Can’t connect when clock wrong

Probably title of this post summaries it well, but there is some detail worth explanation. I was developing an Azure Function app which was basically integrating data between CRM and another system. The major functionality of this application was complete and tested. Two weeks back when I came back from leave I found my application which was working fine before can’t connect to CRM. I was using Microsoft.Xrm.Tooling assembly with the following code but now it started returning null:

public static IOrganizationService GetOrganizationService(ref TraceWriter log)
IOrganizationService _orgService = null;
string connectionstring = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["connectionstring"].ToString();
CrmServiceClient conn = new Microsoft.Xrm.Tooling.Connector.CrmServiceClient(connectionstring);
_orgService = (IOrganizationService)conn.OrganizationWebProxyClient != null ? (IOrganizationService)conn.OrganizationWebProxyClient : (IOrganizationService)conn.OrganizationServiceProxy;
return _orgService;

CrmServiceClient has two very useful properties LastCRMError and LastCRMException which were showing this error message:

Unable to Login to Dynamics CRMOrganizationWebProxyClient is nullOrganizationServiceProxy is nullOrganizationServiceProxy is null

Tried looking for solutions and found the following suggestions:

  1. In connection string try Orgnaization unique name instead of friendly name
  2. May be assembly version is not compatible or code/ connection string should be written differently
  3. Use ServicePointManager.SecurityProtocol = SecurityProtocolType.Tls12; before connection

but none of these worked in my case. I contacted Microsoft support and they confirmed there was no such update or roll out that might have caused this but the good thing is they were still willing to help 🙂

I tried different types of applications, environments and versions but no luck.

In last while testing the following code the error was a little more meaningful:

IServiceManagement orgServiceManagement = ServiceConfigurationFactory.CreateManagement(new Uri(""));

AuthenticationCredentials authCredentials = new AuthenticationCredentials();
authCredentials.ClientCredentials.UserName.UserName = “”;
authCredentials.ClientCredentials.UserName.Password = “*********”;
AuthenticationCredentials tokenCredentials = orgServiceManagement.Authenticate(authCredentials);

OrganizationServiceProxy organizationProxy = new OrganizationServiceProxy(orgServiceManagement, tokenCredentials.SecurityTokenResponse);
Entity contact = new Entity(“contact”);
contact.Attributes[“firstname”] = “Yawer”;
contact.Attributes[“lastname”] = “Iqbal”;
var contactId = organizationProxy.Create(contact);


“The security timestamp is invalid because its creation time (‘2018-04-01T12:30:45.790Z’) is in the future. Current time is ‘2018-04-01T12:24:29.185Z’ and allowed clock skew is ’00:05:00′.”

Getting hint about time I found time on my machine is 6 minutes behind. What caused this time change I still don’t know but since it was the difference of just 6 minutes I couldn’t notice this change. Corrected time and everything started working as it was. I thought to do a little experiment and moved clock 6 minutes ahead of current time and as per expectation error was different:

An unsecured or incorrectly secured fault was received from the other party. See the inner FaultException for the fault code and detail.

and inner exception:

An error occurred when verifying security for the message.

Hope this sharing will save someone’s time.

Please feel free to share this post, leave comments or suggestions if there are any. If you like to remain informed about future posts please follow me.

Enjoy this beautiful day of your 365 life 🙂

#MSdyn365 #Dynamics365 #CRM #MsCRM

About Me 🙂

I m an IT consultant working in Melbourne Australia. I solve business problems using Microsoft technologies (Dynamics 365, Office 365, Azure, Flow, Power Apps, Power BI). I m involved in community activities and I blog at

I love to get connected with people working in IT, providing solutions or who just like Microsoft technologies. To get in touch please follow my blog, and connect through Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook


Twitter: @YawerIqbal

Linkedin: YawerIqbal

Facebook: Yawer.Iqbal

Unexpected exception from plug-in (Execute): System.MissingMethodException: Method not found: ‘!!0[] System.Array.Empty()’.

For a demo I was writing a workflow activity and got the error:

Unexpected exception from plug-in (Execute): WorkFlowComponents.DeleteUnwantedPotentialLeads: System.MissingMethodException: Method not found: '!!0[] System.Array.Empty()'.

It was happening becasue my assembly version was not supported by Dynamics 365. As per this document Dynamcis 365 supports .Net Framework 4.5.2.

Corrected target .Net framework, redeployed assembly and same code started working as expected.

Hope it will help.

