Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer holidays...


This period of the year is usually very quiet. Its summer holiday season and usually nothing much happens...

Nevertheless you still have some time to write some columns, so you could read my new musing "So Boring: Here’s How to Move Past the Usual Objections to Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0" at msdynamicsworld.com.

Also working on some (other) new posts, so check my blog later :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

New link listing at right side

I got many requests of readers or visiters to add their blog to my listings. Today I created new listing item called "Friendly CRMonster Invited to Read".

If you have your blog about MS CRM or just started new blog about this topic, drop me a line and if I think its interesting I will add your blog.

Have fun bloggin!

Latest musing now on msdynamicsworld.com

Last Friday my latest column was published at www.msdynamicsworld.com.

It's about how to setup your winning MS CRM team.

Have fun reading!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Email from Custom Entity

A common issue in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the functionality to use "standard" email functionality, using the buttons in the interface.

Unfortunately this doesn't work for custom entities, only for standard entities. The process checks whether an email address is valid in the standard entities e.g. account, contacts etc.

One of the possible solutions is to make a shadow copy of your record in your custom entity to for example the entity contacts. If requirements need immediately use of email functionality, then you should use web services else you could use workflow. To prevent showing your shadow copies in default view of contacts you should also make new custom view and set this view as default.

These steps would create the basic functionality also you have to consider, what happens when the shadow copy is updated; this could also be realized with .NET or workflow functionality e.g. a scheduled service who synchronize these records.

Have fun extending :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

3 Tips for speed up your customization


One of the things I did learn and still are a great benefit is my typing skills. Guess you might remind the natural keyboard?

I really got addicted to this kind of keyboards and yes even connect it to my laptop :-)

My typing skills are very convenient for customizing especially the adding of new attributes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Keep in mind that you pay attention how CRM uses the name convention.


If you type in the name of your attribute it loses the spaces, special character etc. So choosing the right naming convention really saves time and less typing.

Next tip is use the 'save and new' button. This will save and close your attribute and yes opens new fresh window. Keep your mouse pointer above it and just one click is enough.

Last tip is use the <Tab> key in combinations with your arrow keys and <Enter> key to go through all the steps.

These three tips in combination with good typing skills will speed up your customazation. Check the image for illustrating ;)

Enjoy typing!

Managing your MS CRM Project

Yesterday I attended a workshop about ICT Project Management. The focus of the workshop was on four major PM methods. They demonstrated the different approach of each PM method and illustrated when it would be the right choice for your project.

The four PM methods that were discussed are: LAD, Prince II, Scrum and PMBok. I did know three of the four methods and the latest was totally new for me. In short the basics about these methods:

LAD, better known as Waterfall method
The waterfall model is a sequential software development model (a process for the creation of software) in which development is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of requirements analysis, design, implementation, testing (validation), integration, and maintenance.
source:http://en.wikipedia.org/

Prince II
PRINCE (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) was first developed by the CCTA, now part of the OGC, in 1989 as a UK Government standard[citation needed] for IT project management.



Initially developed only for the need of IT projects, the latest version, PRINCE2, is designed for all types of management projects. Figure 1 shows the processes involved in managing a PRINCE2 project and how they link with each other, creating the normal content of a PRINCE2 project.

source:http://en.wikipedia.org/

Scrum
Scrum is an iterative incremental process of software development commonly used with agile software development.

Although Scrum was intended to be for management of software development projects, it can be used in running software maintenance teams, or as a program management approach

source:http://en.wikipedia.org/

PMBok
The Project Management Institute (PMI) published the first Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide (PMBOK Guide) as a white paper in 1987 in an attempt to document and standardizes generally accepted project management information and practices.

The PMBOK Guide is an internationally recognized standard (IEEE Std 1490-2003) that provides the fundamentals of project management as they apply to a wide range of projects, including construction, software, engineering, automotive, etc.

The Guide is process-based, meaning it describes work as being accomplished by processes. This approach is consistent with other management standards such as ISO 9000 and the Software Engineering Institute's CMMI. Processes overlap and interact throughout a project or its various phases.

source:http://en.wikipedia.org/

In general we could say that for long formal project you should use Prince II or PMbok. For short and more informal project you should choose for Scrum.

In daily life we use combination of these project management methods, our choice depends on client, length of project and scale of your project team.

Any thoughts? Leave them in the comments.