Archive for the ‘CRM 2011’ Category
It is week 23 in the review of the CRM Field Guide chapters from the book – The CRM Field Guide – How to CRM Like an MVP with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This week it is the 44 page Connector for Microsoft Dynamics chapter.
This chapter takes us through a practical review of the possibility of using the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics as the integration mechanism between CRM and the Dynamics ERP products. The Connector was developed by Microsoft and it’s ‘Dynamics aware’. This means you do not have to worry about writing your code for the integration and you can rely on what Microsoft developed in regards to supportability and extensibility of your integration solution.
The author starts with a review of the three alternatives for providing an integration service:
- Use one of the many third party tools
- Write the Integration yourself
- Use the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics
There isn’t one best answer, it depends on the environment, integration requirements, skill sets and budget. However, at the end of the chapter you will have a good sense if the Connector is a possible fit for your needs and if it should be given further consideration in the mix of alternatives.
Regarding when the Connector is a good fit depends on part on how you will allow both systems to communicate with each with respect to the storing and ownership of data. Some refer to this as the Database of Record notion. In the case of the Connector the philosophy is as follows:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM is used to manage relational data, ie. to manage contacts and leads, manage sales pipeline, track sales activities, perform marketing activities, manage service contracts and claims, prepare quotes and enter orders, manage any other records that might be helpful to build proper relationship with your business partners.
- Any Microsoft Dynamics ERP system is used to manage transactional data, ie. manage accounts and their structure, maintain vendor / supplier records, perform any accounting features, realize sales orders, manage stock and HR.
There are a lot of good resources online for the Connector including the community site on MSDN
|There is a section that covers the integration templates.|
|First run setup and configuration of the Connector is explained. With some very good cautions about which buttons not to click as tempting as they may look during the initial installation process.|
I was asked by Packt Publishing to do a review of their Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Application Design book, authored by Mahender Pal.
There are 8 chapters and two appendices in this 220 page book. The book will walk you through the learning process to understand the out of the box features provided by Dynamics CRM 2011. You will learn how to use these features to develop some custom applications.
Specifically the book will give you a solid, initial introduction in the development process for:
- Extending the business logic using plug-ins.
- How to use Web Resources – a Bing Maps application using Silverlight.
- Develop an External Web Application – Create and deployment process for a custom editable grid view
- Custom Workflow Assembly- create an AutoNumber plug in
The two appendixes provide info on the data model for the Account and Contact entities and the supporting information for one of the business scenarios – Hotel Entity- that is used in the instructional process.
At CRM Innovation we will be using this book with new .NET Developers that need to get an introductory view of the CRM coding world.
It is week 22 in the review of the CRM Field Guide chapters from the book – The CRM Field Guide – How to CRM Like an MVP with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This week it is the 36 page Solution Management and Troubleshooting chapter.
This chapter is going to give you one big headache. It will also solve quite a few headaches for you at the same time. This is not a chapter to read and digest as easy reading just before you retire for the evening. Right off you will start the see that the solution management process – managed and un-managed – isn’t quite a simplistic as we envisioned earlier. I alluded to this in the review of Chapter 21 – Introduction to Solutions. This chapter is a good read for End User CRM Admins that desire to get a better insight into the strategies for administering the installation, customization, and removal of ISV IP (Independent Software Vendors Intellectual Property). For developers and product managers at ISVs this is mission critical knowledge that needs to be embedded into their minds.
It is week 21 in the review of the CRM Field Guide chapters from the book – The CRM Field Guide – How to CRM Like an MVP with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This week it is the 32 page Introduction to Solutions chapter.
For those of us in the ISV community that produce commercial packaged solutions for the CRM marketplace when we first heard of the new feature called Solutions in CRM 2011 we were ecstatic. First off the question that came to mind is this a pretty complex task to accomplish and secondly this would solve all the issues we had been encountering with prior versions of CRM. Well it turned it out we were half correct. It has proven to be a very complex task and no it didn’t solve all the issues with distributing packaged Intellectual Property vertical and horizontal market solutions. But we are a lot better off than we were previously and it has been well used now that we understand when and how to use them. After you read this chapter you will have a better sense on how to use them.
Chapter 21 gives us an introduction into the process of successfully using solutions to publish customizations internally at your organization and build managed solutions for distribution to other end user organizations. Their is equal coverage to both managed and un-managed solutions, when to use which one, when not to use and documents other best practices for Solution use.
Each item that is placed inside a solution is considered a solution component. The following is a high level look at the different types of Solution components.
It is week 16 in the review of the CRM Field Guide chapters from the book – The CRM Field Guide – How to CRM Like an MVP with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This week it is the 26 page CRM for Outlook Optimization and Troubleshooting chapter.
This is one of the chapters in the book that is best suited for reference by the CRM administrator or power user. It discusses troubleshooting methodologies for CRM Outlook Client issues and explains some of the behind the scenes considerations in configuring the client settings.
One of the best parts of the chapter is that it clears up the purpose of the address book settings and explains why it isn’t the same thing as the synchronization settings.
|In the diagnostics part of the chapter step by step procedures are outlined for getting to the root of CRM Outlook client issues quickly. One item I like here is the listing of the location where trace files are stored. This isn’t provided in the diagnostic Window where tracing is turned on. And the file path isn’t one that would normally be intuitively found.|
|Note: I need to fess up. This isn’t actually week 16 in the review of the Field Guide. It has been 3 weeks since I have been able to do a post. Between a week in Seattle at the CRM MVP Summit and then last week being in New Orleans for the Convergence event and then throw in a few client projects, postings have been delayed. But kind of like the space shuttle launches, the countdowns have been put on hold and now they are picking up where they left off.|
It is week 15 in the review of the CRM Field Guide chapters from the book – The CRM Field Guide – How to CRM Like an MVP with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This week it is the 37 page SharePoint & CRM: Better Together chapter.
This chapter covers not only the integration between CRM and SharePoint but it digs into the differences and the similarities between the two as it relates to customer relationship and document management. Many times I have been asked by current SharePoint users to just implement CRM using SharePoint. And while SP can do some of the things that CRM does it neither does them completely or very well. And the reverse is true to that CRM shouldn’t be confused with document management. It is kind of like that old saying ‘ yes you can use a hammer to drive a screw but you would be much better off using a screwdriver’.
|The key benefit of the integration is Document Management.|
|The Author highlights and explains the relative strengths of each application and how they map to an organization building a customer relationship management strategy.|
|And the balance of the chapter walks you through the setup and configuration options for the integration. It also covers methods for retrieving information and visualizations from SharePoint and displaying them in CRM.|