Upgrade to Microsoft CRM 2013 FAQ’s

Upgrade to Microsoft CRM 2013 FAQ’s

Caltech’s Hosted Clients


When was the Microsoft CRM 2013 update released?

Microsoft released this new version (Microsoft CRM 2013) for CRM Online customers at the beginning of October 2013, and all CRM Online customers are now upgraded to CRM 2013.  CRM On-Premise 2013 was available later in October/November 2013.  The update for 2013 has now been released for hosted customers.

Is there an upgrade path?

Yes.  For anyone on Microsoft CRM v. 4 you will need to apply the Microsoft CRM 2011 system before moving to 2013.  This will not apply to Caltech’s hosted clients, but will apply to any clients’ on-premise, using Microsoft CRM v.4.

On premise – How does this upgrade to CRM 2013 affect on-premise sites?

The CRM 2013 upgrade will be available to customers with Software Assurance in place. Upgrading to CRM 2013 will be initiated by the customer and it will not be applied as an update rollup.

Caltech will work with customers looking to upgrade their partner hosted or on-premise CRM system, using our proven upgrade process. Caltech will also provide a test environment before running the upgrade in a customer’s live environment.

We are Microsoft CRM 2011 users, how do we know what will work or break on upgrade to 2013?  What is involved in the upgrade to CRM 2013?

Caltech will schedule a free site audit for all its hosted clients, which will provide you with a summary of any functionality areas that will need to be altered prior to upgrading to CRM 2013.

The reason for this audit is that CRM 11 was compatible with old Microsoft CRM 4 coding / javascript, URLs and custom code.  With CRM 2013, the support for older CRM v4 code is not supported.  By carrying out the audit we can check if your 2011 CRM site has any scripts as these will need to be updated before upgrading to CRM 2013.  As we worked with our clients and have developed many of these sites, we are in good shape, but we need to be 100% certain of any changes on the system.

The site audit will also make a note of the number of Outlook clients that will need to be updated, links to other software such as accounting or QuoteWerks, as well as considering the reports you use.

As the hosted platform Caltech provides is on Update Rollup 13, and, as you can access your CRM system using Chrome & Firefox without any issues, then you may be ready for upgrade; however there are other areas to take into account like training and support for your end users.

Microsoft CRM 2013 is a significant change.  Being on hosted CRM means you have control over when the upgrade happens.

Upgrade to Microsoft CRM 2013

What are the changes in Microsoft CRM 2013?

Microsoft has changed the form layout and the user interface, and it’s a significant change.  The impact of the new forms may require you to re-evaluate the layout of your existing forms to get the most from the new look and feel. There are fewer window pop ups, an auto save and fewer mouse clicks.

Why has Microsoft changed the interface?

This has been changed dramatically for two reasons.  The first reason is that feedback from many Microsoft CRM 2011 users said there was too much activity on the screen and too many pop-up windows.

The second reason for the redesigned user interface is because Microsoft CRM needed to be compatible with mobile, and to support tablets like the Surface, Androids and iPads.

What are the benefits of upgrading to Microsoft CRM 2013?

User Interface

The new user interface is easier to use and allows you to view everything on one screen.  Pop-ups are minimized and there are time saving features like quick create forms and auto save.


Guided Processes

Users can now be guided through a process – we really love this feature at Caltech. The processes can be gated and tailored to your needs.  The processes really help your CRM users know where they are up to on each record, and enables reporting of where in the process each record is up to.


 Mobile applications

The new mobile app allows CRM from a windows 8 tablet or an iPad.

Business Rules

CRM 2013 allows you to tailor the user interface without the need for javascript.

Real time Workflow

Real time workflows are not queued.  They run immediately on demand or in response to a message or as part of a process.

Access Teams

The access teams feature allows an administrator to grant specific access permissions to a team without setting up a team first.  This is great for dynamic teams where people collaborate for certain projects or sales activities.

See “What’s Changed in this Version” for more information.

What is the feedback so far from CRM 2013 users?

For CRM end users there will be a time where they will adjust to the new look and feel of CRM 2013.  It’s like when there are new updates to Word or Excel – sometimes it takes a little while to get used to the new software.

In CRM 2013 there is an auto save function which some users may find difficult to get used to at first, however we are confident that the new forms will save users’ time and they won’t want to go back!

