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Bandwidth/governance limits in CRM Online?

One of our prospects asked the other day if Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online enforces a bandwidth/governance limit on calls through the API (apparently they had this problem with Salesforce.com). I did some research and ask the appropriate Microsoft people this question. They pointed me to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Terms of Service which states there is no currently no limit (but Microsoft reserves the right to implement one):

10. Limits on Service

Microsoft may establish limits on the Service. For example, we may limit

· the number of days the service will retain any content that Microsoft, you or other users may post or provide,

· the number and size of e-mail messages that you may send or receive through the Service,

· the maximum storage space on Microsoft’s servers available to you,

· the number of users on your account or any associated accounts,

· the number of Service accounts to which you may subscribe,

· how long we retain an inactive Service account, which we define as one where you do not sign in to the Service for an extended period of time, and

· the number of transactions you can conduct through the service.

· the number of asynchronous transactions that can be executed with an organization

If you exceed the published Service storage limits, Microsoft may give you the right to delete data until the storage limit is met. If you exceed the published Service limits, Microsoft reserves the right to cancel your service.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Step by Step books in print

On Friday, I received my author copies of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Step by Step book! It's great to see the finished product in print, and I expect the book will be available at retail locations like Amazon.com shortly. If decide to purchase the book, I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions with us for new revisions of the book.

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Duplicate birthdays in CRM 3.0? We can help

I was speaking with one of our customers today, and he explained a problem they have with their current Microsoft CRM 3.0 system where the Outlook client is mistakenly creating duplicate birthdays for contacts. I did a quick search in the Microsoft Knowledgebase and found this article (below) which describes the problem. It turns out this is a known issue with Outlook 2003 and CRM 3.0, but fortunately the customer is about to upgrade to Outlook 2007 which does not have this problem!

A duplicate birthday reminder may appear in the Outlook 2003 calendar after the Microsoft CRM contact that includes the birthday date is changed and synchronized

Article ID:911908

Revision:3.0

SYMPTOMS

A duplicate birthday reminder may appear in the Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 calendar after the Microsoft CRM contact that includes the birthday date is changed and synchronized.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. This problem was corrected in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.

MORE INFORMATION

Steps to reproduce the problem

1.In Microsoft CRM, create a contact that includes a birthday date.

2. Go offline. The contact is synchronized with the Outlook 2003 contacts. After the synchronization has been completed, a birthday reminder appears in your calendar.

3. Change the contact, and then go online.

4.Go offline. The contact is synchronized with the Outlook 2003 contacts.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Step by Step almost in print!

Just received this note from our Microsoft Press editor regarding our Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Step by Step book:

"I wanted to thank you and say congratulations—the books have left the printer and should be in stores soon."

We posted the chapter and page count breakdown a few weeks ago if you're interested.

New updates to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

This morning Microsoft announced some updates to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Among the highlights:

  • Internet Marketing integration through Microsoft AdCenter
  • Link to search for Microsoft partners right in the user interface (via PinPoint)
  • Increased scale support (can support thousands of users per deployment)

Below are some screenshots that show the new functionality. Unfortunately this functionality is currently only available for CRM Online customers, therefore on-premise customers cannot take advantage of this.

Access Internet Marketing link in the Business Management Settings

InternetMarketing1

AdCenter integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

InternetMarketing2

Create and setup ads

InternetMarketing7

Now when you setup campaigns, you can select "Internet Marketing" as a campaign type.

CampaignType 

Once you setup an Internet Marketing campaign, the integration automatically captures Internet Leads and allows you to configure your landing pages.

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Microsoft India investing in CRM

There was a recent interview with Tony Scott, the CIO of Microsoft India, and he mentioned something interesting about Microsoft CRM. Many of our competitors like to point that not every division of Microsoft runs Microsoft Dynamics CRM...yet. This article caught my eye because he specifically called out that they are "making a big bet" on Dynamics CRM!

"What are you betting on next?
Our next big bets are on Microsoft CRM solution broadly across the company. We are developing a platform for Microsoft as well as our customer base. So there is a big initiative around that as well as in data warehousing and Business Intelligence."

You can read the entire interview here.

Adding color indicators to an entity record

Yesterday, I mentioned a demo that I was preparing for a prospect. Another one of their stated requirements was:

If we wanted to flag a field could that record be in red? Such as customers past due and etc?

This was an easy demo request to accommodate, because I know that we included a nearly identical sample in our upcoming Programming Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 book! The book example actually adds a color indicator on an opportunity record that updates depending on its rating (hot, warm, cold) so I tweaked book's example code for the prospect. I added two custom attributes to the account entity:

  • Notification (nvarchar)
  • Payment Status (picklist)

Then I added this code to the form onLoad event for the account record, and to the onChange event for the payment status field.

UpdateDisplayBar();
 
function UpdateDisplayBar()
{
  var notificationDisplay = document.getElementById("new_notification_d");
  var displayColor = "#EAF3FF";
 
  switch (crmForm.all.new_paymentstatus.DataValue)
  {
    case "1":
      displayColor = "green";
      break;
    case "2":
      displayColor = "red";
      break;
  }
 
  var displayBar = "<div style='background=" + displayColor + "'>&nbsp;</div>";
  notificationDisplay.innerHTML = displayBar;
}
 

Now when you open an account record and update its payment status field, you'll see a color indicator on the first tab (next to the Payment Status field). Green indicates they are "OK", and red indicates "Overdue". No color indicates that neither value has been selected. This is a sample example, but it gives a flavor of what's possible within the user interface!

green

red

SWOT Analysis in Microsoft CRM

In preparation for a customer demo tomorrow, I was reviewing their list of questions/requirements. One of their requirements was:

"Does Microsoft CRM have a Competitor/SWOT analysis function? If not, how would we set one up?"

Of course, you can track competitors in Microsoft CRM but I wasn't sure if there was an out-of-the-box SWOT analysis. I opened the competitor record, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the competitor entity includes the SWOT fields (on the second tab). Since this was obviously important to the prospect, I decided to move these fields up to the first tab. Voila!

SWOT