Doing a migration of a CRM 4.0 system from one environment to another, I ran into this problem:
The target environment was a test environment and the owner of the environment assigned ‘only’ 2 GB of RAM.

CPU 100%
Immediately after I imported the organization using the Deployment Manager, the CrmAsyncService spiked the CPU and the memory load up to nearly 100% constantly…

Solution
Because we migrated from a machine that had enough RAM to a machine with 2GB (on a 64 bit machine…), the solution was to change the values of the fields ‘IntColumn’ in the Table: ‘DeploymentProperties’ of the ‘MSCRM_CONFIG’ database where the ColumName equals ‘AsyncInMemoryHigh’ and ‘AsyncInMemoryLow’.

crm_asyncsettings
Fig 1: DeploymentProperties table

The values that worked for us are:

ColumnName IntColumn
AsyncInMemoryHigh 50
AsyncInMemoryLow 20

These values are a lot higher in a default Crm implementation, something like 5000 and 2000, so the values I use here are only in case of very low memory.

After a restart of the CrmAsyncService (kill process and manually restart service, or wait for it to come up again), the problem was gone and Performance Monitor showed that the workflows (which caused the problem) where processed again.

What these settings do is they dictate the CrmAsyncService to take the amount specified in the AsyncItemsInMemoryHigh IntColumn of tasks to process in memory (and no more than is specified).
The service will process these tasks one at a time, untill it reaches the amount specified in the AsyncItemsInMemoryLow IntColumn, it than takes the amount of tasks in memory, that are specified in the AsyncItemsInMemoryHigh IntColumn again, until there are no more tasks to process.

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly…


Using jQuery with MS CRM 4.0

Published 11/21/2008 by Henry in CRM | Javascript | jQuery

Doing a MS CRM 4.0 project, where the requirement is to create a toolbar button on a detailform.
This button needs to open a window (prefferably a modal window). In this window users can make some selections and when submitting, some processing will be done using these selections, this is not important for this post.

When thinking about this requirement, I really wanted to use something like the ASP.NET AJAX Control ToolKit's Modal Popup. Also I am really impressed by jQuery, a JavaScript library, that is an elegant and easy to use abstraction over JavaScript. It simplifies document traversing, event handling, animation and Ajax interactions. I knew about jqModal a jQuery plugin that simplifies display of dialogs and modal windows.

NOT FULLY SUPPORTED
If you are a developer
working with MS CRM, you know that it is higly customizable, but within it's own boundries. An important matter on this project particularly is that customizations need to be supported by Microsoft. What I am about to explain is NOT FULLY SUPPORTED, because I will use external.js files, using a link element to import it in the page. But I want to explain also, that it is possible to do this without using external files, you could paste the contents of the 'jquery-1.2.6.min.js' file into the onload function of the detailform's property window.

I wanted to give it a try, because, well just think about the possibilities for a while. If you can use jQuery in CRM development, a lot of possibilities open up.

FIRST STEPS
So the first thing to do is to put the 'jquery-1.2.6.min.js' file in a '_customscript' folder in the CRMWEB root folder. Next I need a way to reference the file, so it's contents can be called from the page. Like I already posted in my blogpost External js file and CRM, I like to do this using the Msxml2.XMLHTTP object. The function reads the contents of a file and imports all functions found into the current namespace, so they are accessible.

   1:  function load_script (url) 
   2:  { 
   3:      var x = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP"); 
   4:      x.open('GET', url, false); x.send(''); 
   5:      eval(x.responseText); 
   6:      var s = x.responseText.split(/\n/); 
   7:      var r = /^function\s*([a-z_]+)/i; 
   8:      for (var i = 0; i < s.length; i++) 
   9:      { 
  10:          var m = r.exec(s[i]); 
  11:          if (m != null) 
  12:              window[m[1]] = eval(m[1]); 
  13:      } 
  14:  } 
  15:   
  16:  load_script("/_customscript/jquery-1.2.6.min.js"); 
  17:  load_script("/_customscript/jqModal.js"); 
  18:  load_script("/_customscript/jqDnR.js"); 
  19:  load_script("/_customscript/customscript.js"); 

Listing 1

As you can read in listing 1, the 'jqModal.js' file is also referenced, this holds the jqModal library, I also load 'jqDnR.js' a jQuery library that supports dragging and resizing. I also load 'customscript.js', this is a custom javascript file that will hold the function that is called when the button on the details window is clicked.