Caltech is working with Online clients that have been upgraded, and we have done a lot of training since the back end of 2013 in-house at Caltech.  Feedback so far is positive, and there is lots of resource and support available from Caltech to help get your end users ready. Caltech will offer advice and support throughout.

How can the impact of the change be minimized for my users?

Caltech can provide training either on site or via web.  We can produce user manuals and help your users feel comfortable with the system.  We are also producing short videos and have signposted Microsoft videos and guides that will really help your end users to get to grips with the new software quickly. If you want to learn more about the new 2013 release please see the following:

Microsoft CRM 2013 Preview Guide

User experience video

See our downloads page and download 2013 documents

What will happen to my forms on upgrade to CRM 2013?

Following the update to 2013, the classic forms are migrated to an intermediate form experience which has a similar layout to Microsoft CRM 2011.  Caltech refers to this as the 2 column form experience.  We want you and your users to really get to grips with this step and then we will update you to the new user experience forms – which we call the 3 column layout.

The reason we will do this is it will minimize the impact to your users before moving to the 3 column layout.

The new user experience forms (3 columns) will need to be applied 4-8 weeks after, as the support for the intermediate (2 column) forms will be removed by Microsoft before the next service update.  Caltech will support you with this process and Rebecca Fawcett will be speaking with you further about this.


How will CRM 2013 affect mobile users?

Windows RT and Pro will load up the entire application without any limitation. For iPad and Android, it will only show entities that have the ‘refreshed’ forms. The settings, service, goals and service calendar entities are excluded.  Reports and the dashboard editor are also not supported.

How will CRM 2013 affect my monthly license usage?

Microsoft has changed the licensing structure as part of the CRM 2013 release. There are now three types of license available: Professional, Basic and Essential.  Please see our licensing page giving clarity on these license types.



Once the free site audit has been completed, Caltech will document any areas that may not be supported or will need altering.  For some clients the upgrade may be fairly straightforward, for other more customised CRM sites using javascript, URLs and custom code, as well as integrated software, there may be more considerations.

The site audit will also include the number of Outlook clients to be linked, links to QuoteWerks and other integrated software, and we will need to ensure reports you use are considered.  Any costs for upgrade will be documented in the site audit.

When will my site audit be carried out?

We will start to carry out site audits over the next 2 months for those customers that wish to upgrade around May / June 2014.  For customers wishing to upgrade post May 2014, the site audit will be carried out 4-8 weeks prior to your upgrade date.

When is my upgrade date?

If you wish to upgrade soon, please speak with Rebecca Fawcett.  She will be scheduling the upgrades, and she will liaise with our teams to ensure the support is there for you.  She will be in contact with all customers to discuss a potential upgrade date and get that confirmed in the diary.

We anticipate many clients will want to upgrade before December 2014, but realise some clients may want to hold off until the beginning of 2015.

All upgrades will be put into the diary no matter how quickly they are due to happen.  For heavily customised sites that use javascript, URLs and custom code, we will ensure that the site audit is done in time for any potential budget to be applied for.

When is the next Caltech Microsoft CRM User Group?

The next user group will be held in May or June 2014.  Rebecca Fawcett will be planning this and we will be demonstrating and talking about Microsoft CRM 2013.

What is no longer supported in Microsoft CRM 2013?

IE 7 and Windows XP will no longer be supported with CRM 2013. Microsoft is also dropping support for Microsoft CRM 4.0 features.

Microsoft CRM 4.0 features that will no longer be supported:

• CRM 4.0 plug-ins

• CRM 4.0 custom workflow activities

• CRM 4.0 web service API (aka 2007 web service endpoints)

• ISV folder support for custom web applications

• CRM 4.0 client-side scripting

Also the Solution Down Level tool is removed from the bin folder on the SDK package and is no longer available.

Other features that may affect your CRM system when you upgrade to Microsoft CRM 2013 are:

The removal of some ribbon controls

Removal of the workplace entity.  See our earlier blog.

What does Microsoft CRM 2013 support?

• Microsoft Exchange Server 2013

• Microsoft Outlook 2013

• Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) 2.2 (ships with Windows Server 2012 R2)

Which operating systems and browsers are supported in CRM 2013?

The following operating systems and browsers are supported in CRM 2013.




Trust us to make Dynamics 365 a success for you

Contact us