CRM 2011 Rollup 12 – Script Error 800a139e

This issue has been driving me crazy. It started the very moment that we applied CRM 2011 Rollup 12 to our development environment.

While working on a new CRM for a customer, I had a scenario where a Virtual Box Windows 7 operating system was generating a script error on just about EVERY mouse click on the site navigator, yet on my host Windows 7 operating system, no errors were being generated. Other team members were also not encountering anywhere near the volume of errors I was seeing?

Familiar Script Error Dialogue:

Error

Error Detail:ErrorDetail

Could not complete the operation due to error 800a139e.

I tried all the usual things like emptying IE temporary files, IE compatibility mode and other IE versions. No difference.

After sending hundreds of error reports to Microsoft :-), I searched for hints as to what could be causing this strange behaviour?

The solution is very easy to apply, but unfortunately looks like a bug as you have to disable a great feature in CRM – IM Presence.IMPresenceOption

The reason? If your operating system does not have Lync or other IM software present (Lync is the only one I tested anyway) the customer record grids fail to load correctly and the error is generated (often).

Turn off the IM Presence feature and your browser will operate fine, no errors.

CRM 2011 Form Selector is hidden within the Navigator

I regularly see this interface design flaw. If someone knows a different method to fix this that does not require customization permissions, please feel free to let me know! Otherwise, until this is fixed, my advice would be to avoid unchecking the form display feature called Show Navigator Items.

One really great feature of CRM is the ability to have different entity forms for different CRM users (based on security role). At its simplest I use this feature to leave the out-of-box information screen as default.

There is a glitch where a CRM user could select a form that has no navigator items showing, then – that’s it! They are stuck on that form. They cannot use the navigator to select a different form. This is poor design and should not happen. If multiple forms are on offer to CRM users, then they have to be able to select them as needed.

Feel free to vote to fix this on the Microsoft Dynamics Suggestions site;
http://tinyurl.com/8hoa5hk (requires windows login account)

Scenario

A business manager opens an Account record and decides to view the custom created form called Account View – Managers;

Select Form

CRM 2011 Form Selector

Notice that all the navigator items are available on the current Information form.

After selecting the Account View – Managers form, the navigator has now been hidden;

Navigator Hidden

Now the manager wants to return to the Sales Form to enter some sales information that they have learned. Oops. There is no way back!

Another cool thing about CRM 2011 is that the Outlook Client remembers the users last forms and views etc. Unfortunately this means that you cannot restart Outlook to resolve this.

The Fix

For someone with customization permissions the fix is easy.

Customize the form and select Form Properties;

Customize Form

Select the Display Tab and check the Show Navigator Items check box.

Show Navigator Items

Save and Publish the form. Note that this will be system wide and affect all CRM users.

Save and Publish

Now when the manager re-opens the Account form, the navigator is restored;

Navigator Returns

At this point you can reverse the setting and hide the navigator, but I wouldn’t….

CRM 2011 and Claims Based Authentication with Internet Facing Deployment

Introduction

So why am I writing this? Because even though there is information on this topic on the net, my findings were different to others. There were a number of annoying, time sapping, things that I had to work out for myself.
My intention was to set up the Claims Based Authentication (CBA) and Internet Facing Deployment (IFD) on a Virtual Server. To achieve this I have to deploy everything on one server as my laptop would struggle to run more than one server at a time.
Part of this information is about CBA and IFD directly, but mostly relates to CBA and IFD on the same server as CRM. This info will help those installing AD FS and CRM on the same server more.

References:

InteractiveWebs great Blog; Microsoft CRM 2011 How to Configure IFD Hosted Setup;

http://www.interactivewebs.com/blog/index.php/server-tips/microsoft-crm-2011-how-to-configure-ifd-hosted-setup/

Microsoft Tutorial configuring CBA and IFD (using 2 different Servers);

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD5qaa-G99E

Install Enterprise Certificate Authority;

http://aaronwalrath.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/install-an-enterprise-certificate-authority-in-windows-2008-r2/

Edit – adding this link to a Microsoft White Paper;

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2014/02/14/white-paper-refresh-configure-ifd-for-crm-server.aspx

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=41701

 

Things I learned the hard way

Base Server

It was more effort than it was worth to try and configure an existing image to suit. There were simply too many configuration compatibility issues to resolve.

