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I am curious to hear how others handle documenting changes in CRM. I am thinking of changing to entities, business rules, processes, etc. All of these changes that are on the system that would be very beneficial to be documented so other technical or business people can refer to.
I have thought of using VSO to track the changes in our releases since the details are in stories on VSO. But, the search functionality is not the best. I also thought about having a place on our SharePoint server, like a wiki. Keeping the document updates is always "fun".
So, I would love to hear how others are handling documentation of changes.
We track changes in our TFS, document technical information in a "Run Book", issue release notes to users, and update user documentation on a SharePoint site.
Here is an approach we take with documenting changes, essentially documenting everything in a web resource file attached to the solution:
The benefits is that the details are in CRM, and travel with the solution from DEV to TEST and PROD. Having it in a web resource means we are not limited to the "description" text field on the solution itself.
Great topic Lou. I, too, am looking to change how we manage this.
Our partner had us use the aforementioned TFS and I really liked it - easy to use after you get the hang of it and could move things through various stages, document notes, etc. which was great to keep things in order and watch the changes and commentary evolve throughout the different stages of each element.
That said, and perhaps I'm just biased to Canadians (I'm not), but Nick's solution sounds excellent too - he had me at "...details are in CRM, and travel with the solution...".
We have created an entity within CRM called Issues. We document all issues and enhancements here including status, dates, notes, priority, and who this is assigned to. We then have different views to show all active, completed, etc. If we are doing large changes such as an upgrade, we use our TFS system. Hope this helps!
What if you come into an environment that has no documentation? Is there a way to extract a list of everything that has changed or compare two environments and get a list of differences?
The XRMToolBox (www.xrmtoolbox.com) has a LOT of tools to help gather information from existing deployments. Specifically the Metadata Document Generator can create a Word or Excel document with listing of entities, fields, forms, etc. "Custom" schemas will have a prefix (default "new_"). There are other tools that are helpful as well.
Mitch Milam (Microsoft MVP) has an advanced tool for documenting CRM deployments as well:
Hope this helps.
It's funny. Its been on my CRM To Do list for a while to address the limitation of having release notes in the Description of the Solution.
Thanks for the great Link Nick!
We also run using the Agile approach for our CRM team and are big users of TFS as well. We are looking into options to have our users stories compiled into a user friendly release notes document that would be posted to our intranet. Perhaps we can show how tie it all together so it posts an updated web resource into CRM with TFS links ... hmm wheels are turning now.
Great ideas and thoughts everyone! I am finalizing how we will be doing our documentation and will share what we do. We are nearing our initial launch of CRM Online in January 2017!
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