25 Aralık 2007 Salı

Microsoft Dynamic CRM 3.0 Relationship Roles

Reactions:  

Of course, you already know that tracking the relationships between your company and your customers is the primary goal of any CRM application. However, what about tracking the relationships between the customers in your database? The Relationship Roles feature allows you to create and capture the relationships between your Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities. Let's consider an example of how relationship roles can provide great benefits to your organization. Assume that you're a salesperson who has just discovered a potential sale opportunity with a fictional company named Coho Vineyard & Winery. If you examine the Account and Contact hierarchy in your Microsoft CRM database, you see that Coho Vineyard & Winery includes two child Accounts and two Contact records.

This information does help you understand the Account, but consider how much more information about the Opportunity you would possess if your company used the Relationship Roles feature.

The relationship roles between the Coho Vineyard & Winery account and additional Account and Contact records in your Microsoft CRM database. Using relationship roles would give you additional information about this Opportunity, such as:

Giuseppe Russo (who works for Wide World Importers) is an influencer on this Opportunity because he used to work for Coho Vineyard.

The decision maker for Coho Vineyard, Gretchen Rivas, is the sister-in-law of Giuseppe Russo.

Wide World Importers purchases products from Coho Vineyard & Winery.You learned about this Opportunity from the Graphic Design Institute, and their firm supplies design services for Coho Vineyard & Winery.

Heidi Steen's role is an influencer for the Coho Winery Account.

Tip
One great benefit of relationship roles illustrated in this example is that you can specify a Contact's true role in the decision-making process. Sometimes you can determine a Contact's authority based on his or her title, but a title doesn't necessarily translate to actual decision-making authority. You've probably worked with a company that seems to have an endless supply of vice presidents, but you know that they do not all possess the same decision-making authority.

As a salesperson, you could take the additional information provided by relationship roles to craft an entirely new sales strategy for this Opportunity! For example, you might leverage these relationships to get some personal introductions to the true decision makers for the Coho Vineyard & Winery Account.

Important You can create your own custom relationship roles to track and manage the detailed links between your Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities. However, you cannot create a relationship role that links to a Microsoft CRM user.

To configure relationship roles, browse to the Settings area and click Relationship Roles. Microsoft CRM lists all the relationship roles configured in your system.

To create a new relationship role, click the New button on the grid toolbar to open the Relationship Role editor.

On this page, you can enter the role name and configure which types of entity relationships the role supports.

You might want to restrict the relationships between entities depending on the nature of your data. For example, if you wanted to track a husband-and-wife relationship role between two Contacts, you would not select the Account or Opportunity entities because they don't apply to this type of relationship.

Because an attorney might be a law firm (an Account) or a single practitioner (a Contact), we selected both the Account and Contact entities in the Account Role For row. This means that we can create an attorney relationship for an Account and select either an Account record or a Contact record. However, because we didn't select any entities in the Contact Role For row, we could not specify an attorney relationship for Contact records. Likewise, we could not specify an attorney relationship for an Opportunity, because we did not select that entity for either Account Role For or Contact Role For.

Now that we've created the attorney relationship role, users can add this relationship between two records in the user interface by clicking Relationships on the Account and Contact forms and then clicking New on the grid toolbar. A window appears that allows the user to select two different records to create the relationship.

As the figure shows, you can also specify two relationship roles for each of the records in a single relationship.

In this example, the A Bike Store Account uses Contoso Legal as its attorney, so we set the A Bike Store role as "Customer" and Contoso Legal's role as "Attorney." After you save this record, users can view the relationships by clicking Relationships in the entity navigation pane.

You can get very creative with the setup and configuration of the business relationships that you want to capture between your Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities. Microsoft CRM provides great reporting and analysis on these relationships, because you can use relationship roles as filter criteria in your views and advanced find searches. Also, you can automate business processes by using the workflow module and using relationship roles as part of your workflow rule criteria and conditions.

