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Friday, November 5, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Microsoft SharePoint integration

Now that the Microsoft CRM 2011 Beta is out, so is the much awaited feature of integration with Microsoft SharePoint. Microsoft SharePoint has nailed Document Management and the ability to collaborate on documents is very rich. The versioning control, simultaneous editing, checking in/out are some features in SharePoint that makes SharePoint as powerful as it is.

In CRM, there has been a constant need for a rich Document Management functionality as documents are commonly used in sales cycle and are associated with opportunities and quotes. Customers also associate documents with products and many other entities. In CRM4, the ability for associating documents with a record has been through attachments which have quite a few limitations. Attachments are a passive store which does not help in collaboration scenarios. Users really need to be able to access documents in context of a CRM record, add more documents, edit and share them.

In CRM2011, this problem is addressed. It provides the ability to associate SharePoint Document locations to a CRM record and hence enabling the ability of accessing documents that are stored in SharePoint within the context of a CRM record. Users can:

a) Create a new SharePoint location(folder) to start storing their documents in
b) Use an existing SharePoint location where the documents are already stored.

It supports SharePoint 2010 and 2007 and both MOSS and WSS flavors.
Automatic creation of SharePoint folders : For this to happen, you need SharePoint 2010 with the CRM list component for SharePoint installed.

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