Consider a transport company that offers clients delivery services to different addresses and prices that vary based on size, weight, and preferred method of delivery. Or a company that provides IT support services committed to be delivered on predefined schedule.
In both cases there is an agreement or service contract, a document that sets out the different type of goods and services, when and what will be delivered and in what price. The contract document is stored in SharePoint to allow management, operations team, and sales-people, access to view its content, follow approval process, track its version history and movement between one person to another, and add comments related to its content, during the contract term.
Business Process Across CRM and SharePoint Platforms
Although Dynamics CRM and SharePoint are on two different platforms, the synergy between them is highly complementary if a document uploaded from CRM to SharePoint is stored (tagged) with the structured data available in Dynamics CRM. Tagging documents with metadata in a SharePoint document library provides the flexibility to display multiple library views based on the different needs of users. The values stored in the document column can be used to trigger SharePoint workflows. Good example is a workflow that waits till the expiry date of a contract or price agreement, and then it sends an Email to sales team to follow up contact renewal or price review. You can run one automated business process starting with CRM Workflow, which is then taken over by SharePoint Workflow, a process that can repeat itself, from SharePoint to trigger another CRM Workflow, to accomplish all business tasks required to be completed during the lifetime of the document.
Two Step Process to create document & upload to SharePoint with data from CRM
- Create Word Template
Create predefined template of invoice, quote, service contract or any other business document, which is populated with data from CRM records.
- Run Dynamics PDF-Docs workflow
With Dynamics PDF-Docs users can schedule a workflow to email Word document generated in CRM 2016 and Dynamics 365, as an attachment to an Email. With the release of PDF-Docs version 2, you can now upload the document as PDF or Word format to SharePoint, and tag it with fields from the record in CRM.
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The workflow has three steps. The first step- “SetWordTemplate” a Word document is generated with fields from the CRM record inserted in the document. The second step “Add Word Template” converts the created Word document to PDF. The last step is to upload to SharePoint. In the Properties of this step, we can select if the document to upload is in Word or PDF format, and we can set up to three columns as a combination of Column Name and Value. The value can be static like “Service Contract” which is an option from available list or dynamic like date, description and any other CRM attribute.
The end result is a document uploaded to SharePoint with the corresponding fields from CRM record associated with this document.
There are four obvious benefits to using Dynamics PDF-Docs:
- An automated process to upload documents and populate columns with fix and dynamic values from CRM records.
- Searching for documents, based on values stored in the column of the list, in this example in the title field, makes it easier to locate a document.
- The Expiry Date can be used to trigger a workflow to send an Email or create task, when expiry date is due.
- The “Document Type” column can serve to build Views to filter documents based on type.
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