Podcast and Overview: Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Test and Release Management Service

Podcast: Microsoft Dynamics® Test and Release Management Service

On January 5th, 2011 Greg Nichols, from the Microsoft Premier Field Engineering team, provided information and answered questions about the Test and Release Management Service for Microsoft Dynamics® CRM.

  • Are you interested in ways to reduce risk when operating or updating your Microsoft CRM production deployment?
  • Are you looking for ways to reduce cost when developing and releasing changes?
  • Would you like to raise the level of user acceptance and user satisfaction?

If your answer to any of these questions is Yes, the Test and Release Management Service for Microsoft Dynamics® CRM is for YOU!

  • Reduce risk when introducing change into your Microsoft CRM production environment by gaining a solid understanding of change management, deployment methodologies, and pre-release testing options
    • Keys to reducing risk when introducing change to production environments center on efficient and realistic pre-production testing before go-live of your changes, whether they involve changes to your customizations or introduction of software updates such as Service Packs or Update Rollups.  Also, unpredictable events in your production environment such as hardware failures can result in downtime and loss of user productivity.  This Service can help mitigate risk in both areas by providing best practice recommendations regarding pre-production testing and backup / disaster recovery methodologies and tools
  • Reduce cost via effective use of automation in testing and deployment, as well as use of virtualization in pre-production environments
    • Learn how best to leverage the benefits of virtualization in your pre-production environments to reduce hardware costs. Also, learn how to reduce your test costs by leveraging toolsets such as Microsoft Visual Studio Team System to automate test cases. Cost reductions can also occur when efficient tools and approaches to customization deployment are used
  • Increase user acceptance and satisfaction by adopting Best Practices regarding pre-release testing and incident management
    • User adoption and satisfaction depend on system functionality and performance, in addition to your application design.  Test automation and load simulation in your test / performance environments can help you more accurately forecast effects of your changes on production system functionality and performance

Service Description

The Microsoft Dynamics® Test & Release Management Service performs a broad, detailed review of your existing methodologies and toolset used for pre-production testing and deployment of change prior to moving application changes into production.

The Test & Release Management Service also examines your current approach and provides high-level Best Practice recommendations in areas crucial to a consistent, efficient Microsoft CRM implementation strategy, including but not limited to:

  • Incident management
  • Source code management
  • Virtual machine management
  • Backup / disaster recovery
  • Monitoring

How the Offering Works

The Microsoft Dynamics® Test & Release Management Service begins with an in-depth survey during which a Premier Field Engineer collects information regarding the existing methodologies and toolsets you use to perform tasks crucial to a stable, performant, and risk-averse deployment.

Once the survey is complete, the Premier Field Engineering Team creates, delivers, and discusses with your team the Service findings via a Test & Release Management Summary and Best Practice Recommendations document.

The Summary and Best Practice Recommendations document provides a “scorecard” evaluating your existing methodologies and toolsets and comparing them to Microsoft and industry-standard best practices. The document also provides a prioritized Risk / Effort / Reward matrix summarizing Microsoft recommendations for consistent Test & Release Management practices. The document will help you evaluate and implement suggested improvements to your existing processes and toolset.

Best Practice recommendations include:

  • Test & Release Management-related tools
  • Incident management
  • Change management
  • Source Code management
  • Provisioning new environments
  • Customization deployment
  • Virtual Machine management
  • Pre-production functionality testing
  • Pre-production load testing
  • Servicing
  • Mobile device management
  • System monitoring
  • Maintenance / backup / disaster recovery

What is needed from your team

Participation of appropriate members of your team in the survey portion of this Service and the discussion of the Service’s findings. 

Related links

  • Podcast: Leverage the CRM Performance Toolkit to successfully test performance and manage change  
  • Blog:  Microsoft Dynamics® CRM 4.0 Performance Toolkit
  • Download: Microsoft Dynamics® CRM 4.0 Performance Toolkit

If you feel this Service is something you and your company may be interested in, feel free to email us at PFEDynamics@microsoft.com, or download the descriptive Datasheet!

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