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Microsoft CRM Customization If You Give Up

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Microsoft CRM is designed to be customizable. However this is a new system and you may not be comfortable to do it on your own. In this small article we’ll try to reassure you that you can do it or point to the right direction if you would like to subcontract it to professionals.

Let’s begin

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 are 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 some 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 a 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 an 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 INI file with security settings to penetrate into MS CRM with proper credentials, calling web service.

4. Microsoft Exchange Programming. Microsoft CRM has Exchange connector – which moves CRM incoming email to MS if it has GUID in its subject. You can alter this logic (for instance – move email to CRM if it doesn’t have GUID but it is from the sender who is 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 you the scenario with MS Exchange handlers – this would be ideal world if MS CRM SDK does the job. But – in real world this is not always true – you have to do direct flags correction in CRM database (like making Activity closed, moving email attachments/octet streams, etc). This is not supported by MBS technical support – but you can rescue to this technique if you have to make job done.

6. MS CRM Customization tool - you can feel free to use this – this is rather 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 Customization If You Give Up
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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