Today we are starting a new series of articles that will be published on a monthly recurring basis. This series will focus on Dynamics 365/Dynamics CRM and provide an overview of featured news, updates, training links…etc. This is an example of the type of information we provide to our customers using our Dedicated Support Engineer (DSE) service. We hope you find this content valuable. Please direct any feedback to the comments at the end of the article. Enjoy!

Featured News
Dynamics 365 Mandatory 8.0 Update Notifications have been sent out to all 8.0 customers indicating a mandatory update will begin in March. The upgrade window will be March 3 through June 30. Below is copy of the notification message:

Scheduling your organization for an update is important and necessary to provide you with all the great updates, performance improvements and features available to you. To help you experience the best Microsoft Dynamics 365 has to offer, the update policy ensures your service is on the latest version. If your organization is two versions behind the latest version, it will be updated without needing approvals. Below is an example of the customer notification: Per our records, your organization is currently on CRM Online 2016 (8.0) and based on the update policy your organization will be set to a mandatory update starting March 3, 2017. The update will not require your explicit approval if you have not approved a scheduled update. If your 8.0 organization does not have a scheduled update, you will be automatically scheduled staring in January 2017. You can move the update to an open available slot between March 3, 2017 and June 30, 2017, however, you will not be able to reschedule your update past the CDU window. If you have already scheduled and approved an update between March 3, 2017, and June 30, 2017, the organization will be updated on that date with no further action needed by you. Please be sure you are familiar with and understand the Customer Driven Update Policy and follow these easy steps to get prepared for your next CRM Online update. 1. Get familiar. Stay up to date with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Roadmap for the complete list of capabilities and service investments. 2. Get prepared. Read about Managing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online updates. 3. Engage. Your partner and Microsoft teams are here to help you be successful.

View the Progress of your Dynamics 365 Update To better track and manage the status of Dynamics 365 (online) updates, a new Updating Instance feature has been added to the Administration Center.  
 Customers can now see the status of their update as it goes through the four stages:

Status Description
Queued (Not Started) The update is queued and will start at the scheduled time.
Backup The Dynamics 365 (online) instance is being backed up. A copy of the instance is backed up before the update for recovery purposes.
Restore The Dynamics 365 (online) instance is being restored.
Database Upgrade The Dynamics 365 (online) instance is being updated.

For a complete description of the update process, see Manage Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) updates.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Organization Insights The new Organization Insights for Dynamics 365 (online) is now available. This solution provides important adoption and use metrics for the Dynamics 365 organization, and tools to help customers stay ahead of performance and support issues. Some of the features include"
  • Monitoring adoption and use
  • Managing storage and performance
  • Granular troubleshooting assistance for workflows and API calls

This solution is available for download from the Microsoft AppSource. Minimum supported platform version is 8.2.

Updates & Releases
Now available: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 2.0 packages Microsoft is proud to announce that all packages for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 2.0 (December 2016 Update/Service Pack 2/Centaurus) are available in the Microsoft Download Center! The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 2.0 Build number is
Note: The naming convention for updates has changed. Post-RTM Updates were referred to as Update Rollups, now they will be called Updates with the version number: Old Naming: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Update Rollup 1 or 2 New Naming: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Update 0.1 or 0.2 For more details on the naming convention, see the Dynamics CRM Product Group blog "New naming conventions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM updates"

For more information on what's available for download and the resolutions provided by Dynamics 365 Update 2.0, take a look at this post from the Dynamics CRM in the Field blog.
Deprecation Announcement The Dynamics Connector has been deprecated and is no longer supported with version 8.2. For any customer still using the Connector, a workaround has been developed to make it work for 8.2 organizations, but it will not be supported on any future CRM versions. Use the following steps to get the Dynamics Connector working with 8.2 organizations:
  1. Download the latest CRM SDK from
  2. Before replacing the .dlls in the next two steps, make copies of them
  3. Replace Microsoft.Crm.Sdk.Proxy.dll from the <Connector installation directory> with the .dll of the same name found in the SDK installation.
  4. Replace Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.dll from the <Connector installation directory>\Adapters\Microsoft.Dynamics.Integration.Adapters.Crm2011 directory with the .dll of the same name found in the SDK installation.
  5. Redirect the dependent Xrm Sdk assemblies from version to version by updating or adding the following xml tags to these connector configuration files; these files can be found in the <Connector installation directory>
  • ConnectorServiceHost.exe.config
  • Microsoft.Dynamics.Integration.Adapters.Crm2011.Configuration.exe.config
  • Microsoft.Dynamics.Integration.Client.exe.config

    <configuration> <runtime> <assemblyBinding xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1"> <dependentAssembly> <assemblyIdentity name="Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" culture="neutral" /> <bindingRedirect oldVersion="" newVersion=""/> </dependentAssembly> <dependentAssembly> <assemblyIdentity name="Microsoft.Crm.Sdk.Proxy" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" culture="neutral" /> <bindingRedirect oldVersion="" newVersion=""/> </dependentAssembly> </assemblyBinding> </runtime> </configuration>

