Friday, May 15, 2015

Upgrading Dynamics CRM, Part 1

This is adapted from the InfoStrat White Paper "Upgrading Dynamics CRM." Download the full whitepaper here: http://www.infostrat.com/#!upgrading-dynamics-crm/c15ht

Microsoft offers major upgrades to Dynamics CRM every two years and minor upgrades every six months or more often.  In order to benefit from the latest features and functionality of these new versions, you must upgrade your CRM implementation from time to time.  For Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online users, your system will automatically be upgraded as new versions become available.  Microsoft also ceases to provide mainstream support for older versions, typically two releases prior to the current release.
 
In each instance of a major Microsoft Dynamics CRM release, new features have been added that may require you to change your solution if you want to take advantage of them.  For instance, Business Process Flows were first introduced in Dynamics CRM 2013. To effectively use this new automation feature, you would need to analyze how you would like to map your business process flows to CRM Business Process Flows and design an effective user interface on the appropriate forms. 
 
In major upgrades, custom code which worked in earlier versions but will no longer be supported in future releases may be “deprecated”, meaning that it will not work in a future release.  You do not have to make any changes when these warnings appear in a release, but it does suggest that you keep them in mind when planning other changes or updates.
 
As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM customer, it is important to understand the new features and functionality and determine the best timing and approach to bring your application to the latest version.

A Brief History of Microsoft Dynamics CRM


Microsoft introduced its CRM product in 2003. A minor upgrade version 1.2 was released soon after. Two years later, version 3.0 was released in December of 2005, skipping version 2.0.   Version 4.0 appeared in December 2007, and the first cloud version of Microsoft CRM – Dynamics CRM Online -- was introduced several months later.  The next version of the product was Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 introduced in February 2011. For CRM 2013, Microsoft changed its upgrade approach to upgrading cloud versions first, then on premise versions. The on premise version of Dynamics CRM 2013 was released in November 2013.  The latest major version of the product -- Dynamics CRM 2015 -- was released in in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Version
On Premise
Cloud (Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online)
1.0
January 2003
N/A
3.0
December 2005
N/A
4.0
December 2007
March 2008
2011
February 2011
January 2011
2013
November 2013
October 2013
2015
December 2014
November 2014

As of this writing, it is estimated that Microsoft has 40,000 customers using Microsoft Dynamics CRM [1]



[1] http://www.capterra.com/customer-relationship-management-software/#infographic

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