More Info Microsoft Dynamics CRM Small Business Edition uses a Configuration Wizard that creates some predefined relationship roles upon installation. However, the Professional Edition does not include any default relationship roles.

Microsoft Dynamic CRM 3.0 Announcements

Reactions:  

As you might guess, you can use the Announcements feature to create and post information to the entire organization. For example, you can post information about scheduled system downtime or a list of new customizations that you recently published to the system. Users can view announcements by clicking the Announcements subarea in the Workplace area of the user interface.

When you create announcement posts, you can include a URL that Microsoft CRM will display as a clickable hyperlink. You can use this feature to link to additional information regarding the announcement. To create an announcement, browse to the Settings area of Microsoft CRM, click Announcements, and then click New on the grid toolbar. You can enter up to four attributes for each announcement:

Title The text that appears above the line in a bold font

Body The body text that appears below the line

More Information URL An optional address that users can access for more information about the announcement

Expiration Date The date on which the announcement will be automatically removed from the Announcements list

Note that when the expiration date passes, Microsoft CRM automatically removes the announcement from the grid. You cannot update the expiration date after an announcement expires; if you want to display an expired announcement, you must create it again. Also note that announcements are displayed to all the users in the system. You cannot create an announcement specific to a particular business unit.

You can't force users to check the Announcements list every day, so they might miss a new posting. If users want to make sure that they always see new announcements, they can configure the Announcements list to be their default start page by clicking Tools and then Options on the application menu bar, and then specifying the default page on the General tab. Microsoft CRM will direct them to the Announcements list every time they log on to the system.

14 Aralık 2007 Cuma

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Subjects

Reactions:  

Microsoft CRM provides the Subjects feature so that you can hierarchically categorize various entities such as Products, Cases, Sales Literature, and Knowledge Base Articles under a common topic

structure. By creating a subject tree such as this one, you could link a product category, such as Road-150, with all its related Products, Cases, Sales Literature, and Knowledge Base Articles. To create your own subject tree,browse to the Settings area and click Subjects. Then use the tools in the Common Tasks pane to structure the subject tree for the different types of areas related to your organization, such as products, services, business operations, and anything else that you need to categorize in Microsoft CRM. After you establish your subject tree, you can assign entity records to one of the subjects.

Categorizing your entity records by their correct subjects offers the following benefits:

Users can browse Knowledge Base Articles by subject.

You can create new views, using subject values as filter criteria. For example, you can create a view that shows only the open cases for the Road-150 subject.

You can create workflow rules that automatically route or assign cases to specific individuals based on the Case subject.

When designing your subject tree, keep the following in mind:

You can easily adjust and modify the subject tree at any time, so don't fret too much over the initial layout.

When you modify subjects, Microsoft CRM applies your changes immediately throughout the system.

You should avoid creating subjects that have only one child subject.

Although there is no fixed limit on how deep you can make your subject tree, we recommend that you keep it between four and five levels deep, with a maximum of seven levels. If you go much deeper, it might become difficult for users to select the correct subject in the user interface, particularly if they use the form assistant.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Entities

Reactions:  

Microsoft CRM uses the term entities to describe the record types it uses throughout the system. The concept of entities is easily one of the most important concepts to understand before you can

customize Microsoft CRM. Some people use the term objects to describe the concept of entities.

The default installation of Microsoft CRM includes almost 115 different entities for tracking and managing different types of data. We don't have the space to list all of the default entities, but some of the

More frequently used entities include:

Lead A potential customer that users can qualify or disqualify as a sales opportunity. When you qualify (convert) a Lead, Microsoft CRM can automatically create an Account, Contact, and Opportunity

Record for you.

Contact A person who interacts with your organization. Contact records might be customers, but you can also track any type of Contact, such as partners, suppliers, vendors, and so on.

Account A business or organization that interacts with your company. You can link an Account's employees as Contacts related to the Account. In addition, you can create parent and child

Relationships between Accounts to reflect divisions or departments within a single large Account.

Case A customer service problem reported by a customer that your organization wants to track and manage until it's successfully resolved.

