I recently installed and deployed CRM 2011 RC DEV environment for one of my costumers. Installing is pretty straight forward but I just installed Server 2008 R2 (64 bit), SQL 2008 (64 bit) and other CRM 2011 prerequisites and got the system up in a short while.

I made a new “company” called DEV and after playing around in the webapp I wanted to try to take the existing CRM 4 setup they had and import that into the new setup.After reading through the manual and several online forums I turned my attention to the SQL data that is on the old CRM4 server.

I opened up the SQL server using SQL Server Management Studio and anyone who has setup SQL server should know how to backup a database so I won’t go into details but basically I right click the Company_MSCRM database > Tasks > Back Up……..

I backup to C:\ on old CRM4 and then moved the database to the new server and put it in C:\  then I opened the SQL Server Management Studio on CRM 2011 server and used Restore Database to add the old database to the new server.

Once the database was attached to the new server I started Deployment Manager, selected Organizations from the left navigation pane, and selected Import Organization on the right. I was prompted for the SQL server and the CRM database to import into the CRM 2011 setup. The wizard basically walks you through everything but the import process might take a lot of time if you have a lot of data but it took about 1 hour on my setup.

After the process I now had two “companies” under Organizations in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Deployment Manager but one was the DEV one and the other one the newly imported data from CRM4. I set the new company as default and rebooted the server (old habit).

Once the server had rebooted I opened the CRM WebApp and all the old data from CRM 4 was there and all worked really well so I deployed SSL into the mix and that is really easy in CRM 2011.

As this is a test environment I won’t be bothered by delete the DEV company in CRM Manager but you would probably to that if this where a production environment.

When CRM goes RTM I would probably do this again like this…

  • Change CRM 4 to a virtual server running on Hyper-V per these instruction : http://www.lappari.com/2010/10/reinstall-exchange-one-server/
  • Setup the CRM 2011 RTM server from scratch and deploy with DEV/Temp company
  • Export the CRM 4 database and then shut down the old server
  • Finish the setup on the new server and import the SQL database onto the now CRM 2011
  • Reboot and configure IP, DNS, go to IIS and configure SSL and the binding (or redirect) so end-users wont have to learn a new url

So in all this process is really simply but it can take a lot of time to import SQL data, but I still think that the CRM should only be offline for about 2-3 hours.

I also remind myself that is anything fails with the new setup in the process I can always take the new server of the network and boot the old CRM 4 up in Hyper-V and start over again next night  Smile

BTW If you haven’t still had a look at the new CRM 2011 you should do so NOW : http://crm.dynamics.com/

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