I felt compelled to write a few words about a resource that often gets overlooked in lieu of the valuable medium that it truly is. Although there is a plethora of CRM information sources out there, such as TechNet, MSDN, Resource Center, Microsoft Downloads, and of course, this blog, there is power in the simplicity of searching a specific repository for Microsoft Dynamics CRM issues that are contained in separate topics of a short-singular nature. That repository of to-the-point topics is the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
The KB is typically my first place I search when I come across issues. Not just CRM issues, but most any issue related to a Microsoft product. I recall a time several years ago when I purchased and configured a simple uninterruptable power supply (UPS) for a home machine. I configured Windows to be aware of the UPS in Control Panel. However, doing so sent my machine into a state of restarting every 30 seconds after logging in and I could find no way to return it to its original state. I told myself, I can’t be the first to encounter this issue. So, from a functioning PC, I went directly to the Microsoft Support site and began searching. Within minutes I found the KB I needed complete with instructions on the Registry subkey to flip. I was so relieved to be back working again!
Here are a few suggestions for using the KB.
Use Dynamics CRM Solution Center as a starting point
Use this landing page for easily finding key resources and solutions. Click on Advanced Search to instantly filter your searches on Dynamics CRM only KB and community solution content. Want only KB content? Unchek the Community solutions content, Microsoft Office Online, and Microsoft Answers and Windows Online checkboxes.
Use keywords and KB numbers when searching
If you know the KB article number, you can add it to your search. Also, at the bottom of most KB articles are keywords that can narrow your searches significantly. Some are a bit cryptic, but some such as kbhowto or kbqfe can really refine your search yield. For example, when you want information about how to do something procedural, use kbhowto rather than kbqfe, which will help you find a KB for a hotfix or update rollup. For more information see How to query the Microsoft Knowledge Base by using keywords and query words.
Get KB notifications via KB Alerts
To my knowledge, Microsoft Support has not instrumented RSS for KB notifications. However, you can sign up for RSS or email notifications for CRM 4.0 released KBs from a service called KB Alertz. This service allows you so select other technologies to be added to your watch list too.