Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Dynamics CRM 2011 take other user share view ownership - workaround

Have you previously come across a user that wants to delete a number of views shared by another user that left the company?

The problem in CRM is that at admin level you can't take ownership of the view assigning this to yourself, because the level of permissions on the security role are only at the user-level.

I have filed an improvement request on Microsoft Dynamics CRM connect website to introduce more flexibility around this, Please vote:

To resolve the problem you could easily reset the user AD password, however in large companies you would have to file a HR form requesting permissions for this, because you will be accessing information owned by someone else in the company.

The workaround for this is quite straight forward and all done on the CRM side.
  1. Create an AD test account
  2. In CRM open the profile of the user that left the company and change the Domain Logon Name to the new test account, press tab, make sure the first and last name loads for the new account and press save, make sure you assign a security role.
  3. Over the IE icon, press SHIFT+Right-Click > Select Run as different user 
  4. Type the credentials of the test account you created on step 1, IE will run under the test account context.
  5. Open CRM and voila your test account took ownership of all the data of the user that left the company
  6. Update the views etc...
  7. Revert the changes back to the user account that left the company by again updating the Domain logon name.
Note: you obviously don't want to do this everyday, the long term solution is to wait on Microsoft to introduce new features around this. Please vote on my feature request above.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Dynamics CRM 2011 Optimization guide

View the wiki technet article here:  http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/13661.dynamics-crm-2011-quick-optmization-guide.aspx

I've put together a high-level list of optimizations for dynamics CRM to centralise information for myself, and thought sharing would be helpful for someone, I'll keep this list updated as I find more information.
  1. Authentication
  2. IIS
  3. CRM Registry Keys
  4. Database
  5. Outlook Client
  6. Internet Explorer
  7. Email Router
  8. Monitoring
  9. Resources

1. Authentication
The number of authentication request's and authentication challenges takes valuable seconds deteriorating performance.

2. IIS

  • AppPool Recycling
    • Configure to recycle after hours.

3. CRM Registry Keys
A number of tweaks can be done on the CRM side to improve performance.
  • You can control the size of the Workflow table by deleting completed Workflows with a registry key, this is a nice way to improve performance on the database side, however this can only be applied if you don't need the workflow history.
    • Name: AsyncRemoveCompletedWorkflows
    • Type: DWORD
    • Value: 1
  • Improve SQL Performance EnableRetrieveMultiple
    • Type: DWORD
    • Value: 2 (Decimal)
    • Fixes a number of issues around the SQL tempdb database and improves performance
    • http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2535245
    • Note that with RU10 the suggested default option is 0 read more on the [1] resource document optimizing and maintaining performance.
  • Disable the email pop-up reminder to speed up load times
    • Name: DisablePendingEmailReminder
    • Type: DWORD
    • Value: 1
  • Set a preferred Domain Controller to speed up AD checks
    • Name: PreferredDC
    • Type: String
    • Value: DC_Name

There are a number of registry keys targeting different types of performance issues and types of environments, Microsoft is now releasing with each update Roll Up a package named:'tools'.This package contains a tool that can implement a number of updates/optimizations which were previously reserved for registry implementations, this way makes it easier to enable optimizations centrally and avoid creating registry keys across multiple front-end servers.

e.g number of registry keys part of RU6
  • DisableSmartMatching
    • Default Value – False
  • AutoCreateContactOnPromote
    • Default Value - True
  • BackgroundSendBatchFile
    • Default Value – 10
  • DisableInactiveRecordFilterForMailMerge
    • Default Value - False
  • LookupNameMatchesDuringImport
    • Default Value - False
  • EnableRetrieveMultipleOptimization
    • Default Value - 1
  • DoNotIgnoreInternalEmailToQueues
    • Default Value - False
  • SkipSuffixOnKBArticles
    • Default Value - False
  • SkipGettingRecordCountForPaging
    • Default Value – False

4. Database

5. Outlook Client
Note: Make sure you enable IIS WCF compression from point 2. IIS

6. Internet Explorer
  • Ensure CRM url is added to the local intranet zone
  • Authentication Options
    • AutoLogon
    • Windows Integrated Authentication
  • Reset Zoom level for new windows and tabs
  • Disk space for temporary internet files
    • 250MB
  • Increase IE connections to the server with Registry Keys

7. Email Router

  • for more information on how to use <proveroverrides> </proveroverrides> go to:
  • http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972150
  • If you have more than 5000 users in your environment you will need to increase email router limits on how many users to load from CRM by setting MaxRowsPerPage on the front-end server:

