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Policies and Communications for CRM Online

Microsoft regularly maintains and updates Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to ensure security, performance, and availability, and to provide new features and functionality. From time to time, Microsoft also responds to service incidents. For each of these activities, the CRM admin for your organization receives email notifications. During a service incident, a CRM Online customer service representative may also call and follow up with an email.

If you’re not sure who your CRM admin is, see Help and Training: Find your CRM administrator or support person.

If you want to change who receives email communications, see Manage email notifications.

If you’re a CRM admin, you can also see the latest status of updates and incidents in the Microsoft Office 365 service health page. To learn how to get to the Office 365 service health page, see View the status of your services.

To learn more about each type of maintenance and update activity, as well as the communications your organization receives, click on one of the following, or scroll down:

Planned maintenance

Planned maintenance includes updates and changes to the CRM Online service to provide increased stability, reliability, and performance. These changes can include:

  • Hardware or infrastructure updates

  • Integrated services, such as a new version of Office 365 or Microsoft Azure

  • CRM Online service changes and software updates

  • Minor service updates to CRM Online that occur about 10 times per year

How do I find out about planned maintenance?

Your organization receives a “Planned Maintenance” email five days before the planned maintenance. These emails go out to all CRM Online System Administrators in every CRM Online instance that is scheduled for the planned maintenance.

You can also see the schedule and status of planned maintenance activities on the Office 365 service health page. To learn how to get to the Office 365 service health page, see View the status of your services.

Unplanned maintenance

From time to time, CRM Online inevitably encounters unplanned issues that require changes to ensure availability. Microsoft strives to provide as much notification as possible during these events. Because these events can’t be predicted, they are not considered planned maintenance.

How do I find out about unplanned maintenance?

Your organization receives an “Unplanned Maintenance” email. These emails go out to all CRM Online System Administrators in every CRM Online instance that is affected by the unplanned maintenance.

You can also see the status of current unplanned maintenance activities on the Office 365 service health page. To learn how to get to the Office 365 service health page, see View the status of your services.

Security updates

The CRM Online team regularly performs the following to ensure the security of the system:

  • Scans of the service to identify possible security vulnerabilities

  • Assessments of the service to ensure that key security controls are operating effectively

  • Evaluations of the service to determine exposure to any vulnerabilities identified by the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), which regularly monitors external vulnerability awareness sites

The CRM Online team identifies and tracks any identified issues, and takes swift action to mitigate risks when necessary.

How do I find out about security updates?

Because the CRM Online team strives to apply risk mitigations in a way that doesn’t require service downtime, CRM administrators usually don’t receive emails for security updates. If a security update does require service downtime, it is considered planned maintenance.

For more information about CRM Online security, see:

Service updates

CRM Online typically releases two major service updates per year. Service updates provide new features and functionality to CRM Online.

Improvements in the update process put the power in your hands for scheduling your organization’s service updates. You can choose from a list of available dates. Service updates are only applied after they are approved by the CRM Online admin - please review the Important note below outlining the CRM online update policy. This helps you to plan well in advance for your upgrade path, while using your sandbox organization to properly test and evaluate the service updates with your existing production code.

ImportantImportant
Be sure to check out Update policy for important information about updating to the latest version.

How do I find out about service updates?

The CRM Online team preschedules customers for the service update and emails CRM Online admins 90 days before the scheduled update. CRM Online admins receive additional emails at 30 days, 15 days, 7 days, day of, and post upgrade.

In the email, you have the opportunity to either approve the scheduled date or reschedule the update from a list of dates. All customers are updated during the defined service update release period, usually over a three-month window.

To find out more about rescheduling service updates, see Manage Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online updates.

To find out what’s new and how to prepare for the next release, check out the following resources:

Also be sure to watch this video about improvements to the update process:

Video symbol Customer Driven Updates in CRM Online 2015 Update 1

Service incidents

A service incident occurs when your organization is inaccessible or you’re unable to use the service or one of its components. Examples include:

  • Getting a “page not found” or 404 error when you try to access CRM Online.

  • All of your users are unable to sign in to your organization.

  • Your users can sign in, but can’t save their changes.

  • Users can sign in, but see a blank screen.

How do I find out about service incidents?

If you open a case to report a service incident, a Microsoft customer support representative will call your CRM admin and follow up with an email when the service incident is resolved.

Major service incidents

A major service incident occurs when multiple organizations can’t access the service.

How do I find out about major service incidents?

Microsoft’s policy is to send email updates to the CRM admins of affected customers within 15 minutes of a major service incident, and a final email once the issue is considered resolved.

You can also see the status of major service incidents in your Office 365 service health page. To learn how to get to the Office 365 service health page, see View the status of your services.

In addition, five business days after the incident resolution, the CRM Online team publishes a post-incident report (PIR) to the Office 365 service health page. This report summarizes the following details about the incident:

  • Description

  • Root cause

  • Customer impact

  • Start date and time

  • Resolution date and time

  • Next steps

If the service incident breaches your Service Level Agreement, you can claim a billing credit according to the conditions of your Service Agreement. If you need help with this, see Billing FAQs for CRM Online.

See Also

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