Now that UR12 has shipped to onPremise customers we’re starting to get questions on which features were introduced as well as the differences between UR12 and “Polaris.”
Let’s cover the common features of UR12 and Polaris:
- Re-tooling of the CRM forms for multiple browsers: while UR12 doesn’t include Flow UI it does include the same cross browser capabilities and benefits. And for those of you worried about issues with customizations specific to a certain browser, there is a way to restrict which browsers may access CRM (MSDN: http://bit.ly/11BpwOT).
- Office 2013 Compatibility: the CRM Outlook Client has been updated in UR12 to allow support for Outlook 2013.
- FIPS 140-2 compliance: http://bit.ly/YpBCWD
- Performance enhancements: there were performance enhancements across the board.
- Query enhancements started shipping as part of UR10 and have continued to be enhanced through UR12. These enhancements are controllable via an OrgDBOrgSetting referred to as “EnableRetrieveMultipleOptimization” and within this setting you can also control the statistics used, read more about it here start on page 29: http://bit.ly/Tn9nIQ
- Bulk Data API: while the bulk data API itself might not necessarily improve performance of any one given operation, it can be used to combine many operations into a single call to the web service, this can provide very large gains in higher latency environments. For example, instead of calling the WCF endpoint 1000 times to update a set of contacts, you can instead combine all 1000 updates into a single WCF call. Each of the 1000 operations still take place behind the scenes, but they can all be submitted in one single call (look for another article from Austin or I on this in the future).
- Enhancements to Activity Feeds: UR12 will apply an update to Activity Feeds if it’s installed in your environment to enable features such as “like” and “unlike”.
- Updated look & feel: overall CRM will look very similar but you’ll notice the graphics in the UI are flattened down and many of the redundant icons are removed to streamline the experience. Some of the edges and padding have been reduced allowing for more content to be exposed on screen. Personally, my favorite UI enhancement was the removal of the green spinning wheel which has been replaced by the Windows 8 spinning progress bar (included below for context)
While UR12 has most of the same features there are some that differ with regard to CRM Online today, they are as follows:
- “Flow-UI”, a new process driven user interface style/paradigm for sales entities today in CRM Online.
- Yammer Integration
- This feature is coming soon and will offer a tighter integration between CRM and Yammer beyond the current embed functionality. This will enable features such as Like, Follow, visible from within CRM or Yammer and the ability to do global search from yammer to CRM.
- CRM Online custom workflow activities
- CRM On Premise had this capability at RTM and now this can be used by CRM Online customers as well.
- Skype Outbound Call Integration
- Ability for outbound “click to call” and CRM will create the phone activity to represent the call
- Bing Maps “Out of the box” integration
As you can see, the features are largely the same and while Online has a few extra enhancements most can be accomplished in an onPremise environment with a few customizations. For more information look for updates to the Statement of Direction and future Release Preview Guides. The most recently release preview guide (December 2012) can be found here: http://bit.ly/WkgXoe. Also check out the UR12 podcast & blog entry from our very own PFE Greg Nichols for more details on all UR12 has to offer.
As always our PFE team is ready to assist with code samples and various other engagements as you update your CRM environments. If you would like to have another Microsoft PFE or I connect with you and assist with the ideas presented on our blog, contact your Microsoft Premier Technical Account Manager (TAM) for booking information. For more information about becoming a Microsoft Premier customer email PremSale@microsoft.com, tell them CRMInTheField or I sent you.