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Geoff Ables's Articles

SharePoint 2010: What is in each version?

Like SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010 comes in three different versions.  However, the version names have changed and what is available in each version is different.  So if you’re moving from the SharePoint 2007 world to the SharePoint 2010 world, it can be a bit confusing (it has been for me).  The versions are:

  • SharePoint Foundation 2010: This is the version freely included with Windows Server and is comparable to Microsoft Windows SharePoint Server (WSS) 2007.  It includes many of the basics and may be all that a small business needs to get started with SharePoint.
  • SharePoint Server 2010 – Standard: This is the next level of SharePoint and includes important features such as Enterprise Search and My Sites (including the social media components) that most businesses will find important.  This is comparable to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007.
  • SharePoint Server 2010 – Enterprise: This adds more functionality to Standard including better business data connectivity (for connecting to CRM and accounting applications, for example), Excel Services (for showing Excel info in SharePoint – very nice functionality for allowing users to create their own enterprise dashboards), and a number of other advanced workflow management, Office integration and analytics tools.

Welcome to the Re-Launch of the Ask Dynamics CRM Blog

After merging and holding 5 events in 4 cities in the last 6 months, we have migrated and re-launched our blog!  Welcome to the new AskDynamicsCRM blog.  If you want more information about what content was migrated and what to expect in the coming months, read on.

Options for Data Migration and Integration

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 there are so many options for migrating, integrating and bulk updating data that it can be quite confusing. This entry presents many of the options and the appropriate time to use each.

Microsoft_CRM_Data_Migration_Integration

 [NOTE: This is a summary - read the full BLOG for more info]

Use Dynamics CRM Workflows to Improve Mobile Phone Call Activity

Dynamics_CRM_Mobile_Phone_Call_Activity Are you (or your users) ever away from the office and you need to quickly make phone calls, that you’ve planned in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, from your mobile phone? Do you find it painful to do this from your mobile device?

Wouldn’t you like to be able to just record a Phone Call Activity in CRM and have it put all the information you need (contact name, company name, phone numbers, etc) right into the task description so you can make the call with a single click?

This can be accomplished in CRM using Workflows. Read on to learn how.

Security Role Settings for Reassigning Activities and Cases

When your users contact you saying they cannot share a case or an activity with another user - the first thing to do is to check the basic security role settings for Cases, Appointments and related entities (such as Leads, Opportunities, Contacts - depending on what the Appointments are related to).  If those settings all appear to be correct (I won't try to document the correct settings here), then you should also check your Queue settings.

 

Yes, your queue settings.  On the Core Records tab.

Make sure that you have the security role set to read for the Organization.  See the image below.

Queue_Security_Role_Microsoft_CRM

You are probably asking, "Why the Queue entity?"  Activities and cases are both listed in your queues.  So if you haven't granted permission to read the Queue, then you can't assign your activities or cases to another person's queue. 

You may now be asking, "We don't use Queue's.  How can I get rid of the Queue item from the nav bar using Security Roles while still allowing users to reassign activities and cases?"  That's an easy one: You Can't.  But you can update the site map.

Personalized Menus in Microsoft CRM

Dynamics_CRM_Custom_MenuWe are frequently asked if each user - or even different business units - can have completely personalized menus in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.  With a little bit of work on the SiteMap XML file, you can give your users a lot of options for a menuing system that is tailored to their specific needs.

Fixing Duplicate Detection Pop Ups

Duplicate Detected Pop Up in Dynamics CRM 4 Duplicate Detection is a great feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. But it can also be a pain. Do your users complain that whenever they convert a lead, they get a duplicate record alert when trying to save the contact - and the alert continues to pop up on all future saves? Good news - there is a pretty simple fix for this problem.

Read on for more information on this issue and how to fix it.

Demo Dynamics CRM, SharePoint and Salesforce.com

Looking for a fast way to get a demonstration of Dynamics CRM, Microsoft SharePoint or Salesforce.com?  A new site: demos.c5insight.com has been setup for just this purpose.  You'll find a variety of demos on the site for different types of users including:

AllThingsCRM.com

There's a great online resource out there for those who are interested in getting more out of Salesforce.com (and out of CRM in general).  What I like about it is that it focuses on generalized CRM principles - not just technical "how to" articles for a specific CRM technology.  Read more for some quick recommended articles...