Ftp to CRM using Azure Function


New to Azure Function?

Function is serverless offering form Azure. Serverless computing is a way to write code without need to manage infrastructure, application dependencies and other required resources. Even for scaling Azure will take care of them. Once we know the environment using Function is easy, login to Azure portal write or deploy code and start using it.

An Azure function is simply a function written in C#, Java, JavaScript, F#, Python or PHP. A function can be executed manually or scheduled to run automatically. The third way to execute a function is through triggers. A trigger can be another Azure service or something which has no link with Azure. Some Azure services which can trigger a function are Cosmos DB, Event Hubs, App Service, Storage queues, blobs, Service Bus queues or topics. Functions are also available for Logic Apps, Power Apps, Microsoft Flow and outside Azure over HTTP.

About Demo

This function will be scheduled to run once in 24 hours. From ftp server it will read a CSV file (data for lead entity) and pass it to CRM. Functions can be coded and published from Visual Studio or directly in Azure portal, for this demo I will use later approach.


Create Function App and Function

To create a function we need to create a function app. If you don’t want to use existing resource group and storage feel free to create new.

Open function app and add a function in it:

In Schedule add 0 0 12 * * *. This cron expression will trigger this function in midnight at 12 O’clock. See this for more details about cron expression.

App Settings

Let’s add CRM connection string, FTP URL and credentials as application settings to avoid hard coding.

Sample of application settings:

Key Value Comments
FtpId UserId  Ftp account user id
FtpPassword P@ssword  Ftp account password
FtpAddress Ftp address with file name
Connectionstring AuthType = Office365; Url =;;


This is example with Dynamics 365, no need to surround with single or double quote.



using System;
using System.Configuration;
using System.IO;
using System.Net;
using Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs;
using Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs.Host;
using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk;
using Microsoft.Xrm.Tooling.Connector;
public static void Run(TimerInfo myTimer, TraceWriter log)
log.Info($”Execution Started. : {DateTime.Now} “);
Stream fileStream = null;
string[] fileContentToWriteToCRM;
IOrganizationService org;
string ftpId = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[“Ftpid”].ToString();
string ftpAddress = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[“ftpAddress”].ToString();
string ftpPassword = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[“ftpPassword”].ToString();
#region Read Ftp File(s)
FtpWebRequest ftpReq = (System.Net.FtpWebRequest)System.Net.FtpWebRequest.Create(ftpAddress);
ftpReq.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(ftpId, ftpPassword);
ServicePointManager.SecurityProtocol = SecurityProtocolType.Tls12;
ftpReq.EnableSsl = false;
WebResponse tmpRes = ftpReq.GetResponse();
fileStream = tmpRes.GetResponseStream();
#region ProcessData
TextReader tmpReader = new StreamReader(fileStream);
var txtData = tmpReader.ReadToEnd();
fileContentToWriteToCRM = txtData.Split(new string[] { “\r\n” }, StringSplitOptions.RemoveEmptyEntries);
#region CRM Data Posting
string connectionstring = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[“connectionstring”];
CrmServiceClient conn = new Microsoft.Xrm.Tooling.Connector.CrmServiceClient(connectionstring);
org = (IOrganizationService)conn.OrganizationWebProxyClient != null ? (IOrganizationService)conn.OrganizationWebProxyClient : (IOrganizationService)conn.OrganizationServiceProxy;
log.Info($”CRM connection established”);
log.Info($”Looping to move data to CRM”);
foreach (var row in fileContentToWriteToCRM)
var rowvalues = row.Split(‘,’);
Entity lead = new Entity(“lead”);
lead.Attributes[“subject”] = rowvalues[0].ToString();
lead.Attributes[“firstname”] = rowvalues[1].ToString();
lead.Attributes[“lastname”] = rowvalues[2].ToString();
var id = org.Create(lead);
log.Info($”Lead created in CRM with GUID : {id} “);
log.Info($”Loop Ended moved all data to CRM “);

Adding Dependencies

Since code use assemblies from CRM SDK, we will add these to our code. With Azure Function it is achieved using project.json file. Add project.json file if it is not already there and then add NuGet packages in it.



“frameworks”: {
“dependencies”: {
“Microsoft.CrmSdk.CoreAssemblies”: “”,
Let’s save it, run the function if it is not already running and see how we go.