  1. Shutdown all connector applications
  2. Restart the Connector Service
  3. Restart Connector Client application
  4. Attempt CRM configuration again
New Features in Microsoft Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.1 Social Selling Assistant Microsoft Social Engagement introduces Social Selling Assistant, to empower your salespeople to sell more by leveraging social media. With this application, your salespeople get personalized and smart recommendations to share on their social networks to enable them increase their social presence, gain trust from their followers, and generate more leads.
Post to LinkedIn With this release you can add your personal LinkedIn account as a social profile, then share any public post in Microsoft Social Engagement to your professional network on LinkedIn. You can choose between two visibility options: show the post to everyone on LinkedIn or to your network only. This post action is available across all Microsoft Social Engagement services, including the newly released Social Selling Assistant. Japanese and Chinese (traditional) User interface Microsoft Social Engagement introduces Japanese and Chinese (traditional) languages in the user interface. The localization of the user interface also includes the respective calendars for Japanese and Chinese (traditional) languages. In addition to the new features, Update 1.1 addresses some issues and improvements which can be reviewed in this blog post.
Errors when accessing the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Customers have experienced the following error when trying to access the Dynamics 365 app in Outlook: "Sorry, something went wrong while initializing the app. Please try again, or restart the app". The resolution for this issue is to close the app and attempt to reopen it again. If the problem persists then try closing the internet browser and navigating to the application again.
Customers have also reported the following error: "Something went wrong during sign-in. Please try again. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator." This error can occur when the App for Outlook is unable to connect to the authorization service to ensure that you are authorized to use this app or if the Dynamics 365 (online) URL was changed after the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook was installed. Resolution 1: Close the app, and open it again. If the problem persists, try closing the internet browser and reopening it again. Resolution 2: If you changed your Dynamics 365 (online) URL after Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook was installed, you need to redeploy the app:

  1. A user with the System Administrator role can redeploy the app to users by opening the Dynamics 365 web application and then navigating to the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook area within Settings.
  2. Select the users who should have the app redeployed and use one of the Add App buttons to redeploy the app.
  3. After the Status changes to "Added to Outlook", you can verify if the issue has been resolved. If you already had the app open, close and reopen it.

For more information, review this support article.

Dynamics 365 App for Outlook: Your device/browser is unsupported Customers have experienced the following error when trying to access the Dynamics 365 app for Outlook: "Your device/browser is currently unsupported." Click here to view the requirements for deploying the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and the supported devices and browsers.
Email Server Profile "Test Failed" error After clicking the Test Connection on an Email Server Profile record in Dynamics 365, customers have encountered a "Test Failed" error. The Failure Details section contains the following message: "The SMTP address has no mailbox associated with it." This error can occur if the format domain\username is used for the User Name (Example: contoso\user). The resolution is to update the user name in the Email Server Profile Credentials section to use the UPN format (Example: instead of the domain\username format. If the error persists, then verify a mailbox exists for the user and the UPN value in the User Name field matches the email address for the user's mailbox in Exchange.
Server-Side Synchronization "404 NotFound exception" The following errors may be displayed in the Alerts area when testing and enabling a Dynamics 365 mailbox:
  • Mailbox <Mailbox Name> didn't synchronize because an error occurred while connecting to the email server. The owner of the associated email server profile <Email Server Profile Name> has been notified.
  • Mailbox <Mailbox Name> didn't synchronize appointments, contacts, and tasks because an error occurred while connecting to the Microsoft Exchange server. The owner of the associated email server profile <Email Server Profile Name> has been notified.
  • The email message "Test Message" cannot be sent because an error occurred while connecting to the email server. Mailbox <Mailbox Name> didn't synchronize. The owner of the associated email server profile <Email Server Profile Name> has been notified.

Each of the errors above, also include the following error code: Email Server Error Code: Http server returned 404 NotFound exception. This error can occur for one of the following reasons:

  1. The mailbox for the user could not be found because the email address is not correct or the mailbox is not currently available.
  2. The configuration of the associated Email Server Profile is not correctly configured to be able to locate the mailbox.

The resolution calls for verifying the e-mail address of the mailbox record in Dynamics 365 matches the e-mail address in Exchange and verifying the configuration of the associated Email Server Profile. Review the following support article for more details.

