What's New for Developers in Dynamics CRM 2011


Applies To: Dynamics CRM 2011

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 unlock new opportunities and provide a single development environment for cloud-based and on-premises deployments. Partners, including independent software vendors, global system integrators, and value-added resellers, can quickly create, package, and distribute Microsoft Dynamics CRM extensions and custom solutions.


If your organization has been updated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13, please use the latest version of the SDK. Download the updated SDK package for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and CRM Online Fall ‘13.

In This Topic

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 15

Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online November 2011 Service Update and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 5

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 15

With the release of updated assemblies for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 15, the following SDK updates were made to support developers.

Authentication Helper Code for Microsoft Account Transition to Office 365

Authentication related documentation and updated sample code was added to support the transition of Microsoft account subscriptions to Microsoft online services. This applies only to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers. For more information, see Microsoft account subscription transition to Office 365 and Authenticate Microsoft account users with Office 365.

NuGet Packages Published

For improved developer productivity, NuGet packages of the SDK assemblies have been published to http://nuget.org. These packages can be used with Visual Studio 2010, 2012, or 2013. To locate the packages for the 2011 SDK, go to the package page and choose the 5.x.x version of the package. For example, on the Microsoft.CrmSdk.CoreAsemblies page, choose the 5.0.18 version. For more information about NuGet, refer to the NuGet web site.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12

The following new capabilities were introduced with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12.

Integration with Yammer

Yammer, a powerful tool for collaborating in your organization, is now integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. For more information, see Connect to Yammer.

Extended Browser Support

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 web application now supports multiple web browsers and operating systems. For more information about how this affects your code, see Write JavaScript for Multiple Browsers.

Enhancements to Activity Feeds

The enhancements made to the activity feeds include a new feature called Like/Unlike. With this feature, you can express your immediate feedback about a post. For more information, see Like/Unlike.

Updated User Experience for Sales and Customer Service and Product Update Functionality

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update introduces a variety of new features and functionality, including an updated user experience. For Sales and Customer Service users, the updated user experience provides a new business process flow visualization, which appears at the top of the forms, such as the Opportunity, Lead or Case form. The business process flow guides users through the various phases of the sales and customer service processes. For trials and subscriptions initiated after December 2012, the updated Sales and Customer Service user experience is included by default. Existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers have an option of adding the updated user experience to the Opportunity, Lead and Case forms by installing the Product Updates. This lets Administrators install selected feature updates based upon the specific needs of their organizations. The Product Updates are installed by using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web application; they cannot be installed programmatically.


Installing Product Updates is a one-way process. After they are installed, they cannot be removed.

The new business process flow user experience is built upon one new entity and a set of new attributes added to existing entities. This entity and the new attributes exist in the databases of all deployments, regardless of whether or not the Product Updates are installed.

  • New attributes are added in the lead, opportunity, and incident (case) entities. The description of each new attribute appears as “For internal use only” in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12 and in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update until the Product Updates are installed. After the Product Updates are installed, the attribute descriptions are updated in the metadata. For more information, see Lead Entity Metadata, Opportunity Entity Metadata and Incident (Case) Entity Metadata.

  • A new entity called complex control (process configuration) is added. This entity is intended for internal use regardless of deployment type and whether or not you install the Product Updates.

  • New parameters are added in the FormXml for the Quick Form control, the Link control, web resource controls, the Lookup control, and Subgrid controls. For more information, see  <parameters> (FormXml) and <form> (FormXml).

  • The Opportunity.CustomerId attribute’s required level changes from system-required to application-required (referred to as business-required in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web application), if you have Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update with the Product Updates installed or your organization’s subscription began after December, 2012. In all other product installations and subscriptions, the required level for this attribute is system-required.


    If you check for the non-null values in the system-required attributes, your application may throw an exception upon detecting a null value in the application-required CustomerId attribute after you install the Product Updates. The application-required attribute may contain the null value, if the attribute is not present in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM forms. We recommend always checking an attribute’s metadata to prevent exception errors.

For more information about the updated user experience and Product Update functionality, see Introduction to the new lead and opportunity forms, Turn on the new sales and service process forms and Installing Product Updates.

Custom Workflow Activities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Custom workflow activities can now be registered and executed on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. For more information about how to use custom workflow activities in partial trust (isolation mode), see the following topics:

Developer Toolkit Support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

The Developer Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online now supports Microsoft Visual Studio 2012. The installer can be found in the SDK download in the sdk\tools\developertoolkit\ folder.

