The best part (s) of the Dynamics xRM platform
1) Developers don’t ever have to “line up fields on a form”
2) DBAs are not needed to build the database, although a few database indexes are good to have (if wanted) DBAs are still needed!
3) Users can design their own forms (ok this is only in xRM 2011) and not step on other people’s preferences – In v4.0 the CRM trained BA can do it, no developer necessary.
4) Users can come up with their own views, dump the data to Excel, save it as a report and be glorified heroes to their boss. In fact they can export to a Dynamic Excel Pivot chart (that when the boss opens it, shows the bosses secure data in all sorts of cool graphs)
5) In 2011 – Users can create their own charts on the fly, charts have built in drill down (IS doesn’t have to write as many SSRS Reports!)
6) Programmers can focus on the fun stuff like Silverlight interfaces ((not the stuff they have developed 100 times before))
7) The bling – doesn’t take a year to develop
8) Users get new features every 6 weeks and over 500+ new features every 1-2 years from Microsoft (if the extensions are written in the supported framework, it is an upgrade – not an expensive rewrite or a risky set of custom reactive patches that over a number of years gets painful to support)
9) To solve a user problem, to fix a bug or to figure out what is up is usually a phone call away. With 1 million other users you are not always the first one to find it and with Tier 1, 2, 3 support not to mention the blogs and books and a crazy wild community ... well nice to have community.
10) Integration to Google Maps, GeoData or Bing Maps takes less than a week to complete.
11) Popping any other web application (with a link) from the menu can take less than an hour to enable, add role security ok a day or two
12) There are hundreds of Apps that you can buy to plug in. iPad interface, Advanced Marketing, Hoovers integration, BI and OLAP analysis, mobility,
13) You still need .NET developers! Integration, extensions, cool stuff, new things in .NET and SQL and more! not redundant done it 100 times before like authentication code, Form Field line up, etc.
Ok, ok there are some change requirements (believe it or not I am not 100% CRM Kool-Aid (maybe 80%;))
1) Experienced .NET developers have to change process to fit within working with another .NET development team that is external (Microsoft Dev team)
2) The team writing the framework is not perfect and do make mistakes
3) The efficiencies to Microsoft Dynamics xRM have to be learned via training, reading and experience. (the first two are the least painful) particularly if you skip them.
4) The first project never lives up to the expectation of a more efficient turn around particularly when the people trying to hit this expectation do not get the time to get training, or think they can train themselves, (field feedback and connection with the MS Developers helps a lot)
5) Business users also need to realize they get the cool stuff but it comes with other features that don't necessarily just turn off if they don't like that way of doing it.
6) Infrastructure matters: Supporting CRM infrastructure requires expanded network administrator skills and it helps to have DBA input and involvement
7) You can screw it up (but then what else is new)
8) When people screw it up, they blame it on xRM/CRM instead of on all the factors
9) CRM is not an ERP or financial application framework, sometimes the DynamicsAX Framework is a better choice particularly when it comes to crazy tax codes that you don’t want to be the one keeping current.