Integrating with systems behind a firewall from CRM Online using Windows Azure Compute and Connect

UPDATE (30MAY2013):  The core concepts in this post still apply.  However, now you have two options Windows Azure Networking or Windows Azure Connect

This post is somewhat of a placeholder.  I have some work to do to get everything in order to create a post/video.  However, I wanted to provide you some insight into what I am planning for this post and some links for those of you who might want to figure it out yourself without waiting on my additional details.  What I plan on showing is how you can leverage an ASP.NET  page running in a Windows Azure Web Role that talks to a SQL Server database running behind a firewall.  The web page will be integrated into a CRM Online solution such that at the end of your interaction with it, the page will pass data from the database to the CRM form to prepopulate information on the form.

If you watch my previous screencast called Hybrid Solutions with Windows Azure Connect, then you will get a basic understanding the Windows Azure Connect piece.  The next step would be to have a look at the Implement Single Sign-on from an ASPX Webpage or IFRAME topic from the CRM 2011 SDK.  You may say to yourself: “but CRM Online doesn’t support Claims-based authentication with ADFS.”  It has since the November 2011 Service Update (mentioned about 2:10 minutes into the video).  However, you currently have to request enrollment.  If you don’t have a Microsoft contact to ask about enrollment, you can contact the CRM Online Team through their blog.  Finally, have a look at Cross domain calls to the parent CRM 2011 form.  The Windows Azure web role will be in a different domain, so we’ll have to handle the passing of data back to the CRM form properly. 

With these three resources, those of you who are adventurous should have enough information to try the scenario out yourself.  Otherwise, stay tuned for me to update this post.


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