• Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 (Spring 2015)
  • We upgraded to Dynamics 2015 Update 1 last week. On coming in on Monday morning and trying to work in Dynamics, the first thing I noticed was the speed of the form loading - much improved! Thank you Microsoft for (finally!) paying attention to this - Dynamics was a pain to work in before this speed increase.

    However, the second thing I noticed was that we were getting errors from our custom scripts that use jQuery - the error being "ReferenceError: $ is not defined error" - $ being changed with 'jQuery' when that reference was being used.

    I could see (through the FireFox network inspector) that jQuery was being loaded on the page, and it was available in the console, so the fact that our scripts couldn't access it was somewhat confusing.

    A quick support case was opened with Microsoft, who later called up for the usual screensharing support session. The support operator (Gitanjali) tried a few things with me, to no avail. Eventually she switched the system back to "Legacy form rendering" (Settings > Administration > System Settings > "Use legacy form rendering" = Yes) which cured the problem - surprise surprise since we had had no problems before the upgrade!

    Gitanjali suggested that this was the temporary workaround necessary, and that Microsoft were aware of various issues with the new form rendering, including this one, and that it would be fixed in a future patch.

    While accepting this line from Gitanjali as the official Microsoft position, I wasn't ready yet to give up on the new speedy forms! So I dived into the code to investigate a little further - and then I noticed that the user-defined javascript files are now being loaded into the page via an iframe - meaning that they don't have access to javascript variables defined in frames further up the frame stack.

    Happily, this meant that I could simply test for the existence of '$' as an object, and if undefined, point it to the variable already defined higher up the frame stack, as follows:

    if (typeof($) === 'undefined') {
    	$ = parent.$;
    	jQuery = parent.jQuery;
    }

    Hey-ho, problem fixed, and we can continue using the new speedy forms! Happily, all of our jQuery-related code is in a single common functions file which is used to support various entity-specific code, so only a single update to our codebase was necessary :)

    I hope that this helps somebody else out having the same problem! Or alternatively feel free to get in touch with us if you would like help with your Dynamics installation...

    Contact Us or give Us a ring on +44 (0)118 907 6212 and +34 938 021 278
  • How does the Cookie Law affect you?
  • If the first thing that came to mind when you read the title of this post was a tasty biscuit You should keep reading. Whether you are already responsible for a website or you're about to be, you need to know about the law in relation to Cookies. And all across Europe certainly already including the UK and Spain, governments have enacted legislation that obliges the owners of website to inform their visitors and obtain their consent for the use of cookies.

    This measure, stems from a European directive designed to protect the privacy of users by informing them of the existence of Cookies and the possibility of accepting them or not.

    How does the Cookie Law affect you?

    For a start, What is a "cookie"?

    All internet users encounter cookies, when you visit a website, that website can and most do, instruct the user's browser to store some data on their computer or mobile device and check for the presence of the data next time you visit. They are most often used to customise your experience - to remember your settings - for example which language you used the website in, the fact that you've used the website before etc. they can also be used for marketing purposes, for example tracking which products you looked at to work out which other products might be of interest or to suggest you add these products to your order when you check out. Probably the most common usage is for providing aggregated usage statistics in Google Analytics.

    Should we be worried about cookies?

    Like with all technologies, it depends who is using them and for what. Cookies themselves are useful both for website owners and for website visitors, cookies can be used abusively - for example to raise the price of an item such as a concert or airline ticket each time you visit to induce the sensation that you need to buy now because the price keeps going up! Or as in the examples we gave earlier, they can be used in a legitimate way to improve things for users and for website owners.

    How does the Cookie Law affect you?

    Types of Cookie

    All cookies are not the same not all digital platforms use the same types, nor are all cookies necessarily regulated in the same way. Here are the classifications used in the European legislation, the lines between categories may not be open to some degree of interpretation:

    • Technical Cooklies - Those that are of vital importance for a website to function, for example some websites store your online order as you add items to it, in a cookie
    • Analytics Cookiess - Used for statistics gathering such as in Google Analytics
    • Personalisation Cookies - Used to personalise content, like in the examples about language settings or previously visited products given above
    • Advertising Cookiess - Used to improve the efficiency of advertising spaces. It was probably Google's use of cookies for remarketing (showing you adverts for products you already browsed) that drove the perceived need for legislation
    How does the Cookie Law affect you?

