Saturday, December 22, 2007

Microsoft SharePoint 2007 - MySites and Facebook (Part 1)

A little background on my work...
I would like to start this blog off with a little background into myself... actually if you've been reading only my blog articles, you'll probably still be under the impression that I may have only have knowledge and interest in Microsoft CRM. Making that assumption would be invalid, because as a matter of fact, I am ALSO engaged in SharePoint work!

Over the last few months I have been busy developing SharePoint that I haven't got the chance to blog anything about CRM. I actually had a dilemma if I should start posting SharePoint posts on this blog, as the main intension of this blog was to discuss about CRM and SharePoint integration.

I have come to a decision to dedication this blog to to all new technology with a focus on both CRM and Sharepoint (not only CRM-SharePoint integration).

Back to the topicSo back to the topic of MySites and Facebook...

Over the last year, I have worked with various clients on Corporate Directories, web 2.0 tools, collaboration tools and tools that help businesses improve communication and personal information sharing. This work surrounded a SharePoint component called MySites.

-History of these technologies?
MySites has historical roots all the way back to SharePoint 2001! MySites didn't exist in SharePoint 2001. From an article I found from Microsoft, in SharePoint 2001, the "MySite" concept was...

"a workspace is used to group a collection of personal dashboards, and little, if any, use is made of the top-level workspace dashboard. Each personal dashboard site consists of the Home dashboard page and an additional Reports subdashboard page."
In SharePoint 2003 Portal Server, MySites (Personal sites) was an official component. Here is an official extract about what it is:
" SharePoint Portal Server 2003, all users...with the Create Sites and Create Personal Site rights automatically have a personal site created for them when they click the My Site link on the portal site home page.

My Site is a personal SharePoint site created on the portal site that provides personalized and customized information for each user. Your personal site consists of two views: A private view for personal information that only you can see, and a public view seen by everyone else. The private view is shown by default when you view your personal site."
Users were able to search and view other users profile information, based on information from Active Directory and other information entered by that user.

SharePoint 2003 Portal Server: Public MySite

SharePoint 2003 Portal Server: Private MySite

In SharePoint 2007 (MOSS not WSSv3), this concept and idea has evolved even more with new SharePoint web parts like the RSS Viewer, In Common Web Parts, Colleague Tracker Web Parts, Document Agregation web parts and more...

With these components and a few others, businesses can enable employees/users to leverage the office-social network to find information and access much tacit knowledge. (There was also once an introduction of the Knowledge Network concept which extends on tacit knowledge sharing, but Microsoft has not yet official released this component.)

MOSS 2007: Public Sites

MOSS 2007: Private Sites

MOSS 2007: Custom Tabs and role based templates

And.... Facebook? According to wikipedia:

"Facebook is a social networking website, launched on February 4, 2004. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, a former Harvard student. Initially the membership of Facebook was restricted to students of Harvard College. It was subsequently expanded to MIT, Boston University, Boston College, and all Ivy League schools within two months."

The highlights of Facebook which businesses are interested in is the way in which personal information can be shared across the network without having two users being online at the same time. I recall from the facebook f8 conference video Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that Facebook allows for a larger communication channels between users.

Facebook has an interface for user information, web 2.0 collaboration applications and tools, and widgets that allow for this to happen. Recently, Facebook exposed their API, allowing the outside world to develop applications that can pull information from Facebook, that can integrate into Facebook, etc.

-A possible new way for Customer Relationship Bonding/Management??I had a few open-ended ideas and questions on social networking within the enterprise which could start you up for a good deep thought.... some of these:
* Facebook contains groups for universities, companies and interests. Perhaps we could do the same for all customers, employees/ex-employees, and stakeholders of the company to share information?
* Can we use this technology to improve how the customers, employees/ex-employees, and stakeholders feel they bond with the company? (On top of sending personalised letters from MS CRM and analysing data)
* Can we import this information into CRM systems to form even more accurate reports about customers?

-What have I done to MySites?A recent client, there were requirements for the business to implement an advanced "Phone Book/User Directory". They had a look at SharePoint MySites and decided that it is perfect for their use, and not only that it had tools very similar to Facebook (which many people are hooked onto!)

