System Administrator VS System Customizer

Title sounds very basic right? But after working for 3 years on CRM platform this was it that I had missed. But as it is never too late to learn anything here is what I searched and added in a consolidate list. It may not be that helpful for someone who is working from long on CRM but may be for someone who is new to it. J

Traditional definition of these two roles say:

System Administrator

System Administrator is the highest level role which encompasses all the privileges and has over-riding rights. The System Administrator has the authority to allow and remove access of other users and define the extent of their rights. For example, the System Administrator and the System Customizer are given access to custom entities by default while all other users need to be given access. This is the only role that cannot be edited.

System Customizer

The System Customizer role is similar to the System Administrator role which enables non-system administrators to customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM. A Customizer is a user who customizes entities, attributes and relationships.

Ok, so do that mean that the only difference between System Administrator and System Customizer is that System Customizer enables User non-system administrator to customize CRM? No there is more.

System Administrator has Organization level access to all system (Out Of Box) entities while System Customizer has only User level access to all system entities. While both System Administrator and System Customizer have Organization level access to all custom entities.


The next important difference is that User with System Administrator role can customize System Customizer security role but no user can customize System Administrator security role.

To conclude in tabular format:

System Administrator

System Customizer

Organization level access to all system (Out Of Box) entities User level access to all system entities
Cannot Customize Can be customize
No restriction on any entity Restricted access (Create/Delete) to Plugin assembly, SDK Message Processing Steps, Service endpoints, Web resource, System Job, Calendar, Business Closer, Business Unit, Currency, Security Role, Team, User Impersonation, Override Created On, Enable/Disable User, Audit Partition, Bulk Delete


Do you have your version of the difference? Please share in comments below.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector Setup for CRM 2015

Whether you’re a corporate marketing team or an advertising agency, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing delivers powerful, integrated marketing management solutions that can help you better understand your customers. With Microsoft Dynamics Marketing you’ll get exceptional insight, control over budgets and resources, and be able to create automated, measurable multi-channel campaigns to deliver tangible results.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is good for marketing related activities and generating Leads while on other hand Microsoft Dynamics CRM is great for working the all sort of marketing data weather it a sales (Lead-to-Opportunity), service (activity to incident) life cycle.

Spring’ 14 brought to us Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for connecting these two products and excel the business with (306)2 degree view of your business. J

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Dynamics CRM allows to:

  • Connects MDM and CRM thereby allowing marketing data to be synchronized between these two applications.
  • Leverages a managed solution for CRM which customizes a CRM organization to support the connector.


  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011/2013/2015
  • Microsoft Dynamics Marketing
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for CRM

Steps involved:

  1. Download and install required connector resources
  2. Check “Integration Services” for your MDM
  3. Configure the MDM-CRM Connector
  4. Testing

Download and install connector resources

Download required connector resources

  1. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Dynamics CRM is available for download at
  2. Select the required components from the list and download to local drive.cm1
  3. Extract the required connector.msi.


Installing the Connector

  1. Navigate to where you downloaded the files, double click the file “Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 17.0.3711 – CRM Connector.msi” (In my case as I’m using CRM 2015) and Install.
  2. In the dialog click Next                                                                                       cm3
  3. Read and accept the term and conditions and click next.                           cm4
  4. If required Browse to a new location for the installation files and click Next.cm5
  5. Wait for the extraction to get completed.                                                     cm6
  6. Click Finish                                                                                                             cm7


  1. Unless provided explicitly, the default extract location is                         cm8

Installing the connector solution to your CRM environment

  1. Open the CRM environment and navigate to Settings –> Solutions      cm9
  2. Click Import and Click Choose File
  3. Navigate to the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics Marketing\Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and select the file
  4. Verify you selected the correct file and click Next                                       cm12
  1. Let the import process complete
  2. Click Close and verify the solution has been installed

Note: You may get below error while importing the solution if CRM 2011/2013 connector solution is selected for CRM 2015 environment.


Important: After the “Dynamics Marketing Connector for Dynamics CRM” solution is installed in your CRM, you must create/update a ‘connector user’ in CRM. This user must be assigned the “Dynamics Marketing Connector” security role. The “Dynamics Marketing Connector” security role is created when the Dynamics Marketing solution is installed in Dynamics CRM.


Check “Integration Services” for your Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

MDM connector can only be configured when Integration Services are enabled for your MDM environment. These services are only deployed in your MDM instance by Microsoft upon request.

  1. To check whether the service is enabled or not, navigating to Settings -> Integration Options in MDM
  2. The Status indicator at the top of the “Settings” page indicates the status of integration services for your MDM
    1. Blue checkmark indicates that integration services are enabled. cm18
    2. Red checkmark indicates that Integration Services are not been deployed yet for your MDM instance.cm19

Note: Follow Appendix “How to configure Integration Services for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing for Office 365 admin portal” for steps to request Microsoft Support for the configuration.

