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Cross-Browser Compatibility in Microsoft CRM 2011 R8 (Q2 2012)

As you’re thinking about or discussing the announced CRM cross-browser support coming in R8  (Q2 2012) be aware that there are some expectations that may or may not be realistic.

If you expect users in your organization to use browsers other than IE to access CRM, it’s important to be ready to understand what is supported out of the box – and what modifications to your existing customizations will enable users to get the most out of CRM, regardless of their browser choice.

Beyond this list of suggestions there was an excellent technical presentation on coding for Cross-Browser compatibility presented by Karun Krishna from Microsoft India to the XRM user group – if you go to their site (http://www.xrmvirtual.com/), the presentation is available for review/download here http://www.xrmvirtual.com/events/Cross_browser_dev.

Setting Expectations

1) In every project, if additional browsers (beyond IE) are to be implemented, be sure to allow additional time to code and validate. – Cross-browser support for customizations is not automatic and cannot be assumed.

2) “Universal” cross-browser support of CRM is not the promise of R8.

a. There are some areas of CRM that will still only be available through IE – such as Customization/Administration features and the Workplace and Service Scheduling calendars.

b. Not *every* browser is supported. (e.g. Opera and old versions of Firefox .)

c. They’re putting a lot of effort into iPad support (using Safari) – but it still has extra caveats due to the special nature of the iPad environment. (no pop-ups, no file upload, no ‘right-click’, no Silverlight, no ActiveX, etc.)

[responsive]CRM Cross-Browser Support Matrix[/responsive]

 

Notes for CRM Customizers:

Unsupported script/DOM hacks –

Unsupported client-side code to perform *special* formatting – will likely break as soon as R8 is applied.

i. Just because something works now, don’t assume it will work post R8 – even in IE.

ii. If you’re not sure if a particular ‘trick’ is based on supported code, ask. (or assume it isn’t)

iii. There is much more discussion about jQuery – if you are new to jQuery (like I am) – It’s a worthwhile skill to learn.

XRM.* vs. crmForm.all.*  Style of scripting API

For client-side jscript customizations, only the 2011 style of the SDK is supported: (xrm.Page.*)

i. Tons of blog post examples and code snippets that are floating around were written originally for 4.0, but are supported in 2011. – They will continue to work in CRM 2011, but only in IE.

ii. There are some nice tools out there to convert CRM 4.0 script into CRM 2011

1. http://crm2011scriptconvert.codeplex.com/  – Free (donations encouraged)  – last updated a year ago.

2. http://www.crmaccelerators.net/products/crm-migration-assistant-2/  – $500 – actively supported/managed. (recommended.)

iii. All new jscript code in your projects should be in the xrm.* style (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg328474.aspx ) both to ensure cross-browser support, but also compatibility beyond the current version.  (The “crmForm.all.*” style of API interaction is only supported for code that was upgraded from 4.0 – it’s now deprecated and should be migrated whenever you are updating form scripts. – the 4.0 script-conversion tools listed above are great for updating your code to the XRM style.)

In Summary

As with anything still in development, expect changes – but the information here seems to be stable and as reliable as can be expected at this point.