Microsoft CRM Integration & Customization: SharePoint Document Gateway

MS CRM is very close to document workflow automation, including Microsoft Office documents: Words, Excel, etc. The document workflow was perfectly automated about 10 years ago in Lotus Notes Domino. In this small article we describe the solution based on MS CRM integration with MS SharePoint.

Microsoft CRM is new player on CRM applications market and it is gaining its market share. Having different paradigm in its design (it stakes on Microsoft OS and technologies and completely disregards alternative platform, such as UNIX, Linux, Oracle, etc. based). Microsoft CRM market is very diversified: from small (5 users) to large (several hundred MS CRM User licenses) and it serves variety of industries: Transportation, Logistics, Lawyers, Pension Funds, High-Tech, and many others. Deploying technologies, like Windows Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange 2003/2000, SQL Server, Crystal Reports Enterprise, Biztalk, Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Great Plains and Navision in close future - makes CRM a beloved system for Microsoft oriented IT departments.

Let's go right to the topic.

Major issue with storing documents in MS CRM in the form of attachments to Activity is inability to work on these attached files in cooperation with other colleagues, who do not have to use CRM. When several service people serve requests from the same client this is required. Currently you can use alternative way when you store office documents in the folders of your file system and when modifying document, you save it and reattach to CRM. This is inconvenient, because first it requires all your editing users to have CRM licenses, which delays CRM implementation.

We seem increasing popularity of document storage systems, like Microsoft SharePoint, Oracle Files, etc. Such systems, being implemented gives you time savings, related to documents revisions and versioning, approval cycles and workflows, web access through web-portals systems and the like.

The target of our product is Microsoft SharePoint integration with MS CRM for document storage. Let's take a look at the high level technical realization details:

?Main modification from the MS CRM side is standard system behavior change when you open attachment in Activity. Standard unmodified CRM suggests you to store documents in the file system. Modified version sores document in SharePoint Document Library (the required library is subject for setup by MS CRM system administrator) or keep it in MS CRM as is (for documents of minor importance). From the moment of saving the document in SharePoint Document Library it is not stored in MS CRM ? CRM will now store only the link/reference to the document. Also you are given the ability to open and modify the document at the place of opening, which speeds up MS CRM user performance substantially.

?Table, storing the links to the documents sits in separate database and doesn't deal with MS CRM tables (you know that you are banned to do structure changes in MS CRM db)

?Document saving into MS SharePoint process occurs in MS CRM and with its assistance ? SharePoint bridge, which does addition and update for the existing document into destination Document Library with MS SharePoint Web Services calls

?Upon the addition into Document Library, MS CRM ? SharePoint bridge registers the document in the special table for the future data extraction or notification mechanism registration

?Then, interested users can work with the documents just using MS Office 2003 or other programs/editing tools, assuming these tools have access to MS SharePoint

?Feedback is provided by MS SharePoint Event Handler component. This is special handler, inspecting document change status, transferred from MS CRM to document storage (SharePoint), and report Activity owner on the changes with home page notifications (User home page in MS CRM). User in turn can review the history of the document editing - who, when and where is the change

?Opening Activity, where document is "attached", and in fact placed into MS SharePoint Document Library, and pressing opening button, MS CRM user gets live version of the data

?This approach allows you seamless work with MS CRM document in the whole informational space of your company

?Additional enhancements to this product might be document library management directly from MS CRM (web interface - meaning remotely), administrative interface for MS Sharepoint documents revision, ability to create reports on the document storage status, rights/access management (Author, Reader, Contributor etc) from MS CRM, portal pages integration into MS CRM to name a few.

Happy programming, implementation, customization and modification! If you want us to do the job ? call use 1-630-961-5918, 1-866-528-0577! help@albaspectrum.com

Boris Makushkin is Lead Software Developer in Alba Spectrum Technologies ? USA nationwide Oracle, Navision, Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, serving Chicago, California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Florida, New York, Canada, Australia, UK, Russia, Europe and internationally ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ), he is Oracle, Unix, Microsoft CRM SDK, Navision, C#, VB.Net, SQL developer.

In The News:


Yahoo Tech

General Motors: Don't Touch Your Car's Software
Yahoo Tech
The arrival of headlines such as, “GM says you don't own your car, you just license it,” is something we should've seen coming. It's a predictable result of how U.S. law governs software copyrights, but it has strange implications for car owners. Sorry ...

and more »

Software Glitch Pauses LightSail Test Mission
The Planetary Society (blog)
The Planetary Society's LightSail test mission is paused while engineers wait out a suspected software glitch that has silenced the solar sailing spacecraft. Following a successful start to the mission last Wednesday, LightSail spent more than two days ...

and more »

IPWatchdog.com

Is there a future for software patents in an age of software innovation?
IPWatchdog.com
Since the decision by the Supreme Court, Alice has been used to reject software patent claims as being patent ineligible by the Federal Circuit, numerous district courts, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and patent examiners at the United ...

and more »

Wall Street Journal (blog)

