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CRM MVP Ronald Lemmen is our guest blogger and provides us an eagle-eye view of available books. You can read more from Ronald at his blog including what may be the most comprehensive list of CRM blogs in the world.
There were just a handful of books available for Dynamics CRM 3. Since the 4.0 release there are a lot more books regarding the Dynamics CRM application. If you are still looking for a present you would like to ask from Santa, make sure you keep on reading and figure out which book is best for you.
In this article I’ll give you an overview of the books as well as a subjective comment about the book. Also the column intended audience is subjective, but it does give a good idea about the contents of the book. Please keep in mind that I’ll not discuss books regarding the CRM process or books in other languages than English. The books are ordered on the availability date according to Amazon.com.
# Pages (approx)
Amazon List Price
Working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 SE
Mike Snyder, Jim Steger
Yes (March 10, 2008)
Developers and Power Users
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Unleashed
Marc J. Wolenik, Damian Sinay
Yes (March 15, 2008)
Developers, Business Consultants
Microsoft CRM 4.0 User Handbook
Yes (June 1, 2008)
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 For Dummies
Joel Scott, David Lee, Scott Weiss
Yes (July 8, 2008)
Information Managers, Business Consultants
We Speak You Learn, LLC
XRM as a rapid development platform”
Yes (August 1, 2008)
Developers and Technical Architects
Course Technology PTR
Maximizing Your Sales with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Edward Kachinske, Timothy Kachinske
Yes (October 14, 2008)
Microsoft Dynamics® CRM 4.0 Step by Step
Mike Snyder, Jim Steger, Kara O'Brien, Brendan Landers
Yes (September 22, 2008)
Programming Microsoft Dynamics® CRM 4.0
Mike Snyder, Jim Steger, Brad Bosak, Corey O'Brien, Phil Richardson
Yes (October 27, 2008)
Success with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0: Implementing Customer Relationship Management
Justin Mathena, Aaron Yetter, Hoss Hostetler
December 22nd 2008
Business Consultants, Technical Architects
Professional Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
June 2nd 2009
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 Integration Unleashed
Marc J. Wolenik, Rajya Bhaiya
July 6th 2009
Unknown, most likely Developers and Technical Architects
Here are the comments about each of the books. Unfortunately I haven’t received all the books so I wasn’t able to give comments about each of them.
Jim Steger and Mike Snyder did write one of the best books for Dynamics CRM 3.0. It discussed the customization points of Dynamics CRM like Entity Customization, Reporting, Workflow, Form Scripting and Extensions. This book is its successor. Developers of solutions based on Dynamics CRM will use this book as a reference because of the clear explanation of how to use each extensibility point.
Un·leash (ŭn-lēsh'): turn loose or free from restraint. The authors have indeed used the right word for it. This book looks at Dynamics CRM from a business perspective, a user perspective as well as a developer perspective. Because of these different perspectives it will offer a full insight in the capabilities of the application, both for end users as well as developers. Regardless of the broad setup of the book, I would especially recommend it to developers. As a Dynamics CRM developer it is not only important to understand how to develop against the application, but also how to make the right decisions by understanding the CRM process and how end users will use the application.
The author is passing almost all out of the box functionality of Dynamics CRM for an end user. First the reader will be introduced with the usage of the application followed by the modules of the application. Extension points are not discussed due to the intended audience. The book is easy to read and understand. Anybody who is interested in knowing what the application can do, even users who did not have any training or experience with Dynamics CRM, will find this book very useful. New users might also use this book as a quick reference guide.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 for Dummies
I didn’t receive a copy of this book, but according to the table of contents I expect that it aims at people interested in learning the basics of the application. These could be information managers, power users or business analysts. As most of the "For dummies" series, this is most likely a very easy to read book. However people with a focus on developing solutions against Dynamics CRM would be more satisfied with one of the other books.
Developers and Technical Architects will find this book most useful at the moment. It is looking at Dynamics CRM as an application development platform for business applications. This approach is marketed at Microsoft as XRM: Any relationship management application. The book comes with a CD containing a lot of sample code which can be used directly in your projects. A chapter in this book which I really like is showing how to use Silverlight with CRM. Also, this book does have a lot of advanced information on tracking down problems and tuning the performance.
I didn’t receive a copy of this book, but according to the table of contents I expect that it aims at people interested in using the Sales Module from Dynamics CRM. There are a lot of chapters about how to use the Sales Force Automation feature and just a single chapter on Service Management. It is interesting that the authors wrote books on other CRM systems as well. That is why I would expect that they do focus on the differences and similarities between the different CRM systems.
All the elements of the Dynamics CRM application as it comes out of the box are discussed in this book. It can be used to learn how to work with Dynamics CRM, but due to the nature of this book, it will most likely be used often as a reference. It has a lot of similarities with the table of contents of the "Microsoft CRM 4.0 User Handbook". However, this book is focusing more on using the features instead of showing which features do exists.
The main audience of this book is developers who do have experience with Dynamics CRM already, although it starts with an overview of Dynamics CRM. The next part is about the regular extensions of CRM and it finishes with advanced customizations. There are many real-world scenario's described which give the reader a good visualization of the described customization possibilities. A specific feature of this book I really like is the chapter on how to develop custom controls which you can use in your own application. This also includes a piece about how to create an editable grid.
This book focuses on the process of implementing Dynamics CRM instead of discussing the functionality of the Dynamics CRM application. This approach makes it a unique book. It is very easy to read this book and by using many examples and tips it directly proves its value. Professionals who got into the world of Dynamics CRM from a technical background will learn a lot from the background information as described in this book.
There is currently no information on this book because it is scheduled to be released in June 2009.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 Integration Unleashed
There is currently no information on this book because it is scheduled to be released in July 2009.
Happy holidays and happy reading,
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