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Continuing my coverage of integration related talks, I popped in on the CRM Analytics session yesterday. There’s quite a bit that can be done with a base analytics platform, but there are even more compelling scenarios built around predictive analysis.
In the demo I saw, CRM opportunities were assigned an “attractiveness” measure based upon the “relationship profitability” computed for each customer in the CRM database. By assigning attributes on the opportunity and correlating those to existing customer data, a gauge where a new opportunity sits versus the factors driving profitable relationships was readily available, enabling much smarter decision making about which opportunities to pursue most vigorously. Having this kind of functionality directly integrated with the CRM client makes for a nice user experience, and puts this information front-and-center directly where it’s used most.
On the back end, I attended a session focused on AX integration with web services and BizTalk Server. The AX Application Integration Framework enables easy exposure of web service endpoints from AX, and provides easy connectivity to BizTalk Server ports. It “does the right thing” with generation of business document schemas based on AX tables, and can generate and deploy web services to a farm of IIS web servers. This makes it easy to integrate AX within service oriented architectures, and will be a boon to ISVs building products on AX.
I popped in on the Hands-On Labs and got to work through a few scenarios with AX’s MorphX development environment. MorphX and X++ make business developers incredibly productive once they climb the learning curve, and there’s now nice 2-way integration with .NET, so the entities defined within AX are available to .NET applications and code written in .NET can be easily accessed from within AX.
On the mobility front, there’s a great deal of investment and activity around improving development productivity. We’re investing in building the Mobile Sales Assistant, the Mobile Business Assistant, the Mobile Application Framework, and the Mobile Business Integration Server, which should help greatly on this front. In the spirit of .NET 3.x and beyond, more and more of the behavioral aspects of application development are being factored out of code and into configuration files. This is now being extended to the implementations of the MVC pattern I’ve seen, wherein the controller implementation essentially lives in a configuration file, leaving the model and views for the developer to write.
Building role-based, task-driven mobile applications that can cope with being intermittently connected and provide user experiences tailored to the devices on which they run are the critical success factors cited throughout the conference. These tools should be available for pre-release evaluation in Q3 2007 – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
I’ll provide my wrap-up post on this topic tomorrow…
Thanks for the convergence write up. Did you see anything about what Microsoft are doing with the mobile clients for CRM. Currently there are two Microsoft CRM mpbile clients. One client is a .net compact framework client which has been around for a few years and the second is the Mobile Express client which is a free download and also includes source code.
Any insights into where these clients are going next?