CSS STYLESHEET
Because we do not want to mess with the stylesheets used by CRM we also need to add a stylesheet containig the modal window's styles to the filesystem. I made a css folder below the _customscript folder, the folder where I put the javascript libraries. You could add these styles through Dom manipulation in JavaScript also, to keep the customization supported by Microsoft!
I use the following code, you can do this in the OnLoad function of the details form, or in a separate function, that you call from the Onload function. I use the function that also checks if the reference exists already, but for simplicity put this in the On Load after listing 1.

   1:  var styleSheet = '/_customscript/css/modalWindow.css';
   2:  var head = document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0];
   3:  var linkElement = document.createElement('<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="'+ styleSheet +'" />');
   4:  head.appendChild(linkElement);

Listing 2

In listing 2 I create a link element with a reference to a style sheet and append this element to the head element of the html page (CRM's detail form).

Listing 3 will display the contents of the css style sheet:

   1:  .jqmWindow  
   2:  { 
   3:  	display: none; 
   4:  	position: fixed; 
   5:  	top: 17%; 
   6:  	left: 50%; 
   7:  	margin-left: -300px; 
   8:  	background-color: #E4EEF9; 
   9:  	border-width: 1px; 
  10:  	border-style: solid; 
  11:  	border-color: #0a6cce; 
  12:  	padding: 0px; 
  13:  	width: 374px; 
  12:  	height: 264px; 
  13:  } 
  14:  
  15:  .jqmOverlay { filter: alpha(opacity=70); opacity: 0.7; }
  16:  
  17:  .jqmTitle 
  18:  { 
  19:  	cursor: move; 
  20:  	background-color: #6793CC; 
  21:  	border: solid 1px #6793CC; 
  22:  	color: #FFFFFF; 
  23:  	font-weight: bold; 
  24:  	width: 100%; 
  25:  } 
  26:  
  27:  .jqmTitleText { float: left; position: relative; }
  28:  
  29:   /* Fixed posistioning emulation for IE6  
  30:      Star selector used to hide definition from browsers other than IE6  
  31:      For valid CSS, use a conditional include instead */  
  32:  * html .jqmWindow 
  33:  { 
  34:    position: absolute; 
  35:    top: expression((document.documentElement.scrollTop || document.body.scrollTop) + 
  36:         Math.round(17 * (document.documentElement.offsetHeight || document.body.clientHeight) / 100) + 'px'); 
  37:  } 
  38:  
  39:  .jqmIFrame { width: 100%; height: 100%; }
  40:  
  41:  .jqmClose 
  42:  {  
  43:    width: 20px; 
  44:  	font-weight: bold; 
  45:    float: right; 
  46:  	cursor: pointer; 
  47:    color: #FFFFFF; 
  48:  	background: #6793CC; 
  49:    border: 1px solid #6793CC; 
  50:  }  

Listing 3

CREATE DIV (MODAL WINDOW)
Next we need to add the div to CRM's details page. I wanted to this using the DOM, but for some reason it would not work. If anybody knows the reason why, please let me know!
Instead i used  the following approach, again: you can do this in the OnLoad function of the details form, or in a separate function, that you call from the Onload function.
In the real world project I use the function, but for simplicity in this example, I just put this in the On Load after listing 2.

   1:  // Not using dom to add new elements, because for some reason that does not work!
   2:  var body = document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0];
   3:  var modalDiv = document.createElement('<div id="dialog" class="jqmWindow" ></div>');
   4:  var titleDiv = document.createElement('<div id="jqmTitle" class="jqmTitle"></div>');
   5:  var modalTitle = document.createElement('<span id="jqmTitleText" class="jqmTitleText"></span>');
   6:  modalTitle.innerText = 'Documentenuitvoer';
   7:      
   8:  var modalButton = document.createElement('<button class="jqmClose" ></button>');
   9:  modalButton.innerText = 'X';
  10:      
  11:  var modalIFrame = document.createElement('<iframe id="jqmContent" class="jqmIFrame" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>');
  12:  titleDiv.appendChild(modalButton);
  13:  titleDiv.appendChild(modalTitle);
  14:      
  15:  modalDiv.appendChild(titleDiv);
  16:  modalDiv.appendChild(modalIFrame);  
  17:      
  18:  body.appendChild(modalDiv);

Listing 4

As you can read in listing 4 first I get the body element and assign it to the 'body' variable. Than I create two div elements, the reason I do not create a div element and use setAttribute to set the attributes, but create the element in one line using a string containing the whole tag is that I could not get it to work, again let me know if you do! The first div will be our modal window. The second with id 'jqmTitle' is the header. Next I Create a span that will contain the text for the header, a (close) button that will be placed in the header on the right side.
And an iframe, in this iframe any (custom) page can be loaded.

