Monday, June 01, 2009

Internet Facing Deployment

As many of you know, one of the integral and unique parts of Dynamics CRM 4.0 is it's ability to be Internet facing. This does not only mean that you have to choose between the ameneties of a normal AD logon and the grace of IFD, you can have both. So, even if you are just a small company with just a small business version of CRM 4.0 and not a larger corporation, there is no reason why you shouldn't use Dynamics CRM 4.0 with the IFD technology.

So, how do you do it?

There are some good documents provided by Microsoft on how to do it(like this one: but there are some parts of it that are a bit tricky and depend on some of the infrastructure components you have, like DNS, and that might not be Microsoft, or even hosted. So I thought I'd describe a bit about how it works and give an example of how to do it.

First of all you have to do a normal installation of CRM 4.0. You can install on port 5555, 80 or any other TCP port. It doesn't matter for IFD deployment, however, port 80 or 443 have to be made available from the Internet so the physical placement of the CRM server is critical. You can use normal redirect techniques or reverse proxy lookup (as in ISA-server). The important fact is that the server must be placed so that it can be reached from the outside.

The next thing you have to set up is an external name that you can use when adressing the server from Internet, hence it has to be a real name and not just an internal name. If you have registered a domainname you could set a hostname to point to the organizations you want to access.

I used and registered a name like "mydomain" and my CRM organization was mycrm, when using IFD that would make the address for this org:

Make sure that everything bellow also gets redirected to you CRM servers external URL (port 80 or 443 depending on if you are using SSL or not)

The next step is to run the IFD Tool as referenced in the Microsoft Document. It can be downloaded from here.

Use it to set up CRM by setting the right stuff in the web.config and setting some keys in the registry. It is a lot easier than doing it yourself. You have to set it up to the external name you have chosen.

Now the final step is to add a host header in the IIS website for CRM for * or explicitly for for port 80 or 443 depending on your setup.

Now you should be able to browse to and get to the logon screen.

To get reports working you have to install the report connector software found on the CRM CD/DVD.

There are of course lot of variations to this, using reverse proxy of ISA Server and all the options of setting up certificates for SSL but I'll leave that out of this posting to keep it simple.

Menno has recently published a posting on this as well (, and there are several other blogs and MS KB articles concerning this. If you have problems, try taking it a step at a time and analyse and design the setup first so that you have got it figgured before you start configuring!

Good luck!

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Architect


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