Enable CRM Online 2011 e-mail tools

Many subscribers of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 enjoy the integration offered by the CRM Online 2011 for Microsoft Office Outlook client, which gives them the ability to access CRM Online 2011 through the Outlook interface. When using the client, you gain access to a few additional features included with CRM Online 2011 at no extra cost, such as automatic tracking of e-mail messages, contacts, and appointments.

A commonly overlooked and underappreciated feature of the client that is disabled by default is its ability to send e-mail messages generated from CRM Online 2011 using Outlook. There are several scenarios in which e-mails may be generated by Microsoft CRM Online. If you are a marketing expert, it is likely that you regularly use campaigns to send e-mails to your customers regarding new products or promotions. You may have had a workflow created through Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customization and configuration that sends e-mails triggered by database changes, such as the addition of a new customer. Subscribers who take advantage of reporting can also automate the reporting process by regularly e-mailing dynamic reports to specific recipients at specific intervals.

The only real drawback of e-mail sending, as we mentioned above, is that it is not enabled by default when you install the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook client. That’s really not too much of a hassle though, as enabling the feature is quick and pain-free. We’ll walk you through it below.

No special privileges are required to perform this task.

From within Microsoft Outlook (see below), open the File menu, select CRM, and click the Options button.

 Enable CRM Online 2011 e-mail tools

The Set Personal Options window opens (see below). In the E-mail tab, check the first box titled Allow Microsoft Dynamics CRM to send e-mail using Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook and click the OK button to save your changes.

 Enable Microsoft CRM Online 2011 e-mail tools

We told you this would be an easy one! As always, there are various quick tips, quick tricks, and informative articles available on this blog, which is authored and managed by xRM.com. If you are looking for some more in-depth ways to make CRM Online 2011 work for your business, the CRM Success Portal is a great place to start.

Read More

Quick Tip: Get Wild with Your Searches

Search is a handy tool in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011. You can find the record or records you’re looking for quickly by name.

What if you aren’t sure of the whole name? Fortunately, Microsoft supports a “wildcard”, which allows you to search for unknown parts of names. As part of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Training, follow along below and we’ll teach you how to use the wildcard.

What’s a wildcard? A wildcard stands in place of any amount of unknown text. In CRM Online, the wildcard character is the asterisk “*”.

CRM Online invisibly adds the wildcard to the end of every search string. That means it will look for anything that starts with whatever you type. For example, searching for “a” actually searches for “a*” and might result in “Aaron“, “Abby”, “Ace”, etc.

That’s pretty handy if you know the beginning of the name, but what if you only know the middle or the end of the name? For example, let’s say you’re looking for a certain Account with “sales” in its name, but due to your working with thousands of Accounts, you can’t quite remember the rest of the name. If you enter “sales” into the search box, you will likely receive no results (see below).

 Quick Tip Get Wild with Your Searches

That‘s because it’s unlikely that any Account names actually start with “sales” even though “sales” might occur in other positions. So how can we find Accounts with “sales” anywhere in their names? We can type the wildcard at the beginning of the search string, effectively surrounding it in wildcards. For example, we type “*sales”, which becomes “*sales*” when CRM Online adds the wildcard at the end, which instructs CRM Online to search for any amount of text followed by “sales” followed by any amount of text. Let’s try it right now, by typing “*sales” into the search box (see below).

Quick tip search tool in crm online 2011

As you can see above, the Microsoft CRM Online 2011 search has returned a list of all Accounts containing the word ”sales”.

Wildcard searches give you flexibility when trying to find records of any type, not just Accounts. You could find a list of all Contacts with the last name of “Smith”. You could also run a search for Opportunities with “big” in the topic, or E-mails with “party” in the subject. None of these are a problem with a wildcard search.

If you’re looking for more quick tips or quick fixes, keep reading the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog by xRM.com

Read More

Add Filters to Saved Views

Personal views in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 deliver access to records most important to you. Over time, you may need to refine these views with filters in order to support your changing needs. These filters help provide a more focused view of your data.

When you create personal views in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you typically use Advanced Find in order to filter the records. In this walkthrough, we will set additional filters on a previously saved view by using the Filter button in the ribbon.

In this example, we will use a personal view called “Opportunities Projected to Close This Year”. As the end of the calendar year approaches, we find ourselves needing to focus on Opportunities with a high probability rating. Therefore, we will add a filter to this view that will show us Opportunities with a probability rating of 70 or above.

Note: This task can be performed by anyone with a default security role in Microsoft CRM Online.

1. Navigate to Opportunities in the Sales module (see below), and then select the view you wish to add filters to using the view selector. In this example, we are working with a personal view called “Opportunities Projected to Close This Year”, but you will use your own. In the Data section of the ribbon, click the Filter button.

