Last Chance! Improving the CRM Implementation Guide

Yes! Once Again, You Can Improve Our Deployment Documentation for the Next Generation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM!

I'm developing the Implementation Guide (IG) for the next version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. As such, I need to know how our customers, partners, and field feel about the current IG documentation. Any knowledge or opinions that you can share will go a long way in helping me plan and improve the IG for this next release.

For example, it would be of great benefit to provide feedback such as:

• What do customers\partners\you like or dislike about the IG? 
• Is there information that should be in the IG but wasn't?
• Is there information that should not be in the IG but was?
• Should the IG be broken out into more specific stages of deployment (e.g. separate planning, installation, securing, operating and maintaining, etc. documents)?
• Any suggestions on how to improve the IG?

Please use the built in comment feature on this site to provide your comments and suggestions. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!

Matt Peart

Comments (11)

  1. Les Greenhalgh (capgemini) says:

    If a particular section in the install guide states that a user with domain admin privaledge is required to complete the steps involved, it would be usefull to know if the privaledges required for that user can be downgraded after the steps are complete. A lot of enteprises loath having users with domain admin privalegdes due to security implications.

    Please ensure in all cases, that you accurately describe the minimum set of permission required to accomplish the various steps.

  2. Chris Kahl says:

    Too many circular references to other portions of the documentation or to other articles on the vast array of Microsoft websites with no real attempt to address the information needed to accomplish the install or correct known issues or conditions that affect the installation.  

    Put all the information needed into the IG and clearly describe the dependencies of the underlying "technology stack" (AD, Exchange, SQL, SRS, SBS, etc.)

  3. 1. The frequent updates to the IG are really great and the team’s commitment, thanks.

    2. How about the publishing of errata sheets between releases. It would be nice to know asap if there are any errors in the guide. You guys are good but I can’t believe that every item in the guide is 100% correct.

    3. I make notes in the margins of the IG as I am using it in client installations, studying, etc. I also highlight important information or steps. The downside of this is every time you release a new version (don’t stop) I  print out the entire new version and then transfer the information to the new copy. It sure would be nice to be able to quickly see in the new release what has changed – so some guidance on which chapters are entirely new, sections, paragraphs or specific items that have changed,etc. The result would be we would be able to just print the changed chapters or make corrections to smaller sections. Some type of markup in the document itself would be great.

    4. Consequently, I could study the new/revised sections rather try and figure out from the overview you typically publish what to do (the following just isn’t detailed enough, especially the last bullet)

    The 3.0.5 update to the Implementation Guide contains several changes including the following:

    • Microsoft CRM client for Microsoft Office Outlook memory requirements update.

    • Information about SQL named instances support.

    • Pre-existing Microsoft CRM 1.2 callout support.

    • More than 30 revisions, corrections, and additions

  4. Kim Richmond says:

    It might not be relevant for the new version but it took me ages to realise that my install wasn’t happy because I was trying to use a named instance of SQL Server. I know it’s in the guide somewhere but it’s not as obvious as I think it should be…

    The sample database needs 12 licences which is a pain for those of us stuck with 10!

    And finally, how about a chapter on the data migration framework with some examples / samples.

    Other than those little niggles, I found it really usefull when doing my initial installation.

  5. Jos says:

    The next Implementation Guide should have some deeper going information about what can go wrong and how it could be solved. Like after the installation of the e-mailrouter sometimes there needs to be changes made to AD, where to change things. Now this info was not available and a few supporttickets had to be opened.

  6. Tom Glowacki says:

    I think it would be helpful to include exactly where in your Exchange organization the CRM email router needs to be installed. The docs gloss over this key piece of info. You had a great post a while back that contained this information titled "Microsoft Dynamcis CRM for the Exchange Administrator." It was the only place I found this information.

  7. pazu says:

    Definitely more info about variation of "CRMserver, ReportingService and SQL on two or three different machines", using HTTPS gotchas. How to correctly setup IE security zones for access both from intranet and from extranet for the same workstation. Recomendations for operation "demo" or "test" installation in the same intranet as "production" installation, sharing the same SQL and the same ReportingServices. Cookbook for setting up queue mailboxes in Exchange. I have used more trial-error, because info in was not clear. Pazu

  8. Amir says:

    Security, Security, Security!

    Pen tastings, ISA, Whale.

    CRM systems contain sensitive data, and also accessed internally and externally, we must refer to these situations as well.

  9. Alejandro Leguizamo says:

    There are a few elements to be considered on the implementation Guide.

    1) Companies that are not within a domain: For instance, a group os support technicians that have their own laptops, need access to their data in their crm, but their machines are not part of the domain, and they cannot connect to it at all. Specially, Outlook client.

    2) Reporting Services troubleshooting scenarios.

  10. Darren says:

    Add a section describing:

    • user security roles and settings

    • Configuration of entities

    • Having an Enterpise one – with feedback from MCS on best practices in a multi-domain, mulit-Exchange, clustered evironments etc.

    Possibly having a simplified one without the entire how to install Windows Server and setting up AD.  Feedback I have heard is that people spend too much time looking for what they really need in the document.

  11. I would like to see more in the way of concept explanations, particularly for the Exchange router, but also for other items. It would be nice to have an overview in general terms of what the Exchange router does and how it interacts with incoming and outgoing email. Also, it was never clear in installing the router when it asked for the name of the SMTP server whether it wanted the FQDN, the host name, the machine name, etc. It was only trial and error that led me to figure that out. And once the Exchange router was installed, it wasn’t at all clear how it was to be used or if it had to be run every time a new user was added to CRM, etc.

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