    • Name: MaxRowsPerPage
    • Type: DWORD
    • Value: Number_of_rows (Decimal)

    8. Monitoring

     8. Resources 

    1. [CRM 2011] Optimizing and Maintaining the Performance of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Server Infrastructure. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=27139
    2. [CRM 2011] Optimizing and Maintaining Client Performance for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and CRM Online. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23261
    3. [CRM 4][NB] Security and Authentication in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Connectivity and Firewall Port Requirements in On-Premise Deployments. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=12774
    4. [CRM4][NB] Security and Authentication in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Security Model. http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=12108
    5. [CRM4] Outlook Synchronization in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=17594
    6. [CRM4] [NB] Offline and Online Synchronization in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=2737
    7. [CRM4] Sharing Data across Microsoft Dynamics CRM Deployments. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=10151
    8. [CRM4] Optimizing and Maintaining Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=3997
    9. [CRM2011] [Email Router] How to configure the Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online E-mail Router in different deployment scenarios. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21445
    10. [CRM 2011] Deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and CRM Online Solutions from Development through Test and Production Environments. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=27824

    Thursday, 2 August 2012

    Dynamics CRM Identifying and troubleshooting performance bottlenecks with Microsoft Network Monitor

    Analyse your Dynamics CRM performance with two great Microsoft tools:
    1. Microsoft Network Monitor is a great tool used to troubleshoot applications and network traffic; Fiddler is probably the only tool you may ever use to troubleshoot traffic and HTTP requests. However if you need something more advanced to troubleshoot and inspect in detail TCP/IP packets you will need Microsoft Network Monitor or may consider Wireshark. 
    2. Microsoft Visual Round Trip Analyzer sits on top of the Network Monitor; it analyses traffic in a friendly format with a graphical representation of the client-server communications and the greatest feature generates a report with scores based on the captured traffic to easily identify network and application bottlenecks.

    Download Network Monitor

    Download Microsoft Visual Round Trip Analyzer

    1. Capturing Data
    When the software installed open Network Monitor and click New Capture > click play. This will start capturing traffic. When you done, save the captured traffic as a *.cap file.

    You can also Capture data with Microsoft Visual Round Trip Analyzer, press the play button and it will start capturing traffic, however you will only be able to view the data when you stop.

    2. Analysing Data
    Now open the Microsoft Visual Round Trip Analyzer and Open the *.cap file.

    On the first tab, you will see the Main Chart, a graphical representation of the captured activity. The vertical scale shows TCP ports from Client to Server, and horizontal scale shows the time.

    On the below example I've highlighted two ports where the CRM address was used. Each coloured area represents a packet, hovering the mouse over the coloured area displays details of the specific packet.

    Using the Zoom in button, Zoom to port: 59838 and the graph will start looking like this:

    Technical description of the graphical representation.

    On the statistics tab, you can get a breakdown of the traffic per content-type. Also the colours on this tab should represent the colours on the first tab. On the below screenshot you can see 31MB of data for Application/soap+xml; charset=utf-8 this is Outlook client traffic.

    The tab all files, displays all activity per Frame. you can use the frame number as a packet identifier on the network monitor application. Also if you highlight any of the url's on this list, you get detailed information about the packet.

    Identify one of the Frames you want to inspect in more detail from the first column. Open Network Monitor and open the same *.cap file you have loaded onto the Microsoft Visual Round Trip Analyzer. I'm going to pickup the Frame 1620, on the Network Monitor locate the Frame number 1620 and you then should be able to inspect this in greater detail as per the below screenshot:

    3. Identifying Performance Bottlenecks
    Now the interesting Analysis tab, I think this is a great feature, it scores the traffic recorded. The process is simple, the tool analysis the traffic and scores A to F, (good to bad). Displays the results on a list and highlights the scores in different colours (green, orange, red) describing what is being measured and scored. The below screenshots illustrates this feature:

    Hover the mouse over one of the scores and you get detailed information about the score.

    4. Summary 
    Hope you find this tool and this post useful.
    • Microsoft Network Monitor captures all network traffic on a specific interface
    • *.cap files can be opened by Microsoft Visual Round Trip Analyzer for a more friendly analyse of the traffic
    • Microsoft Visual Round Trip Analyzer built-in feature helps identify network and application performance bottlenecks
    • Identify specific TCP/IP frames to inspect in greater detail within Microsoft Network Monitor