Why does my “Settings” area disappear during a demo of Microsoft CRM 3?

I have only ever seen this to be an issue on one machine Virtual PC demo environments. But you are in Outlook and you want to show customizations, you open the Web Client and no customization area, and sometimes, no Settings area at all. Why you ask?

This is related to a caching issue with the sitemap.xml file, which controls the entire left-hand navigation and is generally common between the web client and the Outlook clients. The one exception is Settings, which is only available in the web client. If you start on the server with Outlook first and then open the web client, you may run in to this problem.

If you export the Site Map customizations and look at the file you will see that the Settings area is set to Client = “Web”. This means that the area will only appear in the CRM Web client. This is what is getting cached. When you open up the CRM Outlook Client the Sitemap settings say to not display the Settings button since it is only available in the CRM Web Client. (And please do try and change that, I am not sure what the ramifications are of doing that…)

You can fix this in a demo environment pretty easily.

  1. Make sure CRM Web and Outlook are closed completely
  2. Start | Run “Regedit”
  3. Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MSCRMClient\
  4. Look for the ServerURL Key
  5. Change it to from http://localhost:5555/MSCRMServices to (The IP of the local machine)

Now you should be able to demo both at the same time with your settings appearing where they should in the Outlook client.

Thanks to Dana Martens for providing a easy fix for something that has been driving me nuts since the early days of 3.0’s VPCs… This is something that Anne Stanton and others have been talking about for a while. While this is not for use in production, it should work. (I have ONLY ever ran into this in my VPC environments.)


This post contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/256986/) Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry