Things to Keep In Mind While Migrating from Dynamics CRM to 365

By: AppJetty

Upgrading and updating. No matter how enticing these words may sound, they can be a real pain in the world of software applications.

Initially, things were quite slow paced for CRMs as a major release happened once in every two years. But now, Microsoft is gearing up things with some major upgrades coming up every year. This means, businesses have to get their systems upgraded at the right time. Otherwise, a new version gets released at the blink of an eye making it difficult to cope with.

The latest version of Microsoft, known as 365 has already been released. Although Dynamics CRM has its on-premise version, it is promoting Dynamics 365 for cloud. If you have decided to migrate from Dynamics CRM to 365, you must keep certain things in mind.

Facts to know before you migrate
Remember that whenever you get online, you will not have any access to the on-premise deployment. Also, the cloud has CRM App and SQL server installed. Which means, you cannot change data values directly from the database. The Microsoft support engineers will take care of Database indexing.

Inspecting your customizations

1. Major CRM customizations

Right from custom entities, workflows and global option sets, the major CRM customizations will include everything that is a part of Dynamics CRM solution. You have to import them as solutions to Dynamics 365. Also, before migrating the data, you can group these into one solution in new Dynamics 365 instance.

If you have tried managing CRM solutions, remember that it is not possible to export these solutions from the on-premise version. You might have to ask the new version from the solution provider.

2. Custom Pages pages are a part of several on-premise Dynamics CRM projects. This is because these pages are capable of implementing certain features which are limited in CRM forms.

You might have to replace these pages with new entity forms as they will not work in Dynamics CRM.

3. Plugins

In Dynamics 365, the plugins run in sandbox. And when they run in sandbox, it is not possible for them to access the third-party DLLs. If you are upgrading to 365 from a version which is older than Dynamics CRM 2011, you have to update the plugin code.

All plugins need to run in the sandbox in Dynamics 365. But when they run in sandbox, plugins cannot access third-party DLLs. Also, if you are upgrading from a version which is older than Dynamics CRM 2011, you will have to update the plugin code due to SDK changes. In case there is a code which can access the CRM database directly, you will have to replace for pulling and pushing data by using the SDK provided service.

4. Reports

As mentioned before, it is not possible to get direct database access. So you will have to develop all the SQL based reports using fetchXML. You might face difficulties in doing so as SQL queries are much more complicated than fetchXML queries.

However, through this workaround, you can use sub-reports for accessing more levels in database.

5. JavaScript

Now this depends on the type of Dynamics CRM version you have. In case you have an old Dynamics CRM version and you are upgrading, some things are not supported in JS anymore.

Some changes might restrict you from upgrading. Soap 2007 endpoint for example. Others might let you upgrade but might give you troubles thereafter. It is advisable for you to get rid of a JavaScript code which is not supported by Microsoft. This is because, even if they might work right now, it is less likely for them to work in the next update.

6. Data Migration

Last but not the least, Data Migration is the most crucial step in the migration process based on its size. If you want to migrate your data to cloud, we would advise you to use a third party data migration tool. While the tool performs its tasks, you can create mappings for the records.

This process depends on the type of tool used and the size of the data. You might have to go through various steps that can lead you to successful migration.

Once the above steps are checked, you can have a smooth data migration to cloud and make the most out of the features provided by Microsoft.

Happy Migration!

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Maulik Shah is the Founder and CEO of AppJetty, a fast growing software add-on store selling extensions and plugins for various technologies, including Magento 1 extensions and Magento 2 extensions and Dynamics CRM . Maulik is a tech enthusiast and writes about the various aspects of ecommerce technology.

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