Upgrade MS CRM : MS CRM 2011 to MS CRM 2015


Few days back we upgraded (on premise) CRM 2011 to CRM 2015 (What’s new in MS CRM 2015), trying to summarize that upgrade. I am going to mention only the things I tried only, you may find some other alternatives for same as well. J

I followed following step during upgrade CRM 2011 to CRM 2015

  1. CRM Dev server created with MS CRM 2013 with update pack 1
  2. Imported MS CRM 2011 DB backup into it
  3. Upgraded CRM 2013 to CRM 2015 by in place upgrade
  4. Installed CRM 2015 update 1 – in place upgrade
  5. Made all the changes / code upgrade
  6. Upgrade all legacy / downstream systems code
  7. Took Default solution of it
  8. Created new organization of production on CRM 2015 server from latest backup of MS CRM 2011, thus all the database will be updated
  9. Imported default solution into new MS CRM 2015 production server
  10. Created deployment plan with down time
  11. Implemented
  12. That’s it. J

This process may differ, it’s just the path which I followed.


Here is my details of upgrade……….

Key points: 

Before start doing anything please note below points

  1. There is no direct upgrade path to from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015, to achieve it first needs to upgrade to CRM 2013, then CRM 2015
  2. CRM 2011 must have rollup 14 or above installed,  else it won’t be upgraded to CRM 2013 (for more info use this link)
  3. CRM 2013 must have service pack 1 installed then only it will be upgraded to CRM 2015
  4. CRM 4.0 API is not compatible with next version, thus it has to be removed / upgraded completely
  5. To get client side issues use Dynamics  CRM 2011 Custom Code Validation Tool and For Server side code use Legacy Feature Check Tool  and update it accordingly, in our case simply upgrade everything to MS CRM 2015, to get more info on this tool jump on CRM team blog. All issues must be resolved which is proposed by those tools.


Please keep in mind following prerequisites

  1. Get all the software & hardware requirements as per MS Dynamics CRM 2015 planning guide
  2. CRM 2011 with rollup 14 or above installed
  3. CRM 2013 with service pack 1 installed
  4. Get all list of external application who dependent on CRM (uses CRM SDK) – we needs notify them with enough time
  5. estimated downtime
  6. Email router and its settings like exchange server details, forward mailbox details etc.
  7. Upgrade process
    1. Migration – create new server and import there your organization there
    2. In place – upgrade CRM server on same server – most risky – cannot rollback if fails.
    3. Hybrid – Migration  + In place


Always precaution is better than cure, thus we needs to more careful and prepared for  each n every hazard.

  1. Take back up  of CRM database, it includes organization databases and config back
  2. Keep back up of SSIS and reports
  3. Create backup of all CRM systems / Applications which are going to upgrade
  4. Create well planned backup plane, so if we struck somewhere then we can reduce downtime by restoring backup on server
  5. Create proper step by step document with each small change for upgrade, so we won’t forget any step

Prior to upgrade:

Here are the things which supposed to do before actual CRM organization upgrade

  1. Create CRM 2013 server with service pack one installed, here you go for more detail step for CRM 2013 installation
  2. Restore CRM 2011 database backup where rollup 14 or above has installed on new SQL server (which is prepared for CRM 2013)
  3. CRM 2011 database structure and CRM 2013 database structure is much different. Thus, CRM DB import will take more time during import of CRM 2011 in CRM 2013. Thus we need take care of something, here are some
    1. Disable Claim based and IFD authentication form CRM application web server
    2. Remove completed aync jobs.  The upgrade process will do this also but if ran prior to the production upgrade it can speed up the time to completion
    3. Run SQL queries from KB Article 968520, it will increase performance of AsyncOperationBase
    4. Rebuild indexes
    5. Update statistics by “ Exec sp_MSForEachTable ‘Update Statistics ? with FULLSCAN’ ”,
    6. Make Database Recovery Mode as ‘Simple’ form DB properties, to limit the log growth, which will limit the amount of data written to the transaction log
    7. Increase OLEDB timeout on targeted MS CRM server
    8. Check that SSRS URL is working fine
    9. If you want to force the unique Organization GUID through the import process else ignore, each organization will have new GUID

Upgrade process:

Steps to upgrade CRM 2011 to 2015

  1. Import CRM 2011 database backup into CRM 2013
  2. Install CRM 2013 service pack 1 if it isn’t installed prior to upgrade
  3. Now it’s ready for further upgrade, now we have two options for it, first is in place upgrade and second it take a backup and import it on CRM 2015 environment, I chose In Place upgrade, steps of it are
  4. Get CRM 2015 setup
  5. Execute the CRM 2015 exe on CRM application server, where CRM 2013 has been installed, it will start CRM 2015 installation wizard, ref below screenshot


6.  Click on ‘Install Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server’, next will ask for updates


7. Click next to proceed


8. Once updates done, CRM will ask for Product KEY, ref below screenshot.


9. Click next to continue installation, it will lead to agreement, ref below screen shot


10. Accept it and click on ‘I agree’ button to continue, next window will ask you to select an organization to upgrade.


11. Select one organization and click ‘Next’ button, next window will ask you Email Router server name


12. This is optional, you can update it later as well, click next, next window will check all prerequisite and will display a dashboard, ref below screen shot


13. Click next to proceed, next window will show a warning, ref below screen shot


14. Click next, to continue installation, next will be a summary of organization which will be updated soon, ref below screen shot


15. Click ‘Upgrade’ button to upgrade selected organization, progress bar will be visible


16. Waite for some time and your organization will be upgraded,


17. Have look on log file to make sure that there is no error in installation.

18. Click Finish to complete CRM installation wizard.

19. Now, go to CRM Deployment

20. If you have multiple organization there then we have to upgrade rest.

21. You can see in Deployment manager, only one organization is up (which is upgraded initially), rest are disabled and next to them ‘Upgrade available’ button is enabled

22. Click on that button one by one to upgrade each CRM organization, organization upgrade wizard will start, ref below screen shot


23. Once system check is done, it will display system check list, ref below screen shot


24. Click ‘Next’, next will be a summary of the organization which is getting upgraded, here is screenshot


25. Click on upgrade button to upgrade organization, it will display upgrading progress bar


26. Waite for some time and your organization upgrade is done


27. Have look on log file to make sure that organization has been upgraded smoothly

28. Now you can update SRS connection on SQL server, if needed

29. To use CRM 2015 with outlook, you may need to install update patch 1

30. That’s it.


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