Dynamics 365 Package Deployer Tool for CRM Administrators

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Package Deployer is very useful tool for the CRM Administrators which enables them to deploy CRM components like CRM Solutions, Master Data, Transaction Data & Configuration Data. This is applicable for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) and Dynamics 365 (on-premises), also applicable for CRM 2015 & 2013.

Problem Description:
For a company working in a large or multitenant CRM environment it is very difficult to manage the solutions and data imports on a regular interval (like after every sprint release) on each of the CRM organizations the process for importing solutions and data is also very time consuming. Sometimes we have multiple solution, data files or may multiple environment that we need to update regularly on particular interval, for them it is very helpful to save lot of time and automate the deployment process.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Package Deployer is the solution for CRM administrators to automate CRM components (managed or unmanaged solutions) deployment, Microsoft has provided a tool called Package Deployer which can be used to automate deployment, a package can consist of following things.

  • Dynamics CRM Solutions (Managed or Unmanaged) zip files.
  • Text files or exported configuration data file from the Configuration Migration tool which is also a part of CRM SDK.
  • Custom code that can be run before or in between or after the package is actually deployed in dynamics crm.
  • HTML files related to the package to show as start page and end page when deployment is started and finished

Microsoft provide visual studio template which can be used to create Package Deployer project in visual studio, this template can be used after installing a visual studio add on called CRMSDKTemplates available in SDK\Templates\ folder of SDK. Before starting on this we must ensure that we have following prerequisites met on our development environment.

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, or Visual Studio 2015
  • NuGet Package Manager for Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, or Visual Studio 2015
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 SDK templates for Visual Studio which contains the package template.

Once we are good on perquisites we need to create a package, to create a package follow the following steps.

  • Start Microsoft Visual Studio, and go to file and create a new project after selecting CRM Package type on left hand side of window.
  • Now add files to the project and copy your data, solution files into PkgFolder folder, also change property of each file inside this folder to Copy to Output Directory value to Copy Always.
  • Update the HTML files and add the contents to the HTML files inside the folder for each language that you want to use for deployment.
  • Specify the configuration values for the package and modify the ImportConfig.xml available in PkgFolder folder, this file lets the package understand what to pick and form where. Finally save everything on the project and build this project.
  • Go to bin folder and copy and PkgFolder folder and paste it to SDK 365\SDK\Tools\PackageDeployer\ folder inside SDK.
  • Run PackageDeployer.exe and enter the details for organization to connect with and deploy on.
  • Select organization if you have multiple organizations connected with same credentials.
  • Click on next button it will show you the welcome html page which you have designed and kept in PkgFolder HTML content.
  • Again click on next button it will show you package name and organization.
  • Again click on next button then it will show you the progress on each solution and data files which is being imported to the connected CRM organization, once it is done please click on next button to see the final page of the process which is nothing but the HTML end page which you have kept in the PkgFolder/Content folder.
  • Finally click on close button to close the window of the tool, now you can verify the data and solutions into actual CRM environment.

So finally this is very helpful tool to deploy CRM objects into different organization with a streamlined and automated process, which helps CRM administrators to avoid any hassle and save the time being consumed during the import.

This article is shared by Microsoft dynamics crm consultants to explain the CRM Package Deployer tool. If you have any doubt or want to know more about the technology, kindly comment below.

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About the Author: Gill Tom

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