Update Rollup 7 has been released.
There greatest update with this rollup is the performance of the CRM for Outlook client.
Reduced sign-in time. This is especially significant for users who have a large amount of offline Microsoft Dynamics CRM data. In earlier releases, Microsoft Dynamics CRM stored many files in the roaming profile, such as metadata, logs, traces, and the offline database. To reduce sign-in time, these files are now located in a local data folder.
Improved overall performance. In earlier releases, the hoster process and offline database continued to run, even while the computer was in online mode. This could decrease performance and reduce battery life. These processes now run only in offline mode. The desktop client no longer requires the hoster process.
Outlook performance and synchronization
Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook now loads in the background. This enables users to read e-mail messages before Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook is fully loaded.
E-mail tagging now runs in the background. This improves Outlook performance, especially for users who have a large number of tracked e-mail messages in their inbox.
CRM Address Book Provider (ABP) run-time storage of in-memory ABP XML has been moved to a Microsoft SQL Server CE in-memory representation. This helps manage CRM address book data more efficiently.
State management logic has been improved. This enables Microsoft Dynamics CRM to handle network, authentication, sleep, and hibernation transitions more efficiently without requiring users to restart Outlook for each transition. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Laptop Client now automatically transitions to offline mode when a remote Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server cannot be contacted (as long as user has gone offline at least once in past). It automatically switches back to online mode when the connection is restored.
Outlook synchronization now runs in the background and has significant performance improvements in terms of numbers of records synchronized per minute.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook now supports Outlook delegates. If an Outlook user is a delegate for another Outlook user, the delegate can mark items for tracking in the primary user’s inbox. The Exchange Server stores the tracking information until the primary user starts Outlook. At that time, Microsoft Dynamics CRM verifies the data and then synchronizes with Outlook.
Manually synchronizing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM produces item-level failure details. The synchronization code now handles row-level failures in a way that does not cause the entire synchronization process to fail. Also, the synchronization progress dialog box now displays the list of specific record-level failures.
The synchronization process is now optimized to help prevent synchronization failures from damaging the offline database.
The synchronization process has been improved to ensure that changes made to CRM tracked records inside Outlook are propagated to CRM server even when CRM addin is not active (e.g. – via OWA or when addin is in disabled state).
Setup and configuration
Background Intelligence Transfer Service (BITS) has been implemented to improve component download performance.
Configuration Wizard now starts automatically when the user restarts Outlook after Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook is installed. An ability to auto-configure CRM for Outlook has been added via use of config.xml file.
The number of Configuration Wizard screens has been reduced and the overall configuration process is simpler.
After Update Rollup 7 is installed, updates will no longer require the user to have Administrator privileges on the client computer.
A download button has been added for CRM Outlook client in application web UI to help users discover the right client for their deployment type. Additional flexibility has been enabled for organizations to modify the download package in a manner that enables them to package CRM configuration information specific to their organization (Please refer to KB 2004601 that will be published shortly)
Silent unattended installations of CRM via SMS has been enabled by adding support for MIF files and removing the need for end users to be logged into the machine during laptop client deployment.
There is potential for some creative integrations between Microsoft Tag and Microsoft CRM as well.
The Social Networking Accelerator has just been released.
The Social Networking Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows business professionals to monitor and analyze customers’ conversations on social networking sites, and as a result, provides real-time status updates about their products and services. This first release of the accelerator delivers integration with Twitter; other networks will be introduced in future releases.
The Portal Integration and Partner Relationship Management accelerators have just been released.
The Portal Integration Accelerator easily connects Microsoft Dynamics CRM to an organization’s Web experience. This release builds on the eService portal engine and expands to allow customers to configure and expose any CRM entity to an external facing portal.
Partner Relationship Management
The Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Accelerator allows businesses to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to distribute sales leads and centrally manage sales opportunities across channel partners. It provides pre-built extensions to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales force automation functionality, including new data entities, workflow and reports. Using the PRM Accelerator, companies can jointly manage sales processes with their channel partners through a centralized Web portal, as well as extend this integration to automate additional business processes.
This is a really neat tool. Use it to take a VHD snapshot of a physical drive and then use it with Virtual PC or Hyper-V. Very handy when you need to set up a quick development/test/training (etc) environment.