If your server has the default web site messed with, start a clean server install.

If configuring all services on one server, don’t try to make the CRM web site have the same SSL port as the AD FS 2.0 secure (default) site.

AD FS and configuring Relay Party Trusts is REALLY fussy about any URL bindings and/or certificate issues. Keep the 2 products apart as much as possible. IIS Port numbers is how these products stay apart.

SQL Server Reporting Services

By default SQL Server Reporting Services uses its own ‘pseudo web server’ application (for want of a better name) and it binds to port 80 and SSL port 443 by default on install. Use the SSRS configuration tool to undo the 443 binding. This is only an issue if you are putting AD FS 2.0 on the SQL server.

AD FS 2.0

Microsoft has built in a lengthy delay to the AD FS 2.0 service (adfssrv) starting. I read 2 minutes delay on a post somewhere. From what I read online (sorry, lost the reference) there are known issues with the service starting too early.

Certificates

You need a perfect domain wild card certificate. You will waste hours trying to get bindings to work on specific (named) certificates. In the end AD FS and CRM won’t play nice. Certificate errors based on name will cause unresolvable problems.

To get a wild card certificate you must be (have access to) a Domain Root Certificate Authority. You must be an Enterprise Administrator to perform this task. You could purchase one easily enough but a wildcard Domain Certificate generated correctly works perfectly for this job. I am not sure on implications of connecting to the server externally and using self-generated domain certificates.

SPNs

SPNs are critical for the URLs that connect these services. Make sure that you have all the SPNs assigned to the correct server/s for the DNS listings that you are using. You will get cryptic ‘do not have permission’ errors in the responding websites and think that the installations/configurations have failed.

The command line format that you need is not that difficult:

>Setspn –A http/adfs.yourdomain.com SERVERNAME

Add a line for CRM and AUTH as well. You do not need to provide SPNs for all the CRM organisations that you might host. SPNs are primarily for the communications between AD FS and CRM so that the services trust each other.

Command Line

IISreset is your friend. Use it often. MOST of the configurations below required an iisreset to display things correctly.

Testing

Keep checking the URLs for the FederationData URL’s and CRM. They should all keep working as you go. If they stop working, don’t go further until the issue is resolved.

Foundation Server

  • A clean Server install with Windows patches applied as you go. Ideally using different servers for each service (SQL Server, AD FS 2.0 and CRM).
  • IIS server role installed and untouched with a clean default web site.
  • SSRS using port 80 only. Preferably SQL server on another server.
  • If a development server, install the Active Directory Certificate Services as an ‘Enterprise Certificate Authority’.
  • Get all your DNS and AD user account records setup.
  • Create your wild card domain certificate and set it up with the correct permissions.
  • Set all the SPNs required for the various server names and services
  • IE Sec turned off for Domain Accounts. This actually resolves most of the settings in the next point.
  • Get IE settings correct from the beginning;
    • Add your domain to Trusted Sites (or Intranet if a single demo/dev server like mine)
    • Set ‘Automatically login with current username and password’ for that IE security zone.
    • Uncheck the IE Options > Advanced > Do not save encrypted pages to disk. This stops XML rendering in your browser, something that is critical to this process.
    • I found that you had to enable ‘Compatibility Mode’ to view the XML files in IE also. Not sure how critical this is and I suspect it too is part of IE SEC?
  • Leave AD FS 2.0 and CRM installation and configuring CBA and IFD as the last things to do, and really where my info below picks up.

The CBA and IFD process

The following is the process of installing and configuring. I really do not want to do a line by line entry like InteractiveWebs wonderful info.

Use the above with the Microsoft Tutorial YouTube clip.

