Maintain managed solutions
Updated: November 29, 2016
Applies To: Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2016, 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.
Any solution exported from a newer version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 cannot be imported into an older version of Microsoft Dynamics 365. This includes major and minor versions. Solutions exported from an earlier version of Dynamics 365 can be imported into later versions as shown in the following chart.
Solutions exported from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) versions 5 or earlier cannot be imported into Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online & on-premises). Only solutions exported from the most recent previous major version can be imported.
You can install solutions exported from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 (on-premises) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) version 6 into Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online & on-premises). Solutions exported from Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online & on-premises) cannot be imported into earlier versions.
As additional update rollups or service updates are applied to Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online & on-premises), solutions exported from organizations with those updates cannot be imported into organizations which do not have those updates. More information: Version compatibility.
The <ImportExportXml> root element uses a SolutionPackageVersion attribute to set the value for the version that the solution is compatible with. You should not manually edit this value.
There are two basic approaches to updating solutions:
Release a new version of your managed solution
Release an update for 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 365 will confirm that the person installing the previous version wants to proceed.
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.
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