CRM 2011 TO CRM 2013 Upgrade Process

CRM 2013Software and OS Components Support Changes

What software and operating systems will Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 support?

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Microsoft Outlook 2013
  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.2 (ships with Windows Server 2012 R2)

What software and operating systems will Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 no longer support?

  • The Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook or the web application on Windows XP
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • E-mail router will no longer support:
    • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
    • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 WebDAV protocol for email routing and tracking (Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Exchange Web Services (EWS) will still be supported)

Preparing the CRM Organization for the Upgrade

CRM 2011 to CRM 2013 On-Premise Upgrade Preparation Tasks:

  • Determine if the current implementation of CRM 2011 is using any legacy features
  • Use the CRM 2013 Custom Code Validation Tool to examine web resources and determine where there could be potential upgrade issues.  If the custom validation tool does find any concerns, they will either be using deprecated CRM 4.0 objects and functions or an unsupported coding process.  For more information about the validation tool go to the following links:
  • Use the legacy feature check tool to detect any server extensions that use the 2007 endpoint or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 features.  For more information on legacy tool, go to the following link:
  • Determine the appropriate upgrade path
  • Take into the consideration the following when determining which upgrade path to follow:
    • Upgrading to CRM 2013 is a one way process
    • One cannot upgrade directly to CRM 2013 from CRM 4.0
    • One cannot rollback the server installation to CRM 2011 once the upgrade to CRM 2013 is complete
    • In order to upgrade to CRM 2013, the CRM 2011 Server must either be on Update Rollup 6 or Update Rollup 14 or a later rollup before an upgrade can be considered

CRM 2013 Organization DB Changes

The structure of the organization database is optimized to take advantage of the built-in capabilities of SQL Server. In order to achieve this optimization, restructuring of the CRM organization database is required.  This restructuring should be factored into the upgrade planning as it can take time to complete.  This restructuring process is known as a database or base extension “table merge”.

In Microsoft’s internal testing, after the table merge process was completed, the performance of CRM increased under a variety of workloads.  There was also a reduction in the number of SQL errors due to conflicts in accessing system data. Important aspects to note about the CRM organization database schema changes:

  • Data access through the filtered views is supported
  • Data access through direct SQL calls against the database tables is unsupported and therefore may not work after the upgrade
  • If data is inserted or updated into CRM through direct SQL against the tables, this method is unsupported and the code will need to be updated

So when should the table merge process be run?  Should it be run as part of the upgrade or after the upgrade process is completed?  The size of the CRM 2011 organization database is a determining factor on which approach to take. The following factors need to be considered with regards to the size of the CRM 2011 organization database and the table merge process:

  1. If the organization database has very large tables than one can choose to defer the restructuring of the database until after the upgrade. For example, if the organization database is 70-GB then the database table merge process could take several hours. By deferring the merge process the upgrade process could finish in approximately two hours and the system can be returned to a usable state. Potentially during nightly maintenance windows, one can merge the organization, one entity or more at a time until the all the base and extension tables are merged.
  2. During the upgrade process when a full merge is done the process will require approximately two times the size of the current database for the lifecycle of the merge. So if one chooses to do the table merge process as part of the upgrade and if the organization DB size is 20-GB, then approximately 40-GB will be needed for the upgrade.

In order to determine the right approach is, it is highly recommended to upgrade a copy of the CRM 2011 organization on a test environment prior to performing the upgrade on the production environment.  As part of the upgrade process, there is a report and information in the log for the table marge process to help make the decision.

Upgrade Paths

The following tasks pertains to both the migration and in-place upgrade methods:

  1. Verify that the CRM Server and organizations are patched up all the way to Update Rollup 14 (if part update rollup 6 already) and that all the functionality in the application is working correctly. Note: Upgrading from CRM 2011 to CRM 2013 is supported from either update rollup 6 or update rollup 14. Microsoft recommends that all deployments of CRM 2011 be upgraded to Update Rollup 14 before upgrading to CRM 2013.  The option of upgrading from Update Rollup 6  is meant to support a step-through upgrade from CRM 4.0.
  2. The CRM 2013 product key must be obtained before the upgrade process begins as the key is required to run the upgrade process.

