Tip #249: Can I disable the personal queues?

Dear tipsters, I find the personal queues in CRM (the queues starting with “<”) make the queues very cumbersome. We don’t use them. Can I disable them?

Yes. Yes you can.

Another option, if you have SP1 for 2013, is convert them to private queues. You will notice that for users created post SP1, the user queue will be configured to be a private queue with only the user on the queue team. Queues for existing users should be automatically converted to private queues. If you find after opting in to the SP1 features that the user queues are still public, you can change the queue type to private, and the owner will automatically be added to the queue team.

By changing to private and adding the user to the queue team, the user queues will only be visible to the user and system administrators, and the queue views will be more manageable.

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Tip #248: If you use mail merge, use the Outlook client

If you launch mail merge from CRM via a browser, after the mail merge dialog, you will download a file. When you open the file, you will see this message in Word:mm message

This message is enough to scare some users away from using mail merge. To continue, you need to click “enable” on the yellow bar at the top, click the “Add-ins” tab, then click the Dynamics CRM button.

There is an easier way. it is called CRM for Outlook.

When you launch mail merge from the Outlook client, you will be presented with the same mail merge dialog; however, after you click the “download” button, the user will be taken directly into the Word mail merge process. No need to enable the macro or travel to the add-in tab. This is because the mail merge is launched directly within Microsoft Office, rather than from an external website.

MM2

If you regularly use mail merge, the Outlook client will make your experience much more seamless. Even if you prefer using CRM via browser for everything else, having the Outlook client installed for mail merge is worth it if you need mail merge.

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Tip #247: Assign records to disabled users

When you click the “assign” button to assign a record to a user, you can only choose an active/enabled user, right?

Wrong.

When you click the assign button and select “Assign to another user or team,” you only see enabled users listed. This is because the lookup field is set to use the “Enabled Users” list.

But if you click the lookup button, scroll down to select “lookup more records,” the lookup dialog will appear. From there, you can select any view, including the disabled user view.lookup

From the disabled user view, you can select a disabled user and assign the record to that user.

Why would you want to do this?

Typically you want active records to be owned by enabled users; however, there are several scenarios where you would want to assign records to users who are no longer with your company. For example, say you are creating or importing some legacy opportunity records. in this case, you might want to have the opportunity owned by the original owner, as it will be valuable to know who the sales representative was at the time of the sale.

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Tip #246: Slow down

If you have been following our marketing initiatives, you know by now that recalling emails does not work and just makes you look like a <insert>. It’s all well when double-sending technique is used to prop your sales figures but what about those occasions when you pressed the Send button only to realize split moment later that you shouldn’t have done it, really. Individual causes range from forgetting to attach a file to calling your boss a <insert>.

I was told that the period between you pushing the send button and realizing that you shouldn’t have done it is called ohnosecond and apparently it’s well under 10 seconds on most occasions.

If you use Outlook, there is a simple solution to mitigate the self-harm and extend the ohnosecond.

  1. Click Files > Manage Rules & Alerts
  2. Click New Rule
  3. Select Apply rule on messages I send, click Next
  4. Click Next, then agree to apply rule to every message
  5. Check defer delivery by a number of minutes, click a number of in the lower panel, click OK to set it to 1, click Next
  6. Check except if it is marked as importance, set importance to High, click Next
  7. Name the rule something profound, set other options as needed

Your rule should look like this:
Auto-delay rule

This rule will delay all outbound emails by 1 minute. So if you say “Doh!” within one minute of pushing the send button, calmly reach for the Outbox and nuke that message. For urgent boss stuff, set message priority to high.

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Tip #245: Visit our CRMUG session

If you are at the CRMUG summit today (Friday), come see us at the “Technical tips from the tipsters” session this afternoon at 1 PM.

http://sched.co/SxwJNz

All will be revealed:

  • What are our favorite tips?
  • How do Should Can you really get rid of the “First Things First” lady?
  • Does “George Doubinski” really exist?
  • How much does Joel pay to his minions?
  • If Joel is the face of CRM Tip of The Day then who is George?

CRMUGSummit2014_Speaker

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Tip #244: Getting ready for the December release (CRM 2015)

Dear CRMtipoftheday,

What do I need to do to prepare for the December upgrade?

Besides this blog, there are many good resources to help you prepare for the 2015 upgrade.

