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Supported Extensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011]

You can customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 by using tools that are available in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web application or that are described in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK. These customizations are supported and can be upgraded.

Customizations made using methods other than those described here are unsupported and could cause problems during updates and upgrades to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. For more information, see Unsupported Customizations.

Topics covered in technical articles published on MSDN in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Developer Center are supported but might not be upgraded.

In This Section

Customizations Using Microsoft Dynamics Web Application

There are a variety of tools included with Microsoft Dynamics CRM that you can use to customize it. Customizations made using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM tools and web application are fully supported and fully upgradeable.

The following customization methods can be used to produce fully supported customizations:

noteNote
Fully supported means that developer support can provide assistance for customizations and that application support can help customers running those modifications.

Customizations Using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK, technical articles, and sample code published on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Developer Center, and information released by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Developer Support Team are included in the area of customizations using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK. The specific actions and levels of supportability and upgradeability are described later in this topic.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK

Use of the web services is fully supported. This includes: DiscoveryService, OrganizationService, Organization Data Service, SOAP endpoint for web resources, and the DeploymentService. We strive to keep the APIs backward compatible but reserve the right to change APIs for additional features. Entity attributes may also change in future versions. For more information, see Write Applications and Server Extensions and Deployment Web Service in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Form Scripting

Microsoft JScript functions that are associated through the customization tools to the available events in the form are supported. Interaction with data in the form is supported when performed using documented objects and methods available within the Xrm.Page.data object. Interaction with the form appearance and behavior is supported when performed using documented objects and methods available within the Xrm.Page.ui object. However, any direct interaction with the HTML Document Object Model (DOM) will probably not be upgradable. The structure of forms and HTML elements used in the forms could change in future releases. For more information, see Write Code for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forms.

Ribbon Customization

Use of RibbonDiffXml to add, remove, or hide ribbon elements is supported. Reuse of Ribbon commands defined by Microsoft Dynamics CRM is supported; however, we reserve the right to change or deprecate the available commands. Reuse of JavaScript functions defined within ribbon commands is not supported.

Solution File

Modification of an unmanaged solution file is supported as described in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK. Certain customization tasks are performed using these steps:

  • Export a solution component as an unmanaged solution.

  • Extract the contents of the solution package.

  • Edit the Customizations.xml file.

  • Repackage the solutions file.

  • Import the modified solution.

Changes to the Customizations.xml file must conform to the CustomizationsSolution.xsd schema. For more information, see Schemas Used in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

The following supported tasks require this procedure:

  • Ribbon customization.

  • Application navigation customization using SiteMap.

  • Form and dashboard customization using FormXml.

  • Saved query customization.

Plug-Ins

The ability to create custom business logic using the plug-in mechanism described in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK is fully supported and upgradeable. This feature is available for all Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployments, including on-premises, IFD, and Online. For more information, see Write Plug-Ins to Extend Business Processes.

Adding your plug-in and custom workflow activity assemblies to the %installdir%\server\bin\ folder is supported on Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises and IFD server installations only.

Workflow

The ability to create custom workflow activities (assemblies) to be called from workflow rules is fully supported and upgradeable. However, this feature is available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises and IFD only. For more information, see Write Workflows to Automate Business Processes.

The ability to edit XAML workflows is fully supported and upgradeable. However, this feature is available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises and IFD only. For more information, see Write Workflows to Automate Business Processes.

ISV Folder

Adding custom webpages and supporting files to the <serverroot>\ISV\<ISV name> folder is fully supported but deprecated. The ISV folder is maintained for backward (legacy) compatibility only. Any webpages or other custom code in that folder must use the 2007 web service endpoint. For more information, see Upgrade Code in the ISV folder to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 (2007) Endpoint.

Support for .NET Framework Versions

The following describes the support considerations for custom code written with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.

Any web service client created by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and the Microsoft .NET Framework 4 that calls the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web services is fully supported in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The use of ASP.NET AJAX is supported.

Any .NET assembly that is created with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and the Microsoft .NET Framework 4 for use in Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM plug-in assembly or as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM custom workflow activity is supported.

Any visualization (chart) that is created with .NET Framework 4 or 3.5 is supported.

