Spawning instances of templates

My new project involves the interesting challenge of creating a set of entities based on a set of templates. Both are MSCRM objects (so one is called xxxxxTemplate and the other is just xxxxx).

I create a new object that will contain all the other ones. This will kick off 1..n creations of a first child object and this object will then kick off the creation of probably about 10 child objects of its own. Each object created would take some basic info from the templates (usually just a name and one or two other pieces).

Thinking that using a plugin to control this action would be best (one on the top level creation and one on the creation of the first level child objects to create the second level). Does anyone have a better solution? Just a thought - I am a week or two away from beginning that part of the project so if anyone has any ideas please feel free to email me.

Virtual Machine Development Environments

I have just completed the rather long task of putting together a self contained development environment.

Starting with a Windows 2003 base image I installed SQL 2005 (had intended to put 2008 on as well but the machine was not of my making originally so ran out of space), CRM 4.0, VS2008 and the CRM SDK. Once my next project is up and running with it I will also look at putting the Analytics accelerator onto the base reusable image.

I suppose my main difficulty was not with the technology but the platform. Taking a pre-installed domain controller with Exchange was a step up but found that I had to take SQL off and re-install to my own preference (while adding SSRS/SSAS as well). But mainly I struggled against the VM. Capturing ISO images of VS that it said was corrupt one minute but fine the next, occasionally dropping the USB connection to the external HDD where the image is located and loosing work. Still - at least I have had a lifetime of practice at installing CRM now!!!!

And back again

Wow, this is weird to be blogging again.

Well, I moved jobs because the last one was not selling CRM anymore and I was left with just the "hobby" of the internal system to look after.

The people I have moved to have immediately landed me with a student record system to be built on CRM 4.0 so have spend the first few days since Christmas working out entity relationship diagrams.

I will post more on my design considerations as I get through them.