The requirements evolved and hence now after a few months of development and hard work, they've got themselves their own "Social Networking tools" with part Facebook capabilities.

In the next few articles, I will discuss on the what I have done and the challenges I had to get it all working... Stay tuned...

Microsoft CRM 4.0 - Whats new reading material...

If you've had access to MS CRM 3.0 and want to know more about MS CRM 4.0.. theres a very good material here which talks about what is new in Microsoft CRM 4.0:

Microsoft CRM 4.0 - Installing it... where to start? The Implementation Guide!

With the release of the downloadable Microsoft CRM 4.0 trials, you'll also need the implementation guide. If you've installed MS CRM 3.0 in the past, this is official documentation from Microsoft on how to install Microsoft CRM.

Here is the link:

Microsoft CRM 4.0 - Trial Product Downloads available Now!

Microsoft has released its latest CRM trial software on the Internet for downloads!

"Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is available as a 90-day trial version at the Microsoft Downloads center. The download page will be updated with new languages as they are released."

Download the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Trial Versions in either 32 or 64-bit!
Download the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook (For On-Premise and Hosted Editions) 32 bit!

Download the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Data Migration Manager 32 bit!
Download the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 E-mail Router (On-Premise and Hosted Editions) in either 32 or 64-bit!


Microsoft CRM and Silverlight - "Adding client side business logic to CRM forms using Silverlight managed code"

Silverlight is an exciting technology with a very high degree of highlight and focus for web technology enthusiasts because it has the potential to bring to the web user an enhanced, lifted and interesting user experience.

Microsoft CRM, being a technology that is closely shaped by business processes, has also a very strong focus on usability. CRM technology is data and information based, and how well we utilise the information from these systems is, in my opinion, very closely tied with the effectiveness of usability.

Microsoft CRM is a very exciting and fun product to develop (technically and business wise) with because it offers the flexibility and power to adapt to a business's needs. Just imagine if we surface the information from CRM and create new applications to embed within the CRM application, the possibilities that I see are quiet "uniquely" cool and awesome!

I found the following post by Arash, which talks about developing a basic Silverlight 1.1 (Javascript and C# Managed code) application. This is the starting point for the imaginations to become a reality...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Microsoft CRM 4.0 - Get Ready for 4.0 Titan (Part 2)

Because the NDA agreements have dropped (meaning that details of the Titan CTP can now be publicly released):

Hence, now we will get some new screen shots. Stunnware's post is a good source:

Philip Richardson, the Microsoft CRM Lead Program Manager, has actually created a load of Screencasts:
  • Titan: Import/Export Customizations

  • Titan Screencast: Add Multiple Users

  • Titan: Web Import

  • Titan: Duplicate Detection

  • Simon Hutson's blog also talks about some technical aspects of Events/Call-outs (now known as Plug ins)
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Tidbits - Advanced Events

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Tidbits - Event Architecture

  • Stay tuned for more information. =)
    I may start posting about various aspects of the Titan myself =)

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - How to Videos for Users

    I came across some very useful videos hosted on YouTube in around June 2007 by a company called "CRM On Target". Although they are for CRM 3.0, I'm sure there are still many people who will find these training videos useful. Enjoy!

    Microsoft CRM: Importing Sales Lead Records

    Microsoft CRM: Importing Contact Records

    Microsoft CRM: Creating a New Field

    Microsoft CRM: Creating an Activity Related View

    Microsoft CRM: 'Send Direct Email' Button in Outlook

    Microsoft CRM: Assigning Tasks from Outlook

    Monday, October 08, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Awesome CRM Search "Vista CRM Search Gadget "

    I was browsing around, and came back to this blog which I read a while back. It was posted back in April 14th this year, but only now I had the chance to go thru what Joris has done for the CRM community.

    Its a CRM Search application that consists of a Vista Gadget, and a search web application. Whats awesome is you can add it into IE7 as a search provider! The search works across multi entities, so it makes things very convenient.

    Hum.... why does it looks like an application I saw in the latest CRM 3.0 demo VPC?

    Vista CRM Search Gadget

    Microsoft CRM 4.0 - Get Ready for 4.0 Titan

    The word "Titan" has been mentioned many time already, but because it is still in its CTP3 stage, people who have been involved in the CTP3 have not been able to say much about the product due to agreements with Microsoft. That being said, there have been quiet alot of resources available online, which I thought I'd link into a single article.

