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Choose Your Solution Development Environment

[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011]

Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update includes new updated user experience for sales and service that are available only for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. All new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscriptions will have these new features enabled. Any Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscriptions that existed before the December 2012 Service Update have the option to install updates to enable these new features.

This situation introduces factors to consider when you decide whether to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online as a development environment for solutions that you will distribute to organizations who may or may not have these new features enabled. For organizations importing solutions generated from an Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online environment, there may be an additional step when installing the solution. The content in this topic introduces basic concepts. For more comprehensive guidance, see Enterprise Solution Lifecycle Management.

ImportantImportant
If your organization has been updated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13, please use the latest version of the SDK. Download the updated SDK package for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and CRM Online Fall ‘13.

Use an On-Premises Deployment for Solution Development

New features of the December 2012 Service Update, which are available only for organizations that use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, provide very little opportunity for extensibility using solutions. If your solution does not build upon these new features, using an on-premises deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for your solution development is the easiest way to avoid complications. The December 2012 Service Update includes new features that are available with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12 for organizations using an on-premises deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. The features shared across both releases includes cross-browser support and some new messages: RetrieveMetadataChangesRequest and ExecuteMultipleRequest.

If you use these new messages or include features that assume cross browser support you should set the minimum required version to the version you used after you export your solutions. This will prevent organizations who are not upgraded to the December 2012 Service Update or who have not installed Update Rollup 12 from installing your solution. For more information, see Require a Minimum Version.

Use an Online Deployment for Solution Development

If you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online as your environment for solution development and wish to build upon the updated user experience for sales and services you must either install the product updates or have a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscription that began after the December 2012 Service Update. If Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online organizations install your solution also have the latest product updates enabled, the process of importing the solution should not be affected.

However, if you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online as your environment for solution development and plan to distribute your solutions to organizations using an on-premises deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online organizations who have not enabled the new user experience for sales and service, you need to be aware that your solution may contain dependencies on solution components that are not present in an on-premises deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online organizations who have not enabled the new user experience for sales and service. When an organization does not or cannot have the updated user experience for sales and service installs your solution they will see an additional screen prompting them to ignore these dependencies and allow the solution to be imported.

The ImportSolutionRequest message has an optional SkipProductUpdateDependencies member that provides a programmatic way to apply the option to ignore the dependencies and import the solution.

Use the Solution Down-level Tool to Remove Dependencies to Latest Versions

The Solution Down-level tool is a command-line executable program you can use to export a solution from an environment that has Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12 or the Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update applied. This tool creates a solution that is compatible with an organization that has Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 6 applied. For more information, see Prepare a Solution that is Backward Compatible with Earlier Releases of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

See Also

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
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