Activity An action or follow-up item that your users must complete, such as tasks, phone calls, letters, and e-mail messages. You can link Activities to an entity to specify what the follow-up item is regarding.

Note Short text annotations that you can link to various entities throughout Microsoft CRM.

Opportunity A potential sale for your organization. After a customer decides whether he or she will purchase from your company, you can mark the Opportunity as won or lost.

Microsoft CRM uses a form to display the attributes of a single entity record. Users can view and update entity records by editing the data that appears on its form.

Using the Web Client with Outlook Running

Reactions:  

It might appear that certain portions of Microsoft CRM "disappear" from the Web client user interface from time to time. In reality, Microsoft CRM hides certain areas of functionality in the Web client if the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook is open and running on a computer. Some of these areas include:

Settings

Customizations

Service Calendar

Workplace Calendar


To access these areas in the Web client, simply close Outlook and refresh the Internet Explorer window. Voilà! The hidden sections will appear again.

If you really need to access these hidden areas in the Web client with Outlook open, you can trick the software by browsing to the Microsoft CRM server using a different alias than the one you used to install Microsoft CRM client for Outlook. For example, if you used the server NETBIOS name (such as http://crm) when you installed Microsoft CRM client for Outlook, you could use the Web client to browse to the IP address of the Microsoft CRM Web server (such as http://192.168.0.1). Even though both resolve to the same Microsoft CRM installation, the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook will not hide the Settings and Customization links in the Web client.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 User Interfaces

Reactions:  

Microsoft CRM is a Web-based application built using the Microsoft .NET technology platform. Because of its native Web architecture, users can access Microsoft CRM through the Internet Explorer Web browser. In addition to the Web interface (also known as the Web client), users can access Microsoft CRM by installing the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook on a computer running Outlook.


The Microsoft CRM client for Outlook offers two versions:

Microsoft CRM 3.0 desktop client for Microsoft Office Outlook Designed for use with desktop computers that will remain connected to the Microsoft CRM server at all times. Use this client for "online only" scenarios and when multiple users log on to the same computer with different profiles.

Microsoft CRM 3.0 laptop client for Microsoft Office Outlook Designed for users of laptop computers who must disconnect from the Microsoft CRM server but still need to work with CRM data when they're offline.

The software copies data from the Microsoft CRM server to a Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) database installed on the user's computer so that the user can work while disconnected.When the user reconnects to the server, the Microsoft CRM laptop client bidirectionally synchronizes data between the Microsoft CRM server and the user's MSDE database. The laptop client can be used by only one user on a single machine. Microsoft CRM refers to the process of connecting and disconnecting from the server as go online and go offline.

Note
When we reference the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook in this book, we're referring to both the laptop and the desktop versions. They offer nearly identical functionality, except that the laptop version can be used offline.

Users can access the vast majority of Microsoft CRM system functionality from either the Web client or the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook. Therefore, you can decide whether you want to deploy the Web client, the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook, or if you want to offer both options to your users. A few notable differences in functionality exist between the Web client and the Microsoft CRM for Outlook clients:

Users can access the Mail Merge feature in the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook only.

You must use the Web client to access the administration section of the Microsoft CRM software to change settings and access the system customizations.

The Microsoft CRM client for Outlook can synchronize a user's Microsoft CRM contacts, tasks, and appointments between the Microsoft CRM server and a user's Outlook data. You can configure how often this synchronization occurs and you can also filter the data that you want the software to synchronize on each user's behalf.
Users can access the Service Calendar and Workplace Calendar in the Web client only.
When working offline, Microsoft CRM laptop client for Outlook users cannot use some of the Microsoft CRM functionality such as running reports.

More Info In addition to the Web client and the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook, Microsoft CRM includes a mobile edition that supports handheld devices using Pocket PC and Windows Mobile operating systems. The mobile edition of Microsoft CRM 3.0 was not yet released at the time that this book went to press.

