Missing CRM Explorer in Visual Studio 2012

Some people have reported that opening a CRM project in Visual Studio 2012 that has not been connected to a CRM organisation causes the CRM Explorer window not to load when the project is loaded as well as there being no option to show it from the VIEW menu and no option to Connect To Dynamics CRM Server in the TOOLS menu. There seem to be several causes of this behavior, the most common of which being the failure to set the CRM organisation when creating the project.

The problem seems to be that there is a missing section in the visual studio solution file. To fix the issue, follow the process below:

  1. Close the Visual Studio project
  2. Open the Visual Studio Solution file in a text editor such as notepad.
  3. Find the Global section and insert the highlighted section below at the beginning of the section

        GlobalSection(CRMSolutionProperties) = preSolution
            SolutionIsBoundToCRM = True
        GlobalSection(SolutionConfigurationPlatforms) = preSolution
            Debug|Any CPU = Debug|Any CPU
            Debug|Mixed Platforms = Debug|Mixed Platforms
            Debug|x86 = Debug|x86
            Release|Any CPU = Release|Any CPU
            Release|Mixed Platforms = Release|Mixed Platforms
            Release|x86 = Release|x86
  4. Save the file.
  5. Open the Visual Studio project.
  6. If all has gone to plan, the Connect To Dynamics CRM Server dialog will now pop up and ask you to connect to your CRM Organisation.