    CRM Titan Books:
    Working with Microsoft Dynamics(TM) CRM 4.0

    Programming Microsoft Dynamics(TM) CRM 4.0 Developer Reference

    Sneak Peaks
    ISVs on Titan

    Titan Screencasts from Phillip Richardson
    On this particular blog from the CRM Team Blog, they give out very strong highlights of the features that will be part of 4.0 Titan.

    Feature Peaks
    Guy Riddle's Blog "Titan" NDA Lifted!5D4E0DC4D1513384!210.entry

    Metro - CRM ISV Training (Only for ISVs enrolled into the Early Adopter programme)!5D4E0DC4D1513384!211.entry

    Monday, July 09, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Call-Outs in CRM to create new SharePoint Sites

    This article was kept in my draft stash for quite some time now, and I found it really useful and relevant to another post, which I published not long ago.

    This article is a technical tutorial on developing call-outs for Microsoft CRM to create new SharePoint sites. Call-outs are custom "logic" that is executed as a result of a CRM workflow reponse.

    The article is listed below:
    The purpose of the integration is to create collaboration sites on SharePoint 2007 as new accounts or opportunities are created in Microsoft CRM

    Microsoft SharePoint 2007 - SharePoint Configured as a CRM Tool (DIY tutorial)

    This is an interesting flash movie that teaches on how to customise a SharePoint Site as a CRM application.

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Third Party Tool to extend Document Management capabilities of CRM using SharePoint

    In a previous post, I've discussed about hosting a SharePoint Site as a tab within an iframe in a CRM entity UI. Many people are not developers, and so would need to rely on third party products. KWizCom have always been creating some very good SharePoint add-on products and this time they've created something for just that purpose I mentioned. They created a product which they call the "CRM Connector to SharePoint".

    This product not only places a SharePoint site into an entity, but it also creates a new SharePoint site for every entity you create (for the more technical, it comes with a call-out/plug-in for CRM). It supports MOSS 2007, SPS 2003, WSSv3 and WSSv2.

    For more information, see the following extract from

    KWizCom CRM Connecor to SharePoint, now supports MOSS 2007 - enables users to better manage documents linked to any CRM entity (Account, Lead, Product etc.).
    These document management capabilities are based on Microsoft SharePoint Services, and provide CRM users with the ability to:

    • Create document libraries and folders
    • Link documents to any CRM entity
    • Search for documents from within MS CRM interface
    • Expose documents to users who are NOT CRM users
      (and do not have CRM client license)
    • Enables sharing applications beyond a single team-site scope

    Microsoft SharePoint 2007 - SharePoint Configured as a CRM Tool?

    When SharePoint was first released I recall having a conversation with a fellow colleague about the possibility of customising SharePoint as a CRM application.

    A company called "BPA" did exactly just that, and named the product "Easy CRM SharePoint" (Easy CRM software solution for Microsoft SharePoint). They have flash demonstrations for this CRM application, and it proves to be very interesting indeed! Click on this link to see it:

    So how did they do it? Does it integrate core CRM functionality into Outlook? Would it be better than Microsoft CRM 3.0 itself? Well, having a bit of a look into it, it appears they've used a series of lists, calendars and custom web parts to contribute to CRM functionality. They've even got lists of reports, offline access, an Outlook connector (to attach emails to items) and more. However, as compared to Microsoft CRM 3.0, it does seem like a little child, but I'll leave that to you to judge.

    Saturday, June 30, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Update Rollup 2 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 (KB 927751)

    Microsoft has released an update for MS CRM 3.0 for both the client and server components on the 25th June 2007. The update rollup 2 contains all fixes that were included in update rollup 1 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0.

    To download a copy and for more details click here:

    Remember to read all additional information included on the page before installation.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Microsoft CRM - An old marketing video for Microsoft CRM!?

    I forgot how I came across this youtube video, but it seemed quite cute... looked like those kids were using the old MS CRM 1.2! Anyways here it is...

