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!

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 ( ), he is Oracle, Unix, Microsoft CRM SDK, Navision, C#, VB.Net, SQL developer.

In The News:

Syracuse councilors: No money for software until our computers are back on
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse city council today tabled a request to pay $125,000 toward new software because some councilors are angry that their own access to city computers has been shut off. The councilors, who lost computer access July 1 after ...

From Mainframe to the Cloud: The History of ERP Software
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is one of the oldest software categories out there. In fact, if you trace its lineage back to the original MRP specs outlined by APICS, ERP software dates back more than fifty years. As a result, ERP software ...


Tableau Software posts $150M in Q2 revenue, shares slump as growth rate slows
Tableau Software today reported $149.9 million in revenue, a 65 percent increase over the same period last year as the company added 3,000 new customers. That beat analysts expectations of $141 million, but it was a slower growth rate than the first ...
Tableau Software (DATA) Tops Q2 EPS by 3c, Revenue
Tableau Software Inc. (DATA) Is Sinking After Q2 ReportNasdaq
Tableau Software (DATA) Earnings Report: Q2 2015 Conference Call
Benzinga -Motley Fool -Dakota Financial News
all 37 news articles »

Roll Call

The Software That Draws the Political Landscape
Roll Call
The original plan was just to sell the company's generic mapping software until the company realized “serious redistricters” needed more. Among the earliest customers were the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who wanted to use ...

and more »


US likely to scale back planned limits on intrusion-software exports
SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Department of Commerce said on Wednesday it will revise regulations intended to restrict the export of software that can used to break into computers and smart phones. An initial draft of the regulations, published in May ...
US likely to scale back limits on sale of intrusion softwareEJ Insight

all 7 news articles »

New York Times

Meet Windows 10, a Throwback With Upgrades in Software and Security
New York Times
WINDOWS 10, the next version of Microsoft's operating system, which arrived Wednesday, will have a familiar look and feel to the more than one billion people who have touched a Windows computer in the last two decades. That is a stark change from the ...
Windows 10 is for suckersComputerworld
Microsoft Releases Windows 10 OS Update; How to Download Software on PC via ...International Business Times, India Edition
The worst part of Windows 10 is the softwareBusiness Insider
Irish Independent -Wall Street Journal -HEXUS
all 2,946 news articles »

Software company sends letters to people impacted by security breach
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) It's been more than a month since a Fort Wayne medical software company was hacked, and now some Terre Haute residents are receiving letters in the mail. The letters are from Medical Informatics Engineering, which creates ...

and more »


Fujitsu develops technology to visualize the energy required to execute software
Fujitsu Laboratories today announced that it has developed technology that precisely calculates the energy required to execute various software programs running on server CPUs, for energy-efficient programming. Servers equipped with Intel-made CPUs ...

and more »

Ex-software engineer gets 2 years prison for insider trading
Washington Times
NEW YORK (AP) - A former software engineer at a prominent California law firm was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison for insider trading by a judge who noted that he should have realized the dangers of what he was doing when one of his firm's ...

and more »

Business Insider

Education software company Blackboard is looking to sell for $3 billion
Business Insider
(Reuters) - Blackboard, a U.S. software company that provides learning tools for high school and university classrooms, is exploring a sale that it hopes could value it at as much as $3 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

and more »
Google News

Microsoft Great Plains Distribution, Barcoding, Consignment ? overview for consultant

Microsoft Great Plains ? ERM from Microsoft Business Solutions and... Read More

SSH (SCP) Send Files from Windows to Your Linux Box

Not all of us have the luxury of working both... Read More

Business Plan Software Review: Ultimate Business Planner?

One of the main reasons business owners and entrepreneurs use... Read More

Demand More From Your Lead Tracking Software

An integral part of any quality CRM system is lead... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains international implementation ? USA / Mexico ? overview for consultant

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains was purchased from Great Plains... Read More

Microsoft eCommerce Web-development: Great Plains eConnect .Net ? Highlights for Programmer

In our small article we'll consider Microsoft Business Solutions Great... Read More

Daffodil DB: Web Database

What is a Web Database?A web database is a database... Read More

A Case Study on Selecting Contract Management Software

Professional services firm cuts costs and improves productivity with integrated... Read More

Software For Your Hard-Drive

All your software is stored on a hard-drive. But how... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains: Government & Non-Profit Organization ? Workflow Implementation

Usually workflow & messaging is realized in CRM and then... Read More

CRM and Customer Life Cycle

Customer Relationship Management or CRM is a combination of enterprise... Read More

Microsoft CRM and Great Plains Implementation: Freight Forwarding Business Automation Example

Microsoft Business Solutions offers several ERP applications: Great Plains, Navision,... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Data Conversion ? Overview For Developer

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

Groupware and Online Collaboration: Collaboration Series #4

This article is the fourth of a series of articles... Read More

How a Bug Challenges to a Software Professional

It is really interesting that a bug can create problem... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains SOP: Sales Order Processing

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains is marketed for mid-size companies... Read More

Tools for Customizing Great Plains

Microsoft Business Solutions ? Great Plains has captured the US... Read More

ERP Implementation: Success Factors

As seeing large number of implementations ? in our case... Read More

The Hidden Power of Online Manual

Writing software manuals is boring, isn't it? We often think:... Read More

How to Upgrade Dexterity Customization ? Tips for IT Manager

If you have Microsoft Great Plains and support it... Read More

It?s Back!! WordPerfect?s Amazing Comeback

Have you noticed WordPerfect is gearing up for a comeback... Read More

Implementing Microsoft CRM: setup and configuration ? notes for IT specialist

Microsoft Business Solutions CRM is web-based CRM application, deploying all... Read More

Microsoft RMS Customization ? PO Items Receiving in Great Plains

Microsoft Retail Management (RMS) and Microsoft Great Plains are retail... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Integration with Legacy Systems ? Overview For Developer

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

SQL Administrator Skills Required to Support Microsoft Great Plains

Microsoft Great Plains is becoming more and more popular and... Read More