IBM's New Customer Service Software Can Feel Your Pain
Wall Street Journal (blog)
The U.S. tech giant's research lab in Haifa, Israel, is testing new software which it says can recognize the basic emotions of customers typing into a company's automated online chat services or even tweeting with a company representative. The software ...
International Business Machines Corp. Unveils Futuristic Customer Service ...Bidness ETC

all 10 news articles »

abc7news.com

Software glitch prompts Muni to suspend double stopping after trial run
abc7news.com
However, Muni officials realized that because of a software problem, some trains were not being announced until after they left the station, according to agency spokesman Paul Rose. "This is the first time we were able to see it in action in real time ...
Software flaw halts Muni Metro double berthingSFBay

all 4 news articles »

Forbes

What Is Un-Enterprisey Software Development?
Forbes
We spend a lot of time focusing on enterprise software application development, but could an un-enterprisey approach to rebel coding be worthwhile? Does real creativity stem from getting technically minded business users to play with so-called 'low ...

and more »

HR software maker Workday forecasts weak billings growth
Reuters
Shares of Workday, which makes software to manage employee performance, payroll and expense, fell 8.5 percent in extended trading. The company said it expected billings, a key indicator of the company's future sales, to be $290 million-$295 million in ...

and more »

VentureBeat

HP buys software-defined networking startup ConteXtream
VentureBeat
In 2013 the startup told Gigaom that it had deployed software for 40 million subscribers of an unnamed U.S. wireless service provider. Today's deal follows several acquisitions in the SDN space, including VMware's Nicira, Cisco's Embrane and Tail-f ...

and more »

Is paying a monthly fee for pro A/V software in your future?
ExtremeTech
Software as a service (SaaS) is nothing new. But what is new is the number of major professional software vendors that are going down this path. I know there are people who like the idea of SaaS. But beware, as all paths do not lead to the same ...


Yahoo Tech

Google's Software for Cars Finally Hits the Road, in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata
Yahoo Tech
If you already own a 2015 Sonata, don't panic. Later this summer Hyundai will make the Android Auto update available via download through the automaker's website. Once you download the software, you'll have to load it onto a USB drive and insert that ...
First car to offer Google's infotainment software revealedBoston.com
Hyundai introduces software syncing phones with navigation systemConsumerAffairs
Hyundai issues free software upgrade for 2015 Sonata, becomes first car maker ...9 to 5 Google
Hot Hardware -Network World -Mashable
all 117 news articles »
Google News

Microsoft CRM and No-Frills Cadillacs

In today's business world it's all but impossible to escape... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Integration with Legacy Systems ? Overview For Developer

Looks like Microsoft Great Plains becomes more and more popular,... Read More

Why Java RDBMS?

It is a well known fact that Java as a... Read More

Collaboration Software: Index of Collaboration Software Technologies

Collaboration SoftwareCollaboration Software, also known as group collaboration software or... Read More

How to Tell You Have Spyware, Ad-ware or Viruses

Usually, the easiest way to tell you have spyware is... Read More

Microsoft CRM USA Nationwide Remote Support

Remember old good days when your company probably had Great... Read More

The Bluebird Project

The objective for Zandi Digital is to make available clever... Read More

Protect Your Most Vital Business Asset with Security Software

Homeland security, airport security, Internet security ?" these days we??re... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Customization Tools Evolution ? Overview for Consultant

When Great Plains Software introduced the first graphical accounting application... Read More

Getting Patched with Windows Service Pack

Are you one of those people that keeps track of... Read More

Putting Screensavers Under Control

No matter how much you enjoy your favorite screensavers, sometimes... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains: Interest Calculation Example ? Stored Procedure for Crystal Report

This is intermediate level SQL scripting article for DB Administrator,... Read More

Microsoft CRM Integration with IBM Lotus Notes Domino ? Machinery Dealership Example

IBM Lotus Notes with Domino email server is traditional document... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Chemicals & Paint Industry Implementation & Customization Notes

Microsoft Great Plains fits to majority of industries, in the... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains: Manufacturing or Bill of Materials - Overview for IT Specialist

Microsoft Great Plains is main Microsoft Business Solutions product, targeted... Read More

Corporate ERP: Microsoft Great Plains For The Plant In Brazil ? Overview For CIO

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains as new ERP for multinational... Read More

Great Plains DOS Support ? Notes for Consultant

Great Plains Accounting, accounting package for mid-size and small companies... Read More

Does your Company have Documentum?

Are you lost in the mess of documents that get... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Implementation for Midsize & Large Corporation: Lockbox Processing

Microsoft Great Plains is now targeting large and midsize businesses... Read More

ERP for Large Corporation ? New Selling Strategy

Our opinion is based on our Microsoft Business Solutions Great... Read More

Choose your Java Wisely

Java has come along a long way. Many would agree... Read More

My Experience - Making a Vision into Reality

Disclaimer: All the thoughts expressed are my views only! Your... Read More

Anti-Virus Software

Anti-virus software is used to find, remove or fix files... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Multicurrency ? Overview For Implementation Consultant

When you first think about multicurrency ? you probably have... Read More

Programming Language Migration Path

While I was preparing some personal background information for a... Read More