CRM 2015 was released by Microsoft at the very end of 2014. DMC typically tries to be on the latest and greatest version for two reasons. First, we can take advantage of all of the new features like cross entity search, security enhancements and enhanced business rules. Second, it helps our team better assist our current and future customers when they go through the same process. Because CRM 2015 is so new, there really isn’t too much documentation for installation errors and “gotchas” yet, which is one of the reasons I wanted to write this blog.
We went through the upgrade process from CRM 2011 to 2013 just 18 months ago, but the road to the finish line was a bit different this time around. For that upgrade, we built a new server because there were a ton of schema changes and our custom code needed to be tested before going live. This required a ton of preparation.
Upgrading to CRM 2015 was much simpler as it was done as an in-place upgrade, meaning it ran on top of an existing installation. The advantage, of course, was that the installer itself would upgrade all files, databases, and web applications for us with minimal effort. However, we were not prepared for the errors that occurred after running the required prerequisite check.
"That complete system upgrade went exactly the way I thought it would", said no IT person ever.
Every CRM install has two databases that are needed for the site to function. The first database contains all of the data CRM has within, and the second database contains all of the configuration data. The former has about 18 GB in our case, where the latter sits at about 50 MB. When running the prerequisite check, we saw roughly 50 errors, 45 of them having the same message: “The database could not be accessed. In order to access this database, check your network connection (etc.)” For some reason, it was taking the CRM database name, adding “_MSCRM” to the end of it and then asking for it during the upgrade.
I decided we had 2 options at this point to fix the error:
- Build a new server, install CRM 2015 on it, and manually update the databases one by one.
- Create a new blank database with the name it was looking for, copy the contents of the current data into that database, and point the server to that data.
We went with the second option here and crossed our fingers that it would not only get through the installer prerequisites, but also have a good configuration when finished. It turned out that it installed just fine and once the upgrade was finished, it started referencing the original database file to where we were able to safely delete the new database files we had created. It was good that we had created a new database and not just renamed the original live database, as that is never a good idea. It’s always a good idea to make backups of your current databases prior to any major upgrade like this to fall back on if something goes wrong.
In the end, the installation issue was easily corrected. We completed the upgrade without any further issues, and are very excited to continue exploring CRM 2015's new features. If you have a similar problem or need assistance upgrading/installing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013/2015, please give us a call and we will help!
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