Segmenting, Patching and Cloning Solutions in Dynamics CRM

Why you’ll love the new segmenting, patching and cloning Solutions in Dynamics CRM 2016

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 has some great new stuff to get excited about, and a few of the new solution features will make some of you almost giddy. That is, if you are System Customizer or System Administrator.

We’ll highlight 3 of the new features – Segmenting, Patching and Cloning.

Segmented Solutions

When we added an entity or entities to our solution, it automatically added every asset or subcomponent within that entity. This meant bloated solutions and navigating around or removing a bunch of stuff you didn’t want or need.

Until Dynamics 2016. Now, you can pick and choose exactly which assets or subcomponents you want for each entity you are adding. It’s called solution segmentation and it’s awesome.

Step 1: Create your new solution.

Step 2: Open your new solution.

Step 3: Choose “Add Existing” to select the components you want to add. We’ll just add Account.

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Step 4: Pick and choose which Entity Assets/Subcomponents you want included in your solution. YES, let me repeat that, you can choose exactly which subcomponents you want, down to single fields if that’s all you need.

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As you move through your tabs, you can select individual Forms, Views, Charts, Fields, etc. to include or you can start with a blank canvas to build your solution.

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OR, if you select the Add All Assets box at the top, it will include every asset in that entity (basically what we’ve been used to).

Once you have selected what you need for that entity, if you had chosen to add another entity (component) to your solution, you would progress through each entity and repeat the above steps until you were all done. When you’ve made it through all your entities/components and selected everything you need…click Finish.

But, what if you find out you forgot to add a subcomponent you need? No problem!

In your new solution, select your entity, and then click on “Add Subcomponents” to go through the same steps and select only what you need.

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Clone a Patch for your Solution

What is this new patch and clone nonsense? It’s fantastic, that’s what it is. Let’s say our new solution has been deployed for a while now and we need to add a new Calculated Field to our Account entity, but we don’t want to do it in our full solution so we can test it out, make adjustments and whatnot.

Select your solution and choose “Clone a Patch” at the top.

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This creates an empty solution and you will follow the same steps above to add whichever entities and assets you want. It sure looks and feels like any other solution, but you’ll see the name includes your Base solution and Patch so you know it’s a patch. Otherwise, you can do everything with it you can in a regular solution (except clone a patch of it – you can’t do that).

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Use your patch solution to make your changes. You can create multiple patches from your Base solution.

Clone Your Solution

Here’s where cloning a patch of your solution is so different and can be beneficial over creating a bunch of new independent solutions….

If you select your Base solution and choose Clone Solution, all of your patches are rolled into your Base solution leaving with you with ONE solution to manage.

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How cool is that? It will be so much easier to manage, import and export our solutions. Thank you, Microsoft!

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