 Add Filters to Saved Views in CRM Online

2. Filter arrows will appear in the grid column headers (see below). Notice he probability ratings of the records as well. We will narrow this list down to Opportunities with a probability rating of 70 or higher.

 Add Filters to Saved Views in CRM Online

3. Click on the arrow next to Probability (see above). When the dropdown menu appears, click on Custom Filter… (see below). Users of Microsoft Office Excel might notice the similarity to the column filters in Excel. It’s handy to now have that functionality in CRM Online views too.

 Add Filters to Saved Views in CRM Online

4. In the Select Operator field, select Is Greater Than or Equal To (see below). Set the probability rating to “70”, and then click OK.

 Add Filters to Saved Views in CRM Online

5. On the View tab of the ribbon, click the Save Filters button (see below). The additional filter has now been applied to the saved view. From now on, this view will present us with records with a probability rating of 70 or higher.

 Add Filters to Saved Views in CRM Online

If you want to learn more about using filters to sort through records in CRM Online, xRM.com invites you to sign up for the our CRM Success Portal. There you can watch tutorial videos that expand on the subject, as well as many other important tasks in CRM Online.

Read More

See Rapid Results with Quick Campaigns

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011, campaigns allow you to track the activities, costs, lists, planning, responses, and schedules of your marketing and outreach efforts. xRM.com has also created a Constant Contact integration for Microsoft Dynamics CRM in order to extend this campaign functionality. There are some cases however, that simply require you to distribute a campaign activity, such as a letter, phone call, or e-mail, to an impromptu list without the overhead and tracking of a full campaign. With CRM Online, you can distribute a single campaign activity to a group of accounts, contacts, leads, or marketing lists.

This task requires permissions that are found in any default marketing or sales security roles in Microsoft CRM Online (CEO-Business Manager, Marketing Manager, Marketing Professional, Sales Manager, Salesperson, System Administrator, Vice President of Marketing, and Vice President of Sales). In this walkthrough, we will create a quick campaign in order to track follow-up tasks for a group of Lead records.

1. In the Marketing module, click Leads in the left navigation pane (see below). Select the records you wish to include in this quick campaign. In the Add tab of the ribbon, click the Quick Campaign button. Choose For Selected Records from the drop-down menu, which will then open the Create Quick Campaign Wizard form.

 See Rapid Results with Quick Campaigns CRM Online

2. The first page of the Create Quick Campaign Wizard (see below) outlines the steps you are about to take. Click Next to proceed.

 

3. The next page of the wizard appears (see below). Enter a name for this quick campaign. For the purposes of this walkthrough, we will name it “Sample Leads Quick Campaign”, and then click Next to continue.

 See Rapid Results with Quick Campaigns CRM Online

4. The next page of the wizard appears (see below) where we select the activity type and decide who will own the activities. There are a few choices, but for this campaign, we are designating a phone campaign to ourselves. In order to do this, select Phone Call in the Activity Type box. For the Assign these activities to option, select Me. Once we are done, click Next.

 See Rapid Results with Quick Campaigns CRM Online

5. Since we chose Phone Call as the activity type in the previous step, we are presented with the Phone Call form (see below). Fill out the Subject and Description fields, and then click Next. Note that only the Subject field requires data entry, as specified by the red asterisk.

See Rapid Results with Quick Campaigns CRM Online

6. The final step of the wizard summarizes the specifications of the quick campaign (see below). If everything is correct, click Create to complete the wizard.

See Rapid Results with Quick Campaigns CRM Online 

7.  After completion, you can verify that you have successfully created your new quick campaign by clicking Quick Campaigns in the left navigation pane in the Marketing module (see below) and seeing it listed in the view.

 See Rapid Results with Quick Campaigns in CRM Online

8. The final step would be to follow up on the phone call activities generated by the quick campaign, and make the calls. The user to whom the phone calls were assigned can find them in the Workplace module, under Activities (see below).

See Rapid Results with Quick Campaigns in CRM Online 

If you want to learn more tips and tricks for CRM Online, we invite you to sign up for the xRM.com CRM Success Portal. There you will find tutorial videos that will improve your CRM Online skill set, including a video about the xRM.com Constant Contact integration with Microsoft CRM.

Read More

Attach a File in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011, users can attach files to records. For example, this function allows you to attach a PowerPoint presentation to an account, or an Excel spreadsheet to a contact. Whatever your needs are, attaching a file to a record is a simple process. This feature improved in version 2011 over version 4.0 in that you no longer have to open a record to attach a file to it. For the purposes of this walkthrough, we’ll open the record just to be explicit.

Note: this task requires permissions that are found in all default security roles.