Dynamics 365 and SDK v6.0 issues An issue has been identified with client applications on SDK v6.0 having difficulty connecting with the Dynamics 365 organizations in v8.1 and higher. The following message is returned: "The Organization Service URL is invalid. Metadata contains a reference that cannot be resolved" This issue is due to the SDK v6.0 attempting to authenticate through ACS, but that has been deprecated for Dynamics 365 organizations. An updated SDK 6.x client is now available to resolve this issue. Download and install the updated assembly here:
Additional News
New Microsoft.Xrm.Data.Powershell 2.5 The Microsoft.Xrm.Data.PowerShell CRM PowerShell module allows CRM administrators to perform CRUD operations with Dynamics CRM data and change user and system Settings for both Dynamics CRM Online and On-Premise environments. A new version of the module is now available with updated dlls from 8.1 to 8.2. Download the latest version here. For more information about what the module can do, take a look at the "Great Power Tools for CRM Administrators" Part I and Part II blog posts.
Use SCCM to install Dynamics 365 for Outlook Organizations with large deployments of Dynamics 365 for Outlook should consider using System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to more efficiently and securely deploy and manage Dynamics 365 for Outlook installation. Download this pdf for step by step instructions on how to use SCCM for your deployment.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 performance improvements with SQL Server 2016 SQL Server 2016 comes with a set of rich capabilities that can help you solve and meet your business needs. The Dynamics 365 engineering team continues to evaluate these capabilities to enhance the application's performance in upcoming releases. One such enhancement is the improvement of performance in Dynamics 365 (on-prem) with SQL Server 2016 CU2 when using database compatibility level 110 (SQL Server 2012 compatibility level). The application's performance is improved when the organization database trace flag is set to 1224. This setting reduces the CPU usage by disabling lock escalation based on the number of locks. For details, please see Improve performance when you use Microsoft Dynamics 365 with SQL Server 2016.
The performance of SQL Server 2016 is also improved with the High Availability Enhancements. The obsolete Database Mirroring technology has been replaced with a more efficient Always On Basic Availability Groups for high availability. Another capability to consider is the In-memory Columnstore. In-memory Columnstore uses column compression to reduce the storage footprint and improve query performance for data warehousing scenarios.
For more suggestions on ways to help maintain and fine-tune your Dynamics 365 applications with SQL 2016, checkout What's New in SQL 2016 (Database Engine).
Make Business Recommendations using Business Intelligence The fall 2016 release of Dynamics 365 introduced a powerful new feature as part of business processes called business recommendations. This feature enables a Business Analyst or System Customizer to guide users to optimal data based on intelligence they have about their business. A great example is with product selection. If a user is running an Insurance Sales business process and is at the stage where they are discussing with their customer what insurance products they want to buy, a business recommendation check can be added to the process to review the performance and profiles of past deals to help the user identify the best products to suggest. More information on implementing business recommendations can be found here.
RetrieveMultiple Performance Blog Series RetrieveMultiple is a type of query used to retrieve one or more entity instances based on specified criteria. When this query executes, security requirements are taken into consideration to ensure the person executing the query has the proper access to the entities being retrieved. The additional security checks often will lead to performance issues for the end user trying to access the information. A blog post series has been dedicated to this topic and is now available on the Dynamics CRM Community Support Blog. Topics include RetrieveMultiple introduction, optimization and sharing considerations. Feel free to use this blog series for reference as needed.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) – Asynchronous Service Quotas The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Asynchronous Processing Service (called the async service) executes long-running operations independent of the main Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online & on-premises) core operation. This results in improved overall system performance and improved scalability. Interested in learning how it works. The asynchronous service features a managed queue for the execution of asynchronous plug-ins, workflows, and long-running operations. These operations are registered with the asynchronous service and are executed periodically when the service processes its queue. Since these operations are queued up and must be executed in time globally, there are some well-defined resource quotas that enable resources to be distributed amongst all online customers equally. For more information, review this post from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team Blog.
Training Corner
Training Sites & eLearning Get the most up to date training and eLearning information for Dynamics 365 from the Help Center. The highly anticipated Training & Adoption Kit for Dynamics 365 is also available for download which includes user guides, quick reference cards, eBooks for end users and admins. Feel free to modify the content and distribute to your customers.
Learning Path authoring now available in Dynamics 365 Learning Path is a new Azure service that was introduced in Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 to provide product specific training, walkthroughs, videos, and articles. Microsoft is excited to announce that Dynamics 365 customers can now use Learning Path to create their own custom Help experiences! This help content can be added to any page, screen, form or view tailored to specific roles and the content can be displayed in different languages. To learn more about creating Learning Path guided help, see Create your own guided help (Learning Path) for your customers. Note: This feature is only available with Dynamics 365 (online). It is not available for on-premise.
Add CRM Modules to your Dynamics 365 Trial Created your Dynamics 365 trial instance, but didn't include all the out of the box CRM modules? Adding those modules is now easier than ever (and you don't have to create a new instance to do it). Simply access the Dynamics Admin Center and click the icon to edit the Solutions.

Select the Modules you would like to install.

Note: This change was implemented in the 8.2 Update and is available for the Dynamics 365 Trail Enterprise edition.

Voice of the Customer Surveys Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a survey feature that was made available in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 0.1. With Voice of the Customer, users can create and send out surveys to get feedback from their customers about their products or services. Respondents can take the surveys on a phone, tablet, or computer. The survey analytics included with the Voice of the Customer solution helps users use their customer feedback to identify gaps in service, run targeted marketing campaigns, and send offers to increase sales. See Voice of the Customer in action:
For more information about installing and using the Voice of the Customer preferred solution, see Get feedback with Voice of the Customer surveys.
Voice of the Customer Frequently Asked Questions Part I, Part II, Part III.