Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In Place Upgrade - CRM 2011 to CRM 2013

Now that the latest and greatest version of Dynamics CRM has been released, I was ready to get hands on with the new features. Since I had my own VM (details on building a VirtualBox VM here) to mess around with, I planned on doing an in place upgrade. Please note that this is not the recommended approach especially in production environments. A new install of CRM 2013 or a migration upgrade would be the best options for stage/ prod setups.

Here are the steps to follow for an in place upgrade from CRM 2011 to CRM 2013.

Pre-Install checklist:

1. Make sure that your CRM 2011 server instance has been upgraded to the Update Rollup 14 or 16. I was on R12, and when trying to install CRM 2013 I got the following error:

Error| The installed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server cannot be upgraded to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

Once I installed RU14 on my CRM server, I could proceed with the installation

2. Uninstall the CRM connector for SQL Server Reporting Services.

3. Take snapshots of your server state if possible, as the upgrade is a one way path. If you take the red pill, there is no going back.

4. Obtain a CRM Server 2013 license key.

Install CRM 2013: 

1. Run the CRM2013-Server-ENU-amd64.exe file. Select option to check for updates. Enter the right license key for the setup, and remember that CRM 2013 license keys are different from CRM 2011's.

2. Select the organization to upgrade. The remaining orgs if any can be upgraded using the Deployment Manager.

3. In the Specify Service Accounts Page, note that there is a brand new service called "VSS Writer". Specify an user account to run this new service. Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is the built-in infrastructure for application backups for Microsoft Windows. It provides a mechanism to run a backup of the CRM application and database while the system is online.

4. Enter name of the email router, if one exists. Validate that all the system checks passes successfully.

Note: The warning messages were mostly security oriented, as I had used the network service account for all of Dynamics services. While this is fine for a test server, please follow recommended security procedures for a production deployment.

5. After agreeing to the service disruptions notification page, validate the selections are correct in the Upgrade page before clicking "Upgrade".

6. Once the install has completed successfully, log into the org that was just upgraded to make sure everything works as expected!

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