on the CRM web form!

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