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Integrating the CRM UI into SharePoint (Page Links)

    CRM UI in SharePoint? Easy as 123!
    I've been thinking of ways to directly integrate the CRM interface into another web application or web page, such as SharePoint. As a result, I've compiled a list of CRM links for various datagrids used for showing sets of records from CRM. These URL's can be embeded into a SharePoint 2007 page using either a "Site Aggregator" or "Page Viewer" Web Part.

    If the page was to be embedded into an iframe within a web page, it is important to note that Internet Explorer may restrict access to it for security purposes. These security settings, however, can be disabled/enabled within Internet Explorer. Otherise a simple frame could be used.

    Almost anything can be displayed using these URLs giving the situation satisfies the following:
    1) The user account used to log into the client machine has the permissions to access Microsoft CRM records.
    2) Integrated Security is enabled, so that credentials are passed
    3) The user has access to a particular entity

    And finally... the list of links for Microsoft CRM 3.0:

    DataGrid Lists
    Accounts - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=1
    Contacts - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=2
    Opportunities - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=3
    Leads - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=4
    Marketing List - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=4300
    Reports - http://crm/CRMReports/home_reports.aspx
    Activities - http://crm/workplace/home_activities.aspx
    Calendar - http://crm/workplace/home_calendar.aspx
    Articles - http://crm/workplace/home_answers.aspx
    Queues - http://crm/workplace/home_workplace.aspx
    Competitors - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=123
    Products - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=1024
    Sales Literature - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=1038
    Quotes - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=1084
    Orders - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=1088
    Invoices - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=1090
    Quick Campaigns - http://crm/MA/home_minicamps.aspx
    Campaigns - http://crm/MA/home_camps.aspx
    Cases - http://crm/CS/home_cases.aspx
    Contracts - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=1010
    Services - http://crm/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=4001

    Advanced Find - http://crm/AdvancedFind/AdvFind.aspx
    CRM Help - http://crm/help/default.aspx

    For convenience during customisation, I've also posted the following links for settings and customisations in the following article:

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - CRM Settings Pages

    For convenience during customisation, I've also posted the following links for settings and customisations:
    Settings Pages
    Settings - http://crm/tools/home_tools.aspx?pid=0
    Customisation Menu - http://crm/tools/systemcustomization/systemcustomization.aspx
    Entity Customisation DataGrid - http://crm/tools/systemcustomization/systemcustomization.aspx?PID=01
    Import Customisations - http://crm/tools/systemcustomization/systemcustomization.aspx?PID=03
    Export Customisations - http://crm/tools/systemcustomization/systemcustomization.aspx?PID=03
    Subjects (Taxomony for Knowledge Base) - http://crm/tools/home_tools.aspx?pid=08
    Advanced View of Settings - http://crm/tools/home_tools.aspx?vid=1

    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 and MOSS 2007 - CRM and SharePoint Integration

    I've recently been looking at the integration of Microsoft CRM 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 and my findings were pretty promising!

    Of my findings, ways to integrate Sharepoint 2007 and Microsoft CRM include:

    * Presenting CRM data in Microsoft's CRM list web part (More Info)
    * Exposing basic lookup/view functionality from the CRM list web part
    * Presenting KPIs, Reports, and CRM data with MOSS 2007 Excel Web Access Service
    * Presenting CRM data, KPIs and more using MOSS 2007's Business Data Catalog (BDC) and BDC web parts (More Info)
    * Exposing CRM data through MOSS 2007 Enterprise Search functionality using BDC
    * Presenting CRM records in a SharePoint 2007 RSS feeder web part using the RSS adaptor from Microsoft (More Info)
    * Storing CRM documents in a Sharepoint Document Library to leverage versioning control and better management (More Info)
    * Integrating SharePoint 2007 document library with CRM information using a third party tool (c360 Word Mail Merge or MSCRM-Addons WordMailMerge)
    * Integrating a SharePoint 2007 page into the Microsoft CRM interface as a sub application or as part of a tab using iFrame
    * Using a CRM workflow and a CRM call-out assembly to create a Sharepoint workspace for a CRM record
    * Using MOSS 2007's workflow (or an event handler) and Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) to create a CRM record when a subsite or list item is created.
    * Presenting CRM Reports in Sharepoint using SQL Reporting Services web parts (Report Explorer and Report Viewer)

    And more...
    * Remembering the fact that Microsoft CRM is built on SQL, other applications can be created pulling data from filtered views (It is best practice to only use filtered views created by CRM.)
    * Remembering that Microsoft CRM offers web services, other applications can be created to leverage off CRM's web services. Data security of the CRM data provided by the web service is inherited from Microsoft CRM when the you authenticate whilst connecting.
    * Remembering that Microsoft SharePoint also offers web services, and hence call-outs can leverage off SharePoint functionality!

