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Company: Niiranen Advisory Oy

Dynamics CRM 2011 Walkthrough Part 2: another 100+ slides of new features

Four weeks ago I released the Part 1 of my Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Walkthrough slides and now it’s time for Part 2: Solution & System Management. Thank you all for the positive feedback from the first part, much appreciated. 🙂

While the first slide deck was focused on how the new CRM 2011 features look like from the system end-user perspective, this time I have taken a look at the toolset available for system customizer, administrator or solution developer. Since I’m not a programmer, I’ll gladly skip the detailed discussion about CRM 2011 platform SDK enhancements (like WCF, OData, REST, LINQ and other hot acronyms) and leave them to the experts. Instead I’ve tried to cover featues that will have an effect on how to design and plan your CRM implementation or custom solution. Just like before, there are plenty of screenshots included, so that also users without access to a CRM 2011 Beta environment can preview how the features appear in the UI.

The topics included in my presentation are as follows:

  • Customization menus
  • UI customization options
  • Solution management
  • Web resources
  • Processes (workflows and Dialogs)
  • Custom activities
  • Queue enhancements
  • Multiple forms per entity
  • Security features
  • Cloud services (CRM Online, Dynamics Marketplace, Azure AppFabric)
  • Upgrading from CRM 4.0
  • What’s not there in CRM 2011

To summarize my core message after giving this presentation, the following would be my key takeaways from the slides:

  • Solutions and web resources will challenge both how you’ve built your CRM enhancements and how you have managed them, so invest time in planning your own processes before rushing into the operational tasks
  • Process automation / work management functionality is becoming an increasingly integrated part of the Dynamics CRM story and 2011 offers great improvements on that front, but remember that it’s still a work in progress area in many ways
  • You can’t escape the cloud, no matter which deployment model you or your customers are currently using, so at least familiarise yourself with what’s out there
  • Despite of the 500 new features in CRM 2011, there’s still plenty of room for add-ons and tweaks. The more the platform expands, the more we’ll demand from it

That’s all the slides I have for now, but I’m sure there will continue to be lots of interesting features discovered and news items to discuss before Dynamics CRM 2011 comes out in January (RTW) / March (RTM) next year. I recommend you to keep an eye on the #CRM2011 hashtag on Twitter to follow the community buzz around the upcoming release.


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