13 Aralık 2007 Perşembe

Article Templates

Reactions:  

Microsoft CRM uses the Knowledge Base entity to capture information about a company's products, services,
or support techniques. A Knowledge Base allows users to discover solutions to problems that someone else
has already solved. A Knowledge Base consists of many different Articles, and Figure 2-4 shows a sampleArticle for buying a properly sized bicycle.When users create a new Article, they must first select an Article template that specifies the structure of the
information that should be contained in the Article. You can create an Article template by browsing to the
Templates section of the Settings area, clicking Article Templates, and then clicking the New button on thegrid toolbar.

In this example, every Article using this template will include a Summary section and an Additional Comments
section. Of course, you can create multiple Article templates and structure them with as many different
sections as you deem necessary. In addition, you can control the formatting of the text that appears in each
Article by using the buttons that appear above the Article Title text. Some typical types of Knowledge Base
Articles include:

General use

Simple procedure

Detailed procedure

Question and answer / frequently asked questions

Troubleshooting sequence

You might want to create a unique Article template for each type of Knowledge Base content that your
organization uses.

Important New Articles must go through an approval process before users can access them. In the
Knowledge Base area of the user interface, users submit Articles for approval. Then
administrators and managers with the correct security privileges can approve the
unapproved Articles so that they become published.

Microsoft Dynamic CRM 3.0 Templates

Reactions:  

Templates allow you a convenient means of standardizing the content and layout of similar documents in
Microsoft CRM. You can use three types of templates:

Contract
Article
E-mail

Because they're all templates, you might expect the setup of these three types to be similar. In reality, their
functionality and usage in the application is quite different.

In this dialog box, you can choose which E-mail template to send. Because E-mail templates are defined with
an entity type, you can select only templates specific to the entity that you're working with or one of the global
templates. In our example, you could not send an Account or Contact template from this page because we
clicked the Direct E-mail button from the Leads grid toolbar. To select an E-mail template, simply click its
name in the selection box.

Tip If you move your mouse cursor over the description text, CRM will display the entire text of the E-mail
template description.

After you select the E-mail template that you want to send, you can specify to which records you want to send
the message. As the dialog box explains, you can send the message to just the selected records, to all the
records on the current page, or to all the records in the selected view.

Regardless of the value that you select here, Microsoft CRM will not send Direct E-mail messages to any
Account or Contact record if the Do Not Allow Bulk E-mails or Do Not E-mail attributes for the record are set to
Do Not Allow.

By default, Microsoft CRM sends the e-mail message as coming from the user who is currently logged on. You
can change this value by clicking the lookup button and selecting a different user or queue.

Caution Be very careful when using the Direct E-mail feature! When you click the Send button, Microsoft
CRM sends the message immediately. There is no "preview" or "cancel" option, so make sure
that your message is ready to send.

When you use the Direct E-mail feature, Microsoft CRM sends messages through Microsoft Exchange Server.
Therefore, use some discretion when sending a very large number of messages at one time. Some factors
that come into play include the hardware specifications on your servers, your network performance, your
Internet bandwidth, and the amount of load on the server. Although no published specifications exist and the
numbers can range widely depending on your infrastructure, if you need to send more than 10,000 to 20,000
e-mail messages in one hour, we recommend that you explore the option of using third-party e-mail engines
instead of Exchange Server.

Inserting Templates into E-Mail Messages

Sometimes you will not want to use the Direct E-mail feature because you can't edit or add content to the e-
mail message before Microsoft CRM sends it. Fortunately, you can insert an E-mail template into an individual
e-mail message that you're composing so that you can modify it before you send it. When you're writing a
message in the Web client, you can click the Insert Template button (shown in Figure 2-8) to open the dialog
box shown in Figure 2-7. You must select at least one e-mail recipient before you can insert a template,
because Microsoft CRM must know which template types apply to the message (based on the entity type ofthe recipients).

