Issues with IFD and Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 0.1

Roshan Mehta, 03 May 2016

While performing test patch updates to our clients in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch we encountered strange behaviours with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 0.1.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 0.1 fixes a lot of issues with the RTM build of CRM 2016, but also introduces some major problems if your deployment is enabled for IFD. The most critical of the issues is that reports will stop working when using the internal IFD URL, which users will prefer to do as it allows them single sign-on. This article describes these issues in more detail, with possible workarounds.

Issues Identified

The following issues were identified when using CRM via the internal IFD URL, e.g.<orgname>

  1. When running both standard and custom reports, the report viewer would show a blank page
  2. The Interactive Service Hub would show a 404 Page Not Found error

Why does this happen?

To investigate the reporting issue, we enabled tracing on the CRM server and ran both standard and custom reports with the internal and external URLs.

Tracing first with the internal IFD URL showed the following error: Expected non-empty string. Parameter name: userPrincipleName

At first, this error suggests that it might be an issue with the Relying Party Trusts in ADFS, but this was not the case. Analysing the trace closer shows that the unique identifier (GUID) for the CRM organisation was missing at the point where CRM checks if Reporting Extensions is installed.

Compare this to the trace for the external IFD URL which does not throw any error and maintains the unique identifier for the CRM organisation.

Possible Resolutions

  1. If feasible, ask all users to navigate to CRM using the external IFD URL, e.g. https://<orgname> This will allow users to load standard and custom reports, and also use the Interactive Service Hub. Note that users will be prompted to login every time they want to use CRM
  2. Rollback to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 RTM. Several forum posts suggest that this approach will work, but I have not verified this myself
  3. Contact Microsoft Support and request a hotfix. This is the approach we took and the hotfix resolved the issue with reports and the Interactive Service Hub

Please take this as a lesson before applying any updates to your CRM systems. It is important to review and understand the KB articles on the Microsoft website to see which bugs are being fixed, and how it could affect your CRM implementation. Take the following approach:

  1. Install the update on a non-production server that closely resembles the production system.
  2. Configure IFD if required to validate that the system will still work when the update is applied to production.
  3. Check that integrations can still connect to CRM and function when using IFD URLs.