Configure the MDM-CRM connector

  1. To facilitate access to CRM from MDM via the Connector Service you must define a CRM Endpoint in MDM. The account you enter for the endpoint is used by the “Integration services” to create and change entities in the CRM system.
  2. In MDM, navigate to Home -> Settings -> Integration Options to open the “Integration Settings” page.
  3. In the “CRM Endpoint” section, click the Configuration button to open the “Configure CRM Account for Access by the Connector Service” dialog.                                                                   cm20

Note: The “Configure CRM Account for Access by the Connector Service” is a model dialog and not supported by Chrome 37 and higher version. Tri using IE browser if configuration button does not respond on Chrome browser.

  1. Provide the URL for your CRM Service and the credentials of your Connector account. You can click Verify to test that the credentials you have entered are valid. Click Submit to save and close.cm21
  2. Verify if MDM and CRM Listener services are enabled for your MDM instance on same settings page under Services Section.                                                                                                 cm22
  3. If these services are disabled, click on first highlighted arrow from left to enable MDM Listener, MDM Publisher and CRM Listener. The second arrow is to enable SDK Service.cm23
  4. On clicking Ok, the services will be enabled for configuration.                  cm24
  5. In the “Service Bus” section click the Configuration button to open the “Configure Windows Azure for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing” dialog.                                                                              cm25

Note: Please see Appendix “Configure an Azure namespace to serve as the transportation channel” if you don’t have a preconfigured Azure namespace with ACS.

  1. In the “Configure Windows Azure for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing” dialog
    1. Enter the service bus namespace in the “Azure Namespace field”
    2. Enter a name for the “Queue from Dynamics CRM”, eg “CRM2MDM”
    3. Enter a name for the “Queue from Dynamics Marketing “, eg “MDM2CRM”
    4. Click Configure Azure ACS to open the “Provide Credentials for configuring the Azure Service Bus” dialog.cm26
    5. In the “Provide Credentials for configuring the Azure Service Bus” dialog you must provide a number of administrative credentials in order to setup the secured trust relationship between the integration service and your CRM system through your Azure service bus. None of these administrative credentials will be ever stored. They will be used for an automated configuration, which eases the configuration immensely.
    6. Type or paste the Azure Management key in the “Management Key” field.
    7. Enter the CRM Certificate issuer name in the “Dynamics CRM certificate issuer name” field. You can find the issuer name from your CRM Online system under Settings –> Customizations –>Developer Resources.                                                                                                        cm27
    8. Download the certificate file from CRM (see screenshot above) and Upload the certificate file in the third field on the Azure service bus configuration dialog.
    9. Enter the credentials of an administrative account of your CRM system.
    10. Click OK to save and close the “Provide Credentials for configuring the Azure Service Bus” dialog and return to the “Configure Windows Azure for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing” dialog.cm28
    11. Click Submit to save and close the “Configure Windows Azure for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing” dialog.
    12. Verify in the “Services” sections in the Integration settings page that you now have three service roles running:
      1. “MDM Listener” – listens for messages in the Azure Service Bus queue that indicate changes to make to data contained in Dynamics Marketing
      2. “MDM Publisher” – publishes messages to the Azure Service Bus queue to indicate changes that need to be made in Dynamics CRM
      3. “CRM Listener” – listens for messages that indicate a change needs to be processed in CRM. This role retrieves the messages from the Azure Service Bus queue and then executes a request against the CRM Organization Service to complete the change.         cm29
  1. The final step for your configuration is the initial synchronization. On the “Settings” page, scroll down to the “Initial Synchronization” section and click the arrow button and select Yes.cm30                                                 cm31
  2. Wait until this step has completed.                                                                cm32
  3. You might need to refresh the “Settings” page a few times until the step is marked as complete.cm33


  1. Create a new Marketing Contact in MDM by navigating to Marketing Execution à Marketing Contact.cm34
  2. Save the contact and switch to CRM. Navigate to Sales à Contacts and search for the newly created record.cm35
  3. Update the email address field for the same contact in CRM and save.cm36
  4. Check the same contact in MDM for the change.                                                cm37



Appendix: Configure an Azure namespace to serve as the transportation channel

Follow below steps for creating an Azure namespace with ACS on your existing Microsoft Azure subscription.

  1. Open Microsoft Azure PowerShell. Download if not already installed.
  2. Type > Add-AzureAccount to connect to your presubscribed Azure account.cm38
  3. Enter the email address and credentials for your Azure account and wait till the PowerShell connects.cm39
  4. Type > New-AzureSBNamespace
  5. Upon prompt provide Namespce name and Type as below.                     cm40
  6. Use this namespace and Default Key for MDM configuration with Azure.

Appendix: How to configure Integration Services for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing for Office 365 admin portal

Follow below steps for requesting the Integration Services to be deployed for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing instance.

