Connector for Microsoft Dynamics V3 released today


Connector for Microsoft Dynamics V3 (3.0.217.1) released today!  This release includes a major update to the MSDI database and Connector for Microsoft Dynamics service, designed to improve efficiency of the service as well as making it easier for customers and developers to interact with it. This release also addresses some of the key suggestions that you have given us regarding your V2 RU 3 deployments.  Additional features and updates are listed later in this post.

Release Highlights FAQ:

  1. Is it possible to save filters with my map(s)?
    1. Yes, with version 3, filters are saved with maps and are included when creating a map from a file that has a filter
  2. Do I have to always stop and restart the service every time I want to delete something or update the “Check for data modified after” time?
    1. No, stopping the service with every change isn’t required in version 3
  3. Can a developer directly interact with the service, say to change settings, create maps, or immediately force a map to run?
    1. Yes, developers have more flexibility in how they interact with the version 3 service
  4. Has the MSDI database schema changed at all?
    1. Yes, please be sure to backup your MSDI database before upgrading in the event that you need to roll back to a previous version
  5. Are the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics configuration settings still stored in the MSDI database?
    1. No, they have been moved to the ConnectorServiceHost.exe.config file in the Connector’s installation directory

Feature list (all of the features listed for all previous releases are still included):

  • Filters are now saved with maps and are imported when creating a map from a file that has a filter saved in it
  • When deleting an integration, site, or map the service no longer needs to be stopped and restarted
  • When changing the “check for data modified after” date for a map, the service no longer needs to be stopped and restarted
  • Connector for Microsoft Dynamics service is now a WCF service that is run inside of its own process host, allowing developers to programmatically interact with the service
  • Maps can now be run “on demand” using the “RunMapNow()” API on the updated Connector for Microsoft Dynamics service.  Stay tuned for a blog post demonstrating how to do this programmatically.
  • System handle counts and memory consumption have been reduced for long running integrations
  • Connector for Microsoft Dynamics client responsiveness has been improved
  • Performance when integrating to Microsoft Dynamics CRM online has been increased
  • The MSI now validates the SQL server version, as well as the other system requirements
  • “Socket Connection was aborted” errors when integrating using WCF services are now avoided

Release notes:

  • Supported Microsoft SQL Server versions have changed slightly:
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP4
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP2
    • Microsoft SQL server 2008 R2
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Supported Microsoft Windows Server versions:
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 SP2
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Connector for Microsoft Dynamics client no longer communicates directly with the MSDI database, rather it communicates exclusively with the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics service.  This means that if you stop the service, the client will stop working as expected and must be closed and restarted after the service has been restarted.  It also means that the ability to interact directly with the service from the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics client has been removed.
  • After upgrading an existing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics installation to V3, you will need to re-enter the passwords that are listed in the adapter settings for the default settings and in the “Settings” node for any integrations that you created in a prior version of Connector for Microsoft Dynamics
  • If you create new custom adapters using the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics SDK, after deploying those adapters to a V3 system you will need to restart the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics service (be sure to close the client first) to detect the new adapter on the system, with previous versions this restart was not required
  • While we have made every effort to make the upgrade process as seamless as possible, we still encourage you to test the upgrade in a non-production environment first to ensure that all of your customizations continue to work as expected before moving the upgrade into production.

Note:  if you are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or are planning on upgrading your on-premises deployment to the update rollup 13 update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, you will need to continue to use the classic forms for the Account, Contact, and Sales Order entities and ensure that the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics solution you have loaded in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is at least version 1.0.1603.3.

To download this release for your Microsoft Dynamics ERP system, go to CustomerSource:

  • Connector for Microsoft Dynamics AX
    • The XPO that is required to enable support within Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 requires that Cumulative Update 1 for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 be installed
    • The XPO that is required to enable support within Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 is different than the XPO for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and is listed as a separate download
    • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 CU 1 is fully supported
  • Connector for Microsoft Dynamics GP
    • This version no longer supports new integrations using Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0, upgrades to existing integrations using Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 are supported
    • All versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 and GP 2013 are still fully supported as either new or existing integrations
  • Connector for Microsoft Dynamics NAV
    • This version requires Microsoft Dynamics NAV hotfix 2597312 and hotfix 2721512 when integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2
  • Connector for Microsoft Dynamics SL

Would you like to know more?  Check out the User Guide for your ERP system and begin your installation preparation. I know, I know; reading documentation can be arduous. But you know what they say: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So read the provided documentation to avoid the common mistakes and save yourself the support call.  The user guides for all of the ERPs have been updated for this release and all include a V3 upgrade sections that you should be familiar with before upgrading your existing integrations.  All of the known issues documents have been updated as well so please have a look at those too, they can all be found on the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics download pages.

Comments (18)

  1. Alfred says:

    V3 is like it predecessors still a mysterious tool. Spending quite some time it still has dark, deep holes. V3 for example uses 15…20% CPU resources even doing no integration. Why? The integration to 2011 Online is becoming very slow. Error messages during synchronization are still big mystery. You have to be a IT expert and know all about XML, Event logs and Log file reading to work with this tool Functional Application managers see the dragon in front of them. Still a lot of work to do Microsoft!

  2. thehetz says:

    @Alfred – first, I am very sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience with the V3 release and I will try to address your issues / questions next.

    The CPU consumption at idle times is NOT something we have encountered in our test environments and I believe that we already have a call setup to investigate this situation with your customer.

