Setting up Microsoft Dynamics CRM by Industry

Annestanton2 One of the nicest features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the ability to configure it to different industry types and with the right hardware and knowledge this process is relatively fast.

Recently I presented Microsoft Dynamics CRM for the Information Technology Professional industry at SMB Nation. I was given a couple of hours on the Virtual Server machine prior to the presentation and with some speedy fingers and the concepts I wanted to apply I was able to pull together a complete working demonstration of the IT Pro Firm.

Unfortunately I can easily talk about Microsoft Dynamics CRM for a good 4 days and there was soooo much I was not able to get to in my 90 minutes. :(  Still the crowd was a buzz with questions and answers came easily.


What are you tracking?

In this day and age one of the key things to incorporate into your contact management system is how people like to be contacted or perhaps just their preferred method. I have contacts who are totally e-mail oriented and others that have a phone pretty much always glued to their ear. There are also those who still appreciate a nice handwritten note once and a while.

Are you tracking these details? Better yet are you thinking about them before reaching out?

IE7 and MS Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 is compatible with Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP. However, to run Internet Explorer 7 correctly in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, you may have to turn off the application mode setting for the Microsoft CRM Web site. To Do This! 

Internet Explorer 7 closes unexpectedly when you export records to Microsoft Excel in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 911328


So Andy Goodman (aka Handy Andy) and Amy Babinchak have been doing a bit of work together to figure out all the little ins and outs that are required for ISA and MS CRM SBE to work happily together. I have been reading and trying to keep up.

I have been amazed at how easy Amy makes ISA on SBS look. She truely is an SBS ISA goodess! Andy, Andy flies so fast through SBS that I have a hard time picking up any of his resources of knowledge.. On the other hand he is a genius at grabbing screen shots and documenting with pictures every step of the way. Andy has a great website called where he posts a number of his articles. If you like to study and you want to learn more about CRM in the world of SBS you might check out these two resources..

Install CRM SBE on SBS 2003 Premium with ISA 2004


The Work in Process

Troubleshooting the Install CRM SBE (wip) 

I love pictures as much as I love wizards!

It continues to amaze me that something that we all think should be straight forward can have layers and layers of knowledge and thought built into it.

Some days when I work on the computer I feel like the mechanic looking at a 2007 automobile. The dang things is so beefed up that it is hard to figure out how to do the easy things like change the oil.

Will people loose  the knowledge of how to do things or gain more as each "project" becomes layered and more sophisticated?

Configuring MS CRM

I printed out the Planning Files for MS CRM today and realized that the shear volume was worth mentioning. The combined documents when stacked are over 2 inches thick! If you consider that these are simply screen shots and field descriptors you have to appreciate how much "configuration" you can do to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0!

I am not talking about using the SDK (also available) and customizing the software (aka writing code). I am not talking about development expertise or understanding ASP.NET. I am not even talking about whipping of a few scripts.

What I am talking about is configuration. Changing the display, adding fields to capture data, modifying views or adding views that are unique for the firm and business.

When Microsoft totes "Works the Way you Do" they really mean it.


I can't tell you how wonderful Andy Goodman is for doing this! Not only did he spend ALL day today compiling his notes and screen shots into an accessible online document, but he spent THREE days testing and installing MS CRM SBE 3.0 on various different SBS platforms. Andy Goodman is a Microsoft MVP for Small Business Server.
I wish I could give him an award for this work!
Check it out!! So if you are using SBS with ISA 2004 and MS CRM SBE .. and you either had problems, have problems or are thinking of installing check this FIRST!!
Quick Tip: Watch out for typos during any "fixes", Ouch! 

MS CRM Mobile

Gav Thanks to Gavin for reminding me to post on the new MS CRM MOBILE client!!! I downloaded it this morning and then managed to get totally distracted by the information super highway here in the office.

The MS CRM Mobile client for 3.0 is now available for download and can be used by all the MS CRM 3.0 customers.  If you want to take a sneak peak before you install you can also check out the pictures Gavin posted.  He is definitely Mr. Mobile of Canada!

Did you Publish?

You found the Configuration screens, you modified a form, added a few more items to a pick list on a field in attributes and various other things.

You save and close and go on your way.

Wait why are you changes not showing up? You notice the form looks as it did before you hard work?

This occurs when you forget to PUBLISH.

To fix, go back into configuration and choose to publish all.

Why we love MSDN

Mbs_crmserviceportal_image1 For those of you who are MSDN subscribers. A new resource has been posted to MSDN that offers extensive explanation and help with building MS CRM Web Parts for SharePoint. Extremely cool!

"Learn how to build portals and dashboards in SharePoint sites by using Web Parts that display Microsoft CRM data. This article accompanies a sample Visual Studio .NET solution that contains sample Web Parts for a Customer Service Portal. This article includes information about how to install and use Web Parts, and explains how to retrieve and display Microsoft CRM data in Web Parts."

Developer Toolbar for IE

Developer Toolbar for IE announced at PDC

The developer community has asked for a long time: Where is the free developer toolbar for IE? We recognized the popularity of free IE tools like Fiddler and we listened to your feedback. I am glad to announce the next addition to our developer tool support: The IE dev toolbar. This tool will help developers to explore their HTML documents and understand everything about it.

With the IE Dev Toolbar you have several features at your fingertips to go deep into existing pages or pages that you are currently creating. You will be able to explore the DOM tree and find elements on the page, disable IE settings, view information, outline elements, control images, resize pages to common screen resolutions and have a powerful ruler that lets you measure pixel perfect content on your page. It also will help you to validate against existing standards and provides pointers to W3C specs.

At Chris’ talk at the PDC on Tuesday, he announced that we would have a beta version available very soon. This is now ready and available for download. It is designed to work on IE6 as well as IE7.