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2 copies of same CRM in a single domain RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    We have a Dynamics CRM 4 deployment - 3 servers, one for DB, one for RS and one for CRM itself (all runnning Windows 2008 and SQL is 2008).  We have had some work done on the live system by someone internally who was not 100% sure what he was doing! For good measure he's sent it live with part orf our sales team despite it not really being ready!

    We now have dedicated developers who we need to work on it, but they can't take it down or make any drastic changes as its live.  What I want to do is create a replica of the current configuration so that they can work out how best to move forward with it.  I have capacity to create an identical config to what we already have in the same domain using Hyper-V.  I've created all of the servers, installed CRM (pointing it to a different OU in AD) and then restored the 2 databases to the DB server.  I can't get it to work whatever I do to it.  The closest taht I've got is by restoring just the Organization database, but when I go to access the CRM I jst get the warning 'The user authentication passed to the platform is not valid.'

    Does anyone know of an easy way to create a replica/restore an identical copy of a CRM into the same domain? If necessary, at a push I can create a child domain and restore into that - if I do that, will having 2 identical configurations cause an issue? If I follow the guidance in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/952934 but in the same domain, will there be any detrimental impact?

    Hope someone can help!

    Thanks

    Nathan

    Monday, March 22, 2010 5:34 PM

Answers

  • HI,

    My best suggestion would be to do a backup of your existing Organization/DB , do a restore of it and then import it as a new Organization. Then you can do all your customizations in this Org. Once you want to deploy them to Production you simply export the customization(s) and then import them into your production Organization.

    Especially if you want to be able to export/import customizations between different organizations, it's highly recommended that you set up a procedure for this and stick to this. Otherwise you can easily run into various errors when you try to import a customization. If you e.g. manually create the same entity or Attribute in different Organizations and then try to import a Customization from one to the other, then you'll get a SQL error. This is because the system will try to generate the new attribute from the customization file but since it's already there SQL server will throw an error. The only way to get around it then is to delete the attribute in the target and then let the system create it. If the attribute hasn't been used it might not be that big a problem, but if it contains data and exists on Forms etc. it's a bit of a hazzle.

     

     


    Steen Schlüter Persson (DK)
    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 2:11 AM
  • It might not the a big deal here, but I'm not sure that importing a new Organzation will create new Security Groups. It's correct that it will ask you to map the users in one way or the other, but I don't remember that it's asking to new Security Groups?

    At least, in our case we have 4 or 5 organizations running in our live environment, and we only have one set of Security Groups. Some of these Organizations are just new deployments and a couple are imported ones and in neither case it seems to be creating new Security Groups. We then have a different set of groups for our Dev environment, but that's also a different installtion

    Just for the test, I've just tried to create new organization on our dev server, and that doesn't create any new security groups. It doesn't even ask about anything regarding security groups because it's just uisng what it knows already from the initial setup.

    To me, it would also be a little bit inconsistent if importing a new organization would create new security groups, where create a new organization wouldn't. To me it's the same thing - the difference it just where the data comes from.

     


    Steen Schlüter Persson (DK)
    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:53 AM

All replies

  • HI,

    My best suggestion would be to do a backup of your existing Organization/DB , do a restore of it and then import it as a new Organization. Then you can do all your customizations in this Org. Once you want to deploy them to Production you simply export the customization(s) and then import them into your production Organization.

    Especially if you want to be able to export/import customizations between different organizations, it's highly recommended that you set up a procedure for this and stick to this. Otherwise you can easily run into various errors when you try to import a customization. If you e.g. manually create the same entity or Attribute in different Organizations and then try to import a Customization from one to the other, then you'll get a SQL error. This is because the system will try to generate the new attribute from the customization file but since it's already there SQL server will throw an error. The only way to get around it then is to delete the attribute in the target and then let the system create it. If the attribute hasn't been used it might not be that big a problem, but if it contains data and exists on Forms etc. it's a bit of a hazzle.

     

     


    Steen Schlüter Persson (DK)
    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 2:11 AM
  • As Steen suggested that is the simplested way to copy your Prod system to Dev.

