New Microsoft CRM VPC?

Hi Guys,

Right now I am working together with Ben Vollmer and Michael Rich to create a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM VPC, since the old one is going to expire in the near future. The new base Microsoft CRM V3C image is going to be built with Windows Server 2003 R2, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 in combination with Microsoft Office 2007. I am curious what you guys would like to see in this new image. Please drop suggestions, code examples, tips and tricks in the comment area!

Disclaimer: This does NOT mean that every comment is going to be applied in the new Virtual PC image, but we will do our best.

Update: Read the details for the upcoming image here

Comments (47)
  1. Anonymous says:

    CRM SDK for developer would also be useful

  2. Anonymous says:

    How about including the business connector for external SQL access?

  3. How about implementing more of the things that are displayed in the CRM team blog and what about the covergence/channel 9 map demo?

  4. Frank T says:

    Maybe outside the scope of what you are doing but….GP & GP Connector…"Better Together"!

  5. mennotk says:

    Keep the comments coming guys, thus far we have 4. Please explain as detailed as possible what you want to see. Would love to see code examples as well.

  6. Dave says:

    I would love to see an example of hirarchial picklish example. Also some smar way of managing picklist would be better.

    Integration with live maps would be wonderful.

    More later.

    Dave Banerjee

  7. Michael says:

    Running off Vista. Its great to show the CRM gadgets to new customers.

  8. Michael 2 says:

    How about Mappoint integration to show som cool integration possibilities?

  9. MJ says:

    Windows SharePoint Services would be nice… one could demonstrate the List Webpart or the recently published example how to integrate file system objects within a CRM tab.

  10. David Clayton says:

    MOSS and the CRM Analytics pack would be good

  11. mennotk says:

    How about the idea of having one jscript that enables phoneformatting specifically for your country. I am in the US and I can use the US phoneformatting, but this one does not apply to Dutch phone formatting. If any one outhere has such an example, please share!

  12. If you are only going to include VS 2005, you should include Arash Gahanie’s development stuff for creating callouts in VS2005 for CRM 3.

    Also a god index of what you have included, would be nice, so that we know where to look :).

    SharePoint integration is a must-have in my point of view.

  13. Amir says:

    How about including the CRM Analytics pack with Excel Services and BSM.

    Also a richer customer self service portal would be usefull.

  14. the current vpc image won’t run on my vista notebook with 2 gig of RAM, it comes up about 200M short.

    Lets make sure that we have a version that will run in this hardware configuration.


  15. sketchy says:

    Something that shows folks how to get started with the SDK would be nice.

  16. eric_statera says:

    Address validation web services, map integration and sharepoint integration are all huge and should be included to show the extensibility.  I would also like to see the Analytics foundation implemented to show the reporting power, especially the predictive analytics for up-sell capability.  Incorporating the ability to launch the SNAP word proposal from the Quote or Order screen populated based on that entities values would demo nice.

  17. SNAPs and of course CRM Analytics and SharepointServices.

  18. Caching Tool from Joris Kalz would be great.

  19. Laptop Client and the Mobile Express Client would per perfect!

  20. Laptop Client and the Mobile Express Client would be perfect!

  21. Jason Wickman says:

    I would suggest we make it easy to demonstrate different roles removing the domainadministrator. EG – Outside Sales, Inside Sales, Sales Manager, VP of Sales/Mkt and CEO(Analytics).  We are always asked to do this so our partners are customizing every demo leveraging our base VPC image.  It would also be good to incorporate ISV solutions so that we can demonstrate key industry functionality if necessary.

  22. Andy Milner says:

    Lets try to make sure the reports have some data behind them.  There is nothing worse then showing the cool account overview report and not having upcoming activities or any cases against it.  Same with campaign performance report, its great when it has data to show.

  23. Anoniem says:

    Don’t cheat with the Outlook client, like you did in the may edition ;-), because it was a bit harder to localize the CRMsystem (in Dutch and French).

    All sources of the modifications would be handy, I loved the Word-Quotecreator, but we couldn’t localize it, which was a shame, because it has some potential and also educational for us to learn some VSTOprogramming.

  24. mennotk says:

    Anoniempje what do you mean with "cheating"? I was not the one that made the last VPC so please clarify what you mean by cheating.

  25. Hi Menno,

    Guess most of us use the demo environment for developing’, so basically you would need as less as possible. Other interesting features should be available, but optional to install. I think its nicer to install things yourself, then try to uninstall features you don’t need.

    If you install all possible options, the image would need a lot of gigs..

  26. Anoniem says:

    Sorry for the wrong addressing. There was a laptopversion installed and they changed a dllfile (mapi32.dll) in order to let it work. But after an uninstallation (to localize), the exact environment couldn’t be recreated easily. So we had to install the desktopversion instead.

