Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scribe Insight announces adapter CRM 4.0

This morning received the newsletter of Scribe Insight where they announce the release of Scribe Adapter for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Quote from Newsletter Q3 07:

"... Scribe will be releasing our Scribe Adapter for Dynamics CRM 4.0 within 2 weeks of the Microsoft RC of "Titan", also known as Dynamics CRM 4.0. This adapter will support both customer-deployed Dynamics CRM and CRM Live. ..."

Also Scribe Insight is renewed since October 1st now version 6.2. The lastest version for the crm adapter is now 3.5.

More details at the Scribe Insight website.

Friendlycrmonster goes .com

To make it more easier for my readers and also for myself of course :-) My blog will be now (depends on update of dns servers) also available via my own domain: www.friendlycrmonster.com

And of course the old url (friendlycrmonster.blogspot.com) will redirect you to new domain.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Preview: c360 Core Productivity Pack for Titan

Just arrived in the email today, the preview of c360 Core Productivity Pack for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. I heard that all partners and ISV's were very busy to make their products compatible with the new version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.

So guess c360 almost finished their work, of course very interesting because the first RC should come soon.

More details about the preview at: www.c360.com/CRM4.aspx.

Convergence Copenhagen 2007

Last week I attended the Convergence in Copenhagen (Denmark). This was for me the first time to attend a Convergence. In the past I attended several times the Microsoft DevDays in the Netherlands, so the experience wasn’t really that new for me.

Guess most of you know how it works, the mornings start with keynote session and later followed by other usually 1 hour session about different topics concerning the Microsoft Dynamics stack. Other topics also included Office 2007 and MOSS 2007, which are of course the products we are using already or will be using soon.

Microsoft & Partners
And yes there was more also Microsoft was represented with country lounges and in the (third) partner area all kind of partners were represented like Qurious, Columbus IT, Annata, Avanade and Mondo.

For my interest, yes Microsoft CRM, some interesting partners/exhibitors were Scribe Insight, C360, Mondo, Brimstone, CWR Mobility and SalesCentric.

What is hot?
No Copenhagen was definitely not hot, guess more cold or chilly :-) Nevertheless I think one of the hottest add-ons for Microsoft Dynamics CRM was the “Relationships Charts” of SalesCentric



This add-on visualizes the relationships within Microsoft Dynamics CRM and think the tool we were waiting for, because I can’t remember one customer who didn’t ask for this feature. So check out the add-on at: www.salescentric.com

Integration within Dynamics stack
Of course I like to write about integration and migration, because I find it very interesting. Two companies launch adapters for integration between two Dynamics products CRM and NAV. I know a little about NAV and wondered many times when there would be the possibility to integrate CRM and ERP in the Microsoft Dynamics stack in easier way.

The first company is Scribe Insight and the other is VisionPeople both released their adapter to integrate CRM and NAV.

Business Intelligence
Also in the field of Business Intelligence new add-ons were launched/ presented on the Convergence C360 promoted their recently released “BI Analytics for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0” a very nice easy to use tool for getting your analytics out of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.



An new arrival for me on the market was BI4Dynamics from Slovenia company NPS, they also had an out of the box BI Solution, which could be up and running within 1 hour. More details at their website www.bi4dynamics.com/



Verticals
Every company like to specialize in their own field and some do develop their own vertical. One of the nicest I saw was from the company Brimestone. They have two verticals for Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences and nice detail that the were the winner of the Innovation Award 2007 for Sales and Marketing.



And more is…
It was very busy time at the Convergence visited many sessions and met a lot of people and I think next time you should attend it yourself. Coming week I will write some more about the Convergence.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 – Connector for SQL Reporting Services

Many new things about the new version popup every moment, so you could have already read about very nice new and improved functionality like:

Introduction of Workflow foundation
The previous workflow engine has been replaced by workflow foundation and is now integrated in the GUI of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It offers now smoother user interface and lots more functionality.

>>See for more details the post about workflows at Menno’s blog.

Relationships
One of the major annoyances in the current version was the many-to-many relationship. The workaround was to introduce an new entity between two entities you wanted to have the many-to-many relationship.
The new version delivers better solutions like: Multiple Relationships Between Entities, Many-to-Many System-System, System-Custom & Custom-Custom and Self-Referential.

>>See for more details the post about relationships at Simon Hutson’s blog.

Duplicate Detection
How many times did we not spend hours and hours to solve issues concerning duplicates, cleans imported data, try to prevent duplicates in your system. The new version delivers better and enhanced features to help you keep your data integrity.

>> More details about it at blog of Philip Richardson

Connector for SQL Reporting Services
If you are also involved in technical roll-out or installation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM one of the most irritating errors you could have is with reporting, the unauthorized error. Many times I was busy with all kb articles about Kerberos protocol, tweaks in registries, the document about SRS etc. This nightmare is of course generally known as “double hop authentication”.

In the new version this will be placed in the past for always, yes finally! The new version comes with an connector for SQL Reporting Services, which solved this issue. And I think, this change would be one of the most appreciated for people installing the software itself and saves us many grey hairs and headaches :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Biztalk Server 2006 vs Scribe Insight (1)

A few years I ago I visited the Microsoft DevDays in The Hague (Netherlands, where I attended one of the session after the lunch break. This session was about the new release of Biztalk server, I am not sure but thought it was about 2002 version. At that time it was not in my scope as web developer, but now this software comes back into focus for data migration or integration with Microsoft CRM.

Book
I finished the book of Daniel Woolston (see previous post) and this gives me an idea and hopefully the basics knowledge of Biztalk server :-) Really looking forward to actually use this software in one of my projects and seems that I will this month. I probably regret what I am saying then, because software is of course never perfect.

Costs
As I wrote in my previous postings we usually choose for third party tool Scribe Insight, because it makes quick roll outs possible and its license is cheaper then Biztalk server.

Last Augustus Scribe Insight has raised the prices for their products for first time since 5 year. Still compared to license prices of Biztalk Server this is a lot cheaper. The prices depend on your contract with Microsoft.

Similar
There are of course similarities between Biztalk & Scribe Insight both:
  • integrate with web services of MS CRM
  • integrates with different protocols like: msmq, xml, flat files
  • both (can) use MS SQL Server database
  • data manipulation
  • data validation
  • workflows
  • can be installed on dedicated server

    Differences
    And yes there are some differences too :-)
  • Biztalk development with Visual Studio / Scribe Insight development with own GUI
  • Biztalk converts input always to xml / Scribe Insight doesn’t convert inputs
  • Biztalk have very good documentation / Scribe Insight minimum

    So for now only a high level overview, I try to go more in dept in my next post about Biztalk vs Scribe Insight. At the moment, I am setting up my playground, where I can test Biztalk against MS Dynamics CRM.

    And yes, more is coming…
  • Tuesday, October 2, 2007

    Postings about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

    The information about the newest release of MS Dynamics CRM will start, as you probably read already on a few blogs the NDA ended on October 1st. This will open the possibilities about writing about the newest version and its newest features, which people testing on early version seen already in action.

    Of course, one of the nice feature is multi tenancy, explained by Menno at his post today, see Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 - Multi tenancy.

    I also start to publish or comment on the newest version in my next posts.

    Update - Check the nice posts at: Simon Hutson's blog