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Upgrade a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server


Applies To: Dynamics CRM 2016

The only supported upgrade path to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2016 is from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2015. This section provides guidelines for preparing for an upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2016. Performing these tasks in advance can help minimize system downtime and ensure a successful upgrade. Also, this section describes how Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2016 upgrades your current system and what happens to items such as existing reports, customizations, and solutions.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 server roles are not compatible with a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2016 deployment. Therefore, after you upgrade the first Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server, other Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 servers that are running in the deployment will become disabled. As each server is upgraded, the corresponding server will be enabled.

You can upgrade Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 server roles in any order. However, to have a fully functioning Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 deployment, all servers and server roles must be upgraded.

To ease the upgrade process and minimize downtime, we recommend that you use the following order when you upgrade Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server.

  1. Although you can upgrade any version of Dynamics CRM 2015 for Outlook to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 for Outlook, we recommend that you apply the latest update rollup before you begin the upgrade. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 updates and hotfixes

  2. Upgrade all Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 servers and organizations to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2016.

  3. Upgrade Dynamics CRM for Outlook to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 for Outlook in order to have the Go offline capability.

There are three different upgrade options:

  • Migrate by using a new instance of SQL Server. We recommend this option for upgrading Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server. Although this option requires a different computer for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 and a different instance of SQL Server, it provides the least amount of potential downtime for users since the existing deployment can remain functioning until the upgrade is completed and verified.

  • Migrate by using the same instance of SQL Server. This option requires a different computer for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2016, but will upgrade in-place the configuration and default organization databases using the same instance of SQL Server. If issues occur during the upgrade, you must roll back to the previous Microsoft Dynamics CRM version to avoid significant downtime.

  • In-place upgrade. Although this option doesn’t require a different computer for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2016 or a different instance of SQL Server, it poses the greatest risk if upgrade issues occur because a roll back and reinstall of the previous version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be required to avoid potential downtime.

For detailed procedures for each of these options, see Upgrade Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server.

For the latest product information, see the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Readme.


Always run a full backup of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM databases before you upgrade to a new version of the product. For information about database backups, see Back up the Microsoft Dynamics CRM System.

During an in-place upgrade, only the organization that you specify to upgrade is upgraded. If the deployment contains additional organizations, those organizations are disabled and are not upgraded. You must upgrade those organizations using the Import-CrmOrganization Windows PowerShell command or by using Deployment Manager. More information: CRM 2016 PowerShell Reference and Import an organization

For each organization that you upgrade, we recommend that the volume have free space that is at least three times the size of the organization database file (organizationName_MSCRM.mdf) and four times the size of the log file (organizationName_MSCRM.ldf). For example, if a single organization database and log file are located on the same volume where the mdf file is 326 MB and the ldf file is 56 MB, the recommended available space should be at least 1.2 GB to allow for growth ((326 x 3) + (56 x 4)). Notice that the database files that expand during upgrade do not reduce in size after the upgrade is complete.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2015 is supported for upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2016.

For information about upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2011, see Upgrade from Dynamics CRM Server 2013 or Dynamics Server 2011.

Before the upgrade, obtain the product key that you will enter during the upgrade. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the server and client keys are combined so that you enter only one key.

More information: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 editions and licensing

If you want to make system changes that require changes to your existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM licensing agreement, see How to buy Microsoft Dynamics.

To perform a successful upgrade, the user who runs Microsoft Dynamics CRM Setup must:

  • Have an account in the same Active Directory domain as the server or servers that are being upgraded.

  • Be a member of both the Deployment Administrator Role and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM System Administrator Role for any organizations that will be upgraded.


    The upgrade will fail if the user who is running the upgrade has a disabled System Administrator Role.

  • Have administrator rights on the SQL Server and Reporting Services server associated with the deployment that is being upgraded.

  • Have sufficient permissions to create new security groups and add members to those groups in the Active Directory organizational unit that contains the existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM groups.

Only one Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment per instance of SQL Server is supported. This is because each deployment requires its own MSCRM_CONFIG database, and multiple instances of the MSCRM_CONFIG database can’t coexist on the same instance of SQL Server. If you have multiple SQL Server instances running on the same computer, you can host the databases for multiple Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployments on the same computer. However, this might decrease system performance.

The following issues, if applicable to your current Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 deployment, should be resolved before you start the upgrade.

If you have more than 1023 fields defined for an entity, you must delete the additional fields before you run the upgrade, or the upgrade will fail with the following message:

CREATE VIEW failed because column 'column_name' in view 'view_name' exceeds the maximum of 1024 columns.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM databases often change from one major release to the next because of database redesign.

We suggest that, if you have added custom database objects such as triggers, statistics, stored procedures, and certain indexes, you remove those objects from the configuration and organization databases. In many cases, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server Setup displays a warning when these objects are detected.

If you have manually added the ignorechecks registry subkey on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server, remove it before you start the upgrade. More information: You cannot deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM by using an account that does not have local administrator permissions on Microsoft SQL Server

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