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Showing posts from April, 2015

Reporting Options in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

In an earlier post , I discussed the possibility that you may need fewer reports in Dynamics CRM than you might think.  This is because Dynamics CRM offers several approaches to get data out of the system which were served by reports in a traditional database application.  Approach Comments Skills Needed Dashboards Great way to get the big picture and combine multiple data items on one screen End User Advanced Find May be saved as personal views or shared with other users End User Export to Excel Starting point for further manipulation End User Microsoft PowerBI Sophisticated aggregation and business intelligence Power User Custom Reports Implemented with SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS) or FetchXML (CRM Online) Developer Reporting Add-Ins Use in lieu of SSRS Power User or Development By taking advantage of all of these approaches, you can ge

Microsoft SharePoint and Dynamics CRM -- Better Together: Part 5

SharePoint Strengths This post focuses on the strengths of SharePoint. This blog post is an excerpt from an InfoStrat  white paper .  Portal Framework SharePoint provides a framework for building websites, whether public websites, intranets or extranets.   You can create and populate a website quickly with SharePoint with a minimum of custom development. Data Models in SharePoint 2013 The Microsoft Office Dev Center provides a thorough explanation of developing applications for SharePoint 2013 ( The article on what’s new for developers ( )   highlights the key enhancements of SharePoint 2013 for developers and system architects. The enhancements are in the following areas: ·          Cloud App Model ·          Familiar programming model using web standards ·          Development tools ·          Core platform enhancements ·         

Microsoft SharePoint and Dynamics CRM -- Better Together: Part 4

Dynamics CRM Strengths This post focuses on the strengths of Dynamics CRM -- the next in the series on the strengths of SharePoint. This blog is an excerpt from an InfoStrat  white paper .  Relational Data While SharePoint’s strength is unstructured content such as documents and web pages, Dynamics CRM is often better for structured, relational data.   SharePoint provides some features to get you closer to relational behavior, such as lookup columns in lists and site columns, but other key relational features are missing. Several years ago my company embraced SharePoint for generating customer proposals.    It was great to store drafts, collaborate on documents, and track calendars.   We added metadata to the document library to show the type of proposal, name of customer, and other pertinent information.   We ran into problems, however, when we want to run more sophisticated reports on sales activity, to match security permissions to account territories, and other features

Microsoft SharePoint and Dynamics CRM -- Better Together: Part 3

SharePoint is a content management system with a portal framework, a search engine and document management. It is a general purpose collaboration tool and may be applied to intranets, extranets and public websites.   SharePoint is based on the concept of lists, which are comparable to database tables. Lists are used for a large number of SharePoint features such as calendars, document libraries, content lists, news items and more.    Lists may be easily created by end users within their sites, and they do not have to be centrally managed so that these lists may differ from one site to another in a SharePoint implementation. Dynamics CRM is a database application for tracking a number of entities relating to sales, marketing, customer service and contracts along with related activities and workflow.   Dynamics CRM exposes the data model to administrators as entities and attributes (tables and columns).   They can easily view all entities and attributes, as well as all locations suc

Microsoft SharePoint and Dynamics CRM -- Better Together: Part 2

This blog is an excerpt from an InfoStrat  white paper .  SharePoint and Dynamics CRM are based on different paradigms, and some but not all of their concepts map to one another. Element Dynamics CRM SharePoint Data Entities (relational data) Content types (pages, lists, etc.) Fields Attribute Column / field User Interface Not applicable Web parts Data entry Forms Web pages Knowledge Base Knowledge Base Wiki Workflow Workflows Workflows Views Reports, views Views, content query web part Web sites Not applicable Sites and sub-sites Web site templates Not applicable Site templates Web page templates Not applicable Page templates Dashboards Dashboards, web components, charts Web part pages, Business Data Catalog Forms Multipag