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Showing posts from February, 2012

IE Developer Tools

I use the IE Developer Tools (or IE Dev Toolbar) almost every day.  I was going to write a post about how to use it but I just discovered today that MSDN already has some great documentation around it.

Here's a good starting point with "Discovering Internet Explorer Developer Tools" - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd565628(v=vs.85).aspx

I would also dive into this article "Debugging Script with the Developer Tools" - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd565625(v=vs.85).aspx.  One of the most common issues asked on the CRM forums are javascript errors.  Debugging with the dev toolbar can help solve a lot of those issues.

Another great feature of the dev toolbar is Profiling javascript which this article talks about in depth - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd565629(v=vs.85).aspx.  This helps analyze the performance of your javascript and since we write a lot of javascript for CRM it can help optimize your form loading experience.


Upgrading CRM

Here's some great resources on upgrading CRM from previous versions:

Upgrade Microsoft Dynamics CRM - http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/upgrade-microsoft-dynamics-crm.aspx

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Upgrade Tips and Considerations - http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/microsoft-dynamics-crm-upgrade-tips-and-considerations.aspx

Pre-Delete Plugin 'Gotcha'

If you are running a plugin on the pre-operation event of the Delete message, one thing to note is that by that time CRM has already disassociated the record in context with any child records.  Therefore if you need to query for any child records relating to that record, nothing will return from your query.

A way around this would be to register your plugin in the pre-validation event.

Example query that won't return any results in pre-operation Delete of 'recurringappointmentmaster':

CRM 2011 JavaScript Model Generator

I am happy to announce the CRM 2011 JavaScript Model Generator!  This tool will increase developer productivity as well as performance in regards to client-side scripting on CRM 2011 entity forms.
The JS Model Generator will go and grab the Form XML for specified entities and create objects for each attribute, tab, section, and left navigation item that currently exists on the published Main form.  This allows you to use intellisense to see which attributes, tabs, sections, left navigation items exist on the form and also provides easier syntax than using Xrm.Page.  It will generate all this javascript inside an existing javascript file (on the developer's machine, not a CRM web resource).
Usage:
Form is the base object for referencing the tabs, attributes, sections, and left nav items.  Use Form.Attributes for Attributes, Form.Tabs for Tabs, Form.Sections for Sections and Form.Navigation for Left Nav Items.
The syntax below is the same for each type but one difference is that Form…

Tab Performance - CRM 4.0 vs CRM 2011

Tabs in CRM 4.0 are more like your traditional tabs you see on most web sites.


The nice thing about these style of tabs in CRM 4.0 are that only the content in the selected tab loads when the form loads.  This saves time on the initial hit and it won't load custom pages on other tabs until those tabs are selected.

On the other hand in CRM 2011 the tabs are vertical instead of horizontal.


The issue with vertical tabs is that by default everything loads initially when the form loads.  This includes all Silverlight resources that are on the form.  Also if you have Javascript that hides and shows fields on the form then potentially you could see the form jump around onload.  
In CRM 2011 we can easily get the same performance advantages of CRM 4.0 tabs.  To do this just simply uncheck the tab setting "Expand this tab by default".

By not expanding the tab by default, Silverlight won't load until the tab is clicked so we can get the "on demand" loading like CRM …