Recently an analyst asked us what is new in SharePoint & Dynamics CRM with the December 2012 service update. I wrote the below note as a quick summary of what’s revolutionary and evolutionary with SharePoint (specifically SP 2013) & Dynamics CRM.
1. Self-Service BI with PowerView
Excel 2013 introduces the ability to create PowerView charts for advanced data analysis by combining a variety of data sources. With the new December 2012 Service Update, data from Dynamics CRM Online can be included as one of the data sources for PowerView. SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online’s new release provides the ability for customers to render PowerView charts (including bubble animations) from Excel workbooks through Excel Web App. This allows professionals to analyze their CRM Online data in a self-service manner with just a browser (no need for everyone to be running Excel 2013). For example, in the below figure you can see that the customer service data from CRM combined with call metrics from IVR systems to produce a report rendered right within the browser.
2. Self-service Portals with BCS
Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in SharePoint 2013 has been enhanced to natively consume OData endpoint making it easy for customers to integrate Dynamics CRM data within SharePoint. For example, customers can now easily build an internal SharePoint portal for casual CRM users. This is very useful in many enterprise scenarios such as help desk ticketing, vendor portal and many more. SharePoint 2013 also introduces the new notion of SharePoint ‘Apps’ that can bundle such customizations and provide developers with the ability to sell them through the Office marketplace. You can find a simple step-by-step walkthrough on Connecting SharePoint Online and CRM Online using BCS here.
3. Document library integration enhancements
With the December 2012 service update, the document library integration with SharePoint has now been enhanced to support SharePoint 2013 along with rendering on multiple browsers including Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE. SharePoint 2013 also has improved eDiscovery for legal compliance and built-in Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) compatibility for interoperability with other applications (like Adobe Bridge and Photoshop) making it easier for customers to manage their CRM digital assets with SharePoint.
4. Identity alignment
Office 365 and CRMOnline have shared the same identity platform for some time now. The same identity platform now has been extended to developers for their custom apps as well through Windows Azure Active Directory. This simplifies the user provisioning and administration of joint solutions spanning Dynamics CRM, Office 365 and other applications within an organization.
5. Social enhancements
Last but not least is the social enhancements in December 2012 service update powered by Yammer which becomes the social layer for Dynamics CRM. We are also heavily investing in unified identity, integrated document management and feed aggregation among SharePoint, Yammer and Dynamics CRM for the future.
The list is just a sampling of what I have been able to do discover so far and I’m sure there are a lot more cool integration scenarios that we’ll discover together as a community. Things like FAST search, SharePoint for Internet Sites connecting to CRM and many more scenarios were possible earlier with SharePoint 2010 and they are enhanced in many ways within SharePoint 2013.
If you’d like to see some of these scenarios in action, please check out one of my presentations at the upcoming Convergence conference:
Developer's Guide to Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM & Microsoft SharePoint 2013
Many organizations use both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint and are increasingly looking for ways to integrate these two technologies. With the new wave of SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013 suites, it is now even easier and compelling to integrate them with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for collaborative cloud solutions. Come learn some of the developer patterns and practices you can use when building apps using technologies such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SharePoint 2013, Office 365, and more.
Thursday, March 21
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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