CRM was designed to be customizable. Also Microsoft Business
Solutions tried to make MS CRM to be loved by its legion
of VB.Net and C#.Net programmers, plus to be a field of
self realization for Microsoft database administrators and
system engineers. 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
and be good C#/VB/Net developer.
If you are developer who is asked: how do we customize
Microsoft CRM read this and you will have the clues
on where to look further.
Microsoft CRM SDK this is 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 customizations. This is the preferred
customization scenarios and this should be easily upgradeable
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
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
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 INI file with security settings to penetrate into
MS CRM with proper credentials, calling web service.
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 doesnt
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
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.
MS CRM Customization tool you
can feel free to use this this is rather end-user
tool and we dont describe it here read the
manual. Weve described above the options to use
when this tool doesnt do the job
Happy customizing! if you want us to do the job - give
us a call 1-866-528-0577! or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author:
Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum
Technologies – USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great
Plains customization company, with offices in Chicago, Los
Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Austin,
New York, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Toronto, UK, Australia,
Brazil, Mexico ( http://www.albaspectrum.com
), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft
CRM SDK developer.