INITIALIZE MODAL WINDOW USING jQUERY
To initialize the modal window, we have to add listing 5 to the OnLoad function of the details form in CRM after listing 4.

   1:  $().ready(function() {
   2:    $('#dialog').jqm();
   3:    $('#dialog').jqm().jqDrag('#jqmTitle'); 
   4:  });

Listing 5

In Listing 5 we use jQuery syntax. We attach the code to the OnReadyState eventhandler of the document. when the document is fully loaded the element with id 'dialog' will be registered as a jqModal window by line 2. Line 3 registers the dragging functionality of the element with id 'jqmTitle' inside the modal window (our header div).

CUSTOMIZE ISV.CONFIG XML
Now we only have to do two more things, the first is that we have to change isv.config.xml to create the button on our detail form, I use the contact and need the modal window functionality on the contact entity's form. I made the following change to the isv.config.xml:

   1:  <!-- Microsoft Customer Relationship Management Entities (Objects) -->
   2:  <Entities>
   3:      <Entity name="contact">
   4:        <MenuBar>
   5:          <CustomMenus>
   6:            <Menu>
   7:              <Titles>
   8:                <Title LCID="1043" Text="Documenten" />
   9:              </Titles>
  10:              <MenuItem JavaScript="ShowModalWindow();">
  11:                <Titles>
  12:                  <Title LCID="1043" Text="Plaats document in DocumentUitvoer" />
  13:                </Titles>
  14:              </MenuItem>
  15:            </Menu>
  16:          </CustomMenus>
  17:        </MenuBar>
  18:      </Entity>
  19:  </Entities>

Listing 6

Listing 6 displays part of the xml, the IsvConfig element holds an element configuration , which holds the Entities element. I need the contact Entity. The MenuBar element holds CustomMenus, which holds Menu. I added a Menu element with Title "Documenten" (LCID="1043" which means dutch). The Menu element holds MenuItem elements. I added a MenuItem element With a dutch Title and a JavaScript attribute that has the value 'ShowModalWindow()'. When we import the isv.config.xml and publish the customization changes, we see the menuitem is added.

CREATE JAVASCRIPT FUNCTION THAT SHOWS MODAL WINDOW 
In listing 1 on line 19 we saw that the external javascript file 'customscript.js' is loaded in the OnLoad function of the details form. 'customscript.js' is a custom  javascript file that holds the 'ShowModalWindow()' function.
As I mentiod earlier we had to do 2 more things, the first was the customization of the isv.config.xml and the second is to create this function: 

   1:  var customPagesVirtualDir = 'Custompages';
   2:   
   3:  function ShowModalWindow()
   4:  {
   5:      var contactId = crmForm.ObjectId;
   6:      var popUpUrl = '/' + customPagesVirtualDir + '/Popup.aspx?contactid=' + contactId;
   7:      $('#jqmContent').html('').attr('src', popUpUrl);
   8:      $('#dialog').jqmShow({modal: true});
   9:  }

Listing 7

Addition:  

I added line 1 after Imane pointed out the variable customPagesVirtualDir was not declared, thanks for telling me!

Listing 7 displays the 'ShowModalWindow()' function, the crmForm.ObjectId is assigned to a variable contactId. A variable popupUrl is filled with the url to a custom aspx page. Line 7 is jQuery syntax and assigns the url to the src attribute of the iframe inside the modal window. Line 8 opens the modal window and assigns true to the modal property, So the behaviour of the dialog will be like a modal dialog.

EXAMPLE

CRM's detail form contact entity
Picture 1: Contact details form

In the menu a button is added:


Picture 2: Menu item

 When a user clicks on the menu-item, the function ShowModalDialog is called in the external js file that is referenced in the OnLoad function of the page where the jQuery plugin loads the modal window (client-side!) and the users sees picture 3:

jQuery and jqModal in action on a contact details form
Picture 3: jQuery and jqModal in action on a contact details form

CONCLUSION
Personally I think this is awsome, jQuery is real easy to use and complex matters seem simple. It is a joy to use jQuery with CRM. This combination opens up a world of possibilities. Ofcourse CRM is a web application and customizable, so you could expect external libraries targeted to web applications to work with it. But for me the experience to open a modal dialog like this on a CRM details window without hacking CRM code...
Well I will stop rambling, you can judge yourself.

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...


CRM 4.0 Login failes 'key expired'

Published 7/24/2008 by Henry in CRM
Tags:

On our CRM 4.0 Dev environment we experienced the following behaviour:
When opening CRM this message appeared:

The key specified to compute a hash value is expired, only active keys are valid.  Expired Key : CrmKey...

