Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Ask the Hosk - What CRM 2013 Certification should I take?

I received a question about one of my favourite subjects, CRM Certification.  I always encourage people to get certified because I think it gives them an in depth and broad knowledge of CRM.   It gives the person something to take into their yearly review.  On with the question



I have been working in CRM about 3 to 4 years. (customization and development) Now I want to have certifications of CRM. 

Can you please let me know for which papers should I go first. MB2-703 or there is any other also..

Also can you please share what type of questions are most frequent in paper or in which pattern should a prepare for paper??




I would recommend you study the MB2-703 Customization and configuration certification.  If you have been working in this area for the last 3/4 years you should have a good knowledge of most of the content on the exam.

You will still need to study for the exam because it will require you to know exactly the right option because there are a lot of questions where the answers are all quite similar with only small differences, so you have to know how the functionality works precisely.

The best material to study for the exams is the Microsoft MOC's, these are free to people who work for Microsoft Partners.  You can get it here 

I would also recommend the resources I have made 

There are blog posts, videos and some test questions for you to practice.

I'm not sure what questions appear most frequently and this could change, so my advice would be study for the certification.


Thursday, 2 October 2014

CRM 2013 - Quick Guide to Business Rules

What is it
A new feature in CRM 2013 called Business Rules or Portable Logic

What can it do

Business rules allows you to write logic on CRM forms without writing Javascript.  It can hide fields, calculations, display error messages. 

Business can

Hide/show fields
Make a field businsess required
calculate a fields value based on values in other fields
validate a field, showing an error message if an invalid value is input
disable a field

Why do you need to know it

It's a way to do form validation and form manipulation that previously only people with Javascript knowledge could do, now end users and CRM consultants can do form manipulation.

Business rules also run on the Tablet and mobile apps

Why is it important

It allows non developers to add validation and functionality (hide/show/disable fields) to a CRM form.

Business rules will also work on the tablet application, hence why business rules are also known as portable business logic

Why's it good for customers

Reduces the dependancy on developers to add form validation, field calculations and hiding/showing/disabling fields.  This will allow customers to create business rules

Why's it good developers/consultants

Consultants can add functionality which was only available using Javascript in CRM 2011. 


one down side is it's another place validation can run, which means you can have conflicting validation from Javascript and business rules.

Business rules have to be created in pairs, e.g. one rule to hide a field and another rule to show the field.  Most first time users of business rules forget to add the second rule.

Business rules and Javascript can conflict.  Business rules are triggered before Javascript

Business rules and Javascript means there are two different areas to check, which can create some unexpected behaviour

Will it change in the future

Yes, its going to get even better with IF/Else conditional statements in CRM 2015.  

CRM 2015 will also add improved calculations and rollup fields

Where Can I find out more

Microsoft SDK

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Ask the Hosk - I have passed MB2-703 should I take the equivalent CRM 2011 certification

The Question

I have passed MB2-703 (CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration Certification), should I take the CRM 2011 certification

Hosk Answer

This conundrum is puzzled by many people and is a common question. Once you have passed one certification, you are buzzing and ready to pass another, it would seem logical to pass an exam which would be very similar in subject matter.

But personally I wouldn't bother taking the CRM 2011.  

CRM 2011 and CRM 2013 customization exams are very similar.  In CRM 2013 there are some different questions on the new CRM 2013 functionality but the core of the exam is the same.

I would say it would be more beneficial to study for another CRM 2013 exam - applications or extending (if you are a developer) rather than studying for the CRM 2011 customization certification.

Studying for other CRM 2013 certifications will be valuable to employers and will show you have knowledge of more areas in CRM 2013.

It might be beneficial to get more CRM 2013 experience, using the new features in CRM 201.  I would target the CRM 2013 functionality I had no/little experience using rather than focus on certifications.

Certifications and theoretical knowledge are extremely useful and recommend everyone obtain certifications relevant to your role, but practical experience is vital when you need to use the functionality on a customer project.

Do you have a question

If you have a question, please email me