Two Most Popular Microsoft Products Working Together: Dynamics CRM and SharePoint

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s “Most Popular Feature” is access to Dynamics CRM via Outlook. But new to Dynamics CRM 2011 is the built-in “Second Most Popular Feature” - direct interface to Microsoft SharePoint.  SharePoint is the increasingly popular option for creating, sharing and managing documents for many reasons.

Why SharePoint and Dynamics CRM together? While Dynamics CRM is a great tool for organizing customers and their related processes, it is not designed to manage documents and collaborate on those documents at the same level. Many companies already have a SharePoint site set up for managing projects and having the specific folder accessible from a Dynamics CRM window in just a few clicks saves time.

For example, one business area that has long been recognized as requiring strong documentation is Customer Service, and specifically Service Case Management. A resolved case should have the preferred solution information easily available in related knowledge base articles or in other documents.  These solutions should be carefully managed so Customer Service can be sure to resolve cases most quickly and accurately.  SharePoint is perfect for this.

Other Dynamics CRM records lend themselves to these types of applications also.  For example, the Customer Accounts, Marketing Materials, Complex Sales Quotes and Proposals, Orders and Invoices, Contracts, Product data, and others.

So, how is a SharePoint folder attached to a Dynamics CRM Account in Dynamics CRM 2011?

Dynamics CRM 4.0 (released in 2007) provided custom fields that did enable integration across the applications through dynamic IFRAMES.  In Dynamics CRM 2011, Microsoft has streamlined the process to install these connections and made it far easier for the end users to initialize these connections and use them.

As you can see from the Dynamics CRM Settings to manage Documents, basically any CRM record can be set to connect to a related SharePoint folder.

For example, if you select an Account called “Advanced Components”, you will see the other related records including Contacts, Activities, Closed Activities (History).

Documents appears on the Accounts related records list (highlighted on the left).

Now the Dynamics CRM record can be attached to the related SharePoint folder.

You can paste the SharePoint folder URL into the Document Location field in the Webpage Dialog window. And that’s it.

Now when you select Documents under the “Advanced Components” Account, the related SharePoint Folder opens.  From Dynamics CRM, the related SharePoint folder and all the SharePoint document management functionality is available.

If you are not familiar with this screen, this is a Windows SharePoint Foundation 2010 Site Collection with a document folder set up for the customer Account “Advanced Components” available inside the Dynamics CRM 2011 record.

If you are interested in learning more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and SharePoint 2010, please contact our sales team at and we will work with you to find a solution to managing your customers and prospects with SharePoint.

By John Fischer, Account Executive, at Crestwood Associates, a Chicago Area partner who has achieved the Microsoft Partner Network Silver Customer Relationship Management (CRM) competency.

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