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Rebranding Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

Rebranding Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015
How to modify a curiously inflexible aspect of the most flexible business platform ever created.

(this silly thing right here)
While in the process of adding all of that “awesome sauce” to the incredible new features in CRM 2015, it appears that Microsoft also took some time to abstract the construction of all HTML elements responsible for rendering the logo and text found in the core navigation control (presumably to curtail the common, yet highly unsupported modification of the product branding) which just so happens to make all publicly available walkthroughs for modifying the site branding of CRM 2013 inaccurate and obsolete for customizing the very same elements in CRM 2015.

Fair warning: I’m going to rant for a minute, so if you’re in a hurry for the solution skip down to the numbered list and pretty pictures..

Given the extraordinary degree of customization that it is possible to achieve when building an XRM platform, it seems silly to me that those twenty characters of text inhabiting the root of the navigation control cannot be customized using a supported method. I certainly understand the importance of brand recognition, and I wholeheartedly agree that a prominently displayed company name or logo is critical to the success of some products, yet I feel compelled to argue that Dynamics CRM is not one of those products! What real or perceived value could a tiny bit of screen real estate hold when you have created a truly amazing product that redefines relationship management as a concept and changes the way people do business in nearly every country of the world?
The product stands on it’s own merit as a truly “Dynamic” business platform… Software vendors, consultants and even customers evangelize the product for many reasons, but at the core I believe that it is the flexibility that makes it special. So why maintain this rigid control over one small corner of the UI? Why does it matter? Surely it must be clear that every Dynamics customer has asked, or will likely ask to modify that text at some point. 
From a customer perspective it is difficult to understand why you are not allowed to change that particular text. Every other aspect of the navigation menus can be easily transformed through supported means; every entity can be renamed or relocated, if not completely removed.. Ultimately, any attempt at product branding is simply bypassed through the configuration of web portals that have real-time access to most of the strengths that the platform has to offer. In light of all of these things, why not just allow this small feature to become another reason that people love the platform?
I could not help but ask myself these questions while digging through the code to find a way to make our client happy. Such a simple request. Less than a footnote amidst the myriad known challenges faced by a large scale organization when upgrading CRM 2011 to CRM 2015… A minor task which has been made exponentially more difficult by the (intentional?) obfuscation of traditional and familiar code patterns.

Please comment or message me! I’m intrigued by this behavior and would love to hear your thoughts on potential drivers behind this odd resistance to customer demand.. 


Anyway
, enough of that nonsense…. To the solution!

Perform the following steps to modify the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM” logo text pictured above
  •  Navigate to the following folder on the target server(s).**

    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics CRM\CRMWeb\_static\_controls\NavBar

  • Open the NavBar.js file in an editor with search capability. (Notepad ++ is my preference)
  • Save an unmodified version of the original file prior to making any changes.
  • Search for the “navTabLogoText” class name to identify the nodes we will need to change. This class will be present in two locations within the NavBar.js file.

    The variable we care about appears in the image below as “{7}” but may be a different number in your case.

     I will refer to the numeric digits as x in an attempt to avoid confusion.


  •  Replace the “{x}” in both locations found within NavBar.js with the desired text. (Be sure to remove the quotes.)


  • Now we need to change the hover text associated with the underlying button for consistency. Search for the text ”navTabButton navTabButtonModuleSwitcher”. This element will also be present in two locations within the NavBar.js file.

     

  • Replace the {x} inside of each HTML node title property with the desired text. (Leave the quotes in place this time.)
  • Save your changes to the NavBar.js file and restart the website in IIS.
Congratulations! You should now be able to refresh the browser and see the fruits of your labor in full effect.


I’ve seen it take a few minutes to reflect the changes, so be patient. However, if the site has not updated within 5-10 minutes I would repeat all of the steps above and look closely for any typos that may have malformed the HTML prior to save.

If you would like to change the logo or other aspects of the nav bar, the relevant elements should be easy enough to identify when using the information above as a model, but if you are having trouble with anything in particular let me know and I’ll do my best to help!

It cannot be overstated that these changes are NOT supported by Microsoft and may need to be re-applied after rollups or application updates are installed.
**These steps need to be performed on each front-end server in a high-availability environment.

Matthew T. Knight
Senior Consultant
Catapult Systems – Austin, Texas

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