After you select an E-mail template, Microsoft CRM automatically populates the template content in the body
of the message and fills out any data fields that the E-mail template might contain. This is a convenient feature
if you want to edit or add additional content to an e-mail before you send it (something you can't do with the
Direct E-mail feature). If your e-mail message includes multiple recipients, you must select one of them as the
E-mail template target when you insert a template into the message.

Warning Each time you insert an E-mail template into the body of an e-mail message, Microsoft CRM
updates the subject line of the e-mail message to match the subject of the E-mail template. So if
you insert multiple templates, the subject will be determined by the last template inserted. This is
very convenient for writing new e-mails, but you should be aware of this behavior if you insert E-
mail templates when you reply to messages.

You cannot insert an E-mail template into an Outlook e-mail message if you are using the Microsoft CRM
client for Outlook.

Creating or Modifying E-Mail Templates

Now that you understand some of the ways in which you can use E-mail templates in Microsoft CRM, let's
discuss how you can create and set up new E-mail templates. Microsoft CRM includes 18 E-mail templates in
the default installation, including:

Lead Reply — Web Site Visit

Lead Reply — Trade Show Visit

Closed Case Acknowledgement

Marketing Event Notification

Order Thank You

You can modify these default templates or create entirely new E-mail templates that meet your needs. To view
the E-mail templates that are currently in your system, browse to the Settings area of Microsoft CRM, click
Templates, and then click E-mail Templates. A grid displays all the E-mail templates and their types. Simplydouble-click any record to view a template, such as the Follow-Up to Our Meeting template.
You can see that a template contains several attributes, such as:

Type Whether the template is global or applies only to an individual entity.

Title Short title of the E-mail template that appears when users select a template.

Description Additional descriptive text that explains the function of the E-mail template. Users can
access the description when they select a template.
Subject The subject line of the e-mail message.
Body The body of the e-mail message. It isn't labeled on the form, but this is the large text box below the
subject.
You can also see in Figure 2-9 that the E-mail template includes a highlighted data field that contains data
such as the following:

{!Contact:Full Name;Potential Customer}


Microsoft CRM automatically converts this data field to the full name of the Contact for this record. The text
before the colon refers to the entity, and the text after the colon specifies the attribute name. If an Opportunity
record does not have a Contact Full Name value, you can include a default value for the data field by entering
text after the semicolon. In this example, Microsoft CRM would insert the following text in the e-mail message
if there were no data in the Opportunity record for the Contact Full Name value:

Potential Customer
To add a new data field to an E-mail template, click the Insert/Update button on the form toolbar.

When you click the Add button, another dialog box prompts you to select the Record Type and Field for the
data field. Depending on the entity you selected for the E-mail template type, you can add fields from different
related entities. For example, on Lead E-mail templates, you can only add fields from the Lead and User
entities. However, for Opportunity E-mail templates, you can add fields from the Account, Contact,
Opportunity, and User entities. After you select the field that you want to add and click OK, the field appears in
the Data Field Values list. Then you can specify the default value text (optional) by entering it in the Default
Text box. When you click OK, Microsoft CRM adds the data field to the E-mail template.

Tip You can add data fields to both the subject and body of an E-mail template.

If you want to add multiple data fields to an E-mail template, you must add them one at a time, as in this
example:

{!Contact : Salutation;} {!Contact : Last Name;}


These data fields would insert the following text into an e-mail message for a sample Contact, Mr. Bill Gates:

Mr. Gates

However, if you added both data fields at the same time by using the Data Field Values dialog box, Microsoft
CRM would create one data field in the template, like this:

{!Contact : Salutation;Contact : Last Name;}

This data field would insert the following text for the same Contact:
Mr.


As you can see, Microsoft CRM allows you to enter a dynamic data field for the default value of a different
data field. In this example, Contact: Last Name is the default value for the Contact: Salutation data field.
However, because the Contact record included a value for the salutation, it didn't need to output the default
value of Contact: Last Name.
Creating a new E-mail template is straightforward enough. Just click the New button on the grid toolbar, select
the entity type for the E-mail template, and then enter the appropriate information in the template fields. After
you set up your new template with the attributes and data fields that you want, simply click Save on the E-mail
template toolbar. Microsoft CRM immediately applies your changes to the E-mail template and users can
access it.
Tip When you enter and edit text in the E-mail template body, pressing Enter on your keyboard adds an
extra line. If you want a single carriage return (instead of a new paragraph), simply press Shift+Enter
instead.

