Archive for June, 2014

MS Dynamics CRM 4.0 and 2011 change organization and database name

June 17, 2014

You can easily change the display name of an CRM 4.0 and 2011 organization by disabling the organization in the Deployment manager and then edit the organization display name property. But changing the display name does not change the server url or database name.

Here’s how to:

  1. From CRM Deployment Manager
    1. Disable the organization.
    2. Select Edit Organization and change the Display name to <NewName>.
    3. Delete the organization.
  2. From SQL Server Management Studio
    1. To prevent the database being locked, take the organization datbase offline (Tasks –> Take offline) then bring it back online (Tasks –> Bring online).
    2. Rename the database to the new name
      1. Newname_MSCRM.
  3. From CRM Deployment Manager
    1. Choose import organization and select the newly renamed database. Follow the wizard and your done!

Forms 7 – A lightweight InfoPath alternative for SharePoint

June 16, 2014

Forms7 is a lightweight InfoPath alternative that uses a jQuery plugin that allows users to easily create forms for SharePoint 2007/2010/2013 using basic HTML.


Forms7 comes with many features that can add robustness and usability to your forms including:

– Create forms using ANY HTML editor and store form in ANY SharePoint List

– Store multiple forms on the same SharePoint list without adding additional fields

– Helper functions for loading Cascading Drop Down lists from other SharePoint Lists

– Custom validation that checks for required fields, validity of entered data, and the ability to create your own validation functions

– Forms7 can use jQuery UI for date fields and other functionality

– “Required” fields are ignored if the fields are not visible on the page

NEW in version 0.05 Reporting using the DataTables Library. Create List Views for your Forms7 forms!

Videos for more information and getting started

Introduction to Forms 7

Installation and Minimal Form

Select Boxes and Loading Select boxes with SharePoint List data for options

Converting Word Document to Forms7 Form 

Reporting/List Views of form data stored in Forms7


The Forms7 plugin will iterate over the fields in your HTML form and store the fields as a JSON object in one field in your SharePoint list. Using Forms7 you can promote fields to SharePoint list fields as well as add custom validation of fields.

Forms7 puts the power of the forms in the hands of your business again by allowing non-technical users to create attractive forms using any HTML editor and passing that HTML off to your JavaScript developers should additional functionality want to be added like conditionally hiding/showing fields.

Forms7 is a great InfoPath alternative for users wanting to move away from that technology for their basic forms needs.

An earlier version of Forms7 is currently in use by a fortune 100 company storing 9 different forms in one list with great success.

Forms7 is free, and for free, it does have it’s limitations including:

1) People Pickers are not currently supported
2) It’s in ALPHA!! I’ve not tested every possible iteration and possibility.
3) Documentation is currently light (non-existent) but this will be added as interest grows.

Forms7 uses SPServices to read and write SharePoint list data ( Future plans include a supported version that uses the Client Object Model.

How can you help?? Let me know you are interested so that I’ve got some motivation to document and improve this promising technology.

The included Sample Form will help you get started until I can get some actual documentation in place. To use the sample form without modifications:

1) copy the form and script to a “SiteAssets” document library on your site.

2) Create a list called “Contacts” and add a multiline plain text field called “Forms7Data”.

3) Create a Web Part Page called “SampleForm” under Site Pages

4) Drop a Content Editor Web Part on the page and link it to ../SiteAssets/sampleForm.html

You can see a live sample here:

A more styled example of form for same list can be found here (best viewed in Chrome because of CSS used):

More Examples and Documentation Coming Soon! 

SPIEFolder version 2.0

June 10, 2014

SPIEFolder is a tool you can use to import/export files to/from SharePoint document libraries and the local file system.
Allows you to either Import a file system folder (And all files and subfolders) into a SharePoint Document Library, and also export a SharePoint Document Library or a complete site’s content to the file system for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0/Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and SharePoint Foundation 2010/SharePoint Server 2010. This tool completely replicates the document libraries folder hierarchy to the file system when exporting, and replicates the folder hierarchy from the file system to the document library when importing.

Note: This tool ONLY exports the physical files and folders, it does NOT export metadata.

Lastest Version: 2.0 – Click to Download

Source: Keith Richie Blog

Creating reports in CRM 2011 using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

June 6, 2014

The reports in CRM 2011 were built using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).   If you are familiar with SSRS, you can build custom reports or you can highly modify the reports that come with CRM.

Here’s a few key things to know:

1.   If you are using CRM 2011 on-line, the process of connecting to the database is different than if you are using the on-premise version.

With CRM 2011 on-line, you can’t just connect to the database.   You have to use something called a “fetch-based” connection.   See this Microsoft guidance:

2.   You can create custom CRM reports in either Business Intelligence Development Studio or Report Builder.   Either tool works.   Once you have your RDL file built, you upload it to CRM using the CRM interface.  In CRM, go to Reports and click New.   For “report type”, change the dropdown box to “existing file”.   Then point to your RDL file.

3.   Microsoft wants you to build reports on a series of special database views called “filtered views”

You don’t have to.   You can still build custom reports on the original CRM database tables.   But see this Microsoft article for a discussion of filtered views:

4.  If you want your reports to automatically filter based on the CRM record you are in, there is a trick.   For example, if you have a quote open in CRM, and you want to print a custom report just for that quote, there is a trick to building the report.

CRM has a feature called “filtered views”.

See this Microsoft article:

So, in the example of building a report on a quote, when you build the report, your sql statement should say:

FilteredQuote as CRMAF_FilteredQuote

When you upload your RDL file, you must alter the properties of the report to have it show up in the quote form.  In the “categorization” section of the report properties, under “display in”, make sure you add “Forms for related record types”.

CRM will then automatically filter this custom report based on the quote that you are in.