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Do you fear having to do a complex deployment or recreate your organization with all of it's solutions and configuration data? This can be a very daunting task especially with your organization's intricacies. Fear not the CRM Package Deployer is a tool that can be used to simplify any deployment or even a recreation of your organization. The CRM Package Deployer comes with the Dynamics CRM SDK. Today we're going to discuss: benefits of it, how it all works, and why you should use it!
The main benefit of using this tool is to simplify your deployment process. It has the ability to: automate the import of one or more solution files, import flat files or exported data from the Configuration Manager, execute custom code that is able to be executing while the package is being deployed or after, and the ability to provide a html page that gives a description or summary of what's been installed into the organization.
Creating the package to be imported is streamlined and straight forward; it's a CRM SDK project template for Visual Studio. The project template actually has an html file that walks you through how to create the package; if you'd prefer to read the how to create it only it can found at this MSDN article. Once you have a package created there are two ways to actually import it into CRM. They are using the CRM Package Deployer and using Windows Powershell.
I've created the solution and I've imported the two solutions that I wish to import into a single deployment. I'll be using two Unified Service Desk solutions. It's as simple as adding the two zip files to the PkgFolder and updating there properties to copy local through the properties tab. Once I have these files included I simply update the ImportConfig.xml so it specifies which solutions to import. Please remember that it imports the solutions in the order they are listed in this configuration file.
Next I open up the WelcomeHtml folder and edit the Default.htm to give a brief description of what the package includes and is for.
Now i'm ready to build the solution; this gives me the following files in the bin folder.
We're ready to import it into our Organization. We copy the pkg folder and the CRMDeploymentPackage.dll (in my example as that's what my solution is called) to the CRM SDK/Tools/PackageDeployer/ folder. We then run the Package Deployer application. You'll be guided through the familiar connecting to the proper organization screens. Once you are connected we should see our Default.htm page.
The exact details of the package importing and validation results are displayed.
When starting the import you get to see a log of what is happening during the import process.
It's pretty straight forward to not only create the deployment packages but also then deploy them.
Simplicity is the first reason. It's safe to say that your not going to be doing every production deployment. You may be handing over the build to your customers for deployment and let's be honest a simple deployment will result in a happy customer. This tool truly automates the deployment steps ultimately simplifying the deployment or creation or a new organization. The second reason I believe this tool is extremely powerful is it gives you the ability to run custom code during or after the deployment which can really allow you automate additional complexities of a deployment.
Post a comment if your using this tool or want to ask a question. I'd love to hear peoples experiences or answer any questions about it!
very useful article for begineers like me.
Hello Jason Cosman,
I have created a package and want to deploy this but following error is occcur:
Failed to Load the Import Configuration :Conig File Missing.
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