A Matt Yates blog about all things CRM!

Category Archives: CRM 2011

Moving Form Labels Above a Field in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

I just stumbled across a post that Jamie Miley (MVP) published to his LinkedIn page about moving form labels from the side of field to above a field. This becomes most useful when trying to format sections that contain three or four columns, as the text becomes disjointed and difficult to read.

I didn’t even know this feature was there! Thanks for the update Jamie (see link to his post below)

Life and Technology: Moving Form Labels Above the Field Instead of on Side of Field in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011


New CRM 2011 SDK v5.0.5 includes development toolkit!

The new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Software Development Kit (SDK) v 5.0.5 came out yesterday including the eagerly awaited CRM 2011 development toolkit (in beta version)!

The toolkit can be found here

The Developer Toolkit is a set of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 integration tools designed to accelerate the development of custom code for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and CRM Online. The toolkit supports the creation and deployment of Plug-ins, custom workflows and CRM 2011 web resources and developers can write all of their code from within Visual Studio and deploy them to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server.

The toolkit also allows for a new Visual Studio solution type called CRM Package, which contains all of the plugins, workflow assemblies and web resources to be deployed as well as their deployment settings, meaning that there is no need to register via the Plugin Registration tool as all of the components can be deployed straight from Visual Studio!

Restoring a CRM 2011 database (SQL Enterprise to SQL Standard)

I came across this issue about a week ago when creating a replica vmware image for undertaking some testing in one of my projects. I was attempting to replicate a customer’s Live CRM environment on my image in order to do a bit of testing when i ran into an error i hadnt seen in a while!

“Database cannot be started in this edition of SQL Server”

A quick Google and i found this Microsoft Support article It turns out that if the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 installer detects SQL Enterprise, it will automatically leverage its partitioning functionality. More specifically, the installer automatically creates a partition for the auditing data (AuditBase table). So if you’re using SQL enterprise, this is a good thing as the partition is beneficial from both a performance as well as management perspective. The auditing feature is still functional on SQL Server Standard edition, however there is no ability to delete an entire partition of the audit history.

So a couple of things to note…

You’ll notice that the error states that the database failed to start and not failed to restore. The restore cannot detect any mismatch in SQL versions so if you are restoring over the top of another database then this means that by the time you receive the error the database has already been restored and the database is unusable.

The Microsoft Knowledge Base article at the beginning of this post includes a script to run against the SQL Enterprise database to remove the partition prior to restoring to the database environment with SQL Server Standard Edition.

Remember, always back up the databases before making any changes.

‘Spell Checking’ in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

I have been looking for a decent free ‘spell checker’ for use with CRM for a while now. IESpell has always been the default choice in a limited ‘freebie’ market of spell checking software but i never felt completely satisfied with it.

So you can all imagine my delight when i stumbled across two blog posts from Daniel Cai (here) and Ben Hosk (here) talking about a new Internet Explorer add on called ‘Speckie’ which also works with Microsoft Dynamics CRM fields!! I have been testing it over the weekend and it seems to work really well. It also uses the Google Chrome language dictionaries to navigate the obvious UK/US spelling floors!

Extract of Daniel Cai’s post below:

Add Spell Checker to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Application

 In CRM projects, I often hear the complaints about the lack of spell checking feature in CRM application. Most business users tend to believe it’s the application’s fault for not having such important feature. In fact, spell checking should be something offered by browser. If you have ever tried any other browsers in the market, you may have noticed that most browsers (Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari) nowadays are offering spell checking feature out-of-the-box. IE has been pretty much the only exception among those modern browsers in this perspective.

I was previously aware of an IE addon called ieSpell which offers spell checking solution in IE. But it is far from being an ideal solution because it doesn’t instantly highlight any wrong spellings, which in my opinion makes it almost useless.

I happened to come across another free IE addon called Speckie this week which I believe provides a much better spell checking solution in IE. So I thought I should share with everyone here.

After you have installed Speckie, you may notice that Speckie doesn’t perform spell check for single line textbox field by default. If you want to enable this option, you can go to IE Tools menu, and click “Speckie Options“.

Speckie Options

Then you can check “Enable spell check in single line edit fields” option, and click “Apply” button.

Configure Speckie

After you have done so, you should restart your browser in order for the option to take effect.

The following are a few screenshots in action.

  • Speckie spell checking for MSCRM4 textbox field

Spell Check for CRM4 Textbox Field

  • Speckie spell checking for MSCRM4 notes field

Spell Check for CRM4 Notes Field

  • Speckie spell checking for MSCRM4 textbox field

Spell Check for CRM2011 Textbox Field

I have only been using this addon for a couple of days, I cannot endorse the quality and reliability of this addon. But I am so far very happy with it.

Hope this helps.