I referred to both often to get everything completed. Most of the ‘how to’ detail for tasks described below is covered in InteractiveWebs blog if you scan through it. This info is a little more padding around their how-to.

The CRM Server install section can be performed before installing AD FS 2.0. I have ordered things this way to keep IIS as simple as possible.

Step 1 – Get the Best Start configuration sorted out.

  • AD Service Accounts for each of the CRM Services (4 of them);
    • CRM Application Service
    • CRM Asynchronous Service
    • CRM Deployment Web Service
    • CRM Sandbox Service
  • DNS records for all the communication that is going to happen;
    • adfs.yourdomain.com (AD FS server based)
    • crm.yourdomain.com (CRM server based)
    • dev.yourdomain.com (CRM server based)
    • auth.yourdomain.com (CRM server based)
    • CRMorganisation.yourdomain.com (CRM server based)
  • Create a wild card certificate for *.yourdomain.com. (REALLY IMPORTANT; make the ‘Issued to’ AND ‘friendly name’ to be exactly *.yourdomin.com). The Microsoft YouTube demo has a great section on what to do here.
  • Apply the permissions to read the certificate for
    • NETWORK SERVICE
    • CRM Application Service domain user account
    • CRM Deployment Web Service domain user account

Step 2 – Install and setup AD FS 2.0

  • Install AD FS 2.0
  • Check the Application Pool identity and if not NETWORK SERVICE then change to that and restart IIS.
  • Do the initial configuration (not Relaying Party Trusts yet). You CAN set up the AD FS to specify Active Directory as a Claims Provider in the Claims Provider Trusts area.
  • Check that the XML returns to IE with the correct URL in the content;

https://adfs.yourdomain.com/federationmetadata/2007-06/federationmetadata.xml

Don’t go any further until you have the XML displaying perfectly in IE

Step 3 – Install CRM

We now leave the referenced tutorial information and get CRM installed in such a way as to make your life a lot easier configuring CBA and IFD. I am not going to cover detail on how to install Microsoft Dynamics CRM server or related products at this point, just note the bits that matter for the context of this article.

  • Create a new website in IIS. I called mine ‘CRMHolder’
    • Create (and point) the web site physical path to a folder in C:\inetpub\CRMHolder. Don’t worry about permissions or anything. The CRM install bypasses this. You can delete the CRMHolder folder (I know, it rhymes) after everything is working
    • Remove the http binding on port :80
    • Assign a https binding to port :444 (anything other than 443)
    • Add a host header called crm.yourdomain.com
    • Test Internet explorer can get to your new HTTPS  web site with NO certificate errors:
  • Go through and install CRM in your favourite way using the AD users for the service accounts etc.
  • Avoid making your first CRM organisation name ‘crm. This will get tangled in IIS and DNS and IFD. I used ‘CRMDefault’ for an organisation name as I like to have an out of the box install available for demos but anything that suits you would be fine.
  • Make sure that you select an existing web site and point the CRM install wizard to your ‘CRMHolder’ web site. Do NOT select the default web site.
  • Make sure that CRM is working on HTTPS://crm.yourdomin.com:444/Orgname/main.aspx (an internal URL).
  • If the above works and you have a working secure CRM server, you can delete the folder in inetpub called ‘CRMHolder’ (confirm that it is empty) and the IIS AppPool with the same name. The CRMHolder website will now be the Microsoft Dynamics CRM website and the web files will be in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics CRM\CRMWeb\
  • Install the CRM Server Reporting Extensions at the end as this is a good way to prove that SSRS is still working.
  • Delete the CRMHolder directory and Application Pool if you want to, they will not affect anything going forward.

Step 4 – Configure CRM for Claims Based Authentication

I found that this part goes quite smooth IF all the prerequisites have been fulfilled and proven ok.

