Customization Files B/W MS Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Systems

In this article we will see how to build and use Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0’s two new tools. These two tools are powerful and enable comparison of customization files between two Microsoft Dynamics CRM systems and the Configuration Data Utility while also enables transferring of custom data from one system to the other. The first step would be to download:

> CustomizationComparisonUtility.exe
> ConfigurationDataUtility.exe

You will find the method for setting up and building the sample applications in the Readme.doc files. Detailed information regarding the usage of sample applications and viewing of results can be seen in the user guides. Find Readme.doc and user guides in the project folder.

Applies To
1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
2. Microsoft Visual Studio 2008

Introduction
Microsoft Dynamics CRM development is highly preferred as it is a system that allows customization. It allows developers to not only change or modify various sections of the products but also allows creation of new components. It is a robust platform that allows custom business application development. Microsoft Dynamics CRM can also be called a complex system as it requires specialized support tools. These two tools are very useful when you want to analyse the impact of customizations on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and also will be able to maintain consistent configuration across multiple systems.

Evaluation of impact of customization with the help of Customization Comparison Utility
The first step to accomplish this task would be:

Analyse Customizations:
When you want to import custom components from one environment to another then the first thing you need to do is to assess its impact. The changes in the system need to be considered and see how they affect the new installation. Some changes like renaming attributes, adding new ones, deleting entities also affect the system. Thus analysing and understanding clearly the system customizations results into more successful deployment of the new version and also reduces the risk of overwriting.

Use of Customization Comparison Utility:
The Customization Comparison utility allows comparison of customization of two xml files in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This utility helps to read and understand the schema of this system and shows the difference between attributes, forms, entities, views, workflows, relationships, security roles and entity maps. Compare XML customizations files and ensure while using a zipped file that it contains only one file. See the below figure to see what you things will be noticed.

Additionally to review the results of comparison in the grid, there is a report which enables you to export to Microsoft Office Excel for additional analysis. If you require more details regarding the usage of the tools please refer customization comparison user’s guide which is included in the download package for this utility.

Transferring Configuration Data with the Data Utility
In Microsoft Dynamics CRM development when you work with multiple environments you need to consistently configure data across all systems. You can achieve this by configuration data utility. With this tool you will be able to export custom configuration data from a source system and import it to the targeted system.

Configuration Data stored in Custom Entities
Custom entities are used to store configuration data. It is very efficient and beneficial way to transfer custom configuration data.

Using the Configuration Data Utility
Use the Configuration Data Utility for exporting the source system configuration data and for importing it to target system. For running this tool you must be a system administrator with appropriate privileges needed for creating, reading and updating entity instances.

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