Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Tutorials

There is a plethora of features and tools in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. All are designed to create an intuitive, productive experience for the end user. In order to provide users with a guide to some of these features, Microsoft has added a new type of content to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Resource Center—tutorials. These tutorials illustrate how a given CRM feature can increase your productivity while making your job easier.

The CRM Online tutorials thus far include:

Clone records without code

There are times when a user wants to create a new record based on an existing record. A number of solutions have been made in order to make this a simple process, as opposed to inputting data manually to replicate the existing record. In the past, these solutions have required custom coding. Now CRM Online allows users to clone records without writing any code, and this tutorial walks you through the process.

Configure option set (drop-down) fields

An option set field is a drop-down list style field. These are commonly used to categorize records. This tutorial describes how to create and edit option set fields.

Import price lists

In CRM Online, a price list is a collection of detailed prices that can be charged for each unit in the unit group of a product. If you need to import an existing price list, say from one of your vendors, into CRM Online, this tutorial will walk you through the process.

Importing Outlook contact data that includes categories

CRM Online and Microsoft Office Outlook can be integrated seamlessly, but the necessary planning and preparation must be done before you can import Outlook contacts that contain data in the “Categories” field. This tutorial identifies questions about your data that must be answered before importing, as well as a number of pathways to choose from in order to import the data.

Customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online by using workflows

Workflows are sets of rules that identify necessary steps in the automation of specific business processes, tasks, or sets of actions to be performed on CRM Online records. This tutorial walks you through workflow structure, three ways to create workflows, and the process of creating workflows by using the Web application.

Close multiple activities with a workflow

Quite simply, this tutorial walks you through the process of creating a workflow that alleviates the task of closing numerous windows manually.

Create a dialog to qualify sales leads

Dialogs are useful a tool that directs users through work processes that require user interaction and input. This tutorial walks a sample user through the process of creating and activating dialog used to provide the steps for qualifying sales leads, tracking customer responses, and creating new opportunities for qualified leads.

Customize your organization’s nomenclature

CRM Online provides common names for all entities such as Account, Contact, and Case. However, individual companies often have their own terminology. Dynamics CRM has room for customization so the nomenclature of your company matches that of your CRM solution.

Creating a sales process with stages using a workflow

CRM Online allows you to automate a number of the tasks and activities associated with the sales process simply by creating a workflow. Learn how to do so with this tutorial.

At xRM.com, we create business solutions. When implementing a CRM solution, we make sure it is customized to meet your company’s individual needs. Since the Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation process is tailored to your business, shouldn’t the same logic be applied to the training process? We provide comprehensive Microsoft Dynamics CRM training, ensuring users fully utilize the CRM solution.

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Comparing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and SAP Business ByDesign

If you have been searching for an ideal cloud-based CRM offering for your business, you may have discovered there are a number of options from which to choose. This blog post is intended to highlight several key differences between two cloud-based CRM offerings, making your choice slightly easier. The following is a summary of an extended comparison of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and SAP Business ByDesign.

User Adoption

CRM Online provides a similar interface to other Microsoft products. End users with experience in the Microsoft ecosystem will immediately find the CRM Online interface familiar, thus reducing the learning curve and increasing user adoption rates. Additionally, Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration allows users to leverage a framework as opposed to an individual product. CRM Online integrates naturally with other Microsoft applications such as Outlook, Word, and SharePoint. SAP Business ByDesign has its own unique interface. Only users with prior SAP experience will be familiar with its interface.

Scalability

There is a great difference in scalability between these two products. CRM Online allows anywhere from 5 to 50,000 users to log in and simultaneously use the software. SAP Business ByDesign is made for 100 to 500 users.

Demo

Users can sign up for a free, 30-day trail of CRM Online with an option to activate the subscription at any time during the trial. There is no reduction of function in the demo. This allows your company to gain hands-on experience with the real product before investing in it. SAP Business ByDesign offers no such trial period to its customers.

Total Cost of Ownership

The TCO of CRM Online is lower than SAP Business ByDesign. CRM Online costs $44 per user, per month, while SAP costs $149 per user, per month.

xRM.com can design the optimal business solution for your company if you decide CRM Online is right for you. We specialize in Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation. From assessing your company’s needs, to deploying a solution designed specifically for your business, xRM.com can help your business become efficient and cost-effective.