    A small number of Blogs/Articles which I've read as a part of my research:
    * Sharepoint Integration Approaches!534230C9D7A90B1B!390.entry
    * Sharepoint with MS CRM 3.0
    * Microsoft Dynamics CRM Official Site
    * Microsoft CRM Integration & Customization: SharePoint Document Gateway
    * Microsoft CRM Integration & Customization: SharePoint Document Gateway
    * Microsoft CRM 3.0 SDK
    * Reporting Services WebParts - Walkthrough
    * SQL Server Reporting Services Web Parts Review
    * Questions I asked on the CRM Community Site〈=en&cr=US&sloc=en-us&m=1&p=1
    * Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007(MOSS 2007) And Microsoft CRM Integration

    Friday, May 11, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Common URL Links

    When adding new records in CRM, it could involve many clicks. So how can we simplify the steps involved in adding new records?

    You can create Microsoft CRM records directly using the following links below (Assuming your CRM url is http://crm:5555):

    - For Accounts: http://crm:5555/SFA/accts/edit.aspx
    - For Contacts: http://crm:5555/SFA/conts/edit.aspx
    - For Opportunities: http://crm:5555/SFA/opps/edit.aspx
    - For Cases: http://crm:5555/CS/cases/edit.aspx
    - For Products: http://crm:5555/Products/product/edit.aspx
    - For E-mail: http://crm:5555/Activities/task/edit.aspx
    - For Task: http://crm:5555/Activities/task/edit.aspx
    - For Campaigns: http://crm:5555/MA/camps/edit.aspx
    - For Custom Entities: http://crm:5555/UserDefined/edit.aspx?etc=[objectTypeCode]

    Where [objectTypeCode] is the code for your custom entity. This number starts from 10000 and increments for each entity that is created.

    The object type code can also be checked at:

    These could potentially be bookmarked, placed in links lists with SharePoint, or on any other web page.

    If you were to edit existing records, the following query string would be added to the URL of choice above:
    For example,

    GUID's are generated by CRM when a record is created. This value is stored in the CRM SQL database and can be retrieve via the query string when viewing a record in CRM.

    Sunday, April 29, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - c360's Word Mail Merge

    A while back, I mentioned that released a version of Word Mail Merge that integrates with SharePoint (

    A few weeks ago, c360 also released a version with equivalent functionality:

    Word Mail Merge allows you to merge CRM data into Word documents and save it to SharePoint directly!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Hiding Tabs and Fields

    Sometimes there comes a need to hide fields and tabs in a CRM entity form (including System fields which we can't get rid of). You can't delete them during customisation because they have been locked. The attributes associated with these fields are Business Required, and cannot be modified. What can you do?

    Rather than hiding a field at a time, we can hide the these fields by moving them into a "hidden" tab. Here's the trick to do this:
    -In the OnLoad event of the form, insert the following code and enable the Event."none";

    Where "tab4Tab" is is the ID of the tab. The only thing you need to change is the integer. The number corresponds to the order of the tab. The order number begins with a 0.

    Make sure the OnLoad Event has been enabled, and make sure you test the code in preview mode before publishing the changes. Keep in mind that there are limitations to this approach, as only eight tabs are allowed at most in each form.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Useful SharePoint Integration Links

    The following are links from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 site, which contain tutorials and elements useful for integrating Microsoft CRM data/functionality into SharePoint. Have fun!

    * The List Web Part for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 (Installed on any SharePoint Web Part Page)

    * Create a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 dashboard with SharePoint Portal Server

    * Displaying Microsoft CRM Business Data in SharePoint Web Parts

    * Display a SharePoint document library in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 form

    Monday, April 02, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - E-mail Tracking in the CRM client for Microsoft Outlook

    If your tracking functionality is either disabled (grayed out) or if Outlook prompts you to say that you have insufficient permissions to track an e-mail, it probably is because the role of the user for which you have logged into the system with, does not have the appropriate permissions.

