Microsoft Has Updated the CRM 2011 Client Performance Optimization Document

By - July 13, 2012

I was browsing around the Dynamics CRM 2011 Support Page and noticed the Optimizing Client Performance document had been updated to version 1.1 on July 9, 2012. I decided to take a look at the new version and compare it to the older document from May, 2011.

In this post I’ll try and highlight much of what was added.

  1. Internet Explorer 9: The new document strongly encourages users to download Internet Explorer 9. There are a number of enhancements, most notably around JavaScript acceleration, that make IE9 a superb upgrade for those clients experiencing performance issues. I can attest first hand to the improvements IE9 has shown to clients. The downside is that it requires Vista® or Windows® 7, so unfortunately, XP users are out of luck with this one. If you can make the change to Windows 7 and IE9, the performance benefit is pretty substantial. If you are stuck with XP for the foreseeable future, you can look at making the changes to IE7/8 identified later in the tuning document “Configuring Simultaneous Download Sessions”. Those changes can help quite a bit as well.
  2. Power Settings: You may not realize this but Windows provides a number of settings via control panel to affect performance. Microsoft now officially recommends that you set the power settings to “High Performance”. This is most notably an issue for laptops that use CRM as battery life will be negatively impacted by changing the settings to High Performance. Directions on how to make the change or ensure the machine is running in High Performance mode are in the document on page 8.
  3. Virus Scaning: There are instructions for telling virus scanning software to exempt the CRM organization URL from scan. (McAfee in particular is highlighted)
  4. Configure Connection Limit Using Group Policy: They’ve added instructions for this.
  5. Configure the Internet Explorer Zoom Setting: This one caught me by surprise and was not something I had thought about. According to MS, a “zoom setting of anything other than 100% will result in an increase in page rendering time”.
  6. Configuring Outlook: This seems obvious enough but bears repeating, make sure if you install the CRM Add-In for Outlook on a terminal server/Citrix configuration, you install with the /disableoffline switch.
  7. Tuning Background Polling Activity: I won’t get into any detail on this but there is a support article that covers the tuning of these activities. Slow performance when using the Dynamics CRM 2011 Client for Outlook
  8. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Performance Troubleshooting: This was added in the new version as “Appendix B”. There are some performance tools & issue considerations covered in this section. If you are using CRM Online, I would definitely give this section a look.
  9. Optimization Tools: Here they cover some of the optimization tools:
    1. Fiddler: How to configure and run a trace, particularly with HTTPS traffic. There is also a link to a blog posting about what to do with the Fiddler trace data as well as additional configuration/setup items.
    2. SQL Tools: Really nothing of note here. It just says you should contact MS support. Of course, RSM would be happy to help you out with any performance issues you might be having as well.

As you can see, a number of additional items were added to the document. This may not be all-inclusive of the changes so definitely download the document and have a look. As with anything, all of the optimizations may or may not be appropriate for you scenario so testing should be done in a dev/test system to see what impact certain changes may have on client performance. There are some terrific guidelines here that can really help you out though! If you have any questions on performance tuning or would like an assessment done, please reach out to myself or to any RSM representation for more information.  Our professionals can be reached at 855.437.7202 or via email at crm@mcgladrey.com.

By: Josh Thompson – Minnesota Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

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