You can read the rest of the comparison and view a comparison chart here: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online versus SAP Business ByDesign

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Microsoft CRM Update Rollup 17

Microsoft released Update Rollup 17. This is a tested, cumulative set of updates for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. It includes performance enhancements that are packaged together for easy deployment.

System Requirements

  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7; Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2008; Windows Vista; Windows XP.

Prerequisites

  • This update must be installed on a computer that is running Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.
  • This update requires Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.

The links below will take you to the necessary information about Update Rollup 17:

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Comparing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Salesforce.com

Are you looking for a cloud-based CRM offering? If so, you may have discovered that there are a number of options to choose from when implementing a cloud strategy. This blog post could help you decide which offering works best for your company. The following is a summary of an extended comparison of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Salesforce.com Professional Edition.

User Adoption 

CRM Online provides a similar interface to other Microsoft products. This increases user adoption rates for end users already familiar with the Microsoft ecosystem. Furthermore, CRM Online is designed to integrate seamlessly into a Microsoft software environment, creating a holistic solution for the end user. Salesforce.com is a stand-alone product, with its own interface style.

Total Cost of Ownership

The TCO of CRM Online is lower than Salesforce.com. CRM Online costs $44 per user, per month, while Salesforce.com costs $65 per user, per month.

Storage

CRM Online provides 5 GB of storage upfront compared to the 2 GB offered by Salsesforce.com.

Mobile Support

Mobile Express enables users to access CRM Online via their web-enabled mobile device for no extra charge. Salesforce.com charges additional monthly fees for their mobile service.

Offline Capabilities

CRM Online allows users to view all standard and custom entities offline at no additional cost. Salesforce.com charges a monthly fee in order to use its Professional Edition offline. Offline operation is not available for Salesforce Contact Manager or Group Edition.

If CRM Online proves to be your ideal choice for a cloud-based offering, xRM.com can design the optimal business solution for your company. We specialize in Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementations. From assessing your company’s needs, to deploying a solution designed specifically for your business, xRM.com can help your business become efficient and cost-effective.

Read the full text of the comparison and view a comparison chart here: CRM Online vs. Salesforce.com

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Free eBooks for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010

If you are a Dynamics CRM developer, you most likely utilize Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Visual Studio. Reading about the numerous enhancements and additions made to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 Professional will have a positive impact on the applications you design. If you would like to expand your knowledge of either of these products, we have located some free resources for your enjoyment.

Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 by Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner contains 10 chapters spanning 216 pages. This eBook highlights the capabilities of SQL Server 2008 R2. The material in this eBook is intended for readers with some familiarity with SQL Server. The eBook is available in two forms, “Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (in PDF)” and “Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (in XPS)”. Please encourage Microsoft to continue producing free eBooks by downloading Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 via these links so they can count readership.

Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 by Patrice Pelland and Pascal Paré is a 10-chapter eBook as well, spanning 336 pages. This book is for developers using prior versions of Visual Studio who are looking to upgrade to Visual Studio 2010 Professional. The eBook is available in two forms, “Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (in PDF)” and “Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (in XPS)”. As mentioned above, let’s all use these links so Microsoft can count readership and keep giving us free eBooks.

Summaries of the content of each eBook below:

Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Part I: “Database Administration”
This part introduces readers to several of the innovations in SQL Server 2008 R2. It contains five chapters, which include step-by-step instructions, optimal upgrade strategies, and explanations of visual tools like dashboards.

  • Chapter 1: SQL Server 2008 R2 Editions and Enhancements
  • Chapter 2: Multi-Server Administration
  • Chapter 3: Data-Tier Applications
  • Chapter 4: High Availability and Virtualization Enhancements
  • Chapter 5: Consolidation and Monitoring

Part II: “Business Intelligence Development”
This part covers new components to the SQL Server data platform. It also goes over the significant enhancements that have been made to the reporting component of the platform.