  • Follow the tutorial information to configure CRM for claims based authentication. You HAVE to have the AD FS XML URL that we confirmed is working;

https://adfs.yourdomain.com/federationmetadata/2007-06/federationmetadata.xml

  • Also note the hint by IneractiveWebs to review the CRM CBA configuration log file and copy the last URL in there to somewhere handy. It will be pointing to the CRM Federation XML information.

https://crm.yourdomain.com:444/FederationMetadata/2007-06/FederationMetadata.xml

Don’t go any further until you have the XML displaying perfectly in IE – from BOTH URLs

Step 5 – Configure the Relaying Party Trust in AD FS 2.0

Now follow the tutorial to configure the Relaying Party Trust rules. The information contained there is perfect and I did not do anything different.

At the end of this process you should be able to go to your internal CRM web site HTTPS://crm.yourdomin.com:444/Orgname/main.aspx and authenticate straight through without needing to enter a username or password. You should see (very briefly) the https://adfs.yourdomain.com URL take the request and rapidly pass you through to CRM. The first login after restarting the server can take a while if you really want to see the effect but subsequent connections are really fast.

Step 6 – Configure CRM for Internet Facing Deployment

With CBA working seamlessly, we now configure CRM for Internet Facing Deployment. Overall the process is VERY similar to configuring CBA. The one part that I got really confused on and there was not much info out there, was the URLs to enter into the CRM IFD wizard.

  • Important, make sure that there are no crm.yourdomain.com host headers in the IIS Microsoft Dynamics CRM web site bindings. Leave the hostname blank and accepting requests on port 444 (or whatever port you set). This is important as it then means that your various CRM organisations will connect through and (more importantly) the Configuring Relaying Party Trusts will accept the external FederationData XML URL as unique.
  • Configure CRM for IFD (CRM Deployment Manager > etc…)
  • For the Domain Server Role URLs enter:
    • Web Application Server Domain: yourdomain.com:444 (CRM Org names get put in front of this)
    • Organization Web Service Domain: yourdomain.com:444 (CRM Org names get put in front of this)
    • Web Service Discovery Domain: dev.yourdomain.com:444 (Has nothing to do with – and should avoid – CRM organisation names but must resolve to your CRM server in DNS)
  • The External Domain URL enter (set by default):
    • External Domain: auth.yourdomain.com:444 (This resolves back to the CRM server in DNS and must NOT be:
      • The name of the Web Service Discovery Domain
      • The name of ANY CRM organisation you want to host
  • This auth.yourdomain.com:444 URL is what is used for the final AD FS 2.0 relaying party trust FederationData XML information. The URL is not used publically. It cannot, under any circumstance, be ‘crm.yourdomain.com:444/federationdata…. etc.xml’ as this is what was used for Claims Based Authentication Relaying Party Trust relationship with CRM. Otherwise AD FS will give this error:

“Error message: MSIS7612: Each party on relying trust must be unique across all relying party trusts in ADFS 2.0″

Step 7 – Configure the AD FS 2.0 IFD Relaying Party Trust

This process is exactly the same as CBA configuration other than you use the https://auth.yourdomain.com:444/FederationData….XML URL for the FederationData information.

  • Ensure that the URL resolves and displays information from the auth.yourdomain.com:444 FederationData XML URL. (Check those IIS CRM bindings – are gone – if you are getting no connection to the web site!)

Don’t go any further until you have the XML displaying perfectly in IE – from all 3 XML URLs

  • Configure the rules for IFD as per CBA and the tutorials
  • Don’t forget an IISreset after configuring AD FS.
  • Test connecting to CRM using the externally formatted URL like;
  • The Internal URL will still use AD FS to authenticate but will pass your credentials through immediately.
  • The External URL will prompt with a login screen like this:

  • Login with your domain account username and password as usual

Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Bulk Editing Records

After a customer has their CRM for a while and customer information is starting to flow in and out, a common question is “How do I bulk edit records?”

The information here is to go over the various options and help you make a decision on the best method of bulk editing.

