Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

Implementation Guide, Style Guide, and what's new in Microsoft CRM 3.0

We updated the Microsoft CRM downloads & docs page on our website with two new Microsoft CRM 3.0 documents: the Implementation Guide and the User Interface Style Guide.

The Implementation Guide is hands down the best document you can read right now about Microsoft CRM 3.0. At 216 pages, it covers almost every aspect of installing and configuring the software. They also include a list of "What's New in Microsoft CRM 3.0":

Improved deployment

  • Setup checks the technical environment to ensure that appropriate settings and privileges are in place, prior to beginning setup
  • Easier deployment of Microsoft CRM client for Outlook
  • Streamlined deployment for Windows Small Business Server 2003
  • Support for moving from test and development environments to a production environment
  • New Microsoft Exchange integration architecture allows use of existing virus and spam filtering software, routing of user-to-user e-mail, and multiple Microsoft CRM systems within one Microsoft Exchange environment
  • Security information is stored within Microsoft CRM, rather than in Active Directory, simplifying setup and reporting, as well as improving system performance, scalability, and serviceability
  • Support for running Microsoft CRM in a high-availability environment, with increased diagnostic and maintenance functions, and ability to provide fault tolerance for each potential point of failure

    Improved management
  • Customization tools now available through one consistent Web interface
  • Enhanced support for VARs and ISVs
  • Support for customizing activities
  • Support for creating new objects
  • Enhanced functionality and extensibility in workflow
  • New secured database views to allow a variety of reporting tools
  • Enhanced form customization, including support for read-only fields, additional form events, and embedded web pages

    New feature: Service scheduling
  • Track availability of service resources such as staff, work schedules, and locations
  • Sophisticated scheduling engine manages booking of appointments, service availability, and can be tuned to optimize scheduling to reduce costs and required resources
  • Integrated with entire Microsoft CRM system so that customer history, demographics, and preferences can be considered as part of service scheduling, and service history can be used for data for sales and marketing processes

    New feature: Marketing automation
  • Plan, create and manage a marketing campaign, including return on investment evaluation
  • List management, including creation, import, and export
  • Connection with sales and service data
  • Campaign templates that are used to drive sales activities

    Easier to use reports
  • Improved reporting, including parameterized reports
  • Improved report customization, including the ability to modify reports in existing Microsoft CRM categories, create additional dynamic and static reports, schedule reports, and e-mail report results

    Easier to find information
  • Finding records is easier, including a more powerful quick find, and an easier to use and more powerful advanced find, including grouping and time-based queries, and the ability to save and reuse favorite queries
  • Providing a full view of a customer, such as viewing activities from within account and contact records, including new filters to show only needed information
  • Clearer view of the relationships between accounts, contacts and opportunities

    Easier to use
  • Merge duplicate accounts, contacts, and leads
  • Enhanced user interface, including a new notes interface and improvements to the knowledge base
  • When leads are converted to accounts, contacts or opportunities, associated activities and notes are included

    Easier to customize
  • Additional customization, including adding entities
  • Improved report customization, including ability to modify reports in existing Microsoft CRM categories, create additional dynamic and static reports, schedule reports, and e-mail report results

    The Microsoft CRM 3.0 User Interface Style Guide provides a ridiculous amount of detail about every nook and cranny of the new styles used in the next release. This includes color, spacing, fonts, etc. Here is a sample of the information contained in the Style Guide:

    Believe it or not, there are 28 pages of information in the style guide! Of course, this style guide is not targeted for end users but it does show off a lot of different areas of Microsoft CRM 3.0 if you want to see a little more...

    Again, you can download both the Implentation Guide and Style Guide off our website.