Creating and Sharing Personal E-Mail Templates

The process we just explained will create an E-mail template that the entire organization can view and use.
Users can also create personal templates for their own use. To create a personal E-mail template, follow these
steps:
1. On the application menu bar, click Tools, and then click Options.

2. On the E-mail Templates tab, click New on the grid toolbar, and then follow the steps for creating an
organization E-mail template.

If a user decides that he or she wants to share an E-mail template with the entire organization, he or she can
convert a personal template to an organization template at any time. To do this, open the E-mail template that
you want to convert, and then click Make Template Available To Organization on the Actions menu. Microsoft
CRM immediately updates the E-mail template. If necessary, you can undo this conversion by clicking Revert
To Personal Template on the Actions menu.

Tip E-mail templates follow the security settings and privileges related to the E-mail template entity and its
user ownership (Chapter 3 explains security and privileges in detail). Therefore, you can configure the
user security roles and E-mail template ownership however you choose, such as allowing users to see
only the templates for their specific business units.

Inserting Graphics and HTML into E-Mail Templates

After you create a few E-mail templates, you'll probably notice that the editing tools for the e-mail message
body are somewhat limited. For example, you cannot use the available buttons to add a hyperlink or an image
to the message. If you want to develop a more sophisticated E-mail template with multiple images, links, and
so on, you will probably want to create HTML code with a development tool such as Microsoft Visual Studio
.NET. However, if you try to copy and paste your HTML code into the E-mail template, it is displayed as plain
text; your recipient would receive a bunch of HTML code instead of the nice formatted version of your
message! Fortunately, with just a little trick you can easily copy and paste your custom HTML code into the E-
mail template and still maintain the correct formatting.

First, let's assume that you want to send a simple company newsletter to contacts in your database by using
an E-mail template with the following requirements:

Display the company logo in the message.
Address the customers by their first names.

Add a hyperlink that readers can click to get more information.
We created some sample HTML code in Visual Studio .NET that will meet these requirements.

Next, we want to create a new E-mail template for the Contact entity and insert our sample code into the
template. Browse to the Settings area of Microsoft CRM, click Templates, and then click E-mail templates.
Click the New button on the grid toolbar, select the Contact entity from the drop-down list, and then click OK.
The new E-mail template form appears, and you can use any title, description, and subject that you want.

If you just typed the sample HTML code from Figure 2-11 into the body of the message, it would appear as
plain text. Therefore, we want to copy (Ctrl+C) the sample newsletter and paste (Ctrl+V) it into the e-mail
message body. You can accomplish this in a few ways, such as:

Copy and paste the HTML code from Visual Studio .NET HTML view
Copy and paste the formatted message from Visual Studio .NET Design view
Copy and paste the formatted message from Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 Design view

Important You cannot copy and paste HTML code from a text editor program such as Notepad into the
E-mail template. In addition, you cannot copy and paste HTML code from FrontPage 2003
Code view.
After you copy and paste the contents of the message into the E-mail template body, you will see the properly
formatted e-mail message, complete with an image and a hyperlink. After we pasted the code into the
message, we added a data field to display the contact's first name in our newsletter, to satisfy our original requirement.

If you try this copy-and-paste technique but it does not work, confirm that you have the following element at
the top of your HTML code.You can also try using the copy and paste technique with other applications, such as Microsoft Internet
Explorer. The success of this technique varies depending on the format that different applications use to copydata to the clipboard.

