Ritesh Ranjan

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Activity Feeds in Dynamics CRM: Best practices

Hello everyone,

In this post, I am going to talk about the importance of Activity Feeds in Dynamics CRM which was introduced with Dynamics CRM 2011. In my current role, I visit customers who use Dynamics CRM and review their application/architecture, provide proactive guidance towards the overall betterment of the application/architecture and advise them on the optimal usage. During the last few visits, I endeavored to get an understanding from my customers if they really know what Activity Feeds are and if they actually need this feature?

Those who are not very familiar with the feature, let me share a quick overview:

Activity Feeds monitor real-time updates to help you stay up-to-date with the fast-moving sales, customer projects, and marketing campaigns of your organization, which also includes automatic updates on the activities of your colleagues. You can also choose to “follow” updates of the contacts, colleagues, and customer records you care the most about. In fact, you could achieve a lot of things with this to help you keep track of things within the application you care most about.

For more information, please refer: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/stay-up-to-date-with-customer-news-with-the-activity-feed.aspx

Besides, this could also help in increasing the overall size of the CRM database every time an event happens. For example, if there is an update on any of your customers/contacts, it has to update certain tables in the database too, i.e. PostBase, PostCommentBase…. In my recent customer engagement, I had to cleanup around 50 GB of data which was quite significant based on the overall size of the database. And, this motivated me to share this experience with the wide audience through my blog.

In order to do the cleanup, steps are very easy:

  1. Check with the business and try to understand the actual need of the feature. Do they really need this?
  2. There could be a possibility that they only need the Activity rules to be activated on a very few entities or they just don’t need them.
  3. Now when you have a better understanding, you can follow the following quick steps:

 

    1. Login as a Dynamics CRM System Administrator to the Application.
    2. Navigate to Settings–>Activity Feeds Configuration.
    3. Select the configurations which you don’t need. (Please keep in mind that there are few configurations which are there by default and are active). Or, deactivate all the configurations if you don’t need them.
    4. Once that is done, do remember to Publish the customizations for the changes done, which could be done by clicking on More Commands …. and then Publish Customizations. Until you Publish the customizations, the changes won’t take effect.
    5. Now when you are sure that there are no more new entries being created (only in the case when you decide to deactivate all the configurations and rules, it’s time to clean the database, for which you can use the Bulk Delete feature to create a rule which would delete all the Posts (it is always a good practice to take the latest backup of the database and then do the cleanup because if at any point in time you would like to refer the data, you would have the backup to fall back on).

Note: I tested these steps with Dynamics CRM 2013 as I was working on the mentioned scenario at a customer site. However, I am sure that it would work the same way in DYCRM 2011 and the later versions. This cleanup could also be very useful when you plan for an upgrade or migration.

Thank you for stopping by. If you have any feedbacks or questions, please do leave your comments below. I shall be happy to answer them.