Podcast and Overview: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 14


We’re proud to announce that all packages for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 14 were released on Thursday, July 11th, 2013 to the Microsoft Download Center!  The Update Rollup 14 packages should appear on Microsoft Update on or about July 23rd, 2013.

Update Rollup 14 Build number:

5.0.9690.3557

Update Rollup 14 Microsoft Download Center page

Here’s the “Master” Microsoft Dynamics Knowledge Base article for Update Rollup 14: (KB 2849744). Going forward, the plan is for the Master Knowledge Base article for CRM 2011 Update Rollups to be published a bit in advance of release to aid planning.

On Friday, July 12th, 2013 Greg Nichols and Ryan Anderson from the Microsoft Premier Field Engineering provided information about:

  • The release of Update Rollup 14 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
  • New fixes made available In Update Rollup 14
  • Collateral available about Update Rollup 14 and CRM Update Rollups in general
  • The upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, codenamed “Orion”

at 9 AM Pacific time on BlogTalkRadio during their Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 14 Podcast.

Note regarding Podcasts: You can make our CRM Premier Field Engineering podcasts available on Zune by using the RSS feed below.  In the Zune software, go to Collection -> Podcasts and click on the Add a Podcast button on the lower left, then enter the url for the RSS feed: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pfedynamics.rss. After that, you can adjust the series settings like any other podcast, so you can sync with your smartphone or Zune.

 

The “CRM Update Rollup Collateral Page

For pointers to download locations, release dates, build information, and CRM Premier Field Engineering blogs and podcasts for all Microsoft Dynamics CRM Update Rollups, visit the “CRM Update Rollup Collateral Page

Update Rollup 14 news!

Unlike some earlier Update Rollup releases like Update Rollup 6 and 12, Update Rollup 14 does not add major functionality changes. It is a collection of fixes for issues reported by customers or found by Microsoft’s Engineering Team, plus changes to provide support for related technology components. No new support for the technology stack that CRM 2011 relies upon was added via Update Rollup 14, but as per the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Compatibility List Update Rollup 13 provided support for:

Note: to install Microsoft Dynamics CRM on a server running Windows Server 2012, you must install the latest SHS (Self-Healing Setup) package hosted on the Microsoft Update site when you are prompted to “update install files” during CRM setup. This SHS package is also needed for upgrading a Windows Server to Windows Server 2013 when CRM 2011 is already installed.  For more details on the last scenario, see:

How to upgrade a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server application to Windows Server 2012

Update Rollup 12 news that you need to know because Update Rollups are cumulative, so these significant changes are also in Update Rollup 14!

