When you work on a deployment with a lot of different environnements like development, staging, training, integration, production; etc..; you sometimes have trouble identifying directly which environment you are running from which can lead to errors and confusion like testing a feature on the wrong environment.
After some mishaps, I had the idea to identify the environments by changing some color scheme in Microsoft CRM.
Warning, all changes described hereafter are changes to system files so are totally unsupported, may break your system and can revert if you apply hotfixes or rollup (and believe me, they will ;).
So, I tried to find a single setting, easy to change but which impacts to whole system without making it too ugly or unreadable.
After some trials, changing the table gobal setting made a nice visual effect over the whole application.
To make the change, edit <CrmWebsiteRoot>\_commons\styles\global.css.aspx, locate and modify the section table so that it reads as such
note: <CrmWebsiteRoot> is usually c:\inetpub\wwwroot or c:\program files\Microsoft Dynamics CRM\CRMWeb
Here's some results from colors codes I found nice : #FFDDaa (salmon), #BBFFAA (light green), but you're free to test any other combination; light colors giving the best look.
I first tried the same setting as with CRM 4.0, but even if it did work, the visual aspect was not too nice on the eyes as you can see below
Time to go for other options. As the Ribbon is one of the proeminent feature of CRM 2011, I decided to go for it. A little use of the IE developper tools showed that the Ribbon styles are handled by cui.css.
To make the change, edit <CrmWebsiteRoot>\_static\css\1033\cui.css, locate and modify the section ms-cui-tabBody so that it reads as such
background:#youHTMLcolorcode url("/_imgs/ribbon/wss/rbgbbg.png") repeat-x left bottom;
Here's a test with the color code set to #BBFFAA, as you can see, it gives a very lovely and discreet color to the ribbon
Now, while very nice, it may not be sufficiently visible for some usage, so let's go a little further and edit the css as such
background:#youHTMLcolorcode /* url("/_imgs/ribbon/wss/rbgbbg.png") repeat-x left bottom; */
A lot more visible but less subtle as well. Personnaly, I choose the first option but this one is quite nice as well.