1) Open the record to which you want to attach the file. For the purposes of this example, we are attaching a file to a sample contact (see below). To attach the file, open the Add tab of the ribbon, then, in the Include section, click Attach File.

 attach files crm online

2) The Manage Attachment dialog box will appear. Type the path and name of the file or click Browse to locate the file. Once you have located the file, click Attach.

attach files crm online

3) To view the attached file, navigate to the Notes & Activities section of the form.

 attach files crm online 2011

Note: The types of files that can be attached and the maximum file size are defined by your system administrator. If you are having trouble attaching a file, the file type or size may not comply with the standards set by your system administrator. If you are the system administrator, navigate to Settings > System > Administration and click System Settings. Set the file types to block in the General tab under Set blocked file extensions for attachments. Set the maximum file sizes in the E-mail tab under Set file size limit for attachments. (This applies to all attachments even though it’s under e-mail.)

For more Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online tips, check out our xRM.com CRM Online training. If you are an xRM.com CRM Online customer, you can sign up for our CRM Success Portal in order to gain access to video tutorials that will improve your CRM Online fluency. For more information, we invite you to discover the xRM process.

Read More

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Update Rollup 18

Microsoft has released Update Rollup 18 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. This update is available for all languages supported by Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. It includes hotfixes and updates for the following components:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Server
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 E-mail Router
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Data Migration Manager
Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Language Packs

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Prerequisites

Important Note: The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Language Pack must be downloaded before you can apply Update Rollup 18 to the language pack.

The links below will take you to the necessary information regarding Update Rollup 18:

Read More

Connections in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, a new feature called Connections adds a layer to records organization, allowing users to connect records in an intuitive manner. Connections gives users insight into their company’s records in Dynamics CRM 2011 at a glance. A user can open any record and quickly identify relationships or a hierarchy by looking at that record’s Connections with other records. Arming users with rapid insight into their company’s records propels them to work more efficiently and effectively.

Here’s a little history: In Dynamics CRM 4.0, a feature known as Relationships allowed users to link Account, Contact, and Opportunity records. Relationships were handy but were limited to records of these three entities. In Dynamics CRM 2011, this theme is extended to all entities, including user-added custom entities, and is made both more powerful and easier to use. Rather than retool how Relationships work in Dynamics CRM 2011, Microsoft added a new feature called Connections to implement the improvement. To smooth the upgrade process, Relationships created in Dynamics CRM 4.0 are not lost and are still supported in Dynamics CRM 2011, however, no new Relationships can be added in Dynamics CRM 2011. Everyone will be able to add new Connections instead.

Another new, related feature is called Connection Roles. Connection Roles can be added whenever a Connection is created in Dynamics CRM 2011. A Connection Role describes the part one record plays in relation to another within that Connection. For example, a user could connect a Contact with an Account and at the same time indicate that the Account is the employer of the Contact by giving it an “Employer” Connection Role. Dynamics CRM 2011 comes with a built-in list of Connection Roles to choose, including Employer, Influencer, Decision Maker, Stakeholder, etc. System Administrators can create new Connection Role types as needed to augment the built-in list. Some Connection Roles are matched in pairs and are called Matched Connection Roles. This automates some of the work. For example, if a user connects a Contact and an Account and gives the Account a Connection Role of “Employer”, the Contact is automatically given a Connection Role of “Employee” because “Employer” and “Employee” are Matched Connection Roles. You’ll see this again in action in the example outlined below.

Creating a Connection is a simple process. From any open record, in this example the Contact record “Darren Parker (sample)”, click Connect from the Collaborate section of the Ribbon. (See below.)

microsoft dynamics crm 2011 connections

The Connection form will appear with the current record indicated at the top. (See below.) Choose the other record under Connect To by clicking the magnifying glass next to the Name field to look up the other record. Give the other record a Connection Role by clicking the magnifying glass next to the As this role field and choosing a Connection Role. In this example, the other record, “Variety Store (sample),” is an Account connected to Darren’s record with a Connection Role of Employer, indicating that Variety Store is Darren’s employer. Because Employer and Employee are Matched Connection Roles, Dynamics CRM 2011 can also immediately set Darren’s role as Employee, as seen in the bottom of the form.

Tip: To avoid getting turned around, think of the top Connection Role as describing how the current record “sees” the other record. You can also mentally replace the text “As this role” with “is my”, so that the above reads “Variety Store is my Employer”.

Tip: When connecting an open record to yourself (to your own User record) there is a shortcut so you don’t have to look yourself up. Instead of clicking Connect (as in the first screen shot above), click the small arrow beneath Connect and then click To Me. Your user record will be preloaded in the Connection form when it opens.

Tip: You can alternatively set the bottom Connection Role instead of the top one. This is handy for setting a non-matched Connection Role when you are in the “wrong” record, such as when setting yourself as Account Manager when you are in your User record instead of the chosen Account record.

xRM.com provides integrated business solutions incorporating Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other technologies in the Microsoft application and server stack. We offer CRM training to end users and system customizers on making the most of new features such as Connections and Connection Roles in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More