    In order to allow the tracking of e-mails, the user needs to be able to:
    1) Create a new activity (Since tracking an E-mail essentially means creating an activity in MS CRM 3.0)
    2) Read and Append to queues (For the CRM E-mail Router to read the original e-mail from the CRM mailbox)

    Hence, the role that needs tracking permissions shall have the following checked:
    1) Create permissions for Activities
    2) Read and Append to permissions for Queues

    Saturday, March 31, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Mobile Clients

    I was surfing around and found some very interesting CRM Client products for the mobile device! Check them out below...

    CRM Client for the BlackBerry:

    CRM Mobile Express for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0:

    Note: The 2nd link (GotDotNet) is due to be phased out on 24/Apr/2007 - if you want to download the client, do it quick!

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - New CRM 3.0.6 SDK

    Microsoft Released a MS CRM 3.0.6 SDK on the 29th of March 2007.

    To read more about the SDK and download the SDK follow this link:

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Live - Sneak Peaks...

    I was looking around the web looking for Microsoft Dymanics Live news... and found this EXCITING site with screen shots:

    The web site is all about Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM, CRM as an online service. It mentions that "The first set of processes that will be available online are the marketing, sales and service capabilities offered within Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM."

    Process: AdCentre Integration
    This screen shot shows the AdCentre Integration, which is really a central location to access all online marketing campaigns. It integrates with Microsoft AdCenter (


    Collaboration: Collaboration Screen
    This screen shows how you accounts in your CRM can be setup to become partners whom can collaborate with your organisation!

    Note that this Microsoft Dynamics Live service also allows for "both structured information from ERP and CRM systems and unstructured information in the form of documents to be connected via SharePoint technology."

    Pretty neat! It even allows you to control access to certain Web Parts (Campaign Activities, Campaign Art, Campaign Budget, Campaign Documents, Contacts and Planning Tasks)!


    I can't wait to get my hands on it!

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    SharePoint 2003 & 2007: SharePoint 2003 to 2007 CSS Style sheets

    I was having a look at the differences in the Styles used in SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007. I discovered that whilst most of the CSS styles are available, many have been rewritten in SharePoint 2007. In addition to that, these styles have now been placed in different CSS files!

    The 2003 Generation:
    In WSSv2, all SharePoint styles are defined in OWS.CSS in the folder on the SharePoint host Server:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\1033\STYLES\OWS.CSS

    In SharePoint Portal 2003, in addition to the styles in WSSv2, extra styles are defined in SPS.CSS in:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\1033\STYLES\SPS.CSS

    The 2007 Generation:
    In WSSv3, all SharePoint styles are defined in CORE.CSS in the folder on the SharePoint host Server:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\1033\STYLES\CORE.CSS

    In MOSS 2007, in addition to the styles in WSSv3, extra styles are defined in PORTAL.CSS in:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\1033\STYLES\PORTAL.CSS

    I also found in the folder, a group of other CSS files...

    * Calendar.CSS
    * Control.CSS
    * Core.CSS
    * datepicker.CSS
    * EWRDefault.CSS
    * Help.CSS
    * HtmlEditorCustomStyles.CSS
    * HtmlEditorTableFormats.CSS
    * Menu.CSS
    * RCA.CSS
    * SiteManagerCustomStyles.CSS

    Where else could CSS call a home?
    In SharePoint 2007, theres an ability to package your page layouts, site templates, etc as a Feature. In the following folder, you may find the CSS style sheets to such Features:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\PublishingLayouts\en-us

    CSS Styles...
    Wondering what styles are for, and how they look like? Heather Solomon's written some references for these styles for both SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007.

    SharePoint 2003 CSS Reference Chart

    SharePoint 2007 CSS Reference Chart

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Updated Addon for CRM

    About 2 weeks ago, released a new version of the WordMailMerge add-on.

    The new features are rather "Powerful" as it integrates with SharePoint. Using's WordMailMerge, you can now generate documents with CRM data, and save it directly to your SharePoint Sites! Wonderful, if you are using Sharepoint to store and share your documents.

