I’ve been wondering for a long time now if I should write this particular blog. Primarily because the topic seems overly straightforward, but after working in a few client environments for the past few weeks I feel obligated to. So, without further ado, let’s discuss Solutions within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Ever since Dynamics CRM 2011, Microsoft has simplified the process of moving the customization from one system to another. However, as I eluded to in my opening explanation, not everyone takes advantage of this.
There are really three types of Solutions in CRM. They are:
- Default Solution: This is the set of customizations for your entire CRM Organization
- Managed Solution: Managed solutions are installed on top of the system solution and can modify any customizable solution components or add more solution components.
- Unmanaged Solution: Unmanaged solutions are groups of unmanaged customizations. Any unmanaged customized solution component can be associated with any number of unmanaged solutions.
Here are some rules to keep in mind when working with Solutions inside Dynamics CRM:
- When you customize CRM from the “Customizations” entity, you are directly editing the default solution
- Once set, you cannot edit a managed solution
- Individuals with the proper access can edit unmanaged Solutions
- If you encounter an error when importing or exporting a solution make sure to click “Download Log File.” These logs are actually quite helpful!
In addition to moving customization from one organization to another, a key benefit to keep in mind is the concept of “Customization Organization.” The general idea revolves around knowing what you have and who was responsible. For example, in the event that a customization causes a system error, you know exactly where to look without digging through the default solution. Another situation worth noting is if you change CRM partners. You can direct your new partner to review the Solution files of your system so they are up to speed faster than ever.