    We actually did quite a bit of work in V3 to improve the performance when integrating with Microsoft Dynamics CRM online, however recent changes to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM online platform maybe causing some of the issues that you are seeing.  In speaking with our support engineers, there have might be others who have reported decreased performance with the online platform, regardless of using Connector for Microsoft Dynamics.

    When attempting to provide you with as much information as possible about an exception in the system, Connector for Microsoft Dynamics is somewhat at the mercy of the end systems' error reporting capabilities.  In other words, Connector for Microsoft Dynamics can only present as much information as the end system is providing it.  That being said, if there are specific examples that you can provide us on our call of areas for improvement the team would certainly welcome that feedback.

    In what situations do you find yourself needing to go into XML to work with the tool?  Are you hand editing maps or configuration files?  If so why?  These are all pieces of constructive feedback that the product team would love to hear.

    I look forward to our call and thank you for your feedback.

  3. Alfred says:

    @thehetz,  sorry for the late response; holiday times!

    we already gave details on the issues we have with V3 and the upgraded platform via our CRM partner to the development team. I leave out all the details, but V3 in combination with CRM2011 is causing serious performance issues. There is a issue inV3, either in the software, the setup, local setup of on the Online platform. In-depth investigation is needed, urgent… because it is direct related to V3 in combination with the Online upgrading.

    REG:113070310561700 Performance after installation latest connector

  4. thehetz says:

    @Alfred – thank you for logging a support case.  When you say Online upgrading, are you referring to the new CRM beta program?  

  5. Surmeet Singh says:

    Please also share how to use Connector Web service introduced in this version. I tried using it but most of functions are returning null, so if some sample code is available it will be good.

  6. thehetz says:

    @Surmeet – have you tried using the WCF Test Client application to view the service interface?  

  7. Dillon says:

    Are there capabilities available with V3 for debugging the filter code that is system generated?

    For instance when attempting to filter by "Owning Business UnitName" and providing the precise string, the record is filtered out, when supplying the "Owning Business UnitId" with the create guid function of the same business unit, the record is no longer filtered and written properly from CRM to AX.

    Would be helpful if there was easy access to dropping in breakpoints and understanding what the system considers is receiving that is breaking the logic.

    Cheers,

    Dillon

  8. thehetz says:

    @Dillon – there currently isn't a way to "break into" the filter code while debugging.  However you can see the code that is generated by going tot he proper tab on the filter expansion area in the Connector mapping client.

  9. Dillon says:

    @thehetz – thanks for the reply, I was able to read through the generated code which led me to wanting to watch the code run as logically everything the generated code is working with would return the appropriate values if I were to run a console application requesting the same information from Dynamics CRM.

    In that case can you please help explain what the typical error logs are that should be created from a record that fails to integrate?  Currently everytime a record fails it references the error log, but the only logs generated in "ProgramData/Microsoft Dynamics/../Logs" relate to running the client and configuration but never record failures as these are never updated or modified when a record fails.

    All config files have been set to verbose error logging.

    Cheers.

  10. thehetz says:

    @Dillon – the log being referenced here is the AX AIF exception log in the AX client.

  11. apa says:

    Hi everyone,

    and excuse me if it isn't the right place to ask. Could i try the Dynamics Connector with a trial CRM online?

    Kind Regards

  12. thehetz says:

    @apa – yes you can use Connector for Microsoft Dynamics with a free trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM online.  Once you sign up for Microsoft Dynamics CRM online you will be given access to Customer Source and this is where you can download Connector.

  13. Matthew says:

    Exploring the possibility of pushing product data from CRM to NAV as it the demo that I've got doesn't allow it. The adapter that the connector was using is CRM40.dll. Just wondering whether if the newer version would allow this or I need to write a custom adapter to achieve this. If the latter is true, would there be any samples code that I can refer to? The only samples that I could find is for GP to CRM which I'm not sure how I can use it to apply to my scenario.

    Thanks

  14. thehetz says:

    @Mathew – the out of the box adapters would not support this.  The standard integration between NAV and CRM take the stance that NAV is the master of all inventory data and the CRM users' privileges to the product catalog are set to be read only during the configuration of the CRM organization.  Do this would require a custom adapter to be built for CRM.  We currently do not have any samples of how this could be done.

  15. avasqueztieck says:

    Hi,

    I'm having a problem with deploying a custom adapter to the Connector.

    Background:

    Custom AX 2009 adapter to expose Custom Entities

    Developing a PoC adapter to estimate feasibility of the project.

    The problem:

    I developed a basic custom adapter and after following the SDK guide to deploying I don't see my adapter on the Dynamics Connector. I decided to deploy the Sample adapter that comes with the SDK also following the documentations, but again I can't see the sample adapter in the Connector.

    Any help would be very appreciated

    Thanks in advance.

  16. thehetz says:

    @avasqueztieck – is the adapter that you are deploying string named signed?  it will need to be in order for it to be discovered.  You will also need to restart the service after deploying the sample adapter in order for the service to detect it has been placed on the system.

  17. CRM says:

    I'm having problem with MS CRM 2013 where the submit button in the account and contact form does nothing and doesn't sync back to AX 2012 R3.

  18. thehetz says:

    @CRM – We need much more information in order to help with an issue like this.  Please open a support request with Dynamics support in order to troubleshoot this issue more.

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