CRM 2011 Sneak Preview - Interface, Outlook, Dashboards & Marketplace Search

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This month, Microsoft is finally releasing their CRM 2011 beta (aka CRM 5.0) to the public.   You might be wondering, what’s “new” in this product and has Microsoft enhanced all the features they promised?

One of their slogan that has been widely used is the “the Power of Productivity”.  Left you wondering the meaning of it and whether they can live up to the slogan.  I reviewed the new features, and I must say Microsoft came through and have more than expected.   They have raised the bar in the CRM market.  Watch out Salesforce!

Entities renaming and Look and Feel:

  • Like all newly released 2010 Microsoft products, CRM 2011 will also have the ribbon on every form to allow users to access widely used buttons with just one click away. Example, Won or Lost can be access directly from the ribbon.  No more un-editable popup form for closing!!!
  • Quotes go moved to
  • History was renamed to “Closed Activities”
  • Relationships are called Connections.  Instead of just having the ability to set relationship between account, contact and opportunities, this Connections features provide more relationships options. (e.g. allow us to set up a connection  between email and a user  or whatever)
  • Field level security!!  This is HUGE one.
  • You can customization your Activity Type instead of using out of the box “Task, Email, and Phone etc.


  • Tracking email made easy!  The Track in CRM and Set Regarding are now just one click away by right clicking on an email in Outlook.
  • Ability to attach Article and Sales Literature directly from Outlook.
  • CRM would have it own section in CRM.  No more sub-folders.


  • Real-time Dashboard - Having System and user-defined Dashboards at your finger tips, this is definitely the executive dream.  Ability to analyze performance and productivity with one click away without add-ons.  These dashboards work like Views in that you can select which dashboards you want to view and which one you want as default.
  • Drill Down Capability - Interactive Grid data based on filter selection
  • Flexible goal management – Ability to define KPI and indicator against any organization metrics
  • Simplify SharePoint Integration
  • For those who are currently using SharePoint Server, people can easily provision SharePoint document repositories and embed directly within CRM.

Marketplace Search:

  • Lastly, perhaps of most interest to partners and soon to customers is the Microsoft Dynamic Marketplace, an application exchange that will be connecting to CRM2011 so users can search out applications within their CRM solution.  This application will allow customers to quickly search, discover and apply industry-specific applications and solution extension from Microsoft and its partners to help them accelerate and extend their CRM and ERP implementations.

For more information watch this video on Dynamics CRM 2010 functionality.
Get a beta version of Dynamics CRM 2011 for yourself.

Article written by Stephen Schilling, CRM / Sharepoint Team Manager – ERT Group

ERT Group is a Florida Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a 2010 President’s Club member for Microsoft Dynamics – offering Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM.

1 thought on “CRM 2011 Sneak Preview - Interface, Outlook, Dashboards & Marketplace Search”

  1. Could you please clarify how user will purchase application from marketplace? Is it MS payment system or user will just redirect to site of owner the application and will purchase it there?

    Is there will be any statistic how much users use trial version of application from marketplace, how much users have purchased our product through Marketplace, etc.?

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