Create, export, or import an unmanaged solution


Applies To: Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2016, Dynamics CRM Online

In addition to being a prerequisite to creating a managed solution, an unmanaged solution is useful as a way to group a set of unmanaged customizations into a set that can be transported between organizations.

For more information, see: TechNet: Use solutions for your customizations.

In This Topic

Create an unmanaged solution

Export an unmanaged solution

Import an unmanaged solution

Create an unmanaged solution

Every solution requires a publisher. If you do not intend to distribute your solution, you can use the default publisher already created for your organization. See Create a solution publisher for information about how to create a solution publisher.

The following table lists the fields and descriptions that a solution contains.

Field Label


Display Name

The name for the solution.


Microsoft Dynamics 365 generates a unique name is based on the Display Name. You can edit the unique name. The unique name must only contain alphanumeric characters or the underscore character.


Use the Publisher lookup to associate the solution with a publisher.


Specify a version with the following format:, for example:

Configuration Page

If you include an HTML Web resource in your solution, you can use this lookup to add it as your designated configuration page.

More information: Use the Solution Configuration page


Use this field to include any relevant details about your solution.

After you create an unmanaged solution you can add solution components by creating them in the context of this solution or by adding existing components from other solutions. For more information abouthow to create a solution programmatically, see Create a solution

Create a solution publisher

If you want to distribute managed solutions, you should create a Publisher. The following table lists the fields and descriptions that a Publisher contains.



Display Name

The name that to display in the Publisher lookup field in the solution.


Microsoft Dynamics 365 generates a unique name is based on the Display Name. The unique name can only contain alphanumeric characters and the underscore character.


You use the Unique Name to uniquely identify a Publisher. Managed solutions that share the same publisher can update each other.


Use this field to include any relevant details about your solution.


The customization prefix helps you identify which publisher added a solution component. For example the prefix is added to the logical name of any entities or attributes created in the context of a solution associated with this publisher. The prefix must be between two and eight characters long, and can contain only alphanumeric characters. It cannot start with ‘mscrm’.

Option Value Prefix

This value lets you help separate options that you add to option sets to support merging options. A value is auto-generated based on the Prefix text to help make it more unique. The value must be between 10,000 and 99,999.

More information: Merge option set options

Contact Details

Use these fields to add information that will enable people who install the solution to contact you.

See Create a publisher for information about how to create a publisher programmatically.

Use the Solution Configuration page

The solution configuration page provides a canvas you can use to display information or enable customers to perform actions in the context of your solution. Set the configuration page by using the Configuration Page lookup field to select a Web Page (HTML) Web resource included in the solution. This will cause a new Configuration node to appear in the Solution window underneath the Information node and above the Components node. The Configuration node will display the Web resource you set.

You can use the solution configuration page to display controls that will configure your solution. For example, you may provide some entities in your solution that control the behavior of your solution. By using the OData endpoint for Microsoft Dynamics 365, you can provide custom controls on your Web resource page to update data in these entities.

Export an unmanaged solution

You may want to export an unmanaged solution in the following situations:

  • You have to edit certain XML content in the customizations.xml file, for example, you may want to edit the SiteMap or create customized ribbons.

  • You want to transport your unmanaged solution from one organization to another.

  • You want to create a backup of your current set of customizations.

Exporting an unmanaged solution will create a compressed (zipped) file that can then be imported into another organization or the same organization.

Only published customizations are included when you export a solution, so be sure to publish any changes before you export a solution.

When you export a solution by using the web application, if your solution contains any missing required components, you will see the Missing Required Components step. You can disregard this warning only if you intend to import this as an unmanaged solution back into the original organization. Otherwise, follow the instructions in the dialog box to cancel the export and add the required components.

Use the ExportSolutionRequest message to programmatically export a solution. More information: Export or package a solution

When you export a solution by using the web application, in the Export System Settings (Advanced) step, you can select which system settings to include in your solution. These options are available to developers by using the ExportSolutionRequest via the members available in the request. See the remarks for the request for details about which settings are included.

You can pick a target version when you export a solution. You can export a solution that is compliant with earlier versions. More information: Export a solution for a specific Dynamics 365 version.

Import an unmanaged solution

You should import an unmanaged solution in the following situations:

  • You want to transport a set of customizations from one organization to another, and you want to allow the solution components to be changed.

  • You want to restore or revert to an earlier set of solution component definitions

Importing an unmanaged solution is an additive process. Importing an older version of a managed solution will not remove solution components included in a newer version. However the definition of any solution component properties will be overwritten with the definition included in the last unmanaged solution you import.


Changes applied by importing an unmanaged solution cannot be uninstalled. Do not install an unmanaged solution if you want to roll back the changes.

This operation is performed programmatically by using the ImportSolutionRequest message. You can write code to execute this message asynchronously. More information: Execute messages in the background (asynchronously). You can track the progress of the import or generate a report of the success of the import by using the ImportJob entity. More information: Install or upgrade a solution


Installing a solution or publishing customizations can interfere with normal system operation. We recommend that you schedule solution imports when it’s least disruptive to users.

Maximum size of solution to import

For Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) the maximum size for a solution is 29.296 MB.

For on-premises organizations, the default maximum size for a solution is 6 MB, but this can be increased as needed.

Change the maximum allowed size by editing the <httpRuntime> element in the web.config file for the application. Edit the executionTimeout and maxRequestLength attributes to allow for the necessary size. After you finish installing the solution you can set it to the size you want.

See Also

Plan for solution development
Package and distribute extensions using solutions
Customization solutions file schema
Create, install, and update a managed solution
Uninstall or delete a solution

Microsoft Dynamics 365

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