For backwards compatibility, these endpoints can be used with earlier versions of the .NET Framework as follows:

  • The 2009 endpoint supports .NET Framework 3.0

  • The 2007 endpoint supports .NET Framework 2.0

Unsupported Customizations

Modifications to Microsoft Dynamics CRM that are made without using either the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK or Microsoft Dynamics CRM tools are not supported and are not preserved during updates or upgrades of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Anything that is not documented in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK and supporting documents is not supported. Additionally, unsupported modifications could cause problems when you update through the addition of hotfixes or service packs or upgrade Microsoft Dynamics CRM. To minimize update and upgrade issues, do not modify any Microsoft Dynamics CRM file that you did not create yourself.

The following is a list of unsupported action types that are frequently asked about:

  • Development using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 assemblies (specifically, Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.dll) is not supported on Windows XP due to a dependency on Microsoft.IdentityModel.dll. However, you can use the Web Services (WSDL) from XP. For more information, see Use the WSDL Endpoint for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

  • Modifications to any .aspx, .css, .htm, .js, .xml, .jpg, or .gif files or the addition of files in the wwwroot directories of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM application, Microsoft Dynamics CRM tools, or Microsoft Dynamics CRM files located at Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics CRM. During upgrades and updates, these files are not checked for modifications and might be overwritten.

  • Modifications to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM website (file and website settings). Custom solutions should be installed in a different website. This includes modifications to the file system access control lists (ACLs) of any files on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server.

  • Use of client certificates is not supported by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK. If you configure the Microsoft Dynamics CRM website to require IIS client certificates, you will get authentication failures for any applications that were built using the SDK.

  • Modifications to the physical schema of the database, other than adding or updating indexes. This includes any actions performed against the database without using the System Customization capabilities in the web application or using the metadata APIs that are described in this SDK documentation. Modifying tables, stored procedures, or views in the database is not supported. Adding tables, stored procedures, or views to the database is also not supported because of referential integrity or upgrade issues. For Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 on-premises deployments, adding indexes is supported per the guidelines in the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Implementation Guide.” This applies to all Microsoft Dynamics CRM databases and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook local database.

    When you change the database without using the support methods for system customization, you run the risk of problems occurring during updates and upgrades.

  • Data (record) changes in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM database using SQL commands or any technology other than those described in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK.

  • Referencing any Microsoft Dynamics CRM dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) other than the following:

    • Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.dll

    • Microsoft.Crm.Sdk.Proxy.dll

    • Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Workflow.dll

    • Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Deployment.dll

    • Microsoft.Crm.Outlook.Sdk.dll

    • Microsoft.Crm.Tools.EmailProviders.dll

  • The use of application programming interfaces (APIs) other than the documented APIs in the web services DeploymentService, DiscoveryService, Organization Data Service, SOAP endpoint for web resources and OrganizationService.

    To achieve the appearance and behavior of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the reuse of any Microsoft Dynamics CRM user interface controls, including the grid controls. These controls may change or be overwritten during an upgrade. We do not recommend that you use or change the Default.css file in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM root installation folder.

  • The reuse of any Microsoft Dynamics CRM JavaScript code, including ribbon commands. This code may change or be overwritten during an upgrade.

  • Modifications to any one of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM forms or adding new forms, such as custom .aspx pages, directly to Microsoft Office Outlook or making changes to .pst files. These changes will not be upgraded.

  • Making customizations except when you use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM supported tools available offline in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook.

  • The use of custom HttpModules to inject HTML/DHTML into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forms.

  • Creating a plug-in assembly for a standard Microsoft Dynamics CRM assembly (Microsoft.Crm.*.dll) or performing an update or delete of a platform created pluginassembly is not supported.

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 callouts are not supported.

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Service Endpoint (2006 endpoint) is not supported.

  • Creating an Internet Information Services (IIS) application inside the Microsoft Dynamics CRM website for any VDir and specifically within the ISV folder is not supported.

  • Editing a solutions file to edit any solution components other than ribbons, forms, SiteMap, or saved queries is not supported. For more information, see When to Edit the Customizations File. Defining new solution components by editing the solutions file is not supported. Editing web resource files exported with a solution is not supported. Except for the steps documented in Require a Minimum Version, editing the contents of a managed solution is not supported.

  • Customizing the application Help content for on-premises Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is no longer supported.

  • Silverlight Application Library Caching is not supported.

See Also

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
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