For about the past 18 months I have been planning, researching, communicating, and writing in an effort to improve the implementation documentation for our next major release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. During this exercise, it has led me to many changes in the documentation, which I think are the right decisions. I hope you do to.
To give an idea of the channels I have used to make decisions on how develop the IG, here a list of resources to name just a few that I have researched and or communicated with:
· Microsoft Dynamics CRM Support Team · MVPs · Knowledge Base and Support customer incident databases · Newsgroups · Documentation Feedback from CTP programs · Our own MSCRM product team · Convergence Conference Meetings · VAR Partners · Dynamics Sure Step virtual team · Blogosphere (I’ve requested feedback about how to improve the IG on 2 separate occasions)
· Microsoft Dynamics CRM Support Team
· Knowledge Base and Support customer incident databases
· Documentation Feedback from CTP programs
· Our own MSCRM product team
· Convergence Conference Meetings
· VAR Partners
· Dynamics Sure Step virtual team
· Blogosphere (I’ve requested feedback about how to improve the IG on 2 separate occasions)
And the top 5 reasons why the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Implementation Guide (IG) is improved are...
1. No longer a single monolithic document. The IG has been separated into three documents. Each doc represent three primary phases of implementation:
· Planning- contains conceptual information about how Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed as well as system requirements and supported topologies. · Installing - contains procedural information about how to install Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. · Operating and Maintaining - contains information about operational tasks, monitoring, troubleshooting, and known issues.
· Planning- contains conceptual information about how Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed as well as system requirements and supported topologies.
· Installing - contains procedural information about how to install Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.
· Operating and Maintaining - contains information about operational tasks, monitoring, troubleshooting, and known issues.
2. Word doc format. The English version will be in Word 2003 and Word 2007 formats. I know many of you print your IG, so I want to make it as easy and formattable as possible. Word rather then a bit-map format, such as PDF, gives you more control over the printed results that you want. (e.g. increasing margins for space to make notes, etc.).
3. Superfluous content removed. Several topics that contained non-CRM specific content have been removed and replaced with specific CRM content. For example, basic information about how to install and configure other technologies such as Windows Server, SQL Server, Exchange Server etc. have been removed. So, you will no longer see steps to install another product as in past version of the IG such as, 2. Insert the Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 CD or click on the setup.exe file in the root of the Exchange Server 2003 CD (a direct excerpt from the previous IG). For those unfamiliar with the task of inserting a CD into a PC, links to this type of documentation in the IG will be provided.
4. Feedback channel is incorporated. At the end of every chapter, there is an e-mail link that populates an e-mail message with information about the IG. The reader only need type their comment in the e-mail message and click send. Don’t touch the subject line or e-mail address and I’ll have everything I need to receive and review your comments. The subject contains information about what document and chapter the comment pertains to and the language the document is in (it can be one of nearly a dozen languages). This helps me locate where in the doc the comment is stemming from. Tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly as it pertains to the content. I want to know.
5. Regular update improvements. After the initial release, the IG will be revised every three months. A revision sheet will be included that summarizes each revision and where the revision occurs in the document.
Thanks for reading.
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This sounds great!
One more request for consideration (sort of a combination of #2 and #5) - this goes back to our conversation at Convergence - how to figure out what has changed as you update the document without comparing releases or flipping to an errata page.
Since you are going to a Word format, how about turning on the Track Changes feature when you make the updates so we can flip to final showing markup view and see 'new copy, deleted copy, edits'
This would also make it easy to just print out pages that had changed rather than the whole document again.
Microsoft Gold Certified Partner - Dynamics CRM
Thats awesome Matt :) Now we can just hope that the IG is topping the previous IG's which were filled with incorrect information.. Think Email router and queues in the RTM 3.0 IG.. I heard that email and setup scenarios will change alot in 4.0 hopefully the content is right on the money.
Hello CRM Team
When will we be able to download the new Microsoft CRM 4.0 Implementation Guide?
As Jerry wrote:
And I would like to add the following aspect:
If so we could also share this document not only as a Download. Wouldn´t it be nice to share it on partnersource as a sharepoint service and share praxis tips and additions with all developers and implementers?
Just my 2cents
I second Jan Hofman. When can we download the new Guide? Thanks for your work!
I third this request. When/where can we download the new guide? Thanks :)
Thank you for your interest in the IG and sorry for the delay in my reply.
As for the availability of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Implementation Guide, unfortunately we cannot publish it before the product is released. Expect that it will be searchable on the Microsoft Download Center when the final release of 4.0 is announced. To ensure you get the most recent version, it will not be included on the product DVD.
And speaking of the most recent version, how we plan to make changes evident when the IG is updated is still under discussion. At a minimum there will be a change or errata sheet at the beginning of the document indicating what changed and where. Alhough this may not be the easiest way for you to note the changes, but having a change sheet is an improvement over how we did this in a "covert" fashion in the past.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Senior Technical Writer
I just wanted to remind everyone that the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Implementation Guide is now available
Our lead writer for the Implementation Guide sez this on the team blog: I just wanted to remind everyone
Our lead writer for the Implementation Guide sez this on the CRM team blog : I just wanted to remind
Implementeringsguide til CRM 4.0