We are all familiar with the customer self-service portal, offered by Microsoft, which connects to Dynamics CRM 2011. Another method commonly used by developers is SharePoint based portals that connect to CRM. In this blog post, we offer a different approach to building a customer portal. We suggest that customer portals built on DotNetNuke technology, together with DNN2CRM modules, provide better web design capabilities and extra functionality in retrieving and updating CRM records than do other technologies.
DotNetNuke (DNN) is a technology that provides everything you need to design and deploy beautiful and dynamic websites. DotNetNuke community edition is offered free of charge. It has all the functionality you need to design a customer engagement platform for non-technical contributors, and at a fraction of the price of other solutions. Skins and modules are the two main components of DNN portal. Skins are templates that define the overall look of pages within a website. Modules are a collection of user controls that are configured to work together and provide functionality to web pages, such as a module that connects to Dynamics CRM or a module to retrieve records of invoices from CRM and display them on the web page. You can download the free DotNetNuke Community edition from
DNN2CRM is a series of off-the-shelf DNN modules imported to the DotNetNuke portal. A module connects to one or more CRM entities. The module retrieves records from CRM based on selected views and displays them on the portal. The portal user can update the records and save them in a CRM database or create new CRM records.
As an example, when a person browsing the website fills in the LeadCreate form with his / her contact details and clicks the submit button, the module will first check for any existing record in CRM Lead or Contact entities with the exact same email address; if none are found, it will create a new lead record in CRM. LeadCreate module is free of charge and can be tested and downloaded here:
LeadCreate module has another important functionality. The connection settings between the portal and CRM server are created and saved using LeadCreate module. The connection details are stored in the web.config file of the DNN portal, and serve all other DNN2CRM modules when they need to connect to CRM. LeadCreate module can set up a connection with CRM on-premise, CRM online, and CRM combined with Office 365.
by DNN Integration,