Monday, January 10, 2011

Limitation encountered in MS dynamic CRM 4.0

  • Updating CRM attribute type won’t reflect on target entity at import process on another environment.

Actually CRM won’t allow us to update existing entity attribute type and only way to do this is, drop that field from entity and add it back with new attribute type.

As example if you add property “new_field1” back to the entity “SalesOrderDetail” with Bit, where it was initially as decimal, when you import that customization to another environment(to production from development or development server to another development server,..), you will get bellow error at import process and it will log this error at event log.

Customization Import failed. Error: Column names in each table must be unique. Column name ' new_field1' in table 'SalesOrderDetailExtensionBase' is specified more than once.

In order to do this, first you must drop that column from target entity in target environment manually.

  • Some of the important entities are not customizable.


I. ServiceAppointment (CRM 2011 allow as to customize this entity)

Many of the real world implementations of MS CRM 4.0 want to associate ServiceAppointment with sales detail or sales order since there could be some items that will be sold with service activity (example: Meeting room booking with some catering items). Since ServiceAppointment is not customizable, implementation of this requirement is not straightforward

II. Announcement (BusinessUnitNewsArticle)

You may want to display announcements on public facing CRM web portal and need to add custom attribute such as new_DisplayOnWebsite to have some control over the announcements to display on public web site. We are unable to do that, since it is not customizable entity. (This required functionality can be handled using simple custom entity something call “new_PublicAnnouncements”)

III. Est..

  • Out of the box CRM tax calculation won’t work for real environment.

Out of the box CRM is having just free form text box for tax and we need to calculate tax manually and enter it on text box at the order. It won’t allow us to manage several type of tax and need to develop new custom tax module on CRM using custom entities.

  • Alter entity won’t reflect on target environment at customization import process.

Dropping attributes (Fields) and entities won’t reflect on target environment at normal customization import process. We should do it manually or need to think about some custom development using CRM metadata web service.

  • CRM 4.0 online does not have ability to deploy plug-ins (This has been addressed by CRM 2011)

  • CRM 4.0 won’t allow us to manage conflicting scenario of customization.

Most elements of CRM customization only support last one wins resolution strategy. So customization done by some can be override by another one

These are the limitations that I have encountered and in my mind right now. So there could be few more.

--Thushara Manchanayake---

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