Friday, November 30, 2007

WebServiceStudio 2.0

SOAP is a great thing, not only does it get you clean, but it is also the foundation for most modern webservice communication. It is supposed to be platform independent.

A good thought but does, however, seem to have it's limitation. To be able to thoroughly understand the communication between the client and webservice a good program is needed that can help you study how the web service works and how the SOAP-messages are sent and received.

When working in a .NET environment, a .NET based client is very advantageous and a business partner of mine at the company Lemontree, Oskar Mattsson, suggested a very good application. I havn't had time to try it out fully yet, but it is also a GotDotNet-project so you can also read the code of how it is doing it's calls.

The name of the program is WebServiceStudio 2.0 and you can download it here:

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fake lookups = unsupported

My colleague Daniel Westerblom at WM-Data asked my a question concerning the fake lookups that I have referenced bellow and that I know are commonly used by many partners. The question was if these customizations are supported.

When I was at convergence I asked this explicit question to, I think it was, Clint Warriner (CRM Escalation Engineer at Microsoft Support) and he gave me confirmation on what I had suspected, that these customizations are not supported. They fall under the last point concerning unsupported customizations described in the SDK:
"The use of custom HttpModules to inject HTML/DHTML into the Microsoft CRM Forms."

Since the HTML DOM is modified, this is not supported.

The reason for this is most probably that Microsoft might choose to change this in future releases of CRM (for instance CRM 4.0) and might also have internal scripting references to objects they expect to be there according to the standard HTML DOM.

I don't know if these fake lookups will upgrade from CRM 3.0 to 4.0 without problems. If you have any experience of it, please let me know.

If you have any comments on this subject, please feel free to comment bellow. I always publish comments that concern the subject and are not directly offensive. (I have activeted moderation on comments just to avoid comment spamming).

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG

Problems consuming webservices when developing locally

Usually I develop on a CRM server but sometimes, when a larger piece of CRM-independent part needs to be developed, I develop on my local machine.

Presently I am working in an integration project with an integration engine and needed to consume one of it's webservices. I did so and I added some code to handle it (intellisense working fine) but when I tried to run it, it crashed on the constructor or the service class with the following error:

System.IO.FileNotFoundException: File or assembly name gvy6umsk.dll, or one
of its dependencies, was not found.

There was also a reference to the Windows\Temp-directory. The filename is obviously some temporary filename for the proxy-object.

After checking the web a bit, I found the error to be caused by the fact that the user running the software, did not have read/write access to the c:\windows\temp directory. I fixed it and the program ran like it should!

So, if you are in the same situation, just fix the right for the windows\temp directory and you should be fine.

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG

Friday, November 23, 2007

Great solution concerning javascript include files

Michael Höhne of Germany is a very resourceful CRM MVP and has just published a great posting on how to, in a simple and good manner create include files for javascript in a supported way. So, with great applause from me and hopefully the rest of the CRM community, give it up for Michael! Here is the link:

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG

CRM License specification

I have previously blogged on the licensing issues of Microsoft CRM and I am still waiting for an answer from the Microsoft representatives in Sweden who have forwarded the question. As soon as I get an answer, I will let you know.

I have also been involved in some discussions concerning what the specifics of the external connection licese are. The following URL describes the details of this for CRM (and also other products). Please have a look:

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG

Monday, November 19, 2007

ASP page LifeCycle

Currently I am working with a product configurator via an integration hub, a very interesting project that is quite complex. One part of this is to create a dynamic apsx-page that let's the user choose properties of that are definied from the product configurator. Hence I am creating a new aspx-page that has to dynamically create lots of controls.

In order to do this properly, it is vital to understand the execution model of aspx-pages and the lifecycle of the page. I found this page that describes this, in an easy and understandable fashion. Please review it, if you are in similar needs as I.

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Nice video of Microsoft CRM use!

while checking out some CRM-blogs, I found this funny Microsoft CRM video.
Check it out!

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Problems with Aug 07 VPC

Menno, the VPC god of Dynamics CRM land has created the very nice Aug 07 VPC of CRM 3. Sadly, a common error in it has to do with some new blocking of hacker attacks. It results in an error, that after a while of running it, you get a login-prompt and CRM stops working. The temporary solution is to restart IE.

Menno has written some about this on his blog, please read it.

I personally liked "Method 1" described in the references KB-article. The details are described bellow. I have tested it for 5 minutes and it seems to be working. Here is a copy of the text:

Method 1: Disable the loopback check

Follow these steps:
Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
In Registry Editor, locate and then click the following registry key:
Right-click Lsa, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
Type DisableLoopbackCheck, and then press ENTER.
Right-click DisableLoopbackCheck, and then click Modify.
In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
Quit Registry Editor, and then restart your computer.

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

Logica CMG

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Installed at Logica and a bit about CRM and Mobility

After some fiddeling, I am now more or less installed at Logica CMG. Some systems still need configuring and I still have to place a few calls to India (where our support is situated) to get it all up and running.

At Convergence, I had the opportunity to browse around and talk to some of the ISV (Independent Software Vendors) that supply 3:rd party addons for Microsoft CRM. One of the companies I found was CWR Mobility that have developed a very competent mobile client for Microsoft CRM 3 (and soon 4). It is a much more mature product (from what I could judge) than the normal Mobile Client, and it supports sometimes-connected scenarios and offline sync, as well as an offline SDK. So, if you are facing a customer with mobility demands, be sure to check out their products.

Gustaf Westerlund
CRM Consultant

Logica CMG