Monday, April 16, 2012

MSCRM 2011: Detailed Information on Auditing Record and Field Updates

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, there are three ways to enable/disable auditing:

* Enable Auditing by Common Entities. This allows auditing to be enabled per groups of entities with a single click. To find out what is included in the group of entities, simply hover over the group. This is found in the Auditing tab of the System Settings.
* Enable Auditing for all fields in the Entity. This allows auditing to be enabled or disabled for all fields in an entity. This can be set up in the General tab of the Entity Information found in the Customization area for the Entity.
* Enable/Disable auditing on only certain fields. This allows granular control of auditing. To enable auditing on individual fields, we must first enable it for the entity and then disable it on fields that do not need auditing. This can be done in the General tab of the individual field.

Some considerations/best practices for Auditing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011:

* Turn off auditing when doing the initial import of data. Auditing is meant to keep track of changes that users make. Auditing should not be turned on when doing the initial bulk import. You can turn auditing on/off in the auditing tab of the System Settings.
* Do not audit read only entities and fields. Turning off auditing for these entities and fields will not only save disk space, but system resources also.
* Choose carefully what you audit. As you design the items to audit, examine the fields that could have a business impact and from a financial, process, or regulatory perspective.
* Delete Old Logs entries. Audit logs use disk space. The more activity the system has on audit enable entities, the more logs and thus the more disk space will be used. There is no need to keep audit logs indefinitely. CRM 2011 allows an administrator to delete auditing in batches. Each batch is a calendar quarter. Determine the time frame to keep audit logs and incorporate into a process of deleting old entries. The Audit log managed is located in Settings / Auditing / Audit Log Management. From there you can select the batch to delete.
Currently the only option to delete is by calendar quarter. However, via custom code or potential in future enhancements, deletion of audit log by entity or more granularly can be accomplished.
* Auditing will not slow down your CRM system. All auditing data is stored in a single audit table. This design keeps the audit logs completely separated from other CRM data.
* Auditing counts against your CRM storage quota. The recommendation is that you should delete audit data on a regular basis as part of a yearly maintenance. Finding out how much disk space your audit data is taking is very simple.

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