    So, who needs to comply with the legislation regarding cookies?

    Basically, In Spain, all companies and freelance professionals must comply and the sanctions for non-compliance can be up to €150 000

    And how should we comply correctly with the law?

    There are various ways to appropriately inform visitors about cookies: a pop-up, a landing page, a very visible message in the header or footer of your website. In all cases, you should:

    • Explain what a cookie is, what types of cookie your web uses and why
    • Inform clearly and visibly about your cookie usage and policies. You should not require your visitors to scroll to see the first item that draws their attention to the use of cookies
    • Ask clearly that users accept the use of cookies on your website
    • Offer the necessary instructions in clear language so that, users can disable cookies in their browser if they wish
    How does the Cookie Law affect you?

    Prevention is better than cure

    As you will have no doubt understood, the new legislation is pretty tough. If you have any doubts or questions about how to implement cookies or cookie compliance on your website do please contact an expert. It doesn't make sense to risk the reputation and image of your firm aside from the potential fines.

    Funnily enough, generally, the acceptance of the use of cookies by the user is usually stored in a personalisation cookie so that they don't have to accept it every time they visit your website. Whilst the cookie legislation won't prevent unscrupulous website owners using cookies in bad ways, the legislation has certainly raised public awareness about cookies and as with all matters relating to online safety and security, user awareness and vigilance is the most effective means of keeping people safe.

  • Even though, when we think about positioning websites, we have to take into account a wide variety of factors such as design, usability, code optimisation etc., these days, (almost) nobody would dispute that content is THE top priority. And, we talk about “positioning websites” because we are not referring only to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but also to the fantastic coverage that we can obtain on the social networks. And these two concepts are complimentary: the more social your content, the better organic positioning your website will obtain and the better positioned your content, the more easily it can be shared and the more likely that it will go viral.

    Many of us are very aware of Google’s Panda Update, a change in the organic search algorithm that first appeared in February 2011 and changed the positioning of a many websites, and obliged us to concentrate and redouble our efforts in obtaining quality content and improving the form in which we present this content to our audience. Matt Cutts and co. are working on their desire to improve the quality of content across the web and to reward those who really work to produce original quality content (according to the Google guidelines).

    Here we summarise a series of points that are useful in planning and optimizing content while keeping in mind the implications of the Panda Update to avoid penalization and to work your way up the rankings to a better position.


    Prepare a well thought through strategy.

    Who is your target audience? What do they like? What style do they use? Are you up-to date with the latest news in your sector? Do you compare your sources? As with any marketing activity, it’s essential to have a strategy that aligns your work with the answers to these questions.


    Freshness of content

    The first iPhone was revolutionary but these days it’s been surpassed by later models by Apple and others. The same thing happens with content, which is why Google likes fresh news, placing a higher value on those that add new content regularly.

    Content is fresh

    The balance between quantity and quality

    It’s not just about content, it’s about relevant content for those that arrive at your site or might do so. And it’s about depth of content – keyword spam sites with minimal deep content always lose to competitor sites with genuine content depth.


    Write for humans

    Neither Google nor your users will thank you for excessive keyword repetition, poor grammar, confusing text, typos, spelling mistakes etc...


    Everything is important

    Apart from text, your content is composed of various elements, like photos, animations and videos. And, in the same way that we can optimise the text with anchor texts, meta data and mark-up, similarly we can and should make the most of all our other content.


    Be aware off the duplicate content

    Let’s not be lazy, copy cats! Aside from the legal consequences and the consequences upon our online reputation. If you copy content from other sites Google will realize and sooner or later you will be penalized (mercilessly!).

    Content is fresh

    Following all these recommendations isn’t easy. It requires time, dedication and patience. But, you can be sure that it’ll give you good results. And on top of having a good product or service, having relevant content on your website is, in the long term, one of the most profitable strategies for acquiring a loyal audience and for generating engagement.


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