Tech N Toast®

Solutions in Microsoft Dynamics 365

Solutions in Microsoft Dynamics 365
A box where you put all your customizations, plug-ins, processes, functionalities, configurations, extensions etc. You can shift this box from one environment to another.

You have a container, which is full of chocolates. Some chocolates are homemade and some are bought from an external source. Now, you need to move this box to some other place, but that place owner does not require all the chocolates because some of them are not suitable for the environment (very hot and humid conditions) where the owner lives. The owner wants to add some new chocolates. You send the container, which is still open, flexible to accept some more. If the owner did not want to add more chocolates, you would send sealed pack box to the owner for further use.

Similarly, solutions are sent, received, and processed. You create one, then transfer it to the production environment. If you work in an organization where you and your team do everything - customization and configuration for your CRM organization. You build a solution in a sandbox (isolated) environment where you test it. If works well, move it to the production environment. Make any changes if required. For example, add or remove any components. Such things are possible because you are the owner. If you buy a solution from an external source, which is read-only, cannot edit it, called "Managed". On the other hand, if it is customizable, you can edit it, called "Unmanaged". Let's discuss it in detail:

Managed - It is a completed solution, which is specifically created for your organization. You cannot edit it. It fulfills the business needs of your organization. Either it is created by your own employees, or you buy it from external sources. You call a consultant, give all the required details in order to get the best one for your company. The consultant creates and tests it. All this while the consultant is in constant touch with you to ensure that the solution matches your business requirements because you cannot make any changes after installation. If you uninstall, it will remove all the customizations associated with it. 

You can install the managed solution on the top of your default or the managed solution.

You can choose some components to be customized after exporting it. Click "Managed Properties" > A solution component > Can be customized - If the Property is set to true, the component can be customized. If the Property is set to false, the component cannot be customized.

Unmanaged - Fully customizable. You can add/remove components. If you export it to another environment (organization), the unmanaged solution can be edited in a new environment. You can permanently delete a component, which is not recommended because you may not require it at the current stage, but you may require it after some time. Always remove it because removing the component does not permanently delete it. If you uninstall the unmanaged solution, it will not remove the associated customizations. 

You can export an unmanaged solution as a managed or as an unmanaged.

Default or System Solution in Microsoft Dynamics 365 - Out-of-the-box without customizations (absolutely raw), which you receive when you buy a new instance from Microsoft, or you install CRM on Windows Server. Go to Settings > Customizations > Customize the System, you see the default solution. It includes all the default components. You can customize, add more components if required. A closer look makes you realize that this is actually an unmanaged solution. 

You can also read my book - Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM) Solutions

If you are planning to work as an independent consultant, it is very important to understand that a complex solution is the most tedious task because it contains several internal and external components and sometimes it has an unexpected behavior that does not allow you to understand that at what stage it will stop producing the desired results. If it is a big deployment, deploy it in phases. Do not go for the next phase until you successfully test and deploy the first phase.