What’s in a title? – Naming Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premise

As a System Administrator, I have been responsible for setting up many deployments of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  It would be easy for me to give them names like “CRM Live Org” or “CRM Live Org v2” but this won’t help others identify which organisation to use.  So what’s the best naming convention to use?

Why is a name so important?

Before naming your CRM organisation, you need to understand your audience.  In a typical day, a user will have access to many different LOB applications ranging from CRM to ERP, and from email to social media.  Each system will have its own methods of access which users need to remember.

In addition to LOB applications, a CRM developer may have access to many CRM organisations.  It can quickly become confusing without the right guidance on labelling CRM.

Getting the display name right

The display name is what the users will see in the top right-hand corner.  This is how the user can see the organisation they have signed in to.

We make CRM work

Display Name: Company tag line

For a Live production deployment, you should something everyone is familiar with such as the company tagline.  You should avoid using keywords such as “Live” or “CRM” as these will be referenced in the URL already.  Also, there is no need to use the company name as the user will already know this.

Building the URL

For an on-premise deployment, the URL can be separated into 2 parts.  The first part is the server name and the second part is the unique organisation name.

URL Breakdown

Server name and Organisation name

Server Name

Often, server names only make sense to the untrained eye or are named after someone’s favourite Star Wars character such as “Serv-Pro-293-34” or “W2008-R2-D2”.  This can look messy in front of an important client.

Use DNS to make this more user-friendly.  As this is the CRM system it makes sense to use “CRM”.  You could set up something similar for email or ERP.

Organisation Name

Organisation name is what differentiates each CRM organisation and must be unique.  It also helps if it’s simple so users can remember what it is.  As with the display name, we know what the company is already and we now know it’s a CRM application so these can be avoided.  Most companies will have one production organisation so “Live” can be used.

If there are several production organisations then the name should be more specific such as “Finance” or “Customer Service”

URL examples

URL examples

UAT, Development and Training Organisations

Often, there is a need for a non-production organisation.  This could be for testing or development.  Each additional organisation will still need to be named accordingly.  Using a combination of purpose and create date works well for both display name and organisation name.  Its good practice to have a system for naming non-production organisations.

What’s in a name?

Naming your CRM system may seem like a trivial task but with a little thought and consideration, you can give CRM a professional look which makes sense to users.  Users will find it easier to access CRM from all devices which in turn, increases user adoption.

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