Integration Options available with Dynamics CRM


All businesses today are focusing more on customer and front office to be able to provide higher value-added services and support to them. The reason for doing so is obvious it helps them maximize their ROI, lead to greater customer satisfaction, ensures higher revenue leading to healthy bottom line.


 


And for doing these businesses need effective CRM. There are various factors which influence effectiveness of CRM, and one of the factors is to have a CRM system which unifies your people, systems and processes thus leading to higher productivity for users, profitable relationships with customers and maximum impact on business values.


 


As CRM becomes more strategic, it must encompass more functional areas within enterprise. That means CRM must integrate with an even larger number of systems. And businesses must interoperate seamlessly with diverse in-place systems so then can leverage the substantial investments they have made in those systems.


 


Here I will discuss integration solutions provided with Dynamics CRM to integrate it with other business applications.


 


Integration needs


But before going into it lets first examine the need businesses have for integration.


 


Businesses use ERP system like Dynamics Great Plains for managing receivables, inventory and finance along with other functionalities. And they implement Dynamics CRM to manage relationship with customers, cross-sales and up-sales. With this kind of deployment they need integration between Dynamics CRM and ERP system like Dynamics Great Plains for following purpose: 



  1. Information availability: Retrieve information from Dynamics Great Plains in real time and display it in Dynamics CRM. For example let’s say a sales representative (CRM user) receives a call from customer enquiring about availability of a specific product in a warehouse near one of his office. This information is maintained in Great Plains, so sales representative will need some option in Dynamics CRM to retrieve this information from Dynamics Great Plains in real-time.
  2. Data consistency:  Businesses who invest in ERP like Dynamics Great Plains and Dynamics CRM like to ensure consistency of data in this business applications. And it means doing following:

    1. Data Standardization:  Both CRM and Great Plains allows inventory management, but with this kind of deployment businesses will like to master on Great Plains item so that for every change in product catalogue in back office CRM is updated. But no changes are allowed in CRM.  This implies that CRM user is not able to create/update/delete any product or price, while Great Plains user is able to do so.
    2. Process Standardization:  Pricing Engine of CRM and Great Plains are different and this results in different order value.  Businesses like to standardize on Great Plains pricing engine since they maintain tax and other information in Great Plains. Also back office system provides more flexibility in maintaining price levels. This implies at runtime when CRM user creates Sales Order, Dynamics Great Plains pricing engine is used at real time to compute CRM Order value.

  3. Business Process collaboration:  Businesses want collaboration between 2 separate business applications. Let’s say for each sales order in Dynamics CRM you wish to create manufacturing request in your SAP system.

 


As announced in Convergence’2006 (refer http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/mar06/03-27Convergence2006CRMPR.mspx) for each of above need Dynamics CRM will have solutions. Following integration solutions will be available with Dynamics CRM:


 



  1. Web services and post-callout
  2. Real-Time Integration Framework
  3. BizTalk Server 2006 Adapter for Dynamics CRM

 


 


Web Services and post-callout


 


Dynamics CRM provides rich SDK allowing doing server and client side programming. Using its server side programming developers can write integration modules. Using its client programming developers can integrate Dynamics CRM with custom web pages.


For more details please refer http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/?url=/library/en-us/CrmSdk3_0/htm/v3d0microsoftcrmv3d0sdk.asp?frame=true


 


Real-Time Integration Framework (RTIF)


 


RTIF is a framework to integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM with other Microsoft Dynamics ERP’s (Dynamics GP, Dynamics Ax, and Dynamics Nav). Out-of-box (OOB) it ensures Information availability and Data consistency between two business applications. It supports both synchronous and asynchronous communication between business applications. Using it in real-time CRM user can retrieve Dynamics GP information like item availability at a warehouse and display it in Dynamics CRM (refer Integration need “Information availability”).


 


RTIF manages links between corresponding records of integrated applications thus ensuring data consistency. User can configure flows between applications. They can make it unidirectional (master record in an application) or bi-directional. This can be done at runtime without affecting its functioning, since it is meta-data driven.


 


It provides tools using which you can deploy any customization into Integration without affecting runtime functioning. You can customize integration maps or transformation logic.


 


For product details please refer http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/crm/product/gpintegration.mspx


 


Watch http://blogs.msdn.com/microsoftcrmconnectors/ for more details on its features.


 


BizTalk Server 2006 adapter for Dynamics CRM



 


Using BizTalk Server 2006 Adapter for Dynamics CRM you will be able to integrate any kind of integration between business applications but we recommend it for ensuring business process collaboration between business applications. So using it you will be able to integrate your ERP like SAP with Dynamics CRM. It will be taking more dev cost to write own code for doing link management if you choose this solution for integration ensuring data consistency. You can use it if you want B2B or EAI integration between Dynamics CRM and your non-Microsoft ERP.


 


More details on it will be available on release. So watch this space for it.


 


 


Summary








Following table summarizes your integration needs and integration options (recommendation) available with Dynamics CRM.


