Updates from October, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ian Leu 2:06 pm on October 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Thoughts on Sugar CRM 

    Working with Sugar CRM’s workflow engine (available in the Professional and enterprise versions) makes me miss working with CRM 2011, where the workflows are much more robust. Much of what would be a simple and quick task in CRM 2011 could only be accomplished by writing custom PHP code in Sugar, where you also have to take extra pre-cautions to make sure all of the customizations are “upgrade safe”.

    Using an existing field’s value on one record to populate a related record is a common requirement, and in Sugar, I had to write a PHP class that performs an update query in the database. While this is easy to implement, I can accomplish the same thing in CRM 2011 in a matter of moments with no custom code.

  • Rayan Hanoudi 1:16 pm on October 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Part 2 of 3: Steps to finalize the upgrade to Office 365 

    After following the pre-migration steps, we followed these steps to finalize the upgrade:

    1. Verify that Office 365 is working correctly and we can send and receive emails.

    2. Create forward rules from Lotus Notes to Office 365. We still have many Lotus Notes applications that were not migrated at the time of the email migration. We setup a forward rule in Lotus Notes’ address book to forward to office 365 addresses.

    3. Import external contacts from Lotus Notes directory to Office 365 using PowerShell script. The external contacts are clients or vendors email addresses and phone numbers that we share between the team. Since there is no UI tool to allow us to do import the contacts in Office 365, we had to write a PowerShell script to import the contacts.

    4. Previous calendar entries had to be manually created in Outlook for each user.

    5. Configure the Outlook/mobile device client for each user

    6. Setup user signature in Outlook

    7. Setup rules in Outlook

    8. Import/manually enter personal contacts that were created in Lotus Notes.

  • Ken Sobieski 11:30 am on October 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Off the deep end… 

    I was born a poor…well, you know how that goes. Suffice it to say that the most-important part of my story for our purposes is the last week of my life, beginning work with Traction Consulting Group.

    As a VB/ASP.NET programmer with roots in Microsoft Access and SQL Server databases, I thought that jumping into CRM would be a snap. I mean, really, a cursory review looks similar Access (at least as far as dragging and dropping fields) and, being a Microsoft product, I was expecting some form of code-behind files with, maybe, a bin for modules and  custom classes. I assumed I could throw some .NET code at it to “make it work” — well, maybe not so much.

    So where am I after five days?

    Things that I’ve had to revisit and remember:

    • JavaScript and its idiosyncrasies (how do I live without strong data typing reference parameters??)
    • SOAP calls to query the backend in the online version (I know this can now be done with oData or WCF, but that’s for future exploration and most-likely a blog entry or 50)
  • Lisa 7:32 am on October 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    HP doesn’t have all the drivers for your computer 

    I was recently imaging some computers, in which I have done before. I was imaging them from Home Premium to Professional. Usually I can find drivers on their website with no problem. I went to go download them and found out that they are not available. I called HP to see if they can tell me where I can find the drivers, instead of me searching all day on the internet for them. I ended up being transferred a couple of times for a tech to be extremely rude to me.

    So my word of advise, before you image a machine look to see if you will be able to find the drivers. If you cannot find the drivers, upgrade the version of Windows instead of installing a fresh copy of Windows. It will save you a lot of time and frustration. After you upgrade the version of Windows and you have installed all of the software, create a new image. Then use that new image to re image the rest of the computers.

  • Kurt Higley 8:11 am on October 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    My button is gone! 

    In my last article we left off discussing how Domino specific design elements do not transfer to the “other” email platform.

    For one client we solved this problem by using the web browser.  In a nut shell, we moved the “guts” of the button into an Lotus agent.

    We still send out the email, but instead of a Lotus button, we include a HTML URL link.  The user follows this link to a landing page that contains the necessary verbiage and a link/image/button to invoke the “button” agent.

    While not the perfect solution, it does provide a temporary solution until the application can be ported to a web application.

  • Joe Wichowski 4:24 pm on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Don’t forget your “Start Date” in Microsoft CRM! 

    In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, one of the most common questions we get is “Why is it so hard to see a chronological picture of the history of an account within the views CRM provides?”  More often than not, the answer lies in the fact that Microsoft CRM does not have a good default method for dealing with dates for activities.

    For example, using out-of-the-box CRM, I can create a new Appointment, and it will default to “today”.  This will set the “Start Date” and “Due Date” fields to a value.  This behavior, however, does not automatically happen for Phonecalls, Tasks, or Emails.  This can leave the “Due Date” field blank.

