Installing a Dynamics CRM 2015 for Demo Environment

With Dynamics CRM 2015 now available on MSDN for download I thought I’d get on top of it right away and setup a demo VM. With most MS products this is pretty easy, but Dynamics has a higher requirements list.

The prerequisites include:

  • Windows Server
  • Active Directory (yep you’ll need to setup a domain controller)
  • SQL Server Server 2012/2014 
  • Reporting Services 2012/2014
  • Exchange Server or a POP3/SMTP mail server (I’ll be using a POP3/SMTP server to make it easy)
  • SharePoint Server (if using Document Management)

So that’s a pretty hefty list, lets get started:

Step 1, Install Windows 2012 R2 Standard Edition

I’m using VMWare (but you could use HyperV, Virtual Box as well).

  1. Create a new Virtual Machine, assign 8GB RAM, 80 GB HDD, 1 CPU (it’s only a demo environment so these specs should be fine)
  2. Attach the Windows 2012 ISO and do a vanilla installation

Step 2, Run the Active Directory wizard

CRM needs Active Directory, so run the Active directory wizard:
Figure: Configure Active Directory

  1. In Server Manager select Manage | Add Roles and Feature
  2. Installation Type | Roles-based or Feature-based installation 
  3. Server Roles | Active Directory Domain Services
  4. Select Add Features
  5. Proceed through the wizard and select Install
  6. Once completed select Promote this server to a domain controller

Figure: Promote Domain Controller

  1.  Deployment Configuration | Add new forest and enter your Root domain name [demo.local]
  2. Select Windows Server 2012 R2 for forest and domain function level
  3. Set Password for Directory Services Restore Mode
  4. Next, Next, Next, Next, Next, Install
  5. Now sit back and wait, after a reboot you will be able to login in to the domain

Note: It’s a good idea to have a static IP address on this machine, but it’s only a warning at this stage.

Step 3, Windows Server Prerequisites

  • Indexing Service
  • IIS Admin
  • World Wide Web Publishing
  1.  Server Manager | Manage | Add Roles and Features
  2. Server Roles:
    1. Application Server
    2. Web Server (IIS)
  3. Features:
    1. .Net Framework 3.5 Features
    2. .Net Framework 4.5 Features | ASP.NET 4.5
  4. Web Server Role (IIS) | Role Services:
    1. Application Development | ASP.NET 3.5
    2. Application Development | ASP.NET 4.5
  5. Install

Step 4, Install SQL Server

I’ll be installing SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition with the following options:

Feature Selection:

  1. Database Engine Services
  2. Full-Test and Semantic Extractions for Search
  3. Reporting Services Native
  4. Management Tools Basic
    1. Management Tools – Complete

Database Engine Configuration:

  1. Select Mixed Mode (personal preference)
  2. Specify SQL Server Administrators | select Add Current User 

Reporting Services Native Mode:

  1. Select Install Only

Install using all other defaults.

Step 7, Configure Reporting Services Native Install

Run SQL Server 2014 Reporting Services Configuration Manager and set-up the Native Reporting Services installation.

This is should pretty much be a next, next, apply thing,

Mine fired up straight away by just using the defaults:
Figure: Reporting Services Configuration Manager
Figure: Reporting Services Home Page

Step 8, Install CRM 2015 (Finally!)

Figure: CRM Installation

  1. Get Recommended Updates | select Get Updates (optional)
  2. Enter your license key
  3. Accept the EULA
  4. At this point you may have a bunch of missing required components, install them (will take a while, also you may need to reboot)

Figure: Install Required Components

  1. Select Default Installation Path
  2. Specify Server Roles | Select All Options

Figure: Server Roles

  1. Specify Deployment Options | Enter SQL Server Hostname ie: CRM2014Demo
  2. Select the Organizational Unit | Enter the Organizational Unit
    1. At this point it’s probably a good idea to jump into Active Directory Users and Computers and create an OU for CRM

Figure: Create CRM OU
Figure: Assign CRM OU

  1. Specify Service Accounts, Now we’ll need to specify our service accounts for the various CRM Services, since we don’t have any accounts setup, we’ll end up jumping back and forth between Active Directory Users and Computers and the CRM Installation wizard, if you’re following the CRM Planning and Installation guide you would have had this done upfront 🙂 Technet has a good guide that outlines the accounts and permissions required. As this is a DEMO environment I’m going to use NETWORK SERVICE for the accounts.

Figure: Service Accounts

  1. Select Website | Default Website
  2. Email Router Setting | Empty
  3. Organization Settings | Populate with your Organisation Name and other settings
  4. Report Server URL | Should be pre-populated check the URL ie: http://crm2015demo/reportserver
  5. Next, Next, Next, Install!

Figure: CRM Install Finished
And finally let’s start CRM 2015, wow worked first go!
Figure: CRM Homepage

Step 9, Todo, Post Installation Steps

Post installation I will still need to setup a Mail Server, Reporting Services Extensions and Email Router but these tasks are pretty straight forward.

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8 thoughts on “Installing a Dynamics CRM 2015 for Demo Environment

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! The Microsoft installation guides are so cryptic that they drive me nuts! This is EXACTLY what I was looking for to set up a demo environment. AWESOME!

  2. I have tried your steps for installing Active Directory. Once I finished those step I am totall unable to connect to the internet. I am trying to set up Dynamics on a VM in virtual box

    1. Hi Shawn,

      You will need to double check your default route and that you are able to resolve DNS names. IPCONFIG, NSLOOKUP and TRACERT will assist troubleshooting, also check the Windows firewall settings. I can’t say that I ran into any of these issues when setting up the CRM demo environment. Another thing to check on the VM side is the network adaptor type. The easiest type to use is a NAT type network card (not sure of the exact naming convention for Virtual Box as I use VMWare)

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