Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customer Center
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Policies and Communications for CRM Online updates

Planned maintenance

Planned maintenance is updates and changes to the service to provide increased stability, reliability, and performance. These changes can include:

  • Hardware or infrastructure updates

  • Integrated services, such as a new version of Office 365 or Azure

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service changes and software updates

Our policy is to provide five days advance notice by using a “Planned Maintenance” email notification. We send these email notifications to all CRM Online System Administrators and the Initial User in every CRM Online instance.

When planned maintenance is considered to be large scale or affects an entire datacenter, we also update these locations:

  • For customers who are billed through the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online platform using Microsoft account, we update the CRM Online Service blog.

  • For customers who are billed through the Microsoft Online Services platform, we update the Service Health Dashboard, which is available to the tenant administrators of Office 365 customers who are using CRM Online.

Unplanned maintenance

It's inevitable that we will encounter unplanned issues with the service in which we need to make changes to ensure availability. During these events we strive to provide as much notification as possible. However things do happen that we are not able to predict and therefore would not fall into planned maintenance.

Using an “Unplanned Maintenance” notification, we send email notifications to all CRM Online System Administrators and the Initial User.

When unplanned maintenance is considered to be large scale or affects an entire datacenter, we also update these locations:

  • For customers who are billed through the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online platform using Microsoft account, we update the CRM Online Service blog.

  • For customers who are billed through the Microsoft Online Services platform, we update the Service Health Dashboard, which is available to the tenant administrators of Office 365 customers who are using CRM Online.

Security updates

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online implements technologies to scan the environment for possible vulnerabilities. Identified vulnerabilities are tracked and verified for remediation. In addition, regular vulnerability/penetration assessments to identify vulnerabilities and determine whether key logical controls are operating effectively are performed. 

The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) regularly monitors external security vulnerability awareness sites. As part of the routine vulnerability management process, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online team evaluates our exposure to these vulnerabilities and takes swift action to mitigate risks when necessary. 

As we apply these mitigations, they are implemented in a manner that does not require service downtime and therefore we do not send any communications out to CRM administrators when these updates are applied to the service. In the event we had a security update that required service downtime, it would fall under planned maintenance.

Service releases

CRM Online typically releases two major service releases a year. These service releases provide new features and functionality. We currently use the reschedule update functionality, where a customer can choose when to schedule their upgrade to the next major release. All customers are updated during the defined service update release period, usually over a three-month window.

In using the schedule update functionality, we preschedule customers for the upgrade and notify customers when they are scheduled. Customers then have the opportunity to change the scheduled date. They are notified 90 days in advance of the scheduled update. We also send additional communications to all CRM Online Administrators at 30 days, 15 days, 7 days, 0 or day of, and post upgrade. More information: Manage Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online updates

Service updates

CRM Online releases service updates approximately ten times a year that contain minor updates to the service. These updates are treated as a planned maintenance when downtime is required. When no downtime is required, we do not send communications.

Service incidents

CRM Online defines a “service incident” as the period of time when a customer organization is inaccessible or a customer is unable to use the service or one of its components. For example:

  • Trying to access the organization results in 404 error page.

  • All users are unable to sign in to the organization.

  • Users are able to sign in, but unable to save any changes.

  • Users are able to sign in, but see a blank screen.

When a customer has a service incident, a customer support representative will call the customer and follow-up with an email upon resolution of the service incident.

Major service incidents

CRM Online defines a “major service incident” as the period of time when there are multiple customers across a datacenter that are not able to access the service. In this event, it is our policy to provide an update to the affected customers' CRM administrators within fifteen minutes and every hour thereafter, until the incident is resolved.

In addition, after five days post-incident resolution, we publish a post incident report (PIR) to the Service Health Dashboard. In this report, we summarize these details about the incident:

  • Description

  • Root cause

  • Customer impact

  • Start date and time

  • Resolution date and time

If the service incident breaches the Service Level Agreement, you may claim a Service Credit according to the conditions of the Service Agreement.

 
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