Regardless of which upgrade part is chosen, the following are the stages of the upgrade process:

  1. Database Base and Extension Table Merge (this stage can either be run at the time of upgrade or later using a merge tool on a per entity basis).
  2. The server and organization update.
  3. Solutions update
    • Solutions will be converted to a new format
    • Solution will be upgraded to CRM 2013 forms and data engine
    • Unmanaged and managed solution will be supported
  4. The forms will be updated to the new CRM 2013 format.

Migration Method

(this is the option recommended by Microsoft):

  • Provides the ability to fallback to an existing CRM 2011 deployment as this method requires additional hardware for the CRM 2013 upgrade
  • This method allows upgrading to CRM 2013 without affecting the existing CRM 2011 deployment

Migration Method Steps:

  1. Server infrastructure for the CRM 2013 deployment needs to be setup. You can obtain further information regarding the minimum requirements of a deployment in the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 system requirements and required technologies” section of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Implementation Guide.  This guide can be obtained from the following site:
  2. Regarding Microsoft SQL Server, ensure that the new CRM 2013 environment is at or above the version and patch level of the existing CRM 2011 SQL Server deployment. Doing this will allow for restoring a backup to the new CRM 2013 environment.
  3. Perform the CRM 2013 installation. The new CRM 2013 deployment will be setup and the base organizations will be configured.
  4. Confirm that the CRM server is working correctly with the newly created CRM 2013 organization.
  5. Open the deployment manager in the source deployment (CRM 2011 Deployment), and validate that the organizations are updated to UR14. Important: CRM 2013 will import organizations that are only on Update Rollup 6, Update Rollup 14 or an update rollup later than UR14 for CRM 2011 release. The CRM 2011 organization must be patched with a valid update rollup before doing the migration upgrade:
  6. Organizations that have Update Rollup 6 will have this version number: 05.00.9690.1992
  7. Organizations that have Update Rollup 14 will have this version number: 05.00.9690.3557
  8. Using SQL Server backup in the source CRM 2011 deployment, backup the organizations that need to be migrated to CRM 2013. Back up the organization database, which will have a name like <YOURORGNAME>_MSCRM. Ensure a full back up of the organization database is taken.
  9. Restore the backups from the CRM 2011 environment to the CRM 2013 environment (SQL Server).

Important: If the decision has been made to defer the database table merge process, registry keys need to be added to the deployment server. This must be done prior to running the upgrade process.

  1. Open the deployment manager and choose Import organization in the new environment. The import organization process will start, which will import and then upgrade the CRM 2011 organization to CRM 2013.
  2. Confirm that things are working as expected after the import is complete, by going to the organization in a web browser.

In-Place Method:

  • This method is utilized when upgrading the existing CRM server is a requirement
  • While this method provide the easiest and simplest path to upgrade. The following should be considered:
    • Falling back to CRM 2011 is not an option without reinstalling the CRM 2011 server
    • If the upgrade fails, the CRM server or organization will not be accessible until the error is cleared or the server is restored from a backup

In-Place Method Steps:

  1. First, backup the deployment database and organization databases.
  2. Determine that the environment meets the minimum requirements for CRM 2013. Review the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 system requirements and required technologies” section of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Implementation Guide.
  3. Uninstall the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Connector for Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. This is necessary as the upgrade process cannot upgrade the CRM Connector for SQL Server Reporting Services.
  4. Proceed with the CRM 2013 Server setup process.
  5. If the CRM deployment has more than one organization, then use the deployment manager, to upgrade any remaining organizations. During upgrade, you can upgrade one or none of the organizations in CRM.

One thought on “CRM 2011 TO CRM 2013 Upgrade Process

  1. I am trying to upgrade from Rollup 17 according to your blog, anything later than 14. However, you cant upgrade from something late, this article screwed me up. You get an error saying you can update from later.

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