    And the goodness doesn't just stop there! You can now even store the WordMailMerge Document templates in Sharepoint! So no more of those shared-folder days... Links to your generated documents can be attached to your CRM letter activities. SWEET!

    The following is a screenshot of their customisation:

    And two links to demo videos from MSCRM-Addons:
    1. Create letter and save it into Sharepoint
    2 . Send a created letter as PDF and save it into Sharepoint


    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - What updates should you install?

    We should always install the latest patches on the CRM server and clients... Here are some useful links to these updates.

    MS CRM 3.0 Update Rollup 1 (Released 11/30/2006):

    For a list of the fixes in the Update Rollup 1 (Last Reviewed: 26/02/2007):

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 clients for Microsoft Office Outlook Compatibility Update (If Using Vista and Office 2007)

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Using MS CRM 3.0 without Microsoft Exchange

    In a previous post, I mentioned that Microsoft CRM 3.0 could be used without Microsoft Exchange. The following table is an extract from a Microsoft White Paper regarding the options available for MS CRM 3.0 when MS Exchange is not available:

    Tuesday, February 20, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - and Word Mail Merge

    I was looking online for some good add-on software to do better mail merges in MS Word with MS CRM 3.0 data. Here's some add-ons available:

    * c360 Word Mail Merge
    * Word Mail Merge
    * Microsoft Business Data Lookup Snap-in for MS CRM 3.0

    It appears that C360 and are selling the same software but just branded differently. Interestingly enough, their pricing on Word Mail Merge appears to be the same. C360 provides revised user guides, and sometimes more bug fixes to Word Mail Merge. Yet, provides an extra add-on called "AutoMerge", which works with's Word Mail Merge to generate documents as part of a MS CRM 3.0 workflow!

    Hang in there, because there's always a third option (which is free!) - the BDL Snap-in. This Snap-in is available for Microsoft Word/Excel 2003, and 2007 and provides an interface to browse through MS CRM 3.0 data. It also allows the user to attach a document to a CRM entity or activity. Nice. One BIG BUT! This snap-in doesn't seem to work with MS Word fields/Mail merge. It simply inserts text into your document.

    So what is your choice here? Stick with these options? or... reinvent the wheel? Test these products out, and find out for yourself. If you need custom development, I could always be reached :)

    Here's some useful links:
    * C360
    * Microsoft Dynamics Snap-ins

    Monday, February 19, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - E-mail Classification

    In a recent UniqueWorld project for a customer, there was a need for all outgoing e-mails to be attached with a E-mail Classification.

    This requirement was simple, yet it posed many challenges for Microsoft CRM 3.0 e-mail approaches (Send Direct E-mail, Send E-mail, Quick Campaigns). After much research and development, an awesome solution was finally reached! The solution integrates with the MS CRM 3.0 Web/Outlook Clients and proved to be a great success.

    If you have similar issues with E-mail Classification in your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact UniqueWorld!

    Our website is @ Alternatively, contact me on

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Regular updates and hotfixes

    One of our customers at UniqueWorld asked me about Microsoft CRM 3.0 updates and hotfixes, so I thought I might include this URL in my blog:
    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 updates and hotfixes

    This site is updated and maintained by Microsoft on a regular basis, so do make sure this is your first point to look when you have problems with your MS CRM 3.0 installation.

    Saturday, February 17, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - MS CRM 3.0 E-mail Router supports Microsoft Exchange 2007

    In addition to the previous post on the updates to the CRM 3.0 Clients for MS Outlook 2007, there is also an update available for the CRM back-end. Introducing an update to the CRM E-mail router!

    Q: What does it do?
    A: "This update allows the distribution of Microsoft Dynamics CRM e-mail message forwarding rules to mailboxes that are located on computers running Exchange Server 2007.
    ...The two components that are installed and configured are as follows:
    * The Microsoft Dynamics CRM-Exchange E-mail Router Service
    * The Microsoft Dynamics CRM E-mail Rule Deployment Wizard"

    This is an awesome update providing that the MS CRM 3.0 E-mail Router couldn't be installed on MS Exchange 2007. So here's where to download it:

    What is Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 E-mail Router?
    This is an optional component of Microsoft CRM 3.0, which when installed provides the ability for Microsoft CRM 3.0 to incoming/outgoing track e-mails. MS CRM 3.0 would still function without the e-mail router, however, it would mean e-mail tracking will become unavailable.

