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We are in the process of preparing to migrate/upgrade from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 to Dynamics CRM 2011. Having carried out a successful test migration of a 32bit installation of CRM 4.0 into a 64bit installation on new servers, several inconsistencies have become apparent when assessing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook:
It would appear that for some entities, for example Cases and Queues, the migration is not as complete or something is different so that when these entities are viewed in Outlook the forms are presented, and therefore behave, differently from the way the equivalent entities behave in a new/clean CRM 2011 installation.
The following screenshot shows the Cases view of a new/clean database:
Notice how the "My Active Cases" are presented in the new tabbed format? Notice how the Outlook ribbon contains the context appropriate controls for CRM?
The following screenshot shows the Cases view of an upgraded/migrated database:
Notice how the Cases view is presented as a embedded web form with the ribbon menu as part of that web form? Notice how Outlook's ribbon menu only contains the default CRM controls and not the complete set of context appropriate controls? Notice how the "My Active Cases" view is presented in the legacy CRM 4.0 format and not the new CRM 2011 tabbed view?
However, other views in the upgraded database appear to have been migrated in such a way that their forms and views are presented in the up to date CRM manner.
This is not purely a cosmetic or aesthetic problem. It affects functionality as well. For example, when opening a case and adding an email activity in the upgraded dataset, the web-based email editor form is invoked. However, in the new/clean database, the same operation results in Outlook's email editor being invoked which is far superior and preferable as it allows full, HTML rich editing of emails with embedded screenshots etc.
I am not aware of any customisations of the Cases or Queues views in our system that might explain this behaviour.
So my questions are:
For me, it is not acceptable that to have such an inconsistent presentation of data that differs for some entities. The behaviour should be consistent across the system.
After extensive research and much tinkering and experimentation, I discovered that some of the behaviour I am seeing is controlled by the SiteMap XML. I found the SiteMap Editor on CodePlex and used it to reconfigure the affected entities so that they displayed the new CRM 2011 tabbed interface. First I reset the SiteMap to default to clear any previous errors in the configuration. I then had to enable all of the client types. Once I'd restarted Outlook the Cases list view in my upgraded instance matched the equivalent view the new/clean instance.
However, doing this only seems to have solved one half of the problem. Although the ribbon controls now appear in the Outlook ribbon instead of the web interface ribbon, the web interface is still being invoked when I add a new email activity when using the upgraded instance. This differs from the new/clean instance which appropriately invokes Outlooks email editor. So I now need to determine how to alter that behaviour.
The final piece of the puzzle was quite easy... I had configured Outlook with two instances/organizations - the upgraded instance and the new/clean instance. It turns out that only the Synchronizing Organization will work fully with Outlook and invoke the Outlook email editor when email activities are added. I simply had to reconfigure the upgrade organization to be the synchronizing organisation and the email functionality I wanted was possible.
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