Many ClickDimensions customers have multiple CRM deployments to support their business objectives including development (Dev), user acceptance testing (UAT or Pre-Prod) and production (Prod). This article provides tips and tricks for minimizing issues that can occur when managing your ClickDimensions subscription for each of these environments.
Each CRM environment that needs to connect to the ClickDimensions cloud will need its own unique ClickDimensions solution which will come with a unique account key.
Cloud connectivity is necessary for testing items such as email sends, web forms, campaign automations and receiving data back into your CRM system. If you need solutions for your Dev and UAT environments in addition to your Prod account, reach out to your account manager. If the CRM environments are identical and you will only be testing the solution install and its impact to existing system customizations in your Dev or UAT environment, it is fine to simply install the Prod solution file, but ClickDimensions core functionality will not be active.
Below are common scenarios customers encounter.
Updating the ClickDimensions Solution
When updating ClickDimensions, if you will first be testing the upgrade process in your Dev and/or UAT environments, you will want to make sure that you download solution files for all your environments at the same time. This can be done by navigating to Settings > ClickDimensions Settings > Auto-Update > Download. The ClickDimensions solution can also be automatically updated when a new solution is released or on-demand.
Then you will want to label each of these files with the Organization Unique Name found in developer resources and ensure that each file is only ever installed in the CRM environment with the matching org name value.
This article from our help site contains additional information about performing a manual install of the ClickDimensions solution. It is critical to note that the option to “overwrite customizations” should be selected when updating the ClickDimensions solution in your CRM environment, or all components may not update properly. As a result, you will want to back up any customizations on the account, contact, lead or marketing list entities before importing the solution file. That brings us to the scenario below, migrating customizations.
Migrating Customizations Between Environments
This scenario happens when you migrate a site map between environments containing the ClickDimensions solution, for example from UAT to Prod. If the site map is being migrated, it is necessary to ensure that it contains the correct account key for the environment it is being imported into. This can be verified by looking at the customizations XML of the solution you are migrating over, and searching for “accountkey.” This will take you to the one place in the document where this value is contained, and you can compare this value with the one shown on the ClickDimensions Settings page for the environment it is being migrated into.
If you are reimporting customizations after updating the ClickDimensions solution, it is always a good idea to verify functionality before reimporting the customizations. Below are the basic tests I recommend as they will verify that the site map has the correct account key, that your existing cloud storage is still accessible and that creating new cloud assets is also functioning.
1. Navigating to ClickDimensions Settings page under the Settings menu.
2. Accessing an existing email template design editor.
3. Creating and accessing a new email template design editor.
Transferring ClickDimensions Assets Between CRM Environments
As a best practice, it is best to build out most of your ClickDimensions assets in your production environment. ClickDimensions cloud assets such as email template designs and web form designs are uniquely linked to the account key for that environment’s solution file, which is uniquely bound to that environment. This means that it is not possible to transfer some items between environments.
First, it is always best to contact ClickDimensions support about any CRM, database or data migrations so that we can advise regarding the potential impact to ClickDimensions functionality. When facilitating a migration, please have the following information prepared for the support agent:
1. What time is the change going to take place?
2. Will the service user or password change?
3. Will the CRM URL change?
4. Will the org name change?
If any of these are changing, please provide what they will be changing to as well.
NOTE: It is important to note that migrating from one data center to another may cause some downtime during the transition, especially for forms and other web content. Allow for time as needed.
If you are migrating your database and CRM deployment to new hardware, it is important to ensure that the GUIDs (or record IDs) for all ClickDimensions records being migrated remain the same. For many of them, the GUID is used as part of a concatenated key to uniquely identify the asset being referenced by the record. If this GUID is lost by the CRM system, CRM will not have a way to recall this data.
As per this article, it is possible to migrate email templates, form fields and domain records between deployments by using the Export and Import buttons found on the ClickDimensions Settings page. First, you must export the desired records using the Export button, then in the target environment you will need to navigate to Settings > ClickDimensions Settings > Import and then import the records via the zip file you collected. For all other ClickDimensions assets such as campaign automations and web forms, it will be necessary to manually recreate them, which is why you will want to do most of your ClickDimensions asset development within your Prod environment.
If you need assistance with the scenarios outlined in this blog post, please submit a request to our support team.
Written by Dante Porter, ClickDimensions Marketing Success Manager
LoriBeth Blair, ClickDimensions Technical Support Specialist, also contributed to this post