Microsoft CRM on Your iPhone, Blackberry or Windows Mobile

Microsoft_CRM_Mobile_Express_iphone_blackberry

Dynamics CRM 4.0 Mobile Express Review

I love the recently released Mobile Express for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.  It has been a long time in coming, but the wait has been worth it.  Read on for the best features ...

What is all the Chatter about?

In short, Chatter is a social networking application that is built into Salesforce.com.  It is structured to be an "internal social networking" application but can also be easily linked to public facing social networking sites.  Some of the highlights: It can work very similarly to Facebook.com - you can post comments to the site and others in the organization can view the comments that their friends post. Visually, it looks similar to a Facebook page. Individuals can add ...

Copying a Microsoft CRM Workflow

Oftentimes, you will want to copy an existing Microsoft CRM workflow.  You might want to create a similar workflow with a few minor changes.  Or, you might have a workflow that is "in production" and you need to make some changes to it - but you don't want the current workflow to be unavailable while you're making changes.  But CRM doesn't provide a way to copy a workflow - this entry explains a quick and simple way to copy a workflow in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.

[Read the full entry for the "how to"]

Removing a Single Picklist Item

I've seen lots of tools and BLOGs about how to manage dynamic picklists.  But after much searching, I could not find anything about removing just a single item from a picklist on a Microsoft CRM 4.0 form using JavaScript.

Read the full entry for the "how to"

Workflows Failing: "The text entered exceeds the maximum length"

We implemented a workflow that was frequently failing with a message stating "the text entered exceeds the maximum length."  Fortunately, the fix was fairly easy.

[Read the full entry for more information]

Accout to Lead

 We seem to regulary run into clients who like the idea of converting a Lead into an Account, Contact and Opportunity - but they would also like to be able to convert backwards into a Lead again. 

Why?  Well, maybe someone in the Lead Management group qualified the lead, but when they passed it along to Sales, they could not longer get in touch with the lead.  The options are: (1) make Sales work it until they can get back in touch, (2) train Lead Management to work with Accounts, Contacts and Opportunties, (3) forget about it (which most of them do), or (4) re-create the entire record as a Lead again.

Account_to_lead_Microsoft_CRM

 But now there is another alternative (read the full story for the rest)...

Review: AddressGrabber and Card Scan for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Users of CRM tools are consistently asking for the same thing: “Make me more efficient in managing my sales, marketing or customer service responsibilities.” Tools like card scanners, than can quickly scan a business card into CRM, or “parsers” that can grab a name and address from an email or website and instantly transfer it into CRM are great examples of efficiency boosting applications.

But do they live up to their promise?

 

I recently purchased two tools to take care of these tasks. Let’s walk through each of them in turn.

Setting Read Only Colors with JavaScript

Using JavaScript/Jscript to dynamically set a field to disabled or read only can come in handy.  But when you make this change, the colors of the field don't match the standard read only field colors that CRM sets when you manually set the read only attribute.  This post describes how to set a field to read only in javascript AND make the colors consistent with other read only fields on your forms.

Quoting and CRM

We've had to do research into quoting tools for a number of clients and prospects recently.  Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a single site that has done a good job of listing out the options for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 when it comes to tools that assist with quoting, bundling, kitting and/or configurating.  Here are some quick results from our research that I hope you will find helpful.

CRM Solution Accelerators Coming Soon

At the Worldwide Partner Conference (WWPC) in Houston last week, Microsoft announced the rollout of a bunch of Solution Accelerators for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.  These will be great tools to significantly improve CRM functionality. Best of all, the accelerators are "free" (see caveaut below).

(read the entire posting for more information)

Web to Lead with Microsoft CRM

Web to lead: Creating a new lead record based on a web form automatically in Microsoft Dynamics CRM On Premise.  Complete code for web2lead is included in this entry.

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SharePoint Upgrade Checklist

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