27 Şubat 2008 Çarşamba

SQL Server Reporting Services Report

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Another clever method for creating mass mailings in Microsoft CRM is to create a custom report using SQL Server Reporting Services. You can format reports however you want, so instead of including typical report items such as charts or graphs, you could simply include the text and formatting of your mass mailing letter.
Then you would add the data fields such as first name, last name, and so on to the appropriate mass mailing report fields. When you wanted to create your mass mailing, you would run the report and then simply print out the report results for use in your mailing. Some of the benefits and restrictions of this technique include:

You can access all the custom attributes in the filtered views.

You can access all the entities, including any custom entities that you create.

You can schedule reports to run on a specific interval (such as every Monday or once a month).

You can easily export the report results into other formats such as PDF, Excel, and XML.

You can include multiple data sources in a single report, so you could include different types of data in one mass mailing. For example, if you wanted to send a letter to all your contacts, you could include their five most recent Orders and their five most recent Cases.

You can launch reports from multiple places in the user interface, including the grid toolbar of various entities.

Developing complex reports with multiple data sources typically requires a more experienced report writer.

Microsoft CRM will not automatically create completed Letter activities for each of the records in your mail merge.

Word Mail Merge Using Microsoft CRM Exported Excel Data

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As an alternative to using Microsoft CRM filtered views as your mail merge data source, you could use an Excel data file exported from Microsoft CRM to create the recipient list for your mail merge. By combining the powerful Microsoft CRM Advanced Find feature with the ability to export data to Excel, users can quickly search and target the records that they want to include in a mail merge. They can use the Advanced Find feature to create their mail merge criteria, export the record set to Excel, and then use the exported Excel file as their mail merge data source. Some of the benefits and restrictions of this technique include:

You can access all the custom attributes in the filtered views.

You can access all the entities, including any custom entity that you create.

Users can create the recipient list by using the Web-based Advanced Find feature in Microsoft CRM and save the Advanced Find view for later use with future mass mailings.

You can save the list of mailing recipients in an Excel file for later reference, and you can programmatically import this mass mailing data into Microsoft CRM to create completed Letter activities with a custom script.

Microsoft CRM will not automatically create completed Letter activities for each of the records in your mail merge.

Word Mail Merge Using Filtered Views

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The mail merge feature in Word (different from launching the mail merge feature in Microsoft CRM) lets you choose from a variety of data sources, such as Microsoft Office Access files, HTML files, XML files, and text files. In addition, you can connect directly to a database that supports an OLE DB or ODBC connection. Because SQL Server supports OLE DB connections, you can connect directly to the Microsoft CRM filtered database views and use those records as the data source for your mail merge. To do this, simply create a new data source connection pointing at the SQL Server database that your Microsoft CRM installation uses, and then select the filtered view that you want.

After you select your filtered view, you will probably want to further refine the records included in your mail merge. You can do this by using the advanced filter tools that Word offers.

After you filter the records that you want to include in your mail merge, you can set up and create your letters just as you can with any other Word mail merge. Some of the benefits and restrictions of using this technique include:

You can access all the custom attributes by using the filtered views.

You can access all the Microsoft CRM entities, including any custom entities that you create.

You can use the advanced filter tools in Word to limit the records included in your mail merge.

Microsoft CRM will not automatically create completed Letter activities for each of the records in your mail merge.

You can select records from only one filtered view for each mail merge. For example, you could not include records from the FilteredOpportunity and "FilteredOpportunityProduct" views in the same mail merge file.
5 Şubat 2008 Salı

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Mail Merge Feature

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Within the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook, users can access the mail merge feature to generate mass mailings for records in their databases. The mail merge feature can be accessed on the More Actions menuon the grid toolbar for the Lead, Account, and Contact entities.

When you click mail merge on this menu, Microsoft CRM automatically launches Word with the records you selected in the grid as your mass mailing data source. This feature makes it very easy for users to quickly create mail merges because it simplifies the mail merge data source selection in Word. In Word, the mail merge behaves identically to the standard Word mail merge feature, in which you can select templates, insert mail merge fields, preview your letter, and so on. However, when you complete your mail merge, Microsoft CRM automatically creates a completed Letter activity for each of the records in your mail merge. Some of the constraints related to using this feature include:

You cannot include custom attributes as Mail Merge fields.

You can only create mail merges for Leads, Accounts, and Contacts (no custom entities).

If you're using Word 2002 or 2003, Microsoft CRM automatically creates a completed Letter activity for each recipient.

Word uses the records selected in the grid as the mail merge data source. Therefore, if you have five pages of records that you want to include in your mail merge, you must repeat this process five times, once for each page of records. You can change your user settings to display as many as 250 records at one time on a single page by clicking Options on the Tools menu.

You cannot configure the subject and body of the completed Letter activity that Microsoft CRM creates for each record in the mail merge. The subject will always be "Word Mail Merge," and the body will always be "Mail Merge document created in Microsoft Word."

You can access the Microsoft CRM Mail Merge feature using the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook only; you cannot use the Web client.
Earlier in this chapter, we discussed creating and using E-mail templates to send information to multiple records in your Microsoft CRM database. But suppose that you wanted to create printed letters, envelopes, or labels for a large number of records? Clearly, using an E-mail template isn't an appropriate choice for this type of printed (non-e-mail) task. Microsoft CRM offers you several options for mass mailing activities, including the following:

Use the Microsoft CRM mail merge feature in the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook.

Use the mail merge feature in Microsoft Office Word, using Microsoft CRM filtered views as a data source.

Use the mail merge feature in Word, using Microsoft CRM data exported to Microsoft Office Excel as a data source.

Write a Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services report.

Use the Microsoft CRM Campaign and Quick Campaign features.

Create a custom mass mailing application.

Although using the mass mailing and mail merge features of Microsoft CRM doesn't necessarily fall under the chapter title "Setting Up Your System," we've received so many questions on the topic that we felt the need to cover it in this book. Therefore, the remainder of the chapter examines the benefits and drawbacks of theseoptions to help you decide which one provides the best fit for you.


Explaining the details of setting up and using the Word mail merge feature is beyond the scope of
this book. We assume you're already familiar with the concepts and techniques related to using Word mail merge.