  • UR12 includes the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update”  See:
  • Additional cross-browser compatibility provided
    • The December 2012 Service Update component of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12 introduces additional browser compatibility for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari
  • Indexes added to support the Update Rollup 10 Quick Find Optimizations
    • Update Rollup 12 includes new indexes for the following entities in the Quick Find Search Optimization feature. To fully reap the benefits of the platform changes included in Update Rollup 10, indexing is needed.  The indexes created are listed below:
      • Cases
      • Opportunities
      • Competitors
      • Contact (the Phone Number fields)
      • Business Unit
      • Connection
      • Connection Role
      • KB Article
      • Lead
      • Product
      • Sales Literature
    • These indexes are created during the Update Rollup 12 installation and you may notice that part of the installation will take longer to complete. The reason for this is that the indexes need to be populated and based on the size of your dataset the completion time will vary
  • Enhancements to Activity Feeds
    • The enhancements made to the activity feeds include a new feature called Like/Unlike
    • With this feature, you can express your immediate feedback about a post
    • For more information, see Like/Unlike
  • Updated User Experience for Sales and Customer Service and Product Update Functionality for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
    • The Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update introduces a variety of new features and functionality, including an updated user experience. For Sales and Customer Service users, the updated user experience provides a new process flow visualization, which appears at the top of the forms, such as the Opportunity , Lead or Case form. The process flow guides users through the various phases of the sales and customer service processes
    • For trials and subscriptions initiated after December 2012, the updated Sales and Customer Service user experience is included by default. Existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers have an option of adding the updated user experience to the Opportunity , Lead and Case forms by installing the Product Updates. This lets Administrators install selected feature updates based upon the specific needs of their organizations. The Product Updates are installed by using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web application; they cannot be installed programmatically
    • For more details, see What’s New for Developers for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
  • Custom Workflow Activities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
  • Developer Toolkit Support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2012
    • The Developer Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online now supports Microsoft Visual Studio 2012. The installer can be found in the SDK download in the sdktoolsdevelopertoolkit folder
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Software Development Kit (SDK) updated for Update Rollup 12 (version 5.0.13)
  • Bulk Data Load performance enhancements
    • To support bulk data load scenarios, this release introduces the ExecuteMultipleRequest message. This message supports the execution of multiple message requests using a single web method call. ExecuteMultipleRequest accepts an input collection of message requests, executes each of the message requests in the order they appear in the input collection, and optionally returns a collection of responses containing each message’s response or the error that occurred. Processing requests in bulk results in lower network traffic and higher message processing throughput
    • For more information, see Use ExecuteMultiple to Improve Performance for Bulk Data Load
  • Activity Feeds changes
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Activity Feeds provide real-time notifications and quick sharing of information through short updates. These updates appear on your personal wall in the What’s New area of the Workplace . Activity Feeds enable you to follow and learn about important activities that take place around people, accounts, contacts, leads, and anything else that you care about
    • Updates can be posted manually by you, or automatically based on predefined system rules through a workflow. Activity Feeds can also be posted to by external applications through the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web services API. Activity Feeds expose Microsoft Lync real-time presence functionality so that you can initiate communication activities such as IM, phone calls, and emails. For more information, see Activity Feeds Entities
  • More performance and stability-related fixes, including fixes to the CRM Client for Microsoft Outlook
  • Contains all hotfixes / updates released in earlier Update Rollups
  • Quick Find performance optimizations and EnableRetrieveMultipleOptimization SQL query performance optimizations (originally released in Update Rollup 10)

For Microsoft Dynamics CRM business solutions that include an entity with a large dataset, record retrieval and grid rendering performance can be negatively impacted for users that do not have global access to all records associated with that entity. Code changes to mitigate this behavior first appeared in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, and have been fine-tuned since then.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 10 and later, big advancements have been made to optimize the performance of queries against large datasets by adjusting specific “statistical” settings to address the issue. Should this fail to achieve desired levels of performance, adjust the value associated with EnableRetrieveMultipleOptimization (ERMO) setting. You may have heard these changes described at this year’s Convergence.

A first step in efforts to optimize the performance of queries against large data sets is to make adjustments to the “statistical” settings that affect the behavior of RetrieveMultiple queries. Although you can configure these settings by modifying the Windows Registry (under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftMSCRM) on the each of the Web servers that is used in a deployment, we recommend that these settings be configured by using the OrgDbOrgSettings, which will ensure that the configuration applies to a specific organization. For additional information about configuring these settings by using the OrgDbOrgSettings, and to download the tool that makes the OrgDbOrgSettings changes you desire, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article titled “OrgDBOrgSettings Tool for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011” (KB 2691237)

If making adjustments to these settings does not yield satisfactory levels of performance, then consider adjusting the value of the EnableRetrieveMultipleOptimization (ERMO) setting. The ERMO setting is commonly used to limit the duration of certain long running queries; specifically, to overcome issues related to local or deep business unit access within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 security roles.

Many more details describing appropriate scenarios for the available settings are already available via the Microsoft Download Center in a revised version of the whitepaper “Optimizing and Maintaining the Performance of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Server Infrastructure“, in the sections “Optimizing the Performance of Queries against Large Datasets” and “Optimizing the Performance of Quick Find Queries”. The details will appear in the MSDN version of this whitepaper as quickly as possible.

 

NEW RELEASE REGARDING OrgDbOrgSettings!

You’re probably familiar with the OrgDbOrgSettings command line tool (mentioned above) released by the CRM Product Group in the “Tools” package that is updated and released with each set of Update Rollup packages.  With it, you configure some .xml and call your .xml with the command line utility described in KB 2691237. However, you may be daunted by configuring this .xml, to the point that you may not use the tool, or use it minimally – not exploring the many options outlined in KB 2691237 that may be of use to you.  Well, the Microsoft Dynamics PFE team now has another option for you!  By popular demand, our esteemed CRM PFE colleague Sean McNellis has developed a tool  – a CRM 2011 managed solution – that provides you with an easy-to-use GUI with which you can configure all of the options outlined in the Knowledge Base on a per-tenant basis.  Feel free to download it, install it, and check it out… I sure use it!

