Empty pipelinephase on opportunity quickcreate

You all know the most common usage of the pipelinephase field of an opportunity. It’s the sales funnel chart in sales dashboards.
By default the pipelinephase field is filled with the number of the current business process, followed by its name. But sometimes it stays empty. You can imagine how unhappy the sales guys are about that.

What I found out

It depends on how you create the opportunity. If you create an opportunity through the quickcreate feature, where it does not matter if you use the global “+” sign or the contextual “+” sign of a subgrid to create it, the pipelinephase field will not be filled until you step further in the next phase.

Workaround

Build an asynchronous workflow on opportunities that is triggered on create and fills the pipelinephase field if it is empty.

Below you find a solution to download that contains this workflow. It takes dynamically the phase name of the current business process. It is also an ondemand workflow, so that you can run from a view or advanced find that shows you all open opportunities with an empty pipelinephase field.

Issue reporting

There is already an proposal on CRM-Ideas for this issue. You can find it H E R E. It is already 9 month old and has only 4 votes. My appeal to you, follow the link, sign in and vote for it. The more votes it get, the higher is the attention from Microsoft.


Limits for custom parameters

Have you ever asked how many characters you can pass a parameter to an Javascript event handler or to a HTML webresource? I do, because I like to give a consultant or the customer the possibility to pass dynamic values in form of JSON objects or even whole functions without touching my code.

HTML webresource

The limit here is at 1.500 characters.

Javascript event handler

I think there no limit. Really. I made a test with up to 2.400.000 characters without any problems. The only thing that I would mention – do not exaggerate it as I did, because the performance suffers quite a lot.


Internet Explorer and promises

Microsoft shows us on Get started with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Web API (client-side JavaScript) how to create a re-usable function using promises. Between the description and the example is a little note box that points out that Internet Explorer 11 doesn’t implement native promises. Most other browsers support promises natively, IE is the problem child – again.
Microsoft further advises that there are several polyfills and libraries which will implement promises to IE. But they don’t tell you how do this in an effective way.

Detection

As you don’t want to add and load superfluous libraries, you have to detect if the browser has promises implemented. In my first approach I used modernizr. 2KB more just for detection. That is not what I wanted and searched for a plain js solution and found it at stackoverflow.

Agony of choice

Now that we can detect if the browser has implemented promises or not, which polyfill or library should we implement additional? My decision fellt on the smallest possible solution I found – ‘ES6 Promise polyfill’ with only 2KB.


ImportSequenceNumber field in Dynamics 365

Today I stumbled over the meaning and purpose of the “ImportSequenceNumber” field in Dynamics 365 (or Dynamics CRM, If you have not got used to it like me).

The ImportSequenceNumber field itself

It’s an integer field that is reachable through the field list in a solution. It is searchable but you are not able to add it to a form.

ImportSequenceNumber field in Dynamics 365

ImportSequenceNumber purpose

Every import in Dynamics 365 is numbered with an ascending number which is globally stored in the “Organization.CurrentImportSequenceNumber” attribute. Every record created during an import gets this number as value for the ImportSequenceNumber field.
By this way Dynamics 365 can show you all records that are created during an specific import or let you delete all records created by an import.

ImportSequenceNumber field in Dynamics 365


Some changes here

As a loyal recuring visitor, you may have noticed same changes here in the last week.

  • I removed the small little image that indicates about which product a blog entry is written.
    From time to time Microsoft makes some changes on the logos and they have guideline for its usage and I’m
    not interested in taking about care such things anymore, so do without it.

  • The <-more-> TAG has been removed.
    I don’t wan’t to oppress me with my own design rules. Less clicks for you people.

  • I switched from multilingual entries to English only.
    The first time I have only written in German to support and interact with the German community.
    Then I added English to reach more people and have a greater audience. At the end there is no interaction,
    no matter in which language. So I spare me the double work.

Final words

I think you will profit from the restructuring because I will have less work with creating content and
I’m able to “fast publish” posts because I’m not stick at any layout.


CRM 2016 and Firefox 49 issue with notes

Since a few weeks I hear from more and more CRM users that their CRM notes have disappeared. They are all using Dynamics CRM 2016 (Online or Onprem) and Firefox. Other combinations are currently not affected. So it must be an CRM 2016 and Firefox 49 issue with notes on how Firefox retrieves the notes or displays them.

