Wednesday, 30 January 2008

MSDN Code Gallery

Microsoft have just made the new MSDN Code Gallery live. This is a site for sharing sample code, and I've posted some of my example code from previous blog articles. So far I've posted the following 4 resources:

MSCRM: Automate Local Data Group creation

Microsoft CRM report of all files related to an account

MSCRM - web page hosting to extend client script

Writing reports to use in IFrames and from ISV.Config in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

For reference, if you want to search for CRM examples, there's an emerging tagging protocol to tag all CRM examples as both CRM and Dynamics, so you can search on either tag. I'm also tagging samples with reports as 'Reporting Services'

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Scheduling and emailing reports with CRM

A common customer request is to be able to schedule CRM reports and automatically send the report to one or more users by email. This can be done without the need for any code, but needs a combination of configuration within both CRM and Reporting Services.

CRM Configuration
CRM reports are designed to be run under the context of the user running the report so as to return only the data that user has permission to see. Due to this configuration, Reporting Services will not permit you to schedule CRM Reports out of the box (if you try, you'll get the error 'Subscriptions cannot be created because the credentials used to run the report are not stored') . The easiest way to resolve this issue is to download the CRM Report Scheduling Wizard from here and install it on the CRM server.

Then, navigate to Workplace, Reports in CRM, select the report you want to schedule, and go to More Actions, Schedule Report. As you will do the scheduling later within Report Manager, I'd suggest you select the following options:
  • Generate snapshots 'On demand'
  • 'Make snapshots available only to me'
  • Specify any parameter values
  • You then need to specify the credentials under which the report will run. This needs to be a valid CRM user
  • 'Yes, generate the snapshot now'

Reporting Services configuration
The rest of the configuration is done via Reporting Services. First of all, you may have to configure the email properties of Reporting Services. To do this open RSReportServer.config, which by default will be in the Reporting Services\ReportServer directory under the SQL installation directory in Program Files. Within the 'RSEmailDPConfiguration' element you will need to set values in, as a minimum, the 'SMTPServer' and 'From' elements. You may need to apply other settings. For more information see the documentation for SQL 2005 or SQL 2000

Scheduling the Report in Report Manager
You can now schedule the report. Browse to Report Manager (by default it will be in the Reports virtual directory), go to the OrganisationName_MSCRM folder and the report you have scheduled (it's name will have the suffix On demand Snapshot). On the toolbar you should have a button 'New Subscription'. Click this, select 'Report Server E-mail' in the Delivered by drop down, and set all other options as required. (If 'Report Server E-mail' is not an option, go back to the instructions in the above paragraph

Monday, 14 January 2008

CRM 4.0 Error with ISV pages: MultipleOrganizationSoapHeaderAuthenticationProvider

If you have a CRM 3.0 Server with custom ASP.Net pages in a virtual directory within the CRM website, when you upgrade the server to CRM 4.0, the custom pages fail, giving the error:

Microsoft.Crm.WebServices.Crm2007.MultipleOrganizationSoapHeaderAuthenticationProvider, Microsoft.Crm.WebServices, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' doesn't exist

You can also get the same error when creating a new virtual directory within the CRM website.

The reason for the error is that CRM adds 2 HttpModules (MapOrg and CrmAuthentication) to web.config in the root of the CRM website. The CrmAuthentication HttpModule is in the microsoft.crm.webservices.dll assembly, which is not in the path of the custom virtual directory.
There are two solutions to this. Either:
  1. Ensure microsoft.crm.webservices.dll can be found. To do this, add it to the global assembly cache, then run iisreset (or recycle the CrmAppPool application pool)
  2. Remove the CrmAuthentication HttpModule from the virtual directory. I haven't fully investigated whether this adversely impacts use of the CRM 4.0 web services endpoint, but can be safely done if the ASP >net pages use the CRM 3.0 web services endpoint (or don't access CRM web services at all). To remove the HttpModule, add the following to the web.config in the custom virtual directory (within the system.web element):

<remove name ="CrmAuthentication" />