    To add more complications to the question, we found you cannot solidify your company on only enforcing “Due Date”.  Due Date is the “end” of the task.  So if you create a report or view, and you do not have room for both Start Date and Due Date, enforcing Due Date will only provide you with the “ending time” of the appointment.

    Instead, we have created a 2-step approach.  First, we default the Due Date to “now” on all Phonecalls, Tasks, and Emails.  This way, if a user does not think to enter in a value, at least we enter the current date/time.  We do this with a Form OnLoad script:

    //Automatically set DueDate if empty
    function tcgSetDueDate() {
      if (Xrm.Page.getAttribute(‘scheduledend’).getValue() == null) {
         var date = new Date();

    We then make a workflow that automatically sets “Start Date” for Phonecalls, Tasks, and Emails equal to the Due Date on the form.  So, the Start/Stop time of the phone call and task will essentially be the same:

    The result is then for us to change all of the Activity Views of the system, and have Start Date as our primary date.  This allows us to have a unified view of History, in the most logical manner possible.  (Note:  This essentially gets you the same type of view you get when working with Salesforce.com, Goldmine, Act, Saleslogix, or any of the other commercial CRM applications.  Our opinion is that it should work this way without any customization, but it doesn’t).

  • Ian Leu 3:03 pm on October 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    System Health Report 

    The “Health Report” I’m working on keeps a log of the current status of all scheduled Lotus Notes agents and ETL synchronization processes between Lotus Notes and SQL server. Every day the key users are sent a table where anything that is in Red Text needs to be reviewed and anything Green is running normally.

    By using the same tools we export data from Notes, I can update a notes document on failures or completions to keep track of the status of the jobs. This allows me to track scheduled jobs from the different technologies in a single location.

  • Rayan Hanoudi 8:13 am on October 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Part 1 of 3 – Migration from Lotus Notes to Office 365 

    Migration from Lotus Notes to Office 365

    I wanted to document our process that we followed to migrate from Lotus Notes to Office 365. We have had to do quite a bit of research on how this process should go. Since we have found bits and pieces all over the internet. These are the step that we took pre-migration.

    1. In our case, we changed the company name from Ebiz Technology to TractionCRM. We ended up purchasing a new Internet domain to be used in Office 365

    2. Purchase new office 365 accounts from http://www.office365.com

    3. Setup all mail files ahead of time on Office 365

    4. Enable IMAP on the Lotus Notes server

    5. Update firewall rules to allow IMAP from the Internet to access Lotus Notes IMAP.

    6. We used the IMAP connector to synchronize the email messages between Lotus Notes and Office 365.

    7. Calendar entries do not migrate when using POP/IMAP. We had to make a copy of the calendar entries and manually create those entries in Outlook.

    8. Turn off out office agent and rules from Lotus Notes

    9. If the end user used mail rules. Those rules had to be manually created on the Outlook side

    10. Setup “Connected Account” in Office 365 to fetch emails every hours from Lotus Notes. In our case, customers still sent emails to our ebiz email address and the connector fetched those emails automatically every hour.

    11. On migration day, we delegated DNS to office 365 name servers

    • Murali V 2:45 am on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Rayan

      please provide more information on IMAP connector to synchronize the email messages between Lotus Notes and Office 365, as need to understand more on this

  • Lisa 8:52 am on October 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Things to know when migrating from the P1 plan to the E3 plan in Office 365 

    A couple of weekends ago I migrated our office 365 plan from the small business (P1) plan to the Enterprise (E3) plan. To start off, Microsoft cannot migrate you between plans. They say the two plans are on different platforms and there is no way migrate between the two.

    In order to get onto the E3 plan, I had to delete our P1 account and create an E3 account. Yes, that means that we had to find an alternative source to collect our emails. Otherwise we would lose all emails that came in through out the weekend. Since we had to delete our P1 account, that means we had to change our nameservers back to our hosting company and then re verify our domains in our new account.

    This is the interesting part between the two plans that I had discover: In the Small Business plans, you HAVE to fully redelegate your DNS in office 365. In the Enterprise plans, you CANNOT fully redelegate your DNS in office 365. I had not known about not being able to fully redelegate our DNS in the E3 plan and unfortunately, they do not have the best of documentation for that either. I had spent a couple of days working with Technical Support trying to fix the issue with Fully redelegating our DNS in the E3 plan. They were unable to help me with this issue because they did not know about this in the Enterprise accounts.

    Office 365 has a spot for forums for any issues anyone is having. I had to read a couple of forums and to be sure, post a forum myself. One of their moderators had responded with the answer within an hour.