This is a FREE downloadable tool – the “Dynamics CRM 2011 Organization Settings Editor“.  Check it out; the download page has screenshots and information that will help you make good use of the tool.  Sean has also published a Premier Field Engineering blog: “Azure Mobile + JavaScript + WebResources = Easy Editing of OrgDBOrgSettings in Dynamics CRM 2011!” to share more details on the tool.

Thanks, Sean!

 

General Update Rollup Notes:

  • Testing Update Rollups: Best Practices
    • Premier Field Engineering recommends treating Update Rollup 12 testing like to a new, major CRM release because of the introduction of new functionality introduced with the December 2012 Service Release. Do all the standard testing like you generally do for all UR’s, but then also all the functional and performance testing that you would do with a new major release
    • The “general rule of thumb” for test plans for Update Rollup installs are:
      • Test any changes in a pre-production environment BEFORE introducing into your production environment. Manage your risk!
      • Consider using the Performance Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to simulate your production user load in your testing environment, to shake out any performance-related issues early
      • Test using the permissions your end-user roles (most restrictive) have. Testing with CRM Administrator permissions, for example, does not give you the complete picture
      • Concentrate on your SDK customizations, JavaScript, ISV add-ons – basically anything that’s not OOB functionality or customizations done from within the UI
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Custom Code Validation Tool
    • Consider familiarizing yourselves with this tool… though the download page mentions Update Rollup 9, it hasn’t had much utility until now since the UR9 changes mentioned in the summary below were never released until UR12:
      • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Custom Code Validation Tool
      • Use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Custom Code Validation Tool to identify potential issues with custom JavaScript in JavaScript libraries and HTML web resources. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Q2 2012 Service Update and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 9 include significant changes in the web application in order to be able to support a variety of browsers such as Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. When using JavaScript code in Dynamics CRM, it is possible that some code will stop working or cause an error when you upgrade. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Custom Code Validation Tool helps identify potential problems so that a developer can fix them
  • Update Rollup 12+ require Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • Update Rollup 6 established a new servicing baseline. This will enable uninstalls of some future CRM 2011 Update Rollups, but this also means that Update Rollup 6 is prerequisite for installation of all future Microsoft CRM 2011 Update Rollups starting with Update Rollup 7
  • A database created with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 6 or a higher version cannot be imported to a deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 5 or an earlier version. This scenario is not supported.  Best practice is to import databases or customizations between environments that are at the same Update Rollup level
  • As Update Rollup 14 is cumulative, containing all changes released in earlier Update Rollup releases, it also contains the Dynamics CRM Q4 Service Update features released via Update Rollup 6.  Some of these features include:
    • Outlook Client Updates:
      • Dialog Enhancements
      • Data Visualization Enhancements:
        • Chart Designer Enhancements
        • New Chart Types
      • Data Management En
Comments (4)

  1. Dave Hale says:

    Do you know when CRM Online will get Update Rollup 14?  We have a case in with Microsoft as were unable to update our existing workflows with email steps currently and they told us to wait till CRM Online is updated. Thanks!

  2. Amy Thorne says:

    Was the system setting introduced in UR10 about limiting the records that could be returned by a quick find meant to be removed in UR14? Between UR13 and UR14, the setting seems to have disappeared from the user interface, and we're encountering the error described at social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/error-on-system-settings-dialog

  3. @Dave, you may want to open a CRMOnline support incident to ask, I am not sure when CRM Online will receive fixes from UR14.  

    @Amy, was this an imported organization or an org that was already imported at the time of the UR14 installation?  

    Thanks!

    Sean

  4. Amy Thorne says:

    After looking into it more, I realize I'm completely wrong about the issue we have being related to UR14. We have two environments both with UR13, one has the issue and the other doesn't. The one with the issue was upgraded to UR13 and then the organization was imported. I'm not sure how the data got into the environment that does not have the issue, but I suspect it was in there before we upgraded to UR13.