Contract Templates

Reactions:  

In the Microsoft CRM Service area, companies can track and manage data related to customer service
requests such as Cases, the Service Calendar, and the Knowledge Base. When a customer contacts your
company with a problem or a service request, you create a Case and link it to that customer. Most companies
require their customers to maintain a valid service agreement before they can open new Cases. Microsoft
CRM uses the Contract entity to save data related to these types of customer service agreements.

Warning By default, the Contract field on the Case form has a requirement level of No Constraint.
Therefore, users can create a Case even if a customer does not have a valid service contract.
You can require a Contract for all Cases by modifying the Contract attribute of the Case entity.
Chapter 4, "Entity Customization: Concepts and Attributes," explains in detail how to modify
entity attributes.

Microsoft CRM offers three types of Contract allotments:

Number of Cases Allows you to specify a specific number of Cases that a customer can create. Each
new Case request counts against a customer's Contract allotment.

Time Allows you to specify a specific amount of time for which a customer can receive service. For
example, you might create a Contract for 1,000 minutes; the time required to resolve each Case
accumulates and counts against the customer's Contract allotment.

Coverage Dates Allows you to specify a start and end date for the customer's Contract. You can create
new Cases for customers, as long as they're within their Contract coverage dates.

Of course, each customer (Account or Contact) can have multiple valid Contracts open at any given time,
depending on the structure of your agreements. Users can create a new Contract for a customer by clicking
the New button on the toolbar of the Contract grid. Microsoft CRM prompts users to select which Contracttemplate they want to use to create the new Contract.


Therefore, you must create Contract templates if you want to use the Contract entity to track your customer
service agreements. You can create a Contract template by browsing to the Templates section of the Settings
area and then clicking Contract Templates. Then click the New button on the Contract Template grid toolbar.Microsoft CRM launches the window.


In addition to the allotment type that we discussed, you can also specify the Contract template service
calendar by clicking the boxes in the Calendar section to indicate the time and days of the week supported by
the Contract.

Important When users select a Contract for a Case, they can choose only Contracts with a status of
Invoiced. New Contracts default to a Draft status until you invoice them. To invoice a
Contract, select Invoice Contract from the Actions menu on the Contract's menu bar.

E-Mail Templates

Reactions:  

If E-mail templates behaved exactly like Contract and Article templates, you might expect to select an E-mail
template when you create a new e-mail. However, E-mail templates provide much more functionality than the
Contract and Article templates. You can use E-mail templates in the following ways:
Insert templates into e-mail messages Instead of selecting an E-mail template to create a new e-mail
message, you can insert an E-mail template into the body of an e-mail message that a user is composing.
This allows you to insert multiple E-mail templates into a single e-mail message if necessary.
Send direct e-mail by using templates You can use E-mail templates to send the same e-mail message
to multiple records. For example, you could use the Direct E-mail feature (which uses E-mail templates) to
send the same message to 500 Contacts.

Reference E-mail templates in workflow rules You can reference E-mail templates within Microsoft
CRM workflow to accomplish many types of business process automation techniques. Chapter 8,
"Workflow," describes in detail how to set up and create workflow rules.

Microsoft CRM uses E-mail templates primarily for external communications to Contact and Account records,
but you can also use E-mail templates for internal e-mail between users.

In addition to being accessible from different areas of the Microsoft CRM application, E-mail templates have
the following unique features:

Data fields You can insert data fields into E-mail templates that Microsoft CRM will dynamically populate
on usage. For example, if you wanted to send an e-mail message to 20 people and address each
recipient by his or her first name, you would insert a first name data field into the E-mail template. When
Microsoft CRM sends the message, it would automatically populate the correct first name value in the
data field for each of the 20 recipients.
User and organization ownership All the Contract and Article templates are owned by the organization,
but users with the appropriate security privileges can create their own personal E-mail templates for their
exclusive use. Of course, you can also create organization E-mail templates for use by all users. Chapter
3 explains more about organization and user ownership of records.
Template types For each E-mail template that you create, you must specify to which single entity (such
as Lead or Opportunity) the template applies. You can also create a Global template for use with multiple
entities.
Let's get into the details of working with E-mail templates. In this chapter, we will examine accessing E-mail
templates by using the Direct E-mail feature and by inserting E-mail templates into an e-mail message.
Chapter 8 explains the use of E-mail templates in workflow rules.

