No-Code Configurations for Dynamics CRM – Part 2

This is the second article on how you can configure Dynamics CRM without writing code. In Part 1, I described the configuration options with System and Custom entities, as well as explaining how to use Business Rules. In this article, I will describe how you can configure Dynamics CRM using Workflows and Dialog, Business Process Flows, and Dashboards/Reports.

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No-Code Configurations for Dynamics CRM – Part 1

Microsoft has architected the Dynamics CRM platform to allow administrators to customize the environment to fit business needs, without requiring complex coding skills of a developer. This no-code configuration option is very powerful and allows the CRM environment to be built with a large portion of custom functionality before having to rely on custom scripting or coding practices.

This is the first article (of two) where I am going to detail out the different areas of no-code configurations, to give you an idea of what you can do with this type of customization in Dynamics CRM. Keep in mind that this list is not all-inclusive; I am only covering the larger areas of no-code configurations. I will be covering System and Custom Entities, along with Business Rules in this first part. Part 2 will cover Workflows and Dialogs, Business Process Flows, and Dashboards/Reports.

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Customization Options for Dynamics CRM

This is the first post in a multi-part series on how to create customizations in Dynamics CRM. If you’ve ever used Dynamics CRM, you quickly learn that while it’s got a lot of features and functionality out-of-the-box, the system really needs to be customized to your specific environment to fully meet your business needs.

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Creating an Audit Report for User Logins in Dynamics CRM

If you’ve ever tried to create an audit report for Dynamics CRM, you may have noticed that you can’t create one with the Report Wizard. The Audit Summary Report in the Settings area gives you some information, provided you enable auditing for the correct entities. However, if you need detailed information on your report, or you wish to share this report to others in CRM, you quickly realize that your options are limited.

Fortunately, there is another option that you can take to overcome these challenges. This option involves writing a custom SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) report that can be uploaded into CRM and shared with others to provide auditing information. I will describe how I created a report to provide detailed login information for CRM users. This article assumes the reader understands how to create a custom SSRS report for Dynamics CRM.

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Using SSIS to Import Data into Dynamics CRM

I am constantly being asked to import data into Dynamics CRM from various sources, and over time I have discovered that, even though the sources of data that I am importing vary, the process of performing the import is similar. Which tool I choose to use depends heavily on the source of the data, along with the format it comes in, and whether or not any manipulation needs to be performed prior to the actual import.

Even though 3rd party tools like Scribe < > are great for doing these data imports, sometimes it isn’t the best fit for a client. There are times when SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) are a better choice, and I will describe the steps to create an SSIS package to import data into Dynamics CRM. Using the out-of-the-box data import feature in Dynamics CRM is another option, but I would like to focus on the SSIS package in this article.

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PowerView Reports in Dynamics CRM 2013

Dynamics CRM does a really good job of hosting and tracking a company’s critical business data, and the PowerBI technology stack does a great job of modeling and displaying business data to end users. While Dynamics CRM does a decent job of providing dashboards to surface this business data, I thought “wouldn’t it be great if CRM users had native access to PowerView reports while using Dynamics CRM”? Well, it turns out that with a little configuration you can provide these types of reports right in Dynamics CRM! Let me explain the process I took to do this:

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Use Rights (IUR) Program Changes

If you work for a Microsoft Partner and use Dynamics CRM or CRM Online, the current Internal Use Rights (IUR) program is changing. I recently spent some time planning for these changes in my organization, and I’d like to details these experiences so other partners can save some time and headache moving to the new IUR program.

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Integrating Yammer into Dynamics CRM 2013

Social selling is becoming more important these days, as companies are looking to find creative ways to generate more opportunities. Microsoft provides support for this in the Dynamics CRM space by providing integration with Yammer and CRM 2013. I’m going to show you how easy it is to setup Yammer to work with Dynamics CRM 2013, so your sales force can begin using its social features.

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SharePoint 2010 Web Parts and CRM 2011

Recently I was asked to create a web part in SharePoint 2010 that would allow users to create and update entities in CRM 2011. There were some interesting challenges to overcome, so I thought I’d detail the process I went through, so others could benefit from my experience.

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