During my time with Microsoft CRM 4 I’ve found some limitations of the import & export process of customizations, which led to the curiosity if one could fix those with a custom application. Thanks to the open architecture of Microsoft CRM with Web Services and Xml for customization management it was pretty easy to create a small application to improve the import and export process of customizations.
Here follows the main features of CrmCustomizeManager.
- Console Application, Making it possible to import and export inside nant, msbuild or bat scripts, for example to export the customization each night and “check in” to a source code repository, enabling version control of the customizations. Also to import customizations directly from a MSI installation.
- Export Only Modifications, You can export a “clean” customization xml in the beginning of a project and save it in the application folder as “CleanCustomization.xml”, the application will compare the current state and only export the entities that are modified or added.
- Remove Deleted Attributes, This feature only applies when importing a customization. When this operation is selected one will be prompted with all attributes that has been removed in the new customization, given the possibility to remove them from the CRM instance.
- Changes Attribute data type, When changing an attributes data type and then trying to import it to a CRM instance that still contains the old attribute would normally generate an error. This is now handled and the data inside the old attribute will be converted to the new data type (when possible and logical)
- Publish, You can publish the customizations, can also be used at it’s own, for example assigning it to a system wide hotkey for fast access.
- Node & Entity Selection, you can select what nodes and entities to import and export. For example only export ISV Config or the Site Map. Possible items to select,
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