    Once that was discovered, I was able to enter in the DNS at my hosting company and it started working right away.

    • Shane Adams 11:29 pm on March 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Can you help me migrate my business’s plan from P1 to E1? I can’t believe Microsoft doesn’t help in this.

      • Lisa 7:10 am on March 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Well, I can do my best to give you as much advice as I can.. What are stuck on right now? What questions do you have?

  • Kurt Higley 12:18 pm on October 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Migration and Co-existence 

    When changing messaging platforms, email may not be the only moving part that needs attention. Custom and proprietary applications are usually part of the messaging environment. This is especially true if you are moving away from IBM Lotus Domino.

    Messaging is one of the core functions of Lotus Domino and is easily integrated into applications. After all, email in Lotus Domino is just another application. So odds are one or more applications have messaging functionality incorporated into the design.

    Some of this functionality makes it through to the “other side”. Database, View and Document links make the transition in tact more or less. The “links” get converted to urls with notes: as the protocol. When clicked, the Lotus Notes client is launched and the linked object is loaded(provided the client is installed).

    One piece of functionality that does not translate are embedded Lotus Notes buttons. These buttons can be either coded with the @formula language or LotusScript. The buttons are removed when the messages leave the Lotus Domino environment.

    My next post will take a look at solving the deleted button scenario.

  • Lisa 7:11 am on October 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Did your Outlook 2010 ribbon disappear and can’t get it back? 

    Did your Outlook 2010 ribbon Disappear? Do you have the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook connector add in installed?
    I recently upgraded my co-workers office product to 2010 and after I installed the Outlook Connector add in, her ribbon disappeared. This seems to be a bug in the connector and is a known issue. If you cannot get your ribbon to reappear by clicking on the carrot next to the the help button (?), then follow these instructions.

    1 – Close Outlook 2010.
    2 – Go to your registry. Go to Start –> Run –> type: regedit
    3 – Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{2DF8D04C-5BFA-101B-BDE5-00AA0044DE52}
    4 – Right click on the 2.4 regkey and click export. Save this export someplace where you will remember it is saved. This will be a backup.
    5 – Once you have the backup, right click on the 2.4 regkey and click delete.
    6 – Launch Outlook 2010.

    You should now be able to see your ribbon.

    • Andrew 10:19 am on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Many thanks for this tip – it has worked a treat!

    • Anshul 8:41 pm on January 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, worked well !!

    • Dean 8:29 pm on April 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome – worked perfectly – I would have been lost without your post. Thanks!

    • Scott 1:10 am on April 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Perfect worked for me

    • Rajitha 2:40 pm on May 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I have the same issue. I see 2.5 and 2.7 so not sure which one I need to pick to do the export. Please suggest.

      • Joe Wichowski 7:54 am on August 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        You’ll probably have to use the “current version”, which would more than likely be 2.7.

    • Kelson 3:00 am on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Im missing the 2.4 regkey. I only have regkey 2.5, 2.6, 2.7. Any tip for what I can try?

      • Joe Wichowski 7:53 am on August 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        You’ll probably have to use the “current version”, which would more than likely be 2.7.

    • Mike 2:52 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I followed your instructions, but I don’t have a 2.4 regkey. There is a 2.5 and a 2.7. What next?


      • Joe Wichowski 7:54 am on August 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        You’ll probably have to use the “current version”, which would more than likely be 2.7.

  • Joe Wichowski 12:16 pm on October 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    What exactly did I do last month? 

    In this month’s Wired magazine, Clive Thompson talks about how Daniel Giovanni utilizes 4SquareAnd7YearsAgo to mine his 4-square check-ins.  He then gets a daily summary of where he was last year.

    What a simple idea, and a great concept.  Sales teams often forget about the repetitive nature of sales – they end up focusing on “This Month’s Deal” instead of also making progress and touch-points on ideas and connections in the past.

    This offers a great opportunity for our daily alert streams that we create for our customers.  By sending Sales teams a summary of where they were, who they talked to, and what they talked about – 1 month, 1 quarter ago, or 1 year ago “today” – we can help remind them of the conversations and activities of the past, to continually “work” the opportunities of the future.  (The Daily Alert streamer is one of the custom tools we’ve created for our customers – if you need additional details, please email me)

    If you don’t have our daily alert streaming system (or some other alert-type system), you could also facilitate this via a simple report or view in Microsoft CRM, Salesforce.com, or SugarCRM.  It won’t “push” to the user, but you could add it to your “Monday Morning Process” and train sales teams on how best to utilize it.

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