The architectural setup of the server environments to host and support our Dynamics CRM 2011 software is shown below:-
Notice something odd about the above diagram? – Yes the CRM Server is hosted on a Windows 2008 R2 OS. The reason for this is that despite my best efforts at researching the compatibility of CRM 2011 with Windows 2012 – the CRM installer would just not run on Win2012. The screen would go blank, and having looked at various blogs for advice it would seem that most people are using various types of hacks to get the two working. For me this is not the proper route to take given that this environment will become the production environment. Also the Microsoft site where I downloaded the trial version was supposed to be compatible with Win2012 as it was CRM 2011 plus rollup 6. So in the end I decided to ask the infrastructure team to roll back one server to Win 2008 R2. It is likely that CRM 2011 will work on 2012 if you upgrade the OS from Win2008R2. Anyway the following are the other issues I had:-
- When installing the software, ensure that the account you are installing with has full rights to the OU in AD that you need to create before installation. For those of you un-clear on this issue you need to create an Organisation Unit (OU) under the Active Directory that CRM will be installed on. After creating this OU make sure that the installing account has Full Control over the OU, as this is where it will create the necessary security groups in which users will be added to via the CRM security interface.
- If like me you will have a separate reporting server then make sure that you give the installing account Content Manager to the Reporting Services – otherwise it will fail that test during CRM setup.
- During the installation a failure took place when trying to setup the reports – it did not like the fact that the reporting services service account was local. So I had a domain account created which was then assigned as the SSRS service account through use of the report server configuration tool (on the SSRS server of course).
- After installation I found that there was a problem installing the SRS connector on the report server, as there seemed to be issues with the installer – I got an error message. Looking around it seems the solution is then to use the latest Rollup for CRM which resolved this issue – so at the time of writing this, it is Rollup 13. I first installed it on the CRM server, and then managed to install the SRS Connector for that rollup on the SSRS server.
- All functionality seemed to be working but after doing a little test with the out of the box reports – they seemed fine. However, creating a custom report failed to execute – I got error Null Argument. Digging a little deeper in the SSRS logs showed that it was actually an authentication error:-
Microsoft.Crm.CrmException: An unexpected error occurred.
System.ServiceModel.Security.SecurityNegotiationException: A call to SSPI failed, see inner exception.
System.Security.Authentication.AuthenticationException: A call to SSPI failed, see inner exception.
System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: The target principal name is incorrect
, which led me to the following Microsoft KB article:-
I got the infrastructure people to run the two setspn commands on the report server as described in the article:-
setspn -a HTTP/<ServerName> <ServiceAccountDomain>\<ServiceAccount>
setspn -a HTTP/<ServerFQDN> <ServiceAccountDomain>\<ServiceAccount>
where the service account in the above is the account under which the CRMAppPool is executing on the CRM Server – so find out what that is first if you don’t already know. Also the reason why I could not run the commands is that whenever I have tried – I never seem to have enough permission’s (that was the message I got from the command line). So it seems it needs to be executed by domain admins.
Now after running the above – I found that when going onto the CRM server – and through running CRM, I could execute the custom reports. But I had problems accessing CRM from my client Windows 7 OS, as IE would bring up a login box, and also I could not get the Outlook CRM plugin to add my new CRM organisation despite being able detect it. So it is IMPORTANT to go through part B of the Microsoft KB article above, which instructs you to change an authentication property through IIS 7.0 on the CRM server. After doing this – I found that I could access the CRM system from my client machine AND also get Outlook to work with the CRM Client software.
All seems to be working fine now, with one glitch that no one seems to clearly know a good answer for, which is that when trying to preview a report in the reports listing – Dynamics generates an error message. Some blogs are saying that this is a recognized bug, others saying that it’s been resolved through the latest rollup for CRM. However, this particular issue is a niggle and not a show stopper for me!!!