I started to explore this new feature because I wanted to see changes to the code. I mean real code. There is no way to easily see the code… Well, Power Apps is a no/low-code as we know, so I also know we should not want to see code… But I do. I have to.
Ever since “CRM 2011” Microsoft has been pushing the message that we should have unmanaged solutions only in Development environments. That message is being emphasized even more as we walk into the new Power Platform era. Ideas have been raised that one day we might not be allowed to import unmanaged solutions to an environment that is not explicitly tagged for Development.
I would suggest completely removing the possibility to export solutions as unmanaged.
If you have problems shifting gears in your car, you don’t call Volvo to say “Hey, I don’t like how this gear shifting thing works, so I’m just going to use reverse and drive backwards from now on.” What you probably do is call them to say “I’m having trouble shifting, you need to fix the problems or show me how to use it properly.“
Ever since Microsoft introduced the Solution platform with Dynamics CRM 2011, there has been an ongoing and never ending discussion about whether to deploy managed or unmanaged solutions.
I can’t say I can end the discussions or solve all problems. But I will try to convince you – there is no discussion.
Recently I posted a series of three articles describing our approach to DevOps for Microsoft Dynamics 365, and the technology behind it. After giving a session on this topic at CRM Saturday in Madrid, Spain, it is now time to announce “public preview” of our tools.
If you want the full story – these are the articles describing the background and technology behind our tools:
Below is a sample of a full build process that not only builds and packs a new CRM solution, but updates the individual assemblies and webresources in DEV environment, exports solutions and data, and then publishes the files exported from DEV together with Shuffle Definitions and Package Definition, which is the resulting build artifact.
We now had the tools we needed to automate the central parts of the build/deploy process. But it still involved lots of manual or script based steps. To describe it simply, the following steps were required to produce a full deploy of a Customer Solution (CS) that has a prerequisite in one of our Product Solutions (PS), assuming we wanted the latest available code and customizations for both PS and CS.
Define new PS version number
Set version number for assemblies
Use Plugin Registration to update PS DEV assemblies
Minify webresources (scripted post build event)
Use Web Resource Utility to update webresources in PS DEV
(scripted post build event using modified version from SDK, that allows command line execution w/o user interaction)
Run Shuffle scripts that export PS solutions and data from PS DEV
Run scripts that import PS to CS DEV
Define new CS version number
Set version number for assemblies
Use Plugin Registration to update CS DEV assemblies
Use Web Resource Utility to update webresources in CS DEV
Run Shuffle scripts that export CS solutions and data from CS DEV
Create package (by running a script)
Collect all required definitions, solutions and data files from PS and CS exports
Execute CRM Deployer with cdpkg file and a flag to create cdzip archive