  1. In the “Office 365 admin center” click Support in the left navigation panel and select Service Requests.cm41
  2. Click “+” to create a new Service Request (SR) with the following settings:
    1. Issue Type = “Technical Support”
    2. Service = “Dynamics Marketing”
    3. Service Area = “Connector”
    4. Problem area = “Connector Setup installation”
    5. Title = (type a title for your SR)
    6. Description = (include a description – good idea to include the URL of your MDM instance)
    7. Contact Name
    8. Contact Phone Number
  3. A member of the support team might call you to verify the request details. As soon as the connector service has been deployed, you will see the blue checkmark.

Solutions in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

In this post we will briefly discuss about types of solutions available in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and some important points to be remembered while working with Solutions.

There are two types of solutions in Dynamics CRM:

1. Managed Solution: It prevents the solution from being modified in the environment to which it is imported.

2. Unmanaged Solutions: It allows for the solution to be modified after it is imported.

It is recommended that users deploying normal customization changes should do so using unmanaged solutions. Managed solutions are great for ISV’s who are selling their intellectual property and don’t want it to be modified by their customers.

Challenge with using managed solution for normal customizations is that there are some level of customization changes that are required to be made even in a CRM production environment, such as view, chart, and dashboard changes. Also, maintaining a managed solution requires that you preserve an unmanaged copy of that solution somewhere, since that is the only way you can update the solution or delete components.

Removal of a Managed solution does following things:

1. Removes all custom entities and components contained within the solution i.e. entities, web resources, processes.
2. Removes all customizations to system entities contained within the solution i.e. fields, views.
3. Deletes the data that is held within these custom entities and fields.

4. Any personal views/charts/dashboards in any custom entities will be lost.


When you import a solution, custom entity object type codes value changes in the database. If you have any reports or custom development that calls records using the OTC, this may break them. It is recommend to call hyperlinks using the entity name rather than OTC. Also you may find that some processes, such as workflows, cannot be published. This can happen because they reference a record that does not exist.


We usually perform a round of validation after every import of a solution just to be sure that we have deployed everything correctly. Below are some brief components that should also be validated.

1. CRM UI comparison: Verify that all custom forms behave the way they did before by checking create, update, and saving of a record.

2. Security role assignments: Import of unmanaged version of the solution restores the security roles, but it does not links them to the appropriate users as it was in the source environment.

3. Duplicate detection rules and Audit settings: Import of a solution disables auditing and un-publish duplicate detection rules.

4. Processes.

Hope this helps!

Migrating history information while data import in Dynamics CRM

When you import historical data in Dynamics CRM, you may want to override property information like Created By, Created On, Modified By, Modified On associated to the record. It seems possible because CRM has provided security privileges called “Override Created on or Created by for records during data import”. However, simply update the appropriate Security Role to enable this privilege does not completely meet all requirements to override such fields as the name sounds.

The truth is, only “Created On” field can be overridden and only if the ‘allow creating duplicate records’ option is checked during the import process. In other words, we cannot update this field on existing records. Only creating new records does work for overriding “Created On” field.
While the Created By, Modified On, Modified By fields cannot be updated once the data is imported even though the user has full privilege on “Override Created on or Created by for records during data import”.

A workaround for such request can be to have a plugin that fires on pre-create of the entity and set the values for remaining fields problematically.



It is recommended that you do an import process by a administrative user which has a timezone set to GMT/UTC.

The reason is in 2005 (2005 revision to dates of observance) the date when Daylight Savings Time starts and ends in the US was changed. As a result, if you import the data back in for previous years as a user that is not on GMT, some of the records will be off by an hour.



  • When one have a list of related entities for which data import is required, order in which data for these entities are imported is important. In some cases, you have many relationships, and you cannot practically determine the order in which they should be imported. In this case, do a two-pass operation.
  • It is recommended to map the record ID/GUID fields when the records are imported. If you map the GUID fields, all relationships will work when imported.
  • It is recommended to map createdon to overriddencreatedon. You can only populate this when the record is created, and this is what will set the created on date for the record to match the original version.
  • There are some fields that you do not want to map, such as version number, import sequence.
  • There are several fields that you cannot import like modified by, created by, modified on.
  •  Custom data cannot be reimported for closed opportunities.

CRM 2013: Access Teams

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, the Team concept that was used is now known as Owner Teams in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. The new version of CRM also introduces a new team type called Access Teams. Two fundamental differences between an Owner Team and an Access Team involve ownership and sharing. As the name implies, a member of an Owner Team inherits permissions to the records because the team owns the record. Access Teams are different in that permissions are granted to the records via sharing.

Now that there are two team types, when should you use one over the other? Since owner teams are a known concept with the two previous releases of CRM, only the best practice of when to use them will be defined in comparison to access teams.

Owner Teams

  • Best where teams access high volumes of data, via ownership or business unit access
  • When a security role is required to access records scoped by a business need
  • Teams used as service scheduling resource must be owner teams

Access Teams

  • Rapidly changing team memberships
  • Allows for >1,000 team memberships per user
  • Individual record based access
  • Owner of the record allowed to define access to other users
  • Can accommodate varying levels of group access types to records