October 23, 2009

Error: The specified type was not recognized: name='usersettings'

Simple task: Try to retrieve user settings of a CRM user.

Simple solution:
RetrieveUserSettingsSystemUserRequest request = new RetrieveUserSettingsSystemUserRequest();
request.EntityId = systemUserId;
request.ColumnSet = new AllColumns();

RetrieveUserSettingsSystemUserResponse response= (RetrieveUserSettingsSystemUserResponse)crmService.Execute(request);


The specified type was not recognized: name='usersettings', namespace='http://schemas.microsoft.com/crm/2007/WebServices', at <BusinessEntity xmlns='http://schemas.microsoft.com/crm/2006/WebServices'>.


Real solution:

Add the following line: request.ReturnDynamicEntities = true;

September 9, 2009

Microsoft CRM 4.0 – Applications certification and SQL 2008

On Microsoft learning page (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/dynamics-crm-professional.aspx#tab2) it is said that exam 70-431 - Microsoft SQL Server 2005 – Implementation and Maintenance is elective for Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Professional – Applications for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 certification.

There is nothing said about SQL 2008 exams on this page.

So I sent an email to Microsoft and here is their response:

Dear Dejan,
Thank you for your email.
We are glad to inform you that the Exam 70-432: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance can be counted as an elective for Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Professional – Applications for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 certification.
As that new exam has been released recently, it has not been added to the certification path yet.
Please note that the update of the Certification Tree has been planned for the end of September 2009.
Then, the exam 70-431 will be visible in the certification path for
Applications for Microsoft Dynamics CRM4.0 certification on the
Microsoft Learning website, as that certification will be uploaded to the Transcripts of all customers who have completed the certification requirements by passing exam 70-432.
We hope that provided information is of assistance.
If you have any further questions please get in touch with us and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can.

September 7, 2009

Link to custom entity – use of etn instead of etc argument

If you want to create a direct link to an out-of-a-box entity it is a very simple task: Right-click on one instance (let’s say account) and select “Copy Shortcut”.


Then just just change the GUID in the URL to open desired account. For the Account this URL looks like this: http://SERVER:PORT/OrganizationName/sfa/accts/edit.aspx?id={GUID}

Custom entities

All custom entities have the same URL structure: http://SERVER:PORT/OrganizationName/userdefined/edit.aspx?id={GUID}&etc=EntityTypeCode

Notice the entity type code? This code is created when creating the entity. But for some reason Entity Type Code can be (in most cases) different on every CRM instance. This means that if you are creating a plugin that needs to create a link to the entity, you will have to query metadata to get the code or enter that code in configuration part.

But there is a better way:

Instead of “etc” argument you can use “etn” (Entity Name) in the query string. Then use the logical name of the entity. Logical name is the same on all instances.



August 28, 2009

Get a list of searchable attributes from database

(The final solution is at the bottom)

Today my colleague wanted to check which attributes were marked as searchable in a specific entity.

One way to do this is to open each attribute in MSCRM and check if it is marked as searchable. A long way if you have an entity with 220 attributes.

So I went to the database and checked the MetadataSchema.Attribute table. There is a column named DisplayMask. SDK says that display masks are following (ValidForAdvancedFind = Searchable):

Name Value Description
None 1 Specifies no restrictions.
ObjectTypeCode 4 Specifies that the attribute is an entity type code. The name of the entity is displayed.
PrimaryName 2 Specifies to display the attribute as the primary name.
RequiredForForm 0x40 Specifies that the attribute must be shown on a form.
RequiredForGrid 0x80 Specifies that the attribute can be shown in a grid view.
ValidForAdvancedFind 8 Specifies that the attribute can be shown on the Advanced Find form. This attribute is shown as Searchable in the UI.
ValidForForm 0x10 Specifies that the attribute can be shown on a form.
ValidForGrid 0x20 Specifies that the attribute can be shown in a grid view.

But the value in the database is 469762048 (this attribute is searchable)! Bitwise comparison fails: 469762048 & 8 = 0 WTF!!!

After some googling and 30 minutes of using reflector if found that the former values are meant to be used only when working with metadata web service, like in this example: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc151072.aspx

Thank you Reflector!

Microsoft.Crm.Platform.Sdk.dll (found it in GAC) contains DisplayMasks enumeration in Microsoft.Crm.Metadata namespace.

