Wednesday, February 13, 2008

SQL error when importing customization.xml

Today I was deploying from a development environment to a test environment and part of this is moving the customizations made within the CRM GUI. I simply exported the customizations.xml and tried to import it to the test system. Only to get a very angry "SQL Error". Hmm... not very nice to see those, that usually means that somethings gone really bad, and you usually wish you hade just taken a complete backup of CRM.

Well, things only got worse when I tried to access CRM with the common url, I got a really nasty error saying that some custom attribute wasn't at all like some other custom attribute. No dah, my worst fears just got real and I could only face the fact that the CRM meta database had somehow become corrupt. Really bad, testing was supposed to begin today, so really bad timing (and timeplan).

So, what to do? Since I couldn't access CRM I couldn't get to the import cusomtizations page, so I had a look in the SDK for the direct URL to the import customizations page (it is under sitemap customizations). I tried to reimport the customizations file from my development server, only to find that CRM now found the xml "malformed" in this file. After some testing, I found that it acctually found all customizations files to be malformed, not only the first one. So, something really sinister is at hand. Time to log into the SQL-Server.

The first message that faced me was that one of the drives had to litte disk space... I had a look and found that the main data disk had only 2 MB free. So, this was probably it. First, there probably hadn't been space enough for commiting all the changes that were in the new customization file and then there hadn't been space enough to upload the new customizations file. The error message of mal-formed xml had just been an erroneous error message.

So, I freed some space on the disk and just to be sure, I re-installed CRM entirely (it was just a test environment after all) and imported the customization file, and all went well!

Well, there was acctually one thing, when I imported the customization file I got an error saying that at some row XXX in the file there was something wrong. At the specific row, was a tag for setting "displayInApplication" or something like that for the entity "Bulk Operation". I tried to remove the tag and import it, which worked. I later remembered that I hadn't installed Update Rollup 2, which I later confirmed was the cause of this error. I had exported from a CRM 3 UR2 system and imported into a standard CRM 3, hence the error. So, I would suggest not removing the tag but instead updateing your CRM :).

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG

Installation of Virtual Server 2005 R2

We have invested in a virtual server host, a really cool machine with Dual Quadcore XEON processors and 16 GB memory (yes, I am some what of a techno-geek). To be able to use it properly, I wanted to install Virtual Server 2005 R2.

Not so easy. I connected with remote desktop and tried to install virtual server, but I just couldn't get it to work properly, so I went out on the net and looked for a solution.

The result was that I found that you cannot install or run the virtual server web interface using remote desktop if you do not connect as "console". Weird, but that's what I found.

So, how to connect with remote desktop as "console" (that is ID 0). If you like your command prompt, you'll know that Remote Desktop is called "mstsc" just, use that with the switch "/console" and you will connect as console.

Personally I like to make things simple, why I have made a small bat-file with the following content:
mstsc %1 /console

Then I just drag-n-drop my rdp-file ontop of the batfile. This will result in a console connection to the server set in the rdp-file.

I hope this helps!

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG

Friday, February 08, 2008

Jonas Deibes pictures and Q&A from the CRM 4.0 launch

I forgot to give you the link to Jonas Deibe's posting concerning the CRM 4.0 launch in Stockholm where he a nice picture from the blog corner and some interesting Q&A.

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG

CRM 4.0 launch and more...

Yesterday Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 finally launched and there was a big Microsoft happening i Nacka Strand close to Stockholm. The location was great, only about 100 m from my office :).

At the launch there was a blog corner where both Jonas Deibe and Michael Höhne were answering questions and drinking som coke. I took the opportunity to have a look at Michael's ( filtered Lookup a bit closer. I had read some about it on his page and it is really a great piece of software. In short it enables filtering of lookups and in CRM even the intellisense. It is not yet fully supported by Microsoft, but Michael mentioned that it soon will be.

I also got the opportunity to talk to Jonas Deibe a bit and we talked mainly on what the differences in developing extensions are between CRM 3 and 4.0. I will go deeper into some of this in later postings.

I also got meet some of my Microsoft Dynamics CRM friends from Cybernetics, Cinteros, SysTeam and of course, Microsoft Sweden. I hope we'll meet again soon.

As I have described earlier, we at WM-Data (Will formally be named Logica from feb 27:th) are so busy at the moment that we have to de prioritize some customers, which I find very sad, since I don't like to disappoint anyone in general and customers, in particular. So, if you are a good Microsoft CRM developer and interested in working with really big customers with very interesting projects, concerning complex integration and other interesting customizations in an international organization that is really employee-friendly, please contact me and we can have a chat! My office is in Stockholm, but Logica has offices all over Europe and even in India (Bangalore).

Thats that for this time, hope to be back soon!
Stay in touch!

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

WM-Data/Logica CMG