    I am not sure if you what to use same DB or a new DB to do your development. I suggested you use a seperated SQL server to put your development work.

    Also beware when you setup the Dev CRM, CRM will create new security group in AD for the new organization. Make sure there is no impact on your security setting.


    Best Regard Vincent L
    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 5:53 AM
  • I'm actually not sure that it will create new Security Groups if you just create a new organization on an existing server. In that case it just re-use the exisitng ones that has been named with the Organiation ID of the Organization you created during the install.

    If you setup a new server for the Dev environment though, it will create new groups.

     

     


    Steen Schlüter Persson (DK)
    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 6:40 AM
  • My post is based on if Nathan create a new seperated CRM server for development. (I sould clarify that in my post :D )
    But I remembered that when you create new organization by importing an organization it will still create new groups. the import organization should be assigned a with new org ID, and new AD group should be created to map that new ID.


    Best Regard Vincent L
    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 6:48 AM
  • Hi guys

    Thanks for the quick replies.  Steen - I get what you're suggesting about creating the replica using a different DB server in the same domain  - that's been my plan, as well as the 3 live servers there are 3 with 'dev' in their name (one for DB, one for RS and one for CRM) - my main concern is AD.  When you install CRM you tell it which OU you want to store the various groups that CRM needs to operate.

    So that I am clear -  when I restore the DB's on the Dev server, and then import the org into CRM, it will give me the option to point to a new OU and therefore create a new set of groups - is that correct?  Ideally it would do this as  I don't want the developers having any permissions in live at all to start with, which they will have if the same OU is used (I want to avoid things being sent live before their time which is what has got me into this mess in the first place!)

    Thanks again for the quick replies

    Nathan

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 8:46 AM
  • I haven't done this for a while. But I remember that when you import an organization it will ask you to map to AD again (same procedure when you install CRM).

    I've never try to map to a different OU, therefore I can't tell execlly you if that will work. But CRM should be able to map to different OU.

     

    After that you need to map all crm users to ad account (since you change OU), it is a part of impot process.


    Best Regard Vincent L
    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:03 AM
  • It might not the a big deal here, but I'm not sure that importing a new Organzation will create new Security Groups. It's correct that it will ask you to map the users in one way or the other, but I don't remember that it's asking to new Security Groups?

    At least, in our case we have 4 or 5 organizations running in our live environment, and we only have one set of Security Groups. Some of these Organizations are just new deployments and a couple are imported ones and in neither case it seems to be creating new Security Groups. We then have a different set of groups for our Dev environment, but that's also a different installtion

    Just for the test, I've just tried to create new organization on our dev server, and that doesn't create any new security groups. It doesn't even ask about anything regarding security groups because it's just uisng what it knows already from the initial setup.

    To me, it would also be a little bit inconsistent if importing a new organization would create new security groups, where create a new organization wouldn't. To me it's the same thing - the difference it just where the data comes from.

     


    Steen Schlüter Persson (DK)
    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:53 AM
  • Nathan, the procedure for making a development copy of a CRM instance that Steen has described is correct. The only supported method is to use the CRM Deployment Manager to import a database backup as you create a new CRM organization.

    However, the configuration and procedure is slightly different depending on whether you have the Professional or Enterprise version of CRM 4.0 Server. Enterprise Edition will support more than one CRM organization on the DB and CRM servers, while you'll need a separate DB server for each instance if you are using Professional Edition. Since you're using VMs for the CRM and DB servers, it shouldn't matter, but it will affect licensing.

    Professional edition doesn't give you rights to use CRM on non-production servers -- so the development servers will need to be properly licensed (MSDN Professional subscriptions should include development user rights, otherwise you'll need to buy additional Windows, SQl Server and CRM licenses).

    Regards, Neil

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:58 AM
    Moderator
  • Excellent! Thanks guys that's worked, and becuase it was a new CRM install, pointing to a different OU when I first installed the CRM server, on restore its just updated that OU and imported the users to it.

    Neil - for info, I am using CRM Enterprise and we are covered under our MSDN licenses for Dev work, so licensing isn't an issue

    Thanks for all the help and advice!

    Nathan

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 11:01 AM