Bulk Data Load

To support bulk data load scenarios, this release introduces the ExecuteMultipleRequest message. This message supports the execution of multiple message requests using a single web method call. ExecuteMultipleRequest accepts an input collection of message requests, executes each of the message requests in the order they appear in the input collection, and optionally returns a collection of responses containing each message’s response or the error that occurred. Processing requests in bulk results in lower network traffic and higher message processing throughput.

For more information, see Use ExecuteMultiple to Improve Performance for Bulk Data Load.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online November 2011 Service Update and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 5

The following new capabilities were introduced with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online November 2011 Service Update and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 5.

Activity Feeds

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Activity Feeds provide real-time notifications and quick sharing of information through short updates. These updates appear on your personal wall in the What's New area of the Workplace. Activity Feeds enable you to follow and learn about important activities that take place around people, accounts, contacts, leads, and anything else that you care about.

Updates can be posted manually by you, or automatically based on predefined system rules through a workflow. Activity Feeds can also be posted to by external applications through the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web services API. Activity Feeds expose Microsoft Lync real-time presence functionality so that you can initiate communication activities such as IM, phone calls, and emails. For more information, see Activity Feeds Entities.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

The following new capabilities were introduced with the initial release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 provides customizers with the ability to configure auditing for an entity or for an attribute within that entity. You can use auditing to analyze the history of a particular entity record or view a summary of everything that changed. Keep track of the changes done to a record or a field. Microsoft Dynamics CRM automatically creates logs for the changes that are tracked. In addition, you can also track when a user has accessed Microsoft Dynamics CRM and from what application.

Extensibility and Developer Features

For developers, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 provides the same flexibility to extend the application through Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 as well as leveraging Windows Workflow Foundation. There are a number of additional items exposed to developers that enable the delivery more dynamic solutions. Some of these enhancements include:

Improved Microsoft Office Interface

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 introduces a new Microsoft Office 2010 contextual ribbon for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics CRM web clients and for Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook. The new ribbon delivers a consistent, familiar navigation and user experience that helps you better integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM with your Microsoft Office 2010 environment. For more information about customizing the ribbon, see Customize the Ribbon.

Advanced User Personalization

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 lets you configure a workspace that is personalized to meet your unique role and information needs. Personalizing a workspace means that you can set the default pane and tab that display when you open Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You also have control over what links appear in the workplace view, how many records appear in lists, how numbers and dates display, and the language for your user interface. Combine this personalization with the new dashboard feature to create a personalized dashboard for your default view.

Global Customizations

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 enables you to create globally available option sets (formerly known as picklists). These option sets can be used on one or more forms. In addition, you can also create globally available JScripts that are made available to any entity within the Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment.

Role-based Forms and Views

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 displays forms and views based on user roles. This role-tailored design ensures that the business professionals in your organization have fast access to the information they need. Role-based forms and views also prevent users from viewing data that they are not authorized to view.

Inline Data Visualization

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, you can create and share inline charts with drill-down intelligence. By using these charts, you can visually navigate data and uncover new insights that contribute to your organization's success. You can view the charts that you create from the main list of records or from the list of associated records for an individual record. Share your charts with other users or teams in the organization. Import charts created by other users into your records. For information about how to develop custom charts, see View Data with Visualizations (Charts).


Dashboards are a powerful feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Use a dashboard to see at a glance all the information you need to make key business decisions. Assemble and present information from several places in Microsoft Dynamics CRM in a quickly-read format. This means that you do not have to search multiple areas for the information you want. Dashboards are easy to create, and are easy to revise as your changing business needs require. For more information about how to develop custom dashboards, see Analyze Data with Dashboards.

Better Office Outlook Experience

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 improves the integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM into Microsoft Office Outlook with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook. It takes full advantage of native Microsoft Outlook functionality, such as previews and conditional formatting, and presents Microsoft Dynamics CRM areas as subfolders in Microsoft Outlook mail folders. With a few exceptions, these Microsoft Dynamics CRM areas in Microsoft Outlook include all of the same functionality as the browser clients. For more information about how to develop for Microsoft Outlook, see Extend Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook. Customizing Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook is the same as customizing the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web client. For more information, see Customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

Contextual Document Management

If your organization uses Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, you can easily manage documents that are related to records within a particular entity. By using SharePoint Server as your document depository, the seamless interface in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 allows you to add and edit documents that are associated with a particular record. When you set up document management, Microsoft Dynamics CRM creates the structure on your SharePoint Server site that works with the entities and records that you want for document management. For more information, see Integrate SharePoint with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

Goal Management

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 gives you the ability to define key performance and business health indicators. This way you can track and measure results against your organization's goals or metrics, and easily and quickly define goals for a campaign or fiscal period. You can combine smaller goals, such as for specific teams or territories, into the overall goals for your organization. Create a rollup of all the goals into the actuals that show how you are tracking. For more information about writing code for goals, see Goal Management Entities.