 

























 












  Integration   Options


Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web Services and Callouts


Microsoft BizTalk Adapter for Microsoft Dynamics CRM


Real Time Integration Framework (RTIF)


Data Consistency


 


 


           ü


Information Retrieval


          ü


 


           ü*


Process Integration


 


            ü


 


*For applications supported by RTIF only


Subodh Kumar

Comments (19)

  1. Hi this is great.  I just have a Problem.  I am in Latin America and there is no GP and CRM integration in Spanish, and thir product are very expensive for SBE clients.  There is going to be any Microsoft Integration for other languages?

  2. User says:

    Documentation should be your highest priority at this point.

    The client-side programming documentation is very, very bad. For example, there is a JS file:

    C:Program FilesMicrosoft CRMCRMWeb_controlsattachmentattachment.js

    I want to attach a file programmatically, from the client, to a record. This can certainly be done, because CRM ships with a feature that does just that. But I want it to get the file from a document management solution, so I have to write my own. There is no documentation on this.

    On line 84 of attachment.js, we see the following line, in the attach() function:

    var command = new RemoteCommand("Annotation", "SaveWithAttachment");

    "RemoteCommand" and "SaveWithAttachment" appear nowhere in the SDK documentation (or at least no place where HTML Help search feature can find them). Google can’t find "SaveWithAttachment" on msdn.microsoft.com. Google can find "RemoteCommand" there, but it’s nothing to do with CRM; there are other products which happen to use that identifier for other things.

    There is not a single comment in attachment.js.

    There is C:Program FilesMicrosoft CRMCRMWeb_controlsRemoteCommandsRemoteCommand.js

    This file also has no comments.

    The client-side programming documentation has very little to say about client-side programming. What little it does say is vague, terse, and clearly incomplete. The example code is all in C#. IE does not support C#.

  3. Steve Carter says:

    Does Microsoft Project work with MS CRM v3.0?

  4. Aaron says:

    So great of MS to provide an interface to THEIR other products. So if I have to use one product outside of the family then the rest of it is shot down the drain. When will MS learn that being open can help their business. We’d buy some of the products if they’d work with our other non-MS products.

  5. Alex Vipov says:

    The e360crm (http://www.e360crm.com) just released new product for MS CRM Dynamics 3.0 : Microsoft Dynamics CRM Cisco IPCC Enterprise Connector. This application enables small and medium-sized businesses or empowered branch offices to fully tap the potential of both Microsoft and Cisco to provide a complete CRM solution. Its advanced feature set includes:

    – Legacy interface

    – Screen pop on incoming call

    – Screen pop from click to dial calls

    – Click to dial

    – Tracking time duration

    – Easily create a new CRM record

    – Automatically call record and attach it to the MS CRM contact record.

    – Capture telephone number from any document type and automatically call through ICM.

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Cisco IPCC Enterprise Connector has been successfully implemented in the Raiffeisenbank Ukraine.

  6. Poornendulal says:

    http://www.learn-dynamics-erp.co.nr is one of the best website that explains about Integration and all other Microsoft Dynamics core concepts. But i feel a small doubt about this website. http://www.learn-dynamics-erp.co.nr has everything very simple. In all websites i see Dynamics explained in very complex statement and convey finally no sence but http://www.learn-dynamics-erp.co.nr is an exception. So its the reason i feel that i may not conform to business standards. Can somebody review the site and recommend whether its true about Dynamics ERP. I ask because I an not strong technically but i understood everything in this website.

  7. Rubén says:

    If you need to consider a tool in spanish to create integration between Microsoft CRM and other application like Microsoft Dynamics AX or NA or non-microsoft like SAP or Oracle. you can try Barracuda Integrator.

  8. George says:

    In the intranet network of my company, we have a web application written in JAVA and some other windows application written in VB. All these applications have to communicate with the MS CRM 3.0 in order to retrieve, insert and update records. We don’t want to use web services. We prefer these apps to communicate by giving them direct access to the MS CRM database. What kind of implications such manner could cause? Can you suggest sth else?  

  9. Mark says:

    Callouts have been superceeded by plug-ins in CRM 4.0 have they not?

    I’m finding very little good information on integrating with existing legacy systems – would be good to have some more up-to-date and real-world examples.

  10. Mark says:

    Callouts have been superceeded by plug-ins in CRM 4.0 have they not?

    I’m finding very little good information on integrating with existing legacy systems – would be good to have some more up-to-date and real-world examples.

  11. Ansari S.H says:

    Hi Subodh,

    It is very interesting to read through the  Integration Options in Dynamics CRM. Currently we are looking for any integration options to integrate Dynamics CRM from one of our J2EE application.

    Is there any way to integrate Dynamics CRM to Java based applications?

    Kindly advice.

    Reply to ansari.sh@gmail.com

    With Regs

    :Ansari S.H

  12. smile says:

    Hi, does the Microsoft Dynamic integrate with Non-MS product? I am using Intuitive EPR, would like to know more detail on the integration. Thanks!

  13. sam says:

    Hi,

    any idea if there is a plan to integrate CRM with MS system center service manager (SCSM)?

  14. venkat says:

    Hi

    Is it possible to integrate MS-CRM to OIM by using webservices (Oracle Identity Management)

    Could you plz help me out

    venkat83.sso@gmail.com

  15. For integrating Dynamics CRM with other cloud CRMs (Salesforce, Zoho CRM, SugarCRM) or relational databases (SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL) try Skyvia. All the info about Dynamics CRM integration options is here: skyvia.com/…/dynamics-crm

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