Accelerate your development with the Dynamics CRM 2011 Developers Toolkit

With over 10,000 downloads, I know many of you are familiar with the Developers Toolkit for Dynamics CRM 4.0 but how many of you have discovered the Developers Toolkit for Dynamics CRM 2011? The latest beta version of the toolkit has been developed from the ground up to work with Dynamics CRM 2011 through seamless integration into the Visual Studio 2010 IDE. Shipping as part of the Dynamics CRM SDK 5.05 update, the Dynamics CRM 2011 Developers Toolkit can be found in the sdk\tools\developertoolkit folder together with the user’s guide (which can also be accessed from

From my perspective, the greatest change from the approach taken for the Developers Toolkit for Dynamics CRM 4.0 is that it works the way you do. By that I mean that your are not constrained to a specific Visual Studio project and solution structure. Additionally, the build and deployment process changes have relaxed the dependency to have a high degree of MSBuild knowledge and coupled with the Solutions import/export approach of Dynamics CRM 2011 provide a high degree of flexibility and choice to the developer.

At a high level, the Developers Toolkit comprises:

  • A suite of Visual Studio Solution and Project Templates for Plug-ins, Custom Workflow Activities and Web Resources
  • Automatic code generation and registration for plug-ins
  • A CRM Explorer tool window enabling interaction with your CRM instance
  • Direct configuration of Dynamics CRM 2011 from within Visual Studio
  • Packaging of the components you create within Visual Studio and deployment into Dynamics CRM 2011
  • The ability to optionally export a managed or unmanaged CRM Solution as part of your build so that you can script an automated Daily and CI build process

If you take a look at the user’s guide, there is a wealth of information to get you started. I hope you find this toolkit lets you focus on the business problems you are trying to solve and takes away the burden of writing boiler plate code.


Phil Hand
Principal Consultant
Microsoft Consulting Services UK

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Comments (5)

  1. Claus B says:

    So far I am very pleased with the toolkit. One important thing that I haven't figured out is how to change the connection settings later. I get asked about the server domain, username etc initially, and thats fine – but if I share the code with other team members and they want to test it on a different (local) domain, how do we go about that? I have searched through the "user's guide", but can't seem to find anything about.

    Any help is very much appreciated!



  2. Hi Claus,

    So the settings for the server / org are stored at a user level in the Solution User Options (SUO) file. This is specifically to ensure that they don't get checked into your favourite SCC system as each user may wish to have different connection settings. So you have 3 options:

    1) if you are sharing code with other developers via them "getting latest" from your SCC system, the SUO file will not have been checked in (at least if you use TFS) and therefore they will be prompted the first time they open the solution as you mention above.

    2) If you are just passing them the code by email or zip, either don't include the SUO file or get them to delete it before opening the solution

    3) from the Tools menu in Visual Studio 2010 you can select "Connect to CRM Server" which will pop-up the connection dialog and you can adjust as you require.

    Hope this helps!


    Phil Hand [MSFT]

  3. Claus B says:

    Thanks for swift reply! Im using a new machine and it was by default hiding the .suo file and I was not aware of the Connect menu item in the tools menu – so thank you very much 🙂

  4. JC says:

    So far very happy with this as well.

    Minus this 1 error I'm getting when trying to view the "CrmPackage" in the visual studio designer (2010).

    Since I don't know what DLL this GUID is attached to… I'm kinda stuck.



    An error occurred trying to load the page.

    Class not registered.

    Looking for object with CLSID: {44990287-3BBA-381A-BEBA-E4C4237803F7}.

  5. Hi Jon,

    I can't speak for the SDK team but the CLSID error when you open the properties page for the CrmPackage project is on their radar. I would suggest you log the defect via MS Connect – while it is already logged, this will provide additional information since it does not occur on all envionments

    The property page only exposes the ability to specify that you would like to export the CRM solution that you are deploying your VS components into as part of the build – and where to copy the output CRM Solution.

    If you are looking to automate a Daily or CI build, you should check out this file:

    C:Program Files (x86)MSBuildMicrosoftCRMMicrosoft.CrmDeveloperTools.CrmClient.targets.

    If you look at the SolutionExport target (near the bottom of the file, you will see there are a number of MSBuild Properties exposed. In your MSBuild project file, you just need to define these properties and set their values to achieve the same.

    I hope this helps,