Many people are rushing into an upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 because of the cool new features it offers. Before you make the jump, here are 7 things you should know. It’s likely Microsoft will resolve many of these issues in an upcoming update or service pack for CRM… But in the meanwhile, be aware of these shortcomings!

CRM 2011 Style Peeks Through

Not all entities have been “refreshed” to the new CRM 2013 style. If you dig down deep enough into settings, CRM 2013 starts to look and function like CRM 2011. In fact, what Microsoft calls CRM 2013 is really built on the same framework as CRM 2011. If you’re a programmer, you’ll notice that all the web service calls still have “2011” in the URLs! That’s because CRM 2013 is really just a facelift to CRM 2011. It looks good, but behind the scenes and minus a few enhancements it’s still CRM 2011.

Command Bar Items are Missing

Microsoft overhauled the Ribbon for CRM 2013 to create the new Command Bar. However, not all items in the Ribbon made the cut. For example, you can no longer “Send a Direct Email” from inside a Lead record (but you can from a Lead View). Despite the fact buttons may be present in your Ribbon XML, they still may not show up in the Command Bar. It takes some manual manipulation to get the XML coded appropriately to add your missing buttons back.

Duplicate Detecting is Disabled

Due to the user interface changes, on-demand duplicate detection is disabled. It no longer works when you create or update a record for any of the “refreshed” entities. This includes most of the Sales and Marketing core entities. It also no longer functions when merging, converting a lead or activating a deactivated record. The workaround for now is to run regular bulk deletion jobs, which isn’t always ideal.

Tablet Devices have Limited Features

Tablet use is one of the big reasons folks want to upgrade, typically. However, the only tablet apps right now are for Windows-based tablets and the iPad. Not all features work on the tablets, though! You may have difficulties creating items, and custom entity icons do not appear. Additionally, while you can view dashboards, you can only use a sub-set of charts and objects. Goal charts, for example, don’t work. Also, be aware mobile apps are only compatible with a specific IFD deployment style for on-premises CRM (they work for CRM Online, also). Depending on your site’s configuration, they might not work at all.

Radio Buttons Are Gone

CRM 2013 no longer displays radio buttons for “Two Option” fields. Now, it’s a single field that toggles on click and cannot be set to display radio buttons.¬†This is kind of confusing because you can’t tell what the choices are unless you change it–and with auto-saving it may save your change when you didn’t mean to! Other fields look pretty identical until you click into them, including text fields, radio buttons and dropdowns. This is a part of the UI refresh, but it can be difficult to get used to.

Entity Icon Colors

While you can create custom entity icons, you can’t quite control the colors appropriately. For built-in entities, the new “flat” icons are dark gray, but appear in white when in the top navigation menu. Custom entity icons will display in one color only–which means you’ll either have to resort to white-on-white icons on forms, or you’ll see darker colored icons in the top navigation menu that don’t match the others. Furthermore, you can’t override the icons displayed in the SiteMap.xml. It simply ignores icon overrides on all entity items in the sitemap.

Caching Issues

If you’ve upgraded from CRM 2011 and are using Internet Explorer, there’s a pesky caching issue that causes the old CRM 2011 Activity icons to appear in What’s New Activity Feeds. Even if you clear your browsing history and cache they may still appear. You have to do a heavy-duty scrub of all temporary internet files before the correct images will appear. Beware:¬† clearing these items will also clear out many CRM “sticky” preferences you have set. Be ready to set those up again!

Will these issues halt your plans for an upgrade? Are you upgrading despite these shortcomings? Let me know in the comments!

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