This is what the reflector says:

public enum DisplayMasks
ActivityPointerRegardingName = 0x80,
ActivityRegardingName = 1,
BitMask = 0x1000,
DynamicFormatCode = 0x4000,
None = 0,
ObjectTypeCode = 0x400,
PrimaryName = 0x100,
QueueItemPriority = 0x10,
QueueItemSender = 0x20,
QueueItemState = 4,
QueueItemStatus = 8,
QueueItemTitle = 2,
QueueItemToRecipients = 0x40,
RequiredForForm = 0x20000000,
RequiredForGrid = 0x40000000,
ResourcePointerName = 0x200,
ReturnedTypeCode = 0x800,
StateCode = 0x2000,
ValidForAdvancedFind = 0x4000000,
ValidForForm = 0x8000000,
ValidForGrid = 0x10000000

This means that the ValidForAdvancedFind has value of 0x4000000! I tested it with the previous example and it works! Hooray!


So the final answer to the problem of this post is:

select * from MetadataSchema.Attribute
where DisplayMask & 0x4000000 > 0 and EntityId = @entityId

Of course you can use all other values as well.

What I haven’t tested yet is whether you can change this mask value directly in the database - definitely not supported by Microsoft :)

July 16, 2009

Show custom notifications on Microsoft Dynamics CRM - upgrade

Marco Amoedo created cool javascript function that displays custom warning messages in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. http://marcoamoedo.com/blog/show-custom-warning-messages-on-microsoft-dynamics-crm/

I liked the idea so much, that I took the script and upgraded pimped it.

What it does?

The function simply adds a notification on top of the form, like in the picture below.


You can add multiple notifications with different icons.


Update or delete previously added notifications or add new ones. This image shows (after Name onChange event) changed error text, updated third notification to info style and a new warning. Compare it with previous picture.


How to use it?

Step 1: Insert this code into form OnLoad event.

/*============== addNotification function =============

Adds a message on the top of the entity form using

the same visual style as Microsoft CRM.

If function is called more than once,

the messages are added at the bottom of the list

If the message with same ID already exists,

then the message is updated and not added to a list.

It also supports deleting of previously added notifications.

Put this function in the OnLoad event,

so you can use it in all form and field events.


message - message to be shown to the user

messageType - Type of the message: 1 - critical, 2 - info, 3 - warning

notificationId - ID of the notification (needed for updating purposes)


Created by:

Marco Amoedo (http://marcoamoedo.com) - the idea and initial function

Dejan Dular (http://a-crm.blogspot.com) - upgraded functionality (different icons, updating and deleting notifications)




addNotification = function(message, messageType, notificationId)


    var notificationsArea = document.getElementById('Notifications');


    if (notificationsArea == null)


        //Don't display message when deleting a notification.

        if (messageType != 4)


            //Sorry. Notifications are not possible on this form.

            //Display a message box instead of notification.






    var notificationDIV = document.getElementById('NotificationDiv_' + notificationId);


    //Delete the notification

    if (messageType == 4)


        if (notificationDIV != null)


            //Remove the notification






    //Get the notification image. The default is info image.

    var notificationImage;

    switch (messageType)


        case 1:

            notificationImage = '/_imgs/error/notif_icn_crit16.png';


        case 2:

            notificationImage = '/_imgs/error/notif_icn_info16.png';


        case 3:

            notificationImage = '/_imgs/error/notif_icn_warn16.png';



            notificationImage = '/_imgs/error/notif_icn_info16.png';



    //Create notification

    var notificationTable = '<TABLE cellSpacing="0" cellPadding="0"><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign="top"><IMG class="ms-crm-Lookup-Item" alt="" src="' + notificationImage + '" /></TD><TD><SPAN>' + message +'</SPAN></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>';


    //Check if the notification with same ID already exists

    if (notificationDIV == null)


        //Create a new notification

        var notificationHTML = '<DIV class="Notification" ID="NotificationDiv_' + notificationId + '">' + notificationTable + '</DIV>';

        notificationsArea.innerHTML += notificationHTML;

        notificationsArea.style.display = 'block';




        //Update the notification.

        notificationDIV.innerHTML = notificationTable;



/*============= END addNotification function ===========*/


Step 2: Run the following function when there is a need for a notification.

addNotification(string message, int messageType, string notificationId)


  • message – Notification message displayed

  • messageType – Type of the notification (the icon) (1 – critical, 2 – info, 3 – warning, 4 – delete the notification)

  • notificationId – Any string that identifies specific notification. If a function is called later with existing notificationId, the notification will be updated. Otherwise a new notification is added at the bottom of the list. If you want to delete a specific notification, just set messageType = 4 and use correct notificationId.

Thanks again to Marco Amoedo.


Originally published by Dejan Dular

March 27, 2009

Reindex whole database

EXEC sp_MSforeachtable @command1="print '?' DBCC DBREINDEX ('?', ' ', 80)"