Dynamics CRM gives a number of options for bulk editing;

  • The Bulk Edit feature
  • The workflow engine
  • Export to Excel, edit (in Excel) and import to CRM again
  • Developer interface or third party applications to write custom code and edit

Each of the methods above has their own strengths and weaknesses and suitability for the editing that you wish to achieve.

Customers may not want all CRM users to be able to mass change customer data. Each of the features is independently controlled by the Dynamics CRM security architecture.

Custom code development is an exception and requires specialist skills and knowledge to develop and falls outside the scope of this article, it is an option that should be mentioned though!

Limitations

One of the considerations to performing bulk editing (and another reason an organisation may wish to limit access) is that bulk editing bypasses any form loading and field ‘onChange’ logic. You may have a pick-list/option set that ‘If 1 is selected A is automatically populated and if 2 is selected B is automatically populated’. The A and B logic will not apply.

In fact, the CRM bulk edit feature may render fields with business logic associated as ‘read-only’ so that users cannot edit the information. The workflow option would help with this scenario.
 

Bulk Edit Feature

This is ideal for those quick modifications to a smaller number of records. Typically the set of customer records is a short list from a CRM view or Advanced Find.

How to use

Ascertain the customer records that you wish to bulk edit. Holding the control key and multiply selecting records with a mouse shift + left-click works in Dynamics CRM.

Once selected, press the Edit icon;

Edit Records

A different editing form appears;

Bulk Edit Form

Note the general information after the heading.

A Bulk Edit form appears. Simply enter the data in the field of choice. This information will apply to ALL customer records selected, replacing whatever the field contains.

Benefits:

  • Very quick and easy, available from the grid tool bar
  • Easy to see (double check) the change that is about to apply

Weaknesses

  • No good for clearing a field and making it blank (null)
  • You can only apply a single value to a field (data applies to all selected)
  • Not so good for large numbers of customer records where results ‘go onto the next page’ of the results grid

 

Using Workflow to Bulk Edit

The CRM workflow engine is a very powerful way to update customer records in batches. Workflows are a personal favourite of mine to help manipulate and protect CRM customer information.

How to use

Within the context of a one off bulk edit you prepare by creating a Manual workflow for the entity of interest. You can create a workflow from the Workflow icon on the tool bar, IF there are other workflows that are available.

If the Icon is greyed out go to the CRM Processes area in:

  • CRM Main Menu > Settings > Processes > New
  • Create a Workflow (not a dialogue) in the Category

Keep the ownership of the workflow as ‘User’ and enter in the workflow logic required.

Create Workflow

  • Save and Activate the workflow

Activate Workflow

The Workflow becomes read-only;

Workflow Read Only

From the records of interest

As with Bulk Edit, ascertain the customer list of interest and select the records.

  • Press the Run Workflow Icon on the Ribbon. If the icon is greyed out or your workflow is not in the list returned, check that your workflow has activated correctly.

Run Workflow

  • Select your newly created manual workflow and press OK.

Select Workflow

The CRM platform will go through and update the records ‘asynchronously’. This means that the changes appear over the next few minutes. You will have to refresh the view to see the changes in CRM.

Benefits

  • You can wipe (clear) a field and make in blank
  • You can apply testing logic and build in decisions to what fields get updated with what information
  • Out of the box feature that is available with relative ease
  • More certainty that the edit will be consistent if using over more records than the current view. For example if you are updating 1000 records, with 250 records per page, you will need to run the workflow 4 times. The edit will be the same for all 4 times.
  • Has the ability to take data from one field and apply it to another (copy information) on a per record basis
  • Has he ability to update a parent record
  • Has the ability to create associated records

Weaknesses

  • Care must be taken with complex workflow logic or customer data could be damaged.
  • Workflows also have the same the limitation as bulk edit in that it can only apply to records on the current Records displaying in the CRM View. You can use personal options to increase this to a maximum of 250 records but that is still a relatively low number.
  • Slower to create editing rules than Bulk Edit above.
  • The workflow creation wizard has a learning curve to overcome
  • Cannot update records that are multiple child or parent relationships (the many side on a one-to-many)

 

Export to Excel to Bulk Edit

Export and Import data is a new feature to CRM 2011 and very powerful. The one stand out major benefit of this method is the ability to export many, many more records than the current CRM view.