Watch the first five videos on the dynamics CRM YouTube channel. They are hosted by members of the product team and include great information about the December release. If you Use CRM online I would still watch the upgrading video. While you will not have to mess with any of the server stuff, It includes some really important information about supported browsers and enabling new functionality. https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRvH_Jgj96NlxvDPfoNw28caAHn0zU6dJ

Visit the “Getting ready for the next release” page. It includes many links about the new functionality, the release preview guide, and for online customers include information about how to schedule your update.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/get-ready-for-the-next-release.aspx

Bookmark these links and check them regularly. The CRM team is working hard to proactively provide information about the release.

This release is not going to have as dramatic an impact on user experience as the fall 2013 released did. But there are some great new features that you are going to want to enable.

Some recommendations:

  • if you did not enable the new functionality with the spring release, do it before your upgrade to the fall release. If you don’t do this, these features will be enabled when you are updated, and I think it’s better to get that out-of-the-way first so you have more time to plan.
  • if your system entities are still using the information forms, you need to start transitioning to the new forms. The 2015 update will still allow you to use them but the next release is going to get rid of them. Microsoft has given us notice that these are going away.
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Tip #243: If you lost your encryption key

In Tip #241, we recommended backing up your encryption key for CRM 2013. What if you didn’t do that, and now you have lost your encryption key.

There are several things that you can do. First of all, you cannot enable encryption in the organization if you don’t have the original key are there is data in the encrypted fields. But you can enable encryption if you delete the encrypted values or delete the records that contain the encrypted values.

You will not be able to open up the records with encrypted fields if the encryption key is not present, but you can delete the values via the web services, or using a tool like KingswaySoft SSIS adapter.

You can also delete the records that have the encrypted values. This includes the following entities:

  • Mailbox
  • Email Server Profile.

After deleting these records, you should again be able to enable encryption.

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Tip #242: Don’t forget the default filters

Are your users confused when a CRM report freshly-minted by a report wizard, does not deliver the data they expect?

Inspired by our twice the tip, our fellow contributor Andre “I’ve got 88 in my handle” Margono sent us a fresh reminder that “the default filter is something that I often forget to remove/update and causing some confusion to the end user when they expect more data to be included in the report.”

Default Report Filter
From the authoritative source:

When you publish a report, you can set a default filter. For all the reports that were created by using the report wizard, if you do not set a default filter, the filter is automatically set to all records of the entity modified within the last 30 days.

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Tip #241: Back up your encryption key

Dynamics CRM 2013 has field level data encryption on password fields, like the email password field on mailbox records. This feature is enabled by default.

Always be sure that you copy the key and save it in a safe place. You will need it some day.

When you import a copy of an organization in your CRM On Premises deployment, the key will not be regenerated. This means that if you don’t have a copy of the key, you won’t be able to use e-mail or access mailbox records.

Consider the following scenario: you “refresh” your dev environment with a copy of production. After you import the organization, the restored organization will not contain the encryption key, so you will not be able to access mailbox records with encrypted passwords. This is not the end of the world, because you can log in to the original organization, go to settings–>Data Management–>Data Encryption in prod, copy the key, then go and paste it in to dev.

data encryption

But what if you reimport the original organization? Say your CRM server dies, and to restore you do a clean installation of CRM and import the organization from the original database? In this case, you will lose your encryption key and won’t have a place from which to retrieve it.

That’s why I strongly recommend that you keep a copy of the encryption key from every organization in a place where you will be able to find it when you need it.

 

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Tip #240: Once bitten, twice filtered

Anything that’s been done twice is usually better. That includes double cream and double barreled. Except that report pre-filtering does not work if you need a filtering entity to be included more than once in your SQL.

Consider this totally random piece of SQL:

select 
   a.revenue / b.revenue 
from 
   FilteredAccount a 
   inner join FilteredAccount b 
   on a.parentaccountid = b.accountid
where 
   b.revenue is not null

You cannot just apply pre-filtering because alias CRMAF_FilteredAccount cannot be used twice in the same statement. Not the most efficient but reasonable workaround includes temporary tables to get filtered records first and then use them as needed.

declare @accounts table(accountid uniqueidentifier)

insert @accounts select accountid 
from FilteredAccount CRMAF_FilteredAccount

select 
   a.revenue / b.revenue 
from 
   FilteredAccount a 
   -- apply filter to accounts
   inner join @accounts a1 
      on a.accountid = a1.accountid
   inner join FilteredAccount b 
      on a.parentaccountid = b.accountid
   -- apply filter to parent accounts
   inner join @accounts a2 
      on b.accountid = a2.accountid
where 
   b.revenue is not null

Time for double distilled.

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