Hope this help, enjoy your 365 day 🙂


About Me 🙂

I m an IT consultant working in Melbourne Australia. I solve business problems using Microsoft technologies (Dynamics 365, Office 365, Azure, Flow, Power Apps, Power BI). I m involved in community activities and I blog at

I love to get connected with people working in IT, providing solutions or who just like Microsoft technologies. To get in touch please follow my blog, and connect through Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook


Twitter: @YawerIqbal

Linkedin: YawerIqbal

Facebook: Yawer.Iqbal

How to view plugins deployment summary ?

Sometimes we need to know when last time a plugin was updated. This information is helpful usually before exporting assemblies from one environment to other.
In similar way few times we may need to know who updated a particular assembly last time ?

The following LINQ or Fetch Xml query will return this summary:

(from p in PluginAssemblySet
orderby p.ModifiedOn descending
select new
PluginName = p.Name, ModifiedOn = p.ModifiedOn.Value.ToLocalTime(),
ModifiedBy= p.ModifiedBy.Name, Role=p.ModifiedBy.LogicalName,Version=p.Version



ConditionExpression error “expected argument(s) of type ‘System.Guid’ but received ‘System.Guid[]”

Today while writing query expression I was getting error:

Condition for attribute ‘sf_contract.contractid’: expected argument(s) of type ‘System.Guid’ but received ‘System.Guid[]’.

We can pass a single or multiple values in ConditionExpression using appropriate comparison operator(s). In this example ConditionExpression was comparing multiple GUID values (stored in object array) with an attribute using “IN” comparison operator.

ConditionExpression have a few constructors, and I was trying to use one that accepts params object[] as argument but it didn’t work as per expectation.

This error was gone when I changed my collection to attribute’s base type, so basically I changed object[] to Guid[]. Hope this explanation will save someone’s time.

QueryExpression error, “The formatter threw an exception while trying to deserialize the message”

Today I wrote a QueryExpression which was throwing exception “The formatter threw an exception while trying to deserialize the message”.

The complete error message was:

“The formatter threw an exception while trying to deserialize the message: There was an error while trying to deserialize parameter The InnerException message was ‘Error in line 1 position 2016. Element ‘’ contains data from a type that maps to the name ‘’. The deserializer has no knowledge of any type that maps to this name. Consider changing the implementation of the ResolveName method on your DataContractResolver to return a non-null value for name ‘EntityReference’ and namespace ‘’.’. Please see InnerException for more details.”

I was using ‘EntityReference’ in a condition, and error message gives hint that somehow there is an issue with ‘EntityReference’ format, and it is not being deserialized correctly. To use ‘EntityReference’ in condition we need to pass its ‘GUID’, and not complete ‘EntityReference’ object.

In the following QueryExpression, the condition will produce a similar exception which can be avoided by passing GUID instead of passing ‘EntityReference’ object as parameter.

QueryExpression query = new QueryExpression();
query.EntityName = “new_document”;
query.ColumnSet = new ColumnSet(“new_name”);
query.Criteria.AddCondition(“new_authorid”, ConditionOperator.Equal,currentDoc.GetAttributeValue<EntityReference>(“new_authorid”));
EntityCollection results =org.RetrieveMultiple(query);

#dynamics-crm, #queryexpression, #sdk, #the-formatter-threw-an-exception-while-trying-to-deserialize-the-message

The ‘orderBy’ expression is limited to invoking the ‘ ‘ parameter

LINQ is widely used in projects and it makes querying very handy. Using LINQ for querying CRM data has some limitations though, some of the standard LINQ features are not supported to use with CRM.

One such limitation is when we are joining entities and also sorting results. To use orderby, we are limited to the first entity only (the left side entity in join). So the query in Example 1 works perfectly fine:

Example 1:

var results = from c in ContactSet
join a in AccountSet
on c.ContactId equals a.PrimaryContactId.Id
orderby c.FullName
select new

But trying to sort by columns of other entity is not supported. So if we try Example 2 it will throw the following NotSupportedException

The ‘orderBy’ expression is limited to invoking the ‘c’ parameter.

Exaple 2:

var results = from c in ContactSet
join a in AccountSet
on c.ContactId equals a.PrimaryContactId.Id
orderby a.Name
select new

Of course if you run similar quires directly on SQL Server database they will work fine.


If you are getting this exception there are two possible solutions:

  • Modify your quey as per Example 1 and put orderby columns’s entity firs or on the left side of join
  • For queries involving orderby from multiple entities, select data, store it in memory and use a separate LINQ query to sort it.
    This MSDN document list limitations of LINQ for CRM

Enjoy working with CRM 🙂