How to use

The following is a quick overview of how to use the Data Export and Import. There is plenty of detailed information on the net on how to do this. For example; http://tinyurl.com/9rx64xb (Andrew Jeffers)

Start with the CRM customer records that are of interest to you. The Advanced Find feature is an excellent way to get quickly to CRM views of interest and the Export to Excel feature.

Selecting the records is less important as the Export process will offer wider options on what customer records will be exported, however if you do filter records using advanced find then only those records in the results will be exported.

Export to Excel Icon

Select Records

  • It is critical to select the ‘Make this data available for re-importing by including required column headings’
  • Export the file and SAVE to a local destination
  • Open the Excel file and edit the rows to whatever values you desire.

Working in Excel

  • Save your changes

Import the file back into CRM

  • Use the Import Data tool to locate your updated file

Import Data

Upload File

  • Select Next

Review Settings and Import Data

  • Chose the options that you want, the default settings should be appropriate in most cases
  • Select Submit

Import Data - Finished

The wizard will now submit the job to the CRM system to be processed in the background (asynchronously).

  • Press Finish to close the wizard.

You can monitor the progress of the job and see what records are affected from the global Data Management area in CRM;

  • CRM main Menu > Settings > Data Management > Imports

Data Management

Data Import Job

Just like the Workflow editing, you will need to refresh any CRM views of customer records to see the edited changes

Benefits

  • Can export many customer records for edit in one go.
  • You can update different values for multiple records. For example selecting different option set values for different customers
  • Relatively easy to do and people tend to be comfortable with Excel

Weaknesses

  • Again, a very powerful feature that could overwrite customer information in error
  • Has the potential to create duplicate records
  • Will not wipe a field and leave it blank.
  • Has a much greater chance of importing spelling mistakes and errors as there is basically no validation in Excel – unless you decide to script it into Excel
  • There is an 8Mg import file size limit but assuming that you used an Export in the first place you should be ok if you are not creating thousands of customer records during the import.

 

Third Party Apps and Custom Code to Bulk Edit

I am not going to cover this in any detail. The assumption here is that there is a business need that can only be met through third party applications or bespoke development. Not really a day to day usage.

I cannot think of too many scenarios where you need custom code to bulk edit? The times that custom development might be considered are;

  • Integration with external (to CRM) systems is required (third party applications can help with this)
  • There is some customer record logic that MUST be performed before the form is saved (synchronously)
  • Complicated business logic is required on record changes that the standard application won’t cater for. For example aggregation of numbers (maths in general), date/time manipulation.

How to use

Some kind of interface would need to be provided in some way. Topic is outside the intention of this article.

Benefits

  • A multitude of complex rules and processes can be catered for
  • Can be used to update customer records in complicated relationships like Many to Many

Weaknesses

  • Requires specialist knowledge and experience to build
  • Needs a development cycle (slow, complex, testing required)
  • May not pass a business case to develop!

CRM Usergroup – How to Manage an Account

Now that we have started the Christchurch CRM User group, a number of members have contacted me saying that they were not getting the regular meeting invites, agenda’s and reminders, even though they had registered for previous meetings.

We really want members to get these messages automatically and to be able to plan the meeting ahead of time, particularly if the meeting night changes for any reason.  In the case of our group, it is typically the first Wednesday in the month – but this may not always be the case.

To ensure that you get the automated invites and reminders you need to create a MS communities account (sorry, another login and password) and assign your MS Communities account to the groups of interest to you. Once you have done this you will get the invites every month.  The good news is that you can easily register for a meeting directly from the invite e-mail without needing to login.

Step 1, Create an Account

Navigate to the Communities page:

http://www.mscommunities.co.nz/

Or the Christchurch CRM user group page:

http://tinyurl.com/8vywe9z

In both cases click the “Join Us” button or “Sign In”:

Step 2, Join the group

Once your account has been created and you have logged in, navigate to ‘Groups’ or press ‘Find a User Group’. Currently the Christchurch CRM user group is on page 3!