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - CRM 3.0 Client for Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Windows Vista Support

    Microsoft released (on 5/01/2007) an update to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 clients for Outlook. This update enables the support of the client for Windows Vista-based and Microsoft Office 2007-based systems.

    Like its predessor releases of the CRM Client, there are two clients, namely:
    * The desktop client (For multi users with individual logins)
    * The laptop client (For only one user, working offline).

    The installation files, implementation guide and related files can be downloaded Here:

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Microsoft Office 2007 - Extending the User Interface

    When MS Office 2007 was released, you can't disagree with the fact that one of the biggest highlights was the User Interface! I went to a Office 2007 Beta Developer Deep Dive course and they taught us how to extend ribbons and the user interface, now on MSDN, they teach you the lot in detail! It's definitely awesome what you can do with these ribbons!

    Go check it out:
    * Extend The 2007 Office System With Your Own Ribbon Tabs And Controls

    * Ribbon

    * Jensen Harris' Office Blog

    Microsoft CRM 4.0 - The next version codenamed "Titan"?

    I've had this article typed up a while ago, but only then did I have the time to publish it! Anyhow, I am extremely excited about the next version of MS CRM 4.0.

    And as the Microsoft Announcement article says:
    Jan. 10, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it is previewing the next major release of Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM — code-named “Titan” — with a broad range of partners through the company’s Technology Adoption Program (TAP). The new version introduces an advanced multitenant architecture, and uses a single code base to support on-premise deployments as well as software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployments through hosting partners and through the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM service....

    ...The “Titan” release is an evolution of the popular Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 product, and will offer a smooth upgrade path for existing on-premise and SaaS customers. It reinforces Microsoft’s long-term strategy to provide customers with the power of choice, with the ability to choose on-premise or SaaS deployments and access rich CRM capabilities within Microsoft® Office Outlook®, through a Web browser, and from a broad range of mobile devices...

    ...The “Titan” release of Microsoft CRM and the new Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM service are targeted for mid-2007. The Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM service will initially be available in North America; plans for international expansion of the service will be announced at a later time...

    I got overly excited over "Titan" and therefore went straight to talking to our Microsoft Counterpart to join in the TAP scheme! Check this blog more for the good news!

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Entity Identifiers "GUIDs" and Importing Contacts

    I've read quiet some articles on google groups about GUIDs in CRM. So what are they? They're simply Unique Identifiers which MS CRM 3.0 uses to identify various entities.

    These GUIDs can be found in the CRM SQL databases or in the entity detail window:

    *When you get to the contact detail window, press CTRL-N to open the page up in a new window with an address bar.

    Usually if you have an account linked from a contact, you will find in the SQL database table ContactBase a column, which contains GUIDs which correspond to accounts, and a column, which contains the owners/CRM Users GUID. It is not best practice to modify data directly from the CRM SQL database, but when the need comes, it does work. Make sure you backup your database before doing so!

    If you need to update Account information, the data is stored in the AccountBase table.

    Importing CRM contacts
    When exporting CRM contact lists and importing them again, you will it may give you an error if you also include the contacts relating Account. The way to link these up in a csv file is to include the GUIDs of the Accounts in the Account column in the CSV export file. I managed to get this working nicely :)

    Speaking of which, remember to remove all carriage returns and line breaks as well as double quotes from the original data before importing!

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 - Hiding Views

    Doesn't it get annoying when you see CRM 3.0's system views which came out of the box?? You can't delete them either!

    The solution? Simple. Create a Team called "Hidden", and add the views you want to hide to the team. Remember not to assign any CRM user the the team, and presto!

    Proves to be a good work around. Enjoy!

    The Fix
    To make a new team, login as Administrator and goto: Workspace > Settings > Business Unit Settings > New

    To add a System View as a share item to the team you've just created goto: Workplace > Settings > Customizations > Customize > Contacts > Forms and Views

    Double click on the System View to open the View Window, and select Actions > Sharing...

    Select the Hidden team created and click OK:

    Notice how the public view has become a private view:

    Lastly, publish the contacts entity to submit the changes.