Monday, December 18, 2006

IT-Proffs - CRM

This is a posting directed at all swedish speaking readers!

If you havn't already been there, check out the swedish forum called IT-Proffs, it has (as far as I know) the only Swedish CRM forum. You will find me and several other talented and skilled CRM-professionals there like Jonas Deibe (Microsoft Sweden).

Apart from the global CRM-forum/newsgroup hosted by Microsoft, this is a bit smaller which makes it easier to handle, and doesn't flood you inbox.

Please note that you can set an automatic notification when a new messsage is added to the CRM-Forum. I hope to see you there soon!

Gustaf Westerlund
CRM and SharePoint Consultant

Humandata AB

Friday, December 15, 2006

SharePoint inside Outlook using Sitemap configuration in CRM.

During the latest project i was involved in, we wanted to show SharePoint v3 pages in Outlook using sitemap customizations in CRM. This worked great at first (we didn’t really test it), but after a while, when we started using it a bit more we sometimes got the following error message “MSO.DLL is not compatible with Outlook”, ending with an OK-button. Pressing it, made Outlook exit in error. Not very nice.

I don’t know exactly why this happened but I think it happens due to the loading of some active-X components that are not supported by the web browser in Outlook, which for some reason doesn’t seem to be IE. If anyone knows anything more about this, please let me know.

Oh, I forgot, we were using Outlook 2003 since V3C isn’t publicly released yet. Perhaps you won’t get this error if using Outlook 2007 since it is probably more compatible with SharePoint v3.

Gustaf Westerlund
CRM and SharePoint Consultant

Humandata AB

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Unable to access System Settings - weird error

I’ve had a lot to do lately why, there hasn’t been to much action here. I was involved in a Proof-of-concept for Microsoft CRM, SharePoint 2007, EPM 2007 and a few other products aswell. Very interesting work, but it left me a bit behind on the blog-front.

Well, as most of you probably already have heard, there is a Update Rollup containing lots of the hot-fixes previously released and also a few more features – like being able to set which attributes should be searchable in advanced find. You can download it here.

When working on the POC mentioned above I stumbled on a strange error. CRM worked fine (not the reports though, I found out at a later stage), but when I tried to access System Settings I got a really weird error message containing html-code. What had happened was this.

The VPC I was using had WSS v2 installed on port 80. I installed CRM on port 5555 (reporting services had been installed into port 80 /Reports and /ReportServer). After this I installed Enterprise Project Management (EPM) (i.e. WSS v3 with EPM addon), set it to work on port 80, thinking it would overwrite the existing WSS v2 and let Report Services work as it should. Utopia, this is not what happened.

What really happened was that EPM/WSS had switched off WSS v2 on port 80 and created a new website for port 80 (no host header). In other words, also switching off Reporting Services. When I tried to access System Settings in CRM, it tries to access Reporting Services for some of the settings and since WSS v3 was installed, it handled the call and returned an html-page displaying that the resource wasn’t available. This was handled by CRM as an exception and the content of the html-page was displayed in the error (as html-code).

So, what should I have done?
Uninstall WSS v2, install EPM/WSS v3, reinstall SQL RS, install CRM. Then I probably wouldn’t have experienced the problem I had above.
Use hostheaders to separate the different websites as suggested from Microsoft Swedens CRM guru Jonas Deibe.
I hope you don’t have to experience the same problem, since the only solution I feel works, is to reinstall.

Gustaf Westerlund
CRM and SharePoint Consultant

Humandata AB

Friday, December 01, 2006

Microsoft CRM and Excel 2007

I've recently been assembling a demo for the Microsoft CRM / IW team in Sweden for the launch of Vista and Office 2007. The new V3C client is great but the one I could use was a beta and was a bit buggy.

One of the features of Microsoft CRM that many managers (and others) like is the Excel-button on lists. However, with Excel 2007, it doesn't work out of the box. For the demo, I got it to work by doing the following actions. Please note that these actions should only be used in a demo environment since they severely alter some of the security settings of Excel. When I find a better way to handle this (or if I find some one else that does), I will let you know.

1. Make sure you are running Excel as a user that has access to the CRM database. This is due to the fact that Excel will try to access the database directly and it wont work properly if you don't have access. The best way is to use a client computer that is part of the domain and a user that is a CRM user. That usually solves it.
2. Add "c:\users" to the trusted places in the trust center.
3. Set "Trust all incomming connections (not recommended)" in the trust center.

Now it should work. Sometimes it takes Excel a while to get the data from the server, so be a bit patient. When I wrote this, I didn't have access to a test environment with CRM and Excel 2007 so I might have some details wrong (like the exact naming of fields in trust center).

I hope it works for you, Microsoft CRM 3 with the new Excel 2007 with conditional formating will blow the socks off any Manager I know... :)

Gustaf Westerlund
CRM and SharePoint Consultant

Humandata AB