A Little Java With Your CRM Can Go A Long Way

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First Cup

As CRM Consultants, we often find when working with a Dynamics CRM client, that the client's expectation is that out-of-the-box functionality is simply accepted – that’s the way it is. They are resigned to using the system as-is, and seek ways to bend their internal processes to fit the format they see on the screen. A classic example is in CRM’s Quotes module. A client recently asked us to help them streamline data entry. What they didn’t realize is that we could, with the application of some relatively simple java script, totally re-define the data entry process to align perfectly with their quoting methodology, assimilating their specific, unique needs.

The client regularly quotes based on unit price breaks, and the price breaks are totally User defined, based on the relationship with each client or prospect. In their world, a quote for a particular item could (and should) include price break points for various quantities of the item. The more the customer buys, the lower the price point. With minimal java, and the addition of a few custom fields, we were able to deliver an interface where a sales rep could select “Multi-line Quote” and instantly change the standard Quote screen display to provide fields for various quantities, along with pricing-per-quantity.

It got really interesting when we were asked to provide a quoting capability allowing Users to create EITHER a single-line, hard-coded Quote (using the standard Product database picklist) OR the new Multi-Line Quote with breakpoints.  Again, java to the rescue, and a completely new quoting process was born, existing comfortably in the CRM Dynamics interface.

Second Cup

We use Dynamics CRM as our in-house client management system, so this bit of java was driven internally. We found it kind of scatter-shot that phone numbers could be manually entered in so many different formats. Sloppy phone number entry can make the Account or Contact associated with the number un-searchable in an Advanced Find.  A bit of java later and we had a “Phone Auto-Format” feature at work behind all our phone number fields. No matter how a number is entered, when you tab out of the field, the phone number is formatted USA-style [(212)345-6789]. View a Flash Demo here.

And a Third…

Also in-house, we crafted some java to allow us to copy Address information to a Contact record from the associated Parent Account record, with one click. Additionally, we can schedule an Appointment and have the Contact’s address automatically copied, in a neat format, to the Notes area of the Appointment. If you sync with your handheld, this information will appear on your mobile device -- very handy! View a Flash Demo here.

Dynamics CRM brings a lot of relational perspective and reporting to your life. A little java can add just the right amount of extra zing to keep your data under control, and accelerate your workflow.

by Core Solutions, Massachusetts Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

1 thought on “A Little Java With Your CRM Can Go A Long Way”

  1. "Also in-house, we crafted some java to allow us to copy Address information to a Contact record from the associated Parent Account record, with one click."

    That's an awesome enhancement Scott, as outstanding as Dynamics CRM is, there is a ton of obvious functionality like that missing that adds a lot of extra time to users.

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