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Microsoft CRM Custom Development

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Microsoft CRM is CRM’s answer from Microsoft Business Solutions to traditional CRM vendors, such as Siebel, and Onyx. Microsoft CRM customization techniques are very diversified and based on the whole spectrum of recent Microsoft technologies.

The main terms you should know are: Microsoft CRM SDK 1.2 and Visual Studio.Net 2003. And of course you should be familiar with all the legacy internet technologies, such as HTML, XML, XSLT, JavaScript, and be good C#/VB/Net developer.

If you are a developer who is asked: how do we customize Microsoft CRM – read this and you will have the clues on where to look further.

1. Microsoft CRM SDK – this is a software development kit with C# and partly VB.net examples – it is supported by Microsoft Business Solutions technical support. It is all web services based calls, if you are C# .NET developer – you are excellently positioned to do this type of customization. This is the preferred customization scenario and this should be an easily upgradeable customization.

2. Legacy SQL Data integration. This is also easy and safe. If you have SQL database, sitting on the same or linked SQL Server – you can create an ASPX .Net application and simply integrate it into CRM. You can place it on the navigation bar or menu in isv.config – please refer to MS CRM SDK

3. Legacy ASP integration – this is somewhat more sophisticated. You have to deploy HTTP handler to be a middle party between CRM which is .Net based and ASP which is legacy IIS. The trick is – you have to have the INI file with security settings to penetrate into MS CRM with proper credentials, calling web service.

4. Microsoft Exchange Programming. Microsoft CRM has an Exchange connector – which moves CRM incoming email to MS if it has GUID in its subject. You can alter this logic (for instance – move the email to CRM if it doesn’t have GUID but it is from the sender who is a contact or account in MS CRM). Refer to MS Exchange SDK onsyncsave event handling. Then simply apply some MS CRM SDK programming.

5. Direct SQL touch – in #4 above I described to you the scenario with MS Exchange handlers – this would be ideal world if MS CRM SDK does the job. But – in the real world this is not always true – you have to do direct flags correction in the CRM database (like making Activity closed, moving email attachments/octet streams, etc). This is not supported by MBS technical support – but you can resort to this technique if you have to get the job done.

6. MS CRM Customization tool – you can feel free to use this – this is rather an end-user tool and we don’t describe it here – read the manual. We’ve described above the options to use when this tool doesn’t do the job

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, based in Chicago, California, Texas, New York, Georgia and Florida and having locations in multiple states and internationally (www.albaspectrum.com), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer.

Microsoft CRM Custom Development
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About Andrew Karasev
Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, based in Chicago, California, Texas, New York, Georgia and Florida and having locations in multiple states and internationally (www.albaspectrum.com), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer. WebProNews Writer
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