After searching on the machine I found that the Async service did not run, I started it and this solved the issue.

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...


CRM 4.0 Workflow Wait condition bug

Published 6/30/2008 by Henry in CRM
Tags:

While testing a workflow in CRM 4.0 we encountered the following situation.
The workflow runs when a custom entity is assigned to a person.
In this workflow a wait condition waits until a particular task is completed (activitystatus is completed).
The workflow never stops waiting, even when the task is completed.

You can imagine this is really annoying, I did a support call at Microsoft and after checking some settings, they told us this was a known issue and the were working on the fix.
A few days later we got the fix (KB951919), it is not in the public list of all CRM 4.0 updates and hotfixes, but there is a fix if you need it, just contact MS.

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly


External js file and CRM

Published 5/27/2008 by Henry in AJAX | CRM | Javascript

While doing a project where MS Dynamics CRM  is used a lot of customizations are performed by JavaScript.
Usually the way to it is to perform some JavaScript actions in the OnLoad of the Page.
MS Dynamics CRM has a extention point, where you can control the OnLoad of Detail Forms by entering JavaScript.

Now when you need to deploy your CRM configuration to more than one system (like we do at my project, it is sold as part of a product), you want to use a centralized Javascript file so you can change your url's etc. all in one place.
To do this (unsupported by Microsoft!) I learnt the following technique from CRM Specialists:

First technique

   1:  var script = document.createElement('script');
   2:  script.language = 'javascript';
   3:  script.src = '/_customscript/customscript.js';
   4:  script.onreadystatechange = OnScriptReadyState;
   5:  document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(script);
   6:   
   7:  function OnScriptReadyState()
   8:  {
   9:      if (event.srcElement.readyState == 'complete')
  10:     {
  11:          // Perform onload script
  12:          //Doit();
  13:      }
  14:  }

Listing 1

The drawback with this technique is that the first time CRM loads (and every time the cache is empty) the script is not executed. Leaving the user to think the application does not work. After some time it really annoyed me, so I started to ask uncle Google again for a solution. I found the following on http://blog.odynia.org/archives/1-Javascript-Includes.html.

What this guy does is doing an AJAX call, to get the js file.
Next he loads the javascript as a string, eval() it, and imports all functions found into the current namespace, so you can access them.

It needs functionnames a-z, it cannot handle numeric values in the name of the function, but i will fix this before I will use it.
Otherwise I think it rocks! Async technique (no first time drawback)

   1:  function load_script (url) 
   2:  { 
   3:      var x = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP"); 
   4:      x.open('GET', url, false); 
   5:      x.send(''); 
   6:      eval(x.responseText); 
   7:      var s = x.responseText.split(/\n/); 
   8:      var r = /^function\s*([a-z_]+)/i; 
   9:      for (var i = 0; i < s.length; i++) 
  10:      { 
  11:          var m = r.exec(s[i]); 
  12:          if (m != null) 
  13:          {
  14:              window[m[1]] = eval(m[1]); 
  15:          }
  16:      } 
  17:  } 
  18:   
  19:  load_script("/_customscript/customscript.js"); 
  20:   
  21:  //perform onload scripts
  22:  //DoIt();

Listing 2

Addition:

As I mentioned numbers in the functionname caused the code to fail. So I changed the regex pattern in line 8 from listing 2 into:

   1:  var r = /^function\s*([a-zA-Z_0-9]+)/i; 

Listing 3

With this regex pattern functions with numbers in the name also are added to the namespace. I added the uppercase A-Z not because functions with uppercase characters in the name where not added, but as a best practice. also you can never be sure browsers keep on using IgnoreCase as default setting.

As you can read in the comments, Marc-Andre uses the following pattern:

   1:  var r = /^(?:function|var)\s*([a-zA-Z_]+)/i; 

He wants some vars (which he uses as constants) to be added to the namespace also, maybe I would add the 0-9 here also. anyway, I think it is a good suggestion to mention here.

Addition 2:

Steve Le Mon made a very good suggestion and tried out a few things, he found a way around the parsing of the functions and/or vars and adding them to the current namespace.
I tweaked his code a little bit and ended up with the following:

   1:  function InjectScript(scriptFile)
   2:  {
   3:      var netRequest = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP"); 
   4:      netRequest.open("GET", scriptFile, false); 
   5:      netRequest.send(null); 
   6:      eval(netRequest.responseText); 
   7:  }
   8:   
   9:  InjectScript('/_customscript/customscript.js');
  10:   
  11:  //CallFunctionInExternalFile(); 

Listing 4

This technique removes the overhead of the parsing of the functions and vars so will perform faster.

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...