Analysis

You can very quickly see that it is “only” a display problem when you opening the same CRM record with two different Browsers.

on Firefox 49

CRM 2016 and Firefox 49 issue with notes

on Chrome 54

CRM 2016 and Firefox 49 issue with notes

But, what happens? To find this out we have to deep dive into the CSS styling of CRM.
The Firefox developertools show us that Firefox has calculated “transparent” as color for the notetext.

CRM 2016 and Firefox 49 issue with notes

A look into the CSS source file shows us what Microsoft has defined as color.

CRM 2016 and Firefox 49 issue with notes

Exkurs: CSS coloring
Colors in CSS can be specified by the following methods:

  • HTML color names (140 named colors are available)
    {color: Aqua;}
  • RGB colors
    {color: rgb(0, 170, 255);}
  • RGBA colors
    {color: rgba(0, 170, 255, 0.5);}
  • HSL colors
    {color: hsl(200, 100, 100);}
  • HSLA colors
    {color: hsla(200, 100, 100, 0.5);}
  • Hexadecimal notation of RGB colors
    {color: #00AAFF;}
  • Hexadecimal shorthand notation of RGB colors. The browser doubles here every digit.
    {color: #0AF;}

CRM 2016 and Firefox 49 issue with notes

Now it is clear to you that Microsoft uses the hexadecimal notation, but not if it also wants to use the shorthand notation. Browsers until now ignored the fourth digit and interpreted it as shorthand notation and calculated #000000 (Black) for the note text. Till now we are talking about an inaccuracy that nobody has disturbed.

Firefox 49 Release Notes from September 20, 2016 – SOURCE
Excerpt: “Added support for specifying colors with an alpha channel using 4- and 8-digit CSS hex color values (#RRGGBBAA and #RGBA)”

BAM! There is the problem. Mozilla introduces the hexadecimal and hexadecimal shorthand notation of RGBA colors
Starting from Version 49, Firefox interprets Microsoft’s inaccuracy as an #RGBA value and calculates #00000000 from it what is black with 0% opacity as result.

Solution

The solution can only be delivered by Microsoft and is already included in Dynamics 365 (CRM V8.2). So I think it will be also fixed within the next update for CRM 2016.

Workaround

Instead of telling you to avoid Firefox until Microsoft provide a fix, I created a small script that corrects the color attribute for the notes. I know, it’s unsupported.

Drag and drop the “CRM Notes Firefox Fix” button on your Firefox bookmark toolbar to use it as bookmarklet. Click it each time you don’t see notes on CRM.


Dynamics CRM Online license model – May 2016


NOTE! This post is out of date.

My ‘Dynamics CRM Online license model‘ post from November 2013 is the 3rd popular post of my blog.
As it isn’t up-to-date anymore, it gets time for an update. In the meanwhile MSCRM has received more features and other prices.
What’s still the same is the amount of instances and storage you get inclusive. Social Engagement is also still available with 10+ Professional and/or Enterprise Licenses.
If this is a completly new information for you, have a look at my above mentioned post from the year 2013.

Dynamics CRM Online license model details

The following informations are taken from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online pricing and licensing guide.

Legend:

E = Enterprise P = Professional
B = Basic E = Essential

Use Right
Employee Self Service USL E P B E
Accounts, Contacts, Activities and Notes E P B E
Post & follow activity feeds and Yammer collaboration E P B E
Use a queue item E P B E
Read articles E P B E
Shared Calendar E P B E
View Announcements E P B E
Run workflows (automated or on-demand), dialogs and process E P B E
Use relationships and connections between records E P B E
Read and write records from custom entites E P B E
Use Saved views and create personal views E P B E
Use Quick-Search and Advanced find E P B E
Export data to Microsoft Excel or perform mail merge E P B E
Use Dynamics CRM on Mobile Client, iPad, Windows 8 App, Outlook (Windows) and Web E P B E
Lead capture, scoring, routing, assignment E P B
Qualify and convert a Lead to an Account or Contact E P B
Associate an Opportunity with an Account or Contact E P B
Associate a Marketing List with an Account or Contact E P B
View SLAs, Case management and Interactive Service Hub E P B
Convert an Activity to a Case E P B
Add or remove a Connection (stakeholder, sales team) for an Account or Contact E P B
Create and update announcements E P B
User reports, charts and dashboards E P B
Create, update, customize and run Reports E P B
User Interface integration for Microsoft Dynamics CRM E P B
Import data in bulk E P
Configure duplicate-detection rules and auditing E P
Define connections and relationships between entities E P
Define and configure queues E P
Define and configure workflows and dialogs E P
System reports, charts and dashboards E P
Customize entities, fields, forms and views E P
Administer CRM E P
Opportunities, Quotes, Orders and Invoices E P
Convert a lead or an activity to an Opportunity E P
Products, Price Lists and Sales literature E P
Territories, Competitors and Goals E P
Marketing Lists, Campaigns and Quick-Campaigns E P
Contracts and Contract templates E P
Configure SLA policies and Entitlements E P
Unified Service Desk E P
Create and Publish Knowledgebase Articles E P
View and Use Knowledgebase in CRM GUI E P
Create and Publish Articles, use article templates E P
Facilities/Equipment E P
Define and configure business units and teams E P
Define and configure services, resources and work hours E P
Full Mobile Offline sync E P
Read AX application data E P
Email published Voice of the Customer Surveys E P
View Voice of the Customer Survey Results and Survey Outcomes E P
Create & Publish Voice of the Customer Surveys E

Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise

Don’t forget, that this table shows only CRM concerning details, but with the Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise license you have also access to Social Engagement (Enterprise instead of Professional), Dynamics Marketing and Parature.


Enhancements to Sandboxes

Today I get E-Mail where Microsoft announces that Dynamics CRM Online gets tomorrow enhancements to Sandboxes. The new features have already been announced during the Carina beta programm and now the get rolled out. Below I will paste you the details Microsoft has send with this E-Mail.

Enhancements to Sandboxes


We are pleased to let you know there are future enhancements to Dynamics CRM Online Sandbox instances!

What is a Sandbox instance?
A Sandbox instance is any non-production instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Isolated from production, a Sandbox instance is the place to safely develop and test application changes with low risk.

How should I use a Sandbox instance in my environment?
You should always use Sandbox instances when you test new functionality, such as a product update, a new add-on solution, changes to a form, or any customization you may include. You will be able to schedule your Sandbox instance to be updated prior to your production update, allowing you to test first.

What’s coming in regards to Sandbox instances in CRM Online 2015 Update 1?

  • Switching an instance enables administrators to easily change the CRM Online instance type:
    • Switch to production – ability to change an instance from Sandbox to Production
    • Switch from production – ability to switch an instance from Production to Sandbox
  • Deleting a Sandbox instance provides the ability to remove an existing sandbox when it is no longer needed:
    • Delete allows you to recover sandbox licenses and storage
    • You must switch production instances to sandboxes before you can delete them.
  • Enhancements to instance reset provides the ability to change your base language and currency during the reset. This allows you to use a single sandbox for testing across many different languages or currencies.

Outage duration: 0 minutes


Enable Silverlight for Chrome 42-44

Google has decided to disable the support for the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI), due to security reasons. Starting with disabling it in current version 42 and removing it’s support completely in future version 45.
As we CRM people often have addons that run on Silverlight, here is to actiate NPAPI and enable Silverlight again.

Pre-requirements


You need to have a Chrome version lower than 45 and Silverlight (you can get it here) installed on your system.
You can check your Chrome version by typing “chrome://chrome” in the addressbar.

ChromeVersion

Enable NPAPI


First step is to enable NPAPI plugins in general. Type “chrome://flags” in your addressbar, search for “NPAPI” and enable it.

ChromeEnableNPAPI

After that you need to restart Chrome.

Enable Silverlight


Now you can type “chrome://plugins” in your addressbar and enable Silverlight again.

ChromeEnableSilverlight


Microsoft Dynamics Timeline

At the eXtreme CRM 2015 in Madrid we played all together the “Dynamics CRM Trivia” at the evening event and I realized that I do have absolutely no idea about the time before I started in 2011 with Dynamics CRM. In addition to that the release cycles have become increasingly shorter and more products were added and I am also only hardly able to remember when was which released. To fill both gaps at once, I have created this Dynamics CRM timeline.

Microsoft Dynamics Timeline

Short introduction, to the left it goes into the past and the release dates are accurate to the month.

If you want to create a timeline by yourself, you can do it at knight lab.