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Maintain managed solutions

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Before you release your managed solution you should consider how you will maintain it. Uninstalling and reinstalling a managed solution is practically never an option when the solution contains entities or attributes. This is because data is lost when entities are deleted. Fortunately, solutions provide a way to update your managed solution while maintaining the data. Exactly how you update your solutions will depend on the characteristics of the solution and the requirements of the change.

Version compatibility

Starting with the initial release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13 any solution exported from a newer version cannot be imported into an older version. This includes major and minor versions. You can install solutions exported from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and earlier releases of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online into Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13 solutions exported from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13 cannot be imported into earlier versions. As additional update rollups or service updates are applied to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, solutions exported from organizations with those updates cannot be imported into organizations which do not have those updates.

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online the minimumversion attribute of the <ImportExportXml> root element could be used to specify a minimum version, but this attribute has been removed and replaced with a SolutionPackageVersion attribute. For the initial release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13 the value of this attribute was 6.0.0.0. For Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 and CRM Online Spring ‘14 this value is 6.1.0.0. You should not manually edit this value.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 and CRM Online Spring ‘14 you may export a solution that is compatible with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ‘13 by selecting a target version when you export a solution. More information: Export a solution for a specific CRM version.

Create managed solution updates

There are two basic approaches to updating solutions:

  • Release a new version of your managed solution

  • Release an update for your managed solution

Release a new version of your managed solution

The preferred method is to release a new version of your managed solution. Using your original unmanaged source solution, you can make necessary changes and increase the version number of the solution before packaging it as a managed solution. When the organizations that use your solution install the new version, their capabilities will be upgraded to include your changes. If you want to go back to the behavior in a previous version, simply re-install the previous version. This overwrites any solution components with the definitions from the previous version but does not remove solution components added in the newer version. Those newer solution components remain in the system but have no effect because the older solution component definitions will not use them.

During the installation of a previous version of a solution Microsoft Dynamics CRM will confirm that the person installing the previous version wants to proceed.

Release an update for your managed solution

When only a small subset of solution components urgently requires a change you can release an update to address the issue. To release an update, create a new unmanaged solution and add any components from the original unmanaged source solution that you want to update. You must associate the new unmanaged solution with the same publisher record as was used for the original solution. After you finish with your changes, package the new solution as a managed solution.

When the update solution is installed in an organization where the original solution was installed the changes included in the update will be applied to the organization. If an organization needs to ‘roll back’ to the original version they can simply uninstall the update.

Any customizations applied to the solution components in the update will be overridden. When you uninstall the update they will return.

See Also

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
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