The interesting thing here is that it is not that intuitive as to what to do to add a group to your listing. Sure there is a message on the screen but I missed it for a while. It is not that hard once you know how, right-click on the group of interest and select  ‘Join the Group’;

Once you have joined, the right-click options change and allow you to manage your membership:

You will also see a summary of the Groups that you belong to on your Profile page.

Now you should get the invites and updates from the user group/s that you are a member of.

Please make sure that for each month you register for the meetings that you wish to attend. It really helps with catering…

See you at the meetings.

MSCRM 2011: Turning off the Reading Pane in Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook

One of the great features of the CRM Outlook Client is the ability to use a Reading/Preview pane, just like the Outlook e-mail message preview. Although this Outlook feature is one that is handy, it is often turned off to allow more screen space.For your CRM records within Outlook (particularly on smaller laptop screens) it can make sense to have the Reading Pane off so that you can see many more records in the record view.

With the CRM2011 Outlook client, there is a behaviour that could lead to user frustration. The issue is that the Reading Pane setting is not remembered between Outlook sessions. If you turn off the Reading Pane and close and re-open Outlook, the Reading Pane returns!

Here are some options to work around this behaviour.

1, Temporarily turn off the Reading Pane

This would suit anyone that wants to see more of the records in the view, yet also wants the Reading Pane for normal operation.

From any of the CRM folder views within the Outlook client simply open the ribbon section called ‘View’ and set the Reading Pane option to ‘Off’.

You can easily turn the Reading Pane back on. Restarting Outlook returns the Reading Pane to the CRM server default (see next option).

2, Set the global (system wide) options from the CRM Server settings

If there is requirement to turn off the Reading Pane for all CRM users, this can be set on a per entity basis on the CRM Server

In CRM, go to Settings > Customization > Customize the System.

  • Select the Main Entity Properties page and scroll to the bottom of the General Tab. Uncheck the ‘Reading pane in CRM for Outlook’ option.
  • Save and Publish the Entity
Entity Editor

Edit the Entity in the customisations area

Note the control is at the bottom of the entity edit form! Scroll down.

3, Per user, disable the Reading Pane for Outlook

This option is useful for people that want to have the Reading pane off by default (like myself).

The good news:

  • The Reading Pane is off when Outlook starts
  • The Reading Pane can be turned on anytime you want to use it. Note that this restores the Reading Pane everywhere within Outlook. So if you choose to enable the Reading Pane in an e-mail folder, it will return to the CRM folders e.g. Accounts.
  • Restarting Outlook clears (turns off) the Reading Pane again.
  • Outlook navigation and loading is faster
  • Fully Microsoft supported
  • Does not require registry changes or advanced configuration

The Bad news

  • The Reading Pane is off everywhere in Outlook. Not just the CRM folders!

To set the default Reading Pane setting to OFF in Outlook

  • Open the folder that contains OUTLOOK.EXE in Windows Explorer.
  • Drag and drop OUTLOOK.EXE from its folder to the Programs folder inside the start menu folder. For Windows 7 users, dragging to the Windows button pins the shortcut to the Start Menu.
  • Double-click the Programs folder to which you have just dragged Outlook.
  • Right-Click on the OUTLOOK shortcut.
  • Select Properties from the menu.
  • Go to the Shortcut tab.
  • Append ” /nopreview” (without the quotation marks) to what is in the Target: field. Also note the space before the /.
  • For example; If the Target: field contains

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE”

Make sure it reads;

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE” /nopreview

after editing.

  • For Windows 7 users, drag this new shortcut to the Taskbar to pin it.

Now open Outlook using the new shortcut and the Reading Pane will be off for the CRM folders (and everywhere else in Outlook).

Thanks to CRMDK for this hint: http://tinyurl.com/cxdqkm4



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