Sending Direct E-Mail

If you want to send an e-mail message to multiple records in your database, the Direct E-mail feature allows
you to select recipients in a grid and then choose an E-mail template that you want to send. As we mentioned,
you can also include data fields in E-mail templates that Microsoft CRM dynamically populates with information
specific to each recipient. You can create and use E-mail templates for each of the following types of entity
records:

Lead

Opportunity

Account

Contact

Quote

Order

Invoice

Case

Contract

Service Activity

You can access the Direct E-mail feature from the grid toolbar for these types of entities. Figure 2-6 shows the
Direct E-mail button for the Leads entity. You will not see the Direct E-mail button in the Web client if you have
Microsoft Outlook opened with the Microsoft CRM client for Outlook installed.

6 Aralık 2007 Perşembe

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Customizations

Reactions:  
Microsoft CRM offers great out-of-the-box functionality, but in our opinion one of its biggest benefits is theease with which you can customize and revise the software to make it fit your business perfectly. MicrosoftCRM includes some of the most powerful, yet flexible, customization options available for any CRM programon the market. Some of the customization highlights include:

Entity customization and creation Customize entities by adding, modifying, or deleting their variousproperties, such as attributes, forms, views, relationships, mappings, and system messages. You can alsocreate entirely new custom entities.

Custom reports Use SQL Server Reporting Services to modify the default reports or create entirely new
reports. Reporting Services includes powerful reporting functionality such as data caching, reportsnapshots, and automated report delivery.

Workflow rules Use the Workflow Manager to create rules that help automate business processes.Workflow rules can reference and incorporate data from your own custom .NET workflow assemblies. Asample workflow might accomplish something like, "Make sure a salesperson calls and introduces himselfto every new account by automatically creating a phone call Activity due one day after an account iscreated."

Client-side customization Tap into client-side events such as onLoad, onSave, and onChange. You canattach your custom scripts to these client events, and Microsoft CRM will trigger them for you. Client-sideevents will help improve your users' experience because you can add advanced data validation andautomatic formatting when they're entering data on forms. Automatically formatting a phone number is anexample of a client-side customization.

Server-side integration Programmatically access and update Microsoft CRM data through Web servicesby creating your own custom code. By adhering to the Microsoft CRM published APIs, your custom codecan upgrade smoothly to future versions of Microsoft CRM. You can create two-way integration betweenMicrosoft CRM and other systems, such as your company Web site or extranet, by leveraging the server-side integration tools.

Pre-and post-callouts Create custom business logic with .NET assemblies that you can link directly tothe Microsoft CRM application logic.

Site map and ISV.config You can revise the user interface and application navigation by adding newareas, links, and buttons to areas throughout the application.

Filtered views Use filtered views in the Microsoft SQL Server database so that you (or your users) canretrieve raw data for additional manipulation, reporting, or analysis. Although users access the databasedirectly with filtered views, the filtered views still respect security and configuration settings so that userscan access only the data they have privileges for.


Supported vs. Unsupported Customizations
Although Microsoft CRM provides almost limitless customization options, you might encounter scenariosin which you want to customize the software in a manner not described in this book or in the productdocumentation. You might hear that these types of undocumented customizations are "unsupported," butwhat does that really mean? Unsupported customizations could fall into one of three categories:

Microsoft has not tested the change and can't confirm whether it will cause problems.
Microsoft has tested the change and knows that it will cause problems.

The change might not cause problems now, but it might cause problems if you update your softwarewith hot fixes, patches, or new releases of Microsoft CRM.

Unfortunately, you can't really know which of these categories a particular customization might fall into.Therefore, you might make an unsupported change and never experience a problem. However, it's morelikely that unsupported customizations will cause problems sooner or later, potentially even months afterthe change! If you do