There are many tools available at our disposal to make our lives easier as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Developer or Business Analyst.

Below is the list of tools I use frequently and many of them are my favourite.

Site Map Editor

    Pragma Toolkit is a developer tool for improving productivity of the CRM 2011 developers. This release contains Ribbon Editor and Site Map Editor.

Ribbon Editor

    Ribbon Editor makes it easier for developers and customizers to edit Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 ribbons.
    Pragma Toolkit is a developer tool for improving productivity of the CRM 2011 developers. This release contains Ribbon Editor and Site Map Editor.
    Visual Ribbon Editor is a tool for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 that lets you edit CRM ribbons.
  • Ribbon Workbench for Dynamics CRM 2011
    Customising/editing the Dynamics CRM 2011 Ribbon has never been easier with the Ribbon Workbench for Dynamics CRM 2011. Unlike other editors available, the Ribbon Workbench allows you to perform a complete set of customisations that have only been possible up until now by hand editing xml. 

URL Encoder/Decoder to easily get CRM Record IDs


LINQ Queries

  • LINQPad and CrmLINQPadPlugin.lpx
    Interactively query databases in a modern query language. You can test your LINQ query in the LINQPad before use in plugins and custom workflow activities.

Fetch XML

    Stunnware Tools for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4, but we can use it to test Fetch XML. There are other cool tools embedded inside the Stunnware.

CRM Security Roles Interface

    Role Updater for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 makes it easier for CRM 2011 administrators and developers to add or remove privileges to multiple security roles in one operation. You'll no longer have to open each security role and apply privileges one by one.
    Used in CRM 4.0 Administration. Release 1.3 contains three utilities, focused on the administration of Users, Security Roles, Views and Local Data Groups. It supports Intranet, Internet and CRM Online deployments.

Entity/Attribute Creation

    This application eases the customization of custom entities icons in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. It is also very useful for uploading icons for Ribbon buttons.
Universal Settings
CRM WF Utilities
    The CRM WF Date/Time Utilities are three custom workflow activities that can be used to extend CRM's limitations of Date/Time fields.

    Provide activities for: Delete record, Share or “unshare” a record, Insert hyperlink to a CRM record, Qualify lead (convert to account/contact/opportunity), Bulk activate / deactivate records (no record count limit)

CRM 2011 JavaScript Model Generator
    Generates JavaScript helper objects based on the fields, tabs, sections, and left navigation items that are currently on the specified entity form. Also caches XRM objects to optimize performance.
CRM 2011 Appender for log4net
    The CRM 2011 Appender is a custom appender for log4net. Instead of the basic file appender that writes log messages to a file, the CRM 2011 Appender will write log messages to your custom log entity inside your CRM 2011 organization.

CRM Tools from Microsoft

  • CRMSvcUtil.exe
    Advanced Developer Extensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides a command-line code generation tool called CrmSvcUtil.exe that is used to generate a data context class as well as data transfer objects (DTOs) for all Microsoft Dynamics CRM entities.
  • Plugin Registration
    It is a tool for registering CRM plug-ins and custom workflow activities.
  • Entity Metadata Browser
    The Entity Metadata Browser provides the capability to examine the metadata for all the entities in the system.
  • ILMerge.msi
    ILMerge is a utility for merging multiple .NET assemblies into a single .NET assembly. This is used if we have multiple Dynamics CRM 2011 .NET projects in a solution.
  • Visual Studio Agents2010
    Visual Studio Agents 2010 includes Test Controller 2010, Test Agent 2010 and Lab Agent 2010. Test Controller 2010 and Test Agent 2010 collectively enable scale-out load generation, distributed data collection, and distributed test execution. Visual Studio Agents 2010 can help in unit testing of plugins and custom workflow activities.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Custom Code Validation Tool
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Custom Code Validation Tool helps identify potential problems  with custom JavaScript in JavaScript libraries and HTML web resources so that a developer can fix them.This tool helps in preparing for your upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

Third Party Components

  • Documents Core Pack:
    Documents Core Pack provides the possibility to create and manage documents associated with CRM – records in a comfortable and structured way. It enables creation of Word-Documents with data from MS CRM.
  • CRM 2011 OData Query Designer:
    The CRM 2011 OData Query Designer is a Silverlight 4 application that is packaged as a Managed CRM 2011 Solution. This tool allows you to build OData queries by selecting filter criteria, select attributes and order by attributes. The tool also allows you to execute the query and view the ATOM and JSON data returned.
  • Dependent Picklists: OR
    Create Dependent Picklist by using a user friendly interface.
  • ReSharper
    ReSharper is a productivity tool that makes Microsoft Visual Studio a much better IDE. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 developers can use ReSharper's code inspections, automated refactorings, blazing fast navigation, and coding assistance in custom development of plugins and workflow activities.

JavaScript/CSS/HTML Testing: Useful in CRM Custom HTML/ASPX Development

  • Test CSS/HTML:
  • Test JavaScript/CSS/HTML:
  • Test JavaScript:
  • JavaScript Development Sheet.pdf
    This document is a cheat sheet and a quick reference to JavaScript methods in the new XRM Page Model of Dynamics CRM 2011. Download JavaScript Development Sheet from here.
  • Dynamic HTML Editor 1.9:
    Dynamic HTML Editor is a powerful HTML (website design) Editor that permits you to create your site in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) environment using both CSS and/or tabled layouts.

Tools for taking Screen Shots: Helpful in writing Functional and Technical Dynamics CRM 2011 Documents

  • Balsamiq Mockups:
    Using Balsamiq Mockups feels like drawing, but because it’s digital, you can tweak and rearrange easily. Teams can come up with a design and iterate over it in real-time in the course of a meeting.
  • Snagit:
    Capture anything on your computer screen with this screen capture tool. Snagit makes it easy to create eye-catching images and videos for quick communication.
  • MS Paint
    Paint (formerly Paintbrush for Windows) is a simple graphics painting program that has been included with all versions of Microsoft Windows.
  • Paint.Net:
    Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
  • Microsoft Picture Manager (Microsoft office 2010)
    Microsoft Office Picture Manager is a software program included with Microsoft Office suite starting with version 2003. It is a basic image editing and image management program. It replaced Microsoft Photo Editor, which had been included up to Office XP since Office 97

Tools for Unit Testing: Helpful in custom development of plugins, workflow activities and ASPX pages

  • MOQ:
    Moq (pronounced "Mock-you" or just "Mock") is the only mocking library for .NET developed from scratch to take full advantage of .NET 3.5 (i.e. LINQ expression trees) and C# 3.0 features (i.e. lambda expressions) that make it the most productive, type-safe and refactoring-friendly mocking library available.
  • Rhino Mock
    Rhino Mocks is a dynamic mock object framework for the .Net platform. Its purpose is to ease testing by allowing the developer to create mock implementations of custom objects and verify the interactions using unit testing.
  • .NET Code Coverage Tool:
    Reporting statement-level coverage in .NET Framework and Silverlight applications. Integration with Visual Studio 2005, 2008 and 2010.