  27. Jani says:

    SNAP, CRM Analytics, MOSS integration.

    Is there any Office Communication Server 2007 integration available?

  28. Brian says:

    Please add the nice CRM to Sharepoint document library.  Everyone wants to see it and has heard about it.  

    Is this VPC more as a sales tool or a development tool.  I think that will change how it is designed and what is put on it.

  29. Jason Wickman says:

    I also read about about SilverLight today – is there anythying we can do to showcase this?  Also – I’m frequently asked to show "pop-up" screens based on certain criteria – today we do this with workflow and items end up on the ‘activities’ screen.  It would be great to showcase sales process via pop-ups – for example – a call comes into inside sales – they create a quote and a pop-up message identifies cross-sell, upsell opportunities – or flags the customer as not satisfied and we need to offer a discount to make up for poor cust sat in the past.

  30. Jason Wickman says:

    I also read an amazing article in Harvard Busines Review about the next phase in CRM which is the concept of Customer Experience Management (;jsessionid=BSRZG54Q3G40CAKRGWCB5VQBKE0YOISW?id=BR0702&referral=2455&_requestid=16954) which is the concept of plotting out in a quadrant a view of customers based on future revenue potential compared to level of customer satsifaction – lastly the key component is having an action plan in increase cust.sat.  I see RightNow ( leveraging this as a leading differentiator over MS or

  31. marcel says:

    BizTalk Server 2006 and SharePoint would be great.

  32. BradC says:

    Wow, everyone saying MORE MORE MORE!! I say LESS LESS LESS!!

    The MS CRM VPN is by far the LARGEST virtual image I run for product demos (both in virtual drive size, and RAM requirements).

    Please spend some time trimming down the installation of Windows 2003 (removing services, uninstalling components, etc). I hear Jeff Atwood is pretty good at this kind of thing:

  33. says:

    Please design it with future integration with the GP9 and/or GP10 demos in mind.

  34. Adam says:

    Create more KPI’s within the sharepoint console for the prospects to see. The graphs are nice, however we need more KPI releated data showing the health of the business.

    Take a look at NetSuite Dashboards, the KPI data they display on each dashboard is invaluable. We need more of this.

  35. Any updates on the MS CRM VPC being released any time soon?

  36. Frank T says:

    I dont know if it makes a difference.  A lot of people complain about the performance of the VPC.  One thing I noticed is that the .LDF log file for the database is 1.6 G when you unpack the image.  Maybe do a shrink on the log file before shipping.  This could be adding to the performance hit people experience.

  37. Walter Cohn says:

    Embedding the CRM list webpart in the sharepoint page would be neat to show.  

    I also concur with including a mappoint component.  Tie it to the account record.

    Tell Ben I said ‘hi’.

  38. pjsevert says:

    Any approximate eta or deadline you have on this?

  39. Walter Cohn says:

    Old one will expire on 6/30.  Anybody have an update on what to do?  We need to be able to use the old one until Ben and Michael are ready.  Any updates or point me in the right direction would help.  -thanks.

  40. Don Plaster says:

    I’m an ISV and I use this as a basis for building a demo of our ISV product. I would like a version with just the standard Microsoft products installed, without all the sample data and all the sample extras. I would like Microsoft CRM V3C, Outlook client, Windows Server 2003 R2, Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, Office 2007 Enterprise (for MOSS and Office Comm Server integration), Sharepoint Portal Server 2007 / MOSS, BizTalk. Tuning for performance is important. Since our ISV extensions are extensive, we already expect to need to run it on a laptop with 4GB of RAM. Ability to demo Outlook client in Vista would be nice but that might need to be another Vista VPC image in the same AD domain – unless you can make Windows Server run Aero, or unless I can run Outlook on my host Vista machine and connect to CRM in the VPC image.

  41. Don Plaster says:

    While a new version could have its benefits and I have posted my desires above, it will take time to add our ISV customizations and demo scenario setup info into a new version and get it distributed to our sales staff and channel partners. Is it possible to extend the expiration date of the current VPC so that we have time to make the transition? Or can I just set the clock back in the VPC image to make it last longer?

  42. mennotk says:

    Walter, I must correct you! Michael is doing the legal stuff and I made the image, not Ben. We will have the image ready in a few weeks from now.

  43. I can now proudly announce that we will have the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM VPC available for download

  44. Sanjay Munjal says:

    Looks like download is broken. I downloaded these but had problem extracting them. Now it seems like these have been pulled out from website. When these will be posted again?


  45. Brad says:

    How about allowing the removal of all data?

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