What did we release today?

Well, we did a press release! The announcement is saying that CRM “5” Community Technology Preview (CTP3) is being released to a handful of Microsoft partners for limited preview. Please note that this is not a public beta, so there is no public link to download bits or anything at this point.

Why?

CRM “5” is still under active development and more than few months away to be released publicly. We are doing a limited release for 2 main reasons

  1. For early adopting Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) whose product lifecycle largely depends on closely aligning with next release of CRM.
  2. Getting feedback and validation on the features and functionalities of CRM from our closest partners.

If you have a project coming up on CRM 4.0, is it time to panic?

Relax, you will be fine. Continue to work on CRM 4.0 and all of the supported components & code will be compatible with CRM “5”.

Also there are some amazing CRM 4.0 SDK enhancements that we will talk about at Convergence 2010 next month which makes it easy for you to move certain applications you build on CRM 4.0 to CRM “5” with very little or no code change. So please watch the news from convergence closely for the details on this.

How can you get started with CRM “5” CTP3?

If you are an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), limited seats are still available for working with CRM “5” CTP3 through the ISV Metro program run by Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE) group at Microsoft. Talk to your ISV Evangelist or Microsoft representative in your region and ask them to nominate you for the Metro program.

If you are not an ISV, please be patient and wait for a few more months. We’ll get you up-to-speed well in advance before the product ships.

NOTE: There might be a few lingering bugs and issues in the product today as is the case with any preview software. What we are looking for is validation from you on whether we are building the right set of features and functionalities to enable your application development. So if you see an occasional error message or placeholder icons, do the smart thing.

BTW, is it CRM 5.0 or CRM5 or CRM “5” or “CRM5” ?

From my limited interactions with our legal team, “5” is just a code name for the product and not the final name. Any code name for pre-released versions should always have quotes (“5”) around it. It is up to the marketing team to come up with a dazzling name for the product before we ship. So for now, I’ll stick with CRM “5”. Or is it “CRM5”, ah now you got me confused :-)