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Bug with CRM Outlook Client

Thanks to Greg Nichols for highlighting this the bug caused by a security update which is killing off MS Outlook with CRM installed. This is definately something we are seeing in production enviroments everywhere at the moment.

Agent Desktop: Error: Failed to connect to the web server.

It appears that a few people have had the problem where everything works great in agent desktop, but not when selecting a contact to work with, as they get some thing like
The underlying connection was closed: The remote name could not be resolved.\n\nStack:\n at Microsoft.Ccf.Csr.Sessions.SetActiveSession(Guid sessionID)
at Microsoft.Ccf.Csr.Sessions.AddSession(String name, Int32 callID, Object customer)
at Microsoft.Ccf.Samples.Csr.AgentDesktop.Desktop.AddSession(CustomerRecord customer, CallClassProvider call)

Customer Care Framework 2005 - Agent Desktop: Error: Failed to connect to the web server. Please verify that you can connect to the web server.

Well it would appear from the outside that the SetActiveSession method (atleast in the .Net 1.1 QFE 3 version, and likely the earlier .Net 1.1 version) has the server hard coded (since this is one of the few assemblies you don't get the code for and reflector wasn't much help in finding out I can not state for sure).

If it is hard coded it is insanity and *hopefully* fixed in the .Net 2.0 release. But if you do hit this because your CCF server is not named CCFIIS the simple fix is either add an entry to the DNS server on your network to redirect to that or (if you can't due to security restrictions during development) add it to the hosts file in c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc\

Once that is done, restart agent desktop and enjoy.

Update:Thanks to MattB on the CCF Forum for confirming it is hard coded and that a hotfix is available for 1.1 from PSS and 2.0 is already fixed :)

CCF Workflow and Workflow step addition fails with "Unable to update the requested information"

When in the CCF admin console you may get an "Unable to update the requested information" when trying to add a new workflow or workflow step (from here I will just say workflow but I mean both). This is because you can not add a workflow when no others exist. i.e. DON'T delete the demo ones until you create one of your own.

What is happening is the ID field in the table in the database is used in a relationship and thus can not be an identify field. So the admin tool does a check for the highest value and adds one to it and uses it as the new ID. When there is no items it fails.

If you need to manually add a workflow in to the database (instead of doing a redeploy) it is in dbo.ContactCenterAIF.WorkflowsMaster and for workflow steps it is in dbo.ContactCenterAIF.WorkflowStepsMaster

RegisterListener Exception

If you get an exception with the CCF agent desktop which involves "RegisterListener" then likely you got a little too confident in your deployment and didn't follow the deployment guide like for line. If you had you would have installed Microsoft WSE 2.0 SP3 Runtime.msi which is in the Others folder of the deployment on the desktop prior to trying.

So you are also aware, if this fails pretty much a ton of other items (menu's, status updates etc...) will also fail.

Why should you promote upgrades

I enquired with my hosting company (Hetzner) about upgrading the amount of disk space, and only disk space. See I am planning to upload my photo's and that takes space, lots of it and it's the only thing I have come close to using. The bandwidth is great, the amount of email address is ridiculous (I only use 2 and they are both just forwards anyway), and so on. The options available to me are
1) Upgrade, which doubles my disk space
2) Buy 10Mb more for R5 more.

Here is the downside for the upgrade, they are charging me R49 for it (. The logic told to me is that they have to manually do the changes to quota's etc... This for me is horribly flawed because
1) They have this great "award winning" H-Console which did the entire set of my account automatically
2) They don't charge for downgrading. This is really the part that shocks me as I could understand if they only charged for downgrades (penelizing the end user in a way) or charged for both (due to the "manual" work required) but they don't. They seem happier to have people downgrade than upgrade, which in my mind means they will make less money.

Anyway the other funny part of this how story is that if I pay R5 per 10Mb and buy the 100Mb I will end up paying the same amount as if I upgraded, but without the penalty for an upgrade.

I actually think this is a horrible side effect of one of the value propositions that Hetzner likes to tell people: "Stable pricing since 1999". The problem with stable pricing is no one ever goes back and reviews it and applies all those business lessons learnt in the last 8 years, like getting existing customers to spend more money is easier than getting new customers.

Note: This is not a issue about amount of money but rather the logic behind it.

Favorite syntax for Windows Desktop Search

Since installing Windows Desktop Search there has been a few syntax items I have used on pretty much a daily basis.
The first is is ;)
This lets you specify the type of content you are looking for. Syntax: is:<type>
In my case I generally am looking for is emails so I use: is:email

The next is limiting to the author. Once again the logical syntax is: author:<name>
Example: author:robert

Finally I limit by date ranges. The date options are amazingly powerful and all use the syntax date:<range>

Finally an example which puts it all together:
is:email author:robert date:lastyear CRM

Website restoration

Update: The website is no longer hosted at Hetzner - it is now at Web Hosting Buzz. The reason for the move is not because of any issues at Hetzner, they were great. However, the cost was a major factor - I now pay the same in a year as I used to pay in a month!
The website is slowly getting rebuilt/re-uploaded, so relax, it will be up soon ;)

What happened: In 2006 all access rights to my previous host were revoked and all my email addresses were removed.

A good friend also started to have issues with the same hosting company that previously offered him free email-only hosting, due to many favours he had done for the hosting company. The hosting company is now sending him invoices and suspending his service too. The cause of this is an internal management change and the new owners do not want to comply with our agreements with the old owners.

As such I moved my domain to Hetzner. They had a special at the point and offered great discounts on paying in advance, in addition to that they offer a great management system which does everything I need (I have only dealt with one person and that was a question about if they offered Mono on there hosting, they don't).

I have delayed getting the website up as email has been a priority and I have not had the time but suddenly I have had a few hours to look at it and this is the result :)

Why is it not ASP.NET? because Hetzer does not offer Microsoft Windows hosting or Mono on their Linux servers.