How to backup your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or Salesforce.com database for local use

By - December 12, 2013

With many clients moving to the cloud, there are still some concern about who owns the data and how the client can get access to that data. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online becoming so popular, this topic seems to be coming up more frequently. Today I’m going to show you a tool that allows you to get your Dynamics CRM Online data in a local environment so you can do reporting, analytics, load a Data Mart or Data Warehouse or just keep a backup on-premise if you like. With the launch of ScribeOnline, there is a tool they’ve introduced called Replication Services that makes this task ridiculously easy!

To get access to ScribeOnline, you’ll need a subscription from Scribe which runs ~ $1100 for a 12 month subscription. There is also a 15 day free trial you can take advantage of to see how it works and try the tool for yourself. (Links are provided at the end of this post)

Once you have access to ScribeOnline you’ll need the following:

  1. Create and then Download Your “On-Premise Agent”
    This will generate an Agent Key which you’ll need shortly so copy that key.
    Once you’ve installed and configured the agent, you’ll be good to go there. (Note: the server needs to have an always-on internet connection – This provides the agent “heartbeat” and will be the connector that is used to get data from the cloud down to your server)NewAgent
  2. Database Created To Store the data you’ll be pulling down. You can just create a database with the default log and data sizes if you want.
  3. SQL or Windows Domain Account With Permissions to your database (Create Table and db_datawriter for sure)

Once you have those pre-requisites done you are ready to configure the replicaiton services for use!

  1. Click “+New” to create a new replication service
  2. Name it whatever you want. ie. CRMOrgName_To_SQLServerName and give it a description
  3. Click Next which will take you to Step 2 – Agent tab and select your new agent that you just installed from the drop down. You could also install it from here but I find it’s easier to have the agent in place prior. It’ll work either way.
  4. Click Next and you’ll be presented with a source, this will be your CRM Online org. You can click “New” here and setup your connectionNewSourceConnOnce your connection is setup it will show up in the drop down. Select it and click Next.
  5. Here you will be presented with the target connection.
    Click New and put in the credentials and information for the local SQL database you created earlier. This is where the CRM online tables will be created.NewTargetConnTest the connection and make sure it works ok.
  6. On the next screen (5 Entities) We are presented with a list of the entities and a good description of what is in each entity.
    Here you can choose one of three options:

    • Recommended Entities (The list can be found in the help file under “Using Replication Services (RS) – Selecting Source  Entities)
    • All Entities (exactly what it sounds like. Give me everything!)
    • Selected Entities (You can pick and choose from the list. Maybe you only want sales data and customer information)EntitySel
  7. Now it’s just a matter of scheduling the replication.
    Do you want to run it on demand (Click to initiate each time)
    Once On <select date> (Run this one time)
    Recurring (Set your schedule. Pretty straightforward)Schedule
  8. Click Save

If you set this up as an On Demand schedule, when you’re ready to run simply return to the Solutions page and under Replication Services you should see your Instance Name. When you first create the job it will show “Preparing” for a status. Give it a few minutes and that will change over to “On Demand.” Once it says On Demand, just click the “> RUN NOW” button and let it do the work.

OnDemand

This will give you a status as it’s processing. My Dynanics CRM Online trial database was around 121 MB and took about 14 minutes to process. This was on my laptop over a broadband connection in the middle of the day.

Once it goes back to a status of “On Demand” you know it is complete.

Go to SQL Server Management Studio (or wherever you created the database) and refresh the tables. you should see a list of the entities you brought down.
SQL

As you can see, this is a very easy and very useful tool for backing up your Dynamics CRM Online or salesforce.com database to a local datastore where you can more easily get at your data for various purposes.

Fore additonal information, here’s some reference links:

If you found this post useful, have a question or have any suggestions on how we can improve, please post a comment!

If you would like additional information on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 or help with your existing or new Dynamics CRM implementation, please give us a call at 855.437.7202 or send us an email to crm@mcgladrey.com and see how RSM can help you experience the power of being understood.

By: Josh Thompson – Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner in Minnesota

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