Saturday 29 September 2012

Packt Publishing reaches 1000 IT titles and celebrates with an open invitation

Birmingham-based IT publisher Packt Publishing is about to publish its 1000th title. Packt books are renowned among developers for being uniquely practical and focused, but you’d be forgiven for not yet being in the know – Packt books cover highly specific tools and technologies which you might not expect to see a high quality book on.

Packt is certain that in its 1000 titles there is at least one book that everyone in IT will find useful right away, and are inviting anyone to choose and download any one of its eBooks for free over its celebration weekend of 28-30th Sep 2012. Packt is also opening its online library for a week for free to give customers an easy to way to research their choice of free eBook.

Packt supports many of the Open Source projects covered by its books through a project royalty donation, which has contributed over $400,000 to Open Source projects up to now. As part of the celebration Packt is allocating $30,000 to share between projects and authors as part of the weekend giveaway, allocated based on the number of copies of each title downloaded.

Dave Maclean, founder of Packt Publishing:
“At Packt we set out 8 years ago to bring practical, up to date and easy to use technical books to the specialist tools and technologies that had been largely overlooked by IT publishers. Today, I am really proud that with our authors and partners we have been able to make useful books available on over 1000 topics and make our contribution to the development community.”

Friday 28 September 2012

Dynamics CRM 2011 - User Settings Tool


You can download this tool from

CRM2011 User Settings Tool can be used to update the user settings of multiple users from one location. The Administrators can select users for whom they want to change settings like Default Pane, Default Tab, Records Per page, Timezone, calendar, start time, end time, email settings and some miscellaneous settings.

You don't have to depend on individual users to update these settings.

The CRM 2011 User Settings is available as a managed solution.

Once you import the solution Go to SettingsàSystemàUser Settings as viewed in screenshot below.


Click on the text “Silverlight User Settings Tool”. A Silverlight control is opened in a new window as viewed in below screenshot.


You can select the users for whom you want to change the settings. Change the settings and click save.

Friday 21 September 2012

Dynamics CRM 2011 - Dynamics XRM Tools


Today, I would like to describe Dynamics XRM Tools.

You can download the Dynamics XRM Tools from

Dynamic XRM Tools is available as a managed solution. You just have to import solution and start using it. The toolset consists of a Silverlight application framework that provides a central location for accessing the tools which includes the following:-

  • Trace Tool (on premise only)
  • Statistics
  • OData Query Designer
  • Metadata Browser
  • JavaScript Converter (CRM 4 to CRM 2011)

After importing the solution Go Toà SettingsàDynamics XRM Tools àStart


The Trace Tool is available for On Premise only. This helps you to view the server errors. Two different types of solutions are available for download, CRM Online and CRM On-Premise.

Moving to the Statistics tab as the name suggests it provides record count of total entities and records count per entity. You can even download the generated statistics in excel format. The statistics tab can be viewed as under.


The OData Query Designer can help you to generate an oData query if you are not familiar with oData query syntax and structure.


Select the EntitySet, add required filter criteria, select attribute that should be returned by the query and you can even specify the order by criteria. Click on Generate to generate the query based on your selections. You can click execute to view the results of the query. Check the “Results (ATOM) and Results (JSON)” tabs to view the respective results.

The JavaScript Converter can be used to convert java script from CRM 4 to CRM 2011.

The metadata browser can be used for getting entity and attributes metadata and you can even export the list.



Hope this will be helpful.

Friday 14 September 2012

Comparing Ribbon Workbench and Visual Ribbon editor


You can download Ribbon Workbench from

You can download Visual Ribbon Editor from

1) Visual Ribbon Editor is available as executable file whereas Ribbon Workbench is a managed solution.

2) In Visual Ribbon editor you cannot customize system buttons whereas in Ribbon Workbench you can.

3) In Visual Ribbon editor you have a simple button whereas in Ribbon workbench you can add split button, flyout and different options are available. The Visual Ribbon Editor Tool allowed the simple addition of buttons and groups to existing tabs, but any more complex scenarios such as drop down menus, changing the ‘out of the box’ ribbons or adding new tabs was confined to the realms of editing page upon page of hard to understand xml which is now possible with Ribbon workbench.

4) In Ribbon workbench you have to specify a solution whereas in visual ribbon editor you only specify the organization.

5) Visual ribbon editor seems to be faster in updating the changes.

Please feel free to update this blog with your experiences