Interactive Process Dialogs

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 expands its workflow capability by adding interactive dialogs. Dialogs present a consistent message to your customers. Also, dialogs collect and process information by using step-by-step scripts to direct users through every process. You can use dialogs to guide customer interactions and internal processes. You can also increase dialog performance and versatility by incorporating workflow logic. This logic invokes automated tasks by using the responses that a customer or user makes during the dialog script. Support for a date and time data type, dynamic links to entity records, and retention of user input when moving backward then forward through the Dialog has been added. For more information about dialogs and workflows, see Write Workflows to Automate Business Processes.

Cloud Development

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is at the leading edge of cloud computing (a type of computing that uses groups of servers and scalable resources, generally a platform as a service and software as a service, over the Internet). Developers can take advantage of the Windows Azure platform to develop and deploy custom code for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online by using powerful tools, such as Microsoft Visual Studio. By using the Microsoft .NET Framework 4, developers can also incorporate Microsoft Silverlight, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), and .NET Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) into their cloud solutions. Cloud development for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is a powerful tool for customizing your Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution for optimal performance and business results. For more information, see Azure Extensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

Solution Management

Solutions in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 are a new way to save customizations and share them with other users. You can create a solution or import a solution created by a developer outside your organization. You can share a solution with other users. A managed solution can be edited only by specific users. An unmanaged solution can be edited by any user with the appropriate user role. A solution can have version numbering, relationships with entities and other components, and security features based on user roles. For more information, see Package and Distribute Extensions.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace

Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is your online solutions catalog. These solutions help you accelerate and extend your Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation. Quickly discover and apply industry-specific applications and extensions from Microsoft and its partners. Then, Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace distributes your solution directly to you. Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Find your solution directly from Microsoft Dynamics CRM. For more information, seeRegister Your Solution with the Dynamics Marketplace.


In previous versions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM users had the ability to make loosely coupled connections between accounts, contacts, and opportunities. While this provided a level of value, users were limited only to these three entities. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, users now have the ability to make their own connections between entities. While users will still have the ability to use the relationship functionality between accounts, contacts, and opportunities, use will be deprecated moving forward. For more information, seeConnection Entities.

Recurring Activities

In addition to the new connection functionality, users can now create recurring activities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. This functionality is similar to what an end user would experience in Microsoft Outlook. For more information, see Recurring Appointment Entities.


Creating an opportunity is an important part of the sales process. It represents a potential sale to new or established customers. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, opportunities have a much closer parity with quotes, invoices, and orders. The shared data includes user and product information, product prices, discounts, freight amount, total costs, and tax. All shared data, including write-in products, is transferred from an opportunity to a quote, an invoice, or a sales order during conversion. For more information, see Opportunity Entities.


In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, queues have been improved, bringing the queue and queue item entities to the front as first class entities. Queues are primarily used for customer service in a work management capacity. Items such as incidents (cases), activities, and e-mails can be added to queues. Once an item is in a queue, different users can be assigned to work on the item. This provides a central location for all work to be aggregated and distributed, it also provides visibility to items to make sure that items are not forgotten or missed. In this release, queues have full featured security, work with a rich selection of entity types, and can participate in searches and workflow. For more information, see Queue Entities.

Field Level Security

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, you can use field-level security to restrict access to high business impact fields to specific users and teams. For example, you use this to enable only certain users to read or update the credit score for a customer. For this release, field security can be applied to custom fields only.


The existing support for teams has been enhanced by making a team a security principal that can own and manage records. For more information, see User and Team Entities.

Web Resources

Web resources are ”virtual files” that are stored in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM database and can be retrieved by using a unique URL address. These virtual files can be used to extend the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web application such as html files, Jscript, and Silverlight applications. You can use Web resources in form customizations, the Sitemap, or the application ribbon because they can be referenced by using URL syntax.

See Also

Learn About Development
What Is Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011?
Tutorials for Learning About Development for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

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