  • Chapter 6: Scalable Data Warehousing
  • Chapter 7: Master Data Services
  • Chapter 8: Complex Event Processing with StreamInsight
  • Chapter 9: Reporting Services Enhancements
  • Chapter 10: Self-Service Analysis with PowerPivot

Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

Divided into three parts, Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 is written from the perspective of a developer upgrading from an older version of Visual Studio to Visual Studio 2010 Professional. To maintain a sense of continuity and consistency, the authors walk through the steps of building and running a real application that requires a wide array of the product features. The application is called Plan My Night, and is recreated in each part of the eBook. The three parts are similar, each addressing a different earlier version of Visual Studio. You’ll only need to read the part about the version you use.

Part I: “Moving from Microsoft Visual Studio 2003 to Visual Studio 2010”

  • Chapter 1: From 2003 to 2010: Business Logic and Data
  • Chapter 2: From 2003 to 2010: Designing the Look and Feel
  • Chapter 3: From 2003 to 2010: Debugging an Application
  • Chapter 4: From 2003 to 2010: Deploying an Application

Part II: “Moving from Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 to Visual Studio 2010”

  • Chapter 1: From 2005 to 2010: Business Logic and Data
  • Chapter 2: From 2005 to 2010: Designing the Look and Feel
  • Chapter 3: From 2005 to 2010: Debugging an Application

Part III: “Moving from Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2010”

  • Chapter 1: From 2008 to 2010: Business Logic and Data
  • Chapter 2: From 2008 to 2010: Designing the Look and Feel
  • Chapter 3: From 2008 to 2010: Debugging an Application

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Free EBook for Microsoft Office 2010

If you are a Microsoft Dynamics CRM user, you probably already know that Microsoft Dynamics CRM integrates with Outlook and certain other Microsoft Office 2010 applications such as Excel, and Word. By reading about these applications’ strengths and capabilities, you can extract as much productivity from their integration as possible. Would you like to do that free? We recently discovered a nice source.

The eBook, “First Look: Microsoft Office 2010” by Katherine Murray is now available to download free of charge. This eBook consists of 186 pages taken from her full-length book, Microsoft Office 2010 Plain & Simple. The eBook is available in two forms, “First Look: Microsoft Office 2010” (in PDF) and “First Look: Microsoft Office 2010” (in XPS). Please encourage Microsoft Press to continue producing free eBooks by downloading “First Look” via those exact links so they can count the download numbers and estimate readership.

“First Look” contains fourteen chapters in three main parts:

Part I: “Envision the Possibilities”
This part focuses on the new features and enhancements in Office 2010, like the Ribbon. This section also covers Office 2010’s flexibility through a set of scenarios, illustrating the software as a practical tool.

  • Chapter 1: Welcome to Office 2010
  • Chapter 2: Express Yourself Effectively and Efficiently
  • Chapter 3: Collaborate in the Office and Around the World

Part II: “Hit the Ground Running”
This part covers each of the Office 2010’s individual applications, their new features, and their relation to the holistic experience of Office 2010. Included are how-to guides for a handful of top features such as streamlining e-mail tasks in Outlook, enhancing presentations in PowerPoint, and simplified searching in SharePoint.

  • Chapter 4: Create and Share Compelling Documents with Word 2010
  • Chapter 5: Create Smart Data Insights with Excel 2010
  • Chapter 6: Manage Rich Communications with Outlook
  • Chapter 7: Produce Dynamic Presentations with PowerPoint 2010
  • Chapter 8: Organize, Store, and Share Ideas with OneNote 2010
  • Chapter 9: Collaborate Effectively with SharePoint Workspace
  • Chapter 10: Create Effective Marketing Materials with Publisher 2010
  • Chapter 11: Make Sense of Your Data with Access 2010

Part III: “Next Steps with Office 2010”
This part provides examples of Office 2010’s application integration, as well as its security and opportunities for training. As mentioned before, Office 2010 provides users with a holistic experience, a number of applications that create synergy with one another. Essentially, this section of the e-book illuminates how well the collective applications of Office 2010 work together.

  • Chapter 12: Putting It All Together
  • Chapter 13: Security In Office 2010
  • Chapter 14: Training Made Easy

As a Microsoft Certified Partner, xRM.com can design an integrated business solution for your company incorporating the Microsoft product and server stack including Dynamics CRM, Office, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, etc. We provide value-added CRM customization and CRM training to help your users effectively harness the Microsoft environment.

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