Here are the 15 tips that we shared as part of our Migrating to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online interactive discussion at Ignite 2016.

We wanted to share them in a blog article to those who attended (to reduce the need for notes), for those who could not attend, and help reduce our own need for more PowerPoint slides. For those in attendance, feel free to ask any questions during the last 45-60 minutes of our session, or come find is in the hallways at Ignite. For those of you who couldn’t attend please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll do our best to reply in a timely manner.

1.       Review new features and functionality

·         Review what new features are available that you can leverage in the latest CRM Online version and use this information to build a business case to migrate or update to the next version

·         What customizations can be retired in favor of out of the box configurations

                                                               i.      Example: Retiring certain JavaScript in favor of Business Rules

·         What’s New:

·         What’s new for Administrators and Customizers:

·         CRM Roadmap:

2.       Data Migration Strategy

·         What data and features actually needs to move to CRM Online

·         Data Loader for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online


·         Other options include: Dedicated ETL tools (multiple platforms), SSIS adapters, and usage of .NET libraries such as the PFE Core Library or just the CRM SDK assemblies

·         Article: Migrate Your Existing Data to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online


3.       ISV Solutions

·         Review current ISV solutions and confirm whether they are still needed when moving to CRM Online and look at the dependencies required for the solution.  Contact the specific ISV’s to confirm their solution works with the latest CRM Online version.

4.       Federation with Active Directory

·         A benefit of CRM being part of office 365 is the shared identity configuration, therefore CRM can support capabilities in Azure AD such as:

·         Conditional Access –

·         Azure AD Connect (formerly DirSync) 

5.       Integrations: Review current and planned – common approaches include:

·         Logic Apps can now be notified by CRM Online and may talk back into CRM Online: 

·         Service Bus Integration:

                                                               i.      Previous version of service bus limited (CRM 5.0 – 8.0)

                                                             ii.      Updated service bus starting CRM 2016 Update 1 (CRM 8.1 and higher)

·         Other tools including ISV online hosted integrations

6.       Outlook Client Integration

·         Consider your current Outlook integration and if the CRM App for Outlook will work for your organization. 

·         CRM App for Outlook vs. CRM Outlook client

·         CRM App for Outlook User’s Guide:

·         Install CRM for Outlook:

7.       Email Options

·         Review and consider if you want to use Server Side Sync or CRM Email Router.  It’s strongly recommended that you use Server Side Sync, but if you are not using Exchange, then you will have to use the CRM Email Router or the CRM Outlook client as an email routing option.

·         Set up server-side synchronization of email, appointments, contacts, and tasks


·         Install CRM Email Router:

8.       Reporting Strategy

·         SQL Reports against the transactional database are not possible with Dynamics CRM Online.  Existing SSRS reports should be updated to use FetchXML

·         PowerBI This is also a perfect opportunity to look at self-service BI options like PowerBI

·         Synchronizing data to an enterprise data warehouse

·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Reporting Considerations:

9.       Mobility Solutions

·         Review your current mobility solutions or requirements for mobility with CRM Online.

·         There is an app for CRM for Tablets & CRM for Phones available on Windows, Apple and Android

·         Mobile customization tips:

                                                               i.      Same form is now used for web, tablet and phone

                                                             ii.      Custom javascript will work as expected

·         CRM for Phones and Tablets User's Guide


·         Setup CRM for phones and CRM for Tablets


·         Customize CRM for phones and tablets


10.   CRM Online Updates

·         Customer Driven Updates (CDU)

                                                               i.      Review the information in the Updates page in the CRM Online Administration Center ( > Admin centers > CRM > Updates tab) to find out what instances are ready to update, and the schedule.

                                                             ii.      Approve the update.  If you do not approve the update, Microsoft will not apply the update. 

·         Weekly service updates are applied to your CRM Online organizations and communications are sent out to CRM Administrators with details.

·         Manage Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Updates


11.   Sandbox vs. Production organizations

·         There are two different types of organizations in CRM Online.  Production organizations are meant for production deployments and most organizations will only have 1 or 2 production instances.  Sandbox organizations are used for development purposes and customers commonly have 1 or more sandbox organizations.

·         Sandbox organizations offer additional management features such as Reset, Admin Mode and Delete.

·         All organizations are on the same hardware and treated as Production organizations

·         Manage CRM Online instances


12.   CRM Online Backup & Restore functionality

·         CRM 2016 Update 1+ allows for on demand backup\restore from admin center

                                                               i.      On demand backup\restore

                                                             ii.      Available for 3 days

                                                           iii.      Does not count against your storage limits


13.   CRM Administrators & Office 365 Global Admins

·         CRM Administrators can manage organizations in the CRM Admin Center

·         CRM Administrators will receive CRM notifications and communications

·         CRM Global Administrators need to provision new organizations and approve User emails.

·         CRM Administrators are still needed with CRM Online.  You are not going to lose your administration job!

                                                               i.      Administering CRM 2016


·         Engaging the CRM Online Support Team


14.   Organization Insights (Preview feature)

·         View metrics about your instance with Organization Insights dashboard

                                                               i.      Active Users, Specific Operations, Total Page Requests, etc.

·         Available in CRM 2016 Update 1 and beyond


15.   WebAPI and OAuth Support / Deprecation of SOAP

·         If you authenticate with the CRM SDK .NET libraries: CALL TO ACTION: Update to the latest SDK libraries (8.0 or higher)

·         If you authenticate with CRM via your own, you should migrate SOON over to using ADAL which will use oAuth.

·         WebApi will be the endpoint of choice going forward

                                                               i.      CRM 2011 wcf/soap service has been declared deprecated – no, it’s not going to disappear in the near term but it’s a signal to all developers to start migrating

                                                             ii.      If you use the .NET SDK libraries you can keep using these, these will eventually start to use the WebApi under the covers – no need to write a custom http client



We really enjoy hearing all of the success stories about how you are leveraging Dynamics 365 products to accelerate and grow your business success!  We also enjoy hearing about any challenges you are having with your deployment and how we can help make it successful.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at Ignite 2016!

Shawn Dieken - @sdieken & Sean McNellis - @seanmcne

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