Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Microsoft CRM 3.0 - C360.com and MS-CRM-ADD-ONS.com 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
* MSCRM-ADDONs.com Word Mail Merge
* Microsoft Business Data Lookup Snap-in for MS CRM 3.0

It appears that C360 and MSCRM-ADDONs.com 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, MSCRM-ADDONs.com provides an extra add-on called "AutoMerge", which works with MSCRM-ADDONs.com'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 douglas.leung@uniqueworld.net :)

Here's some useful links:
* MSCRM-ADDONS.com http://www.mscrm-addons.com/
* C360 http://www.C360.com/
* Microsoft Dynamics Snap-ins http://www.gotdotnet.com/codegallery/codegallery.aspx?id=b44f8ee7-4d2b-4e39-9bfb-1119fffbe018

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 @ http://www.uniqueworld.net. Alternatively, contact me on douglas.leung@uniqueworld.net.

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: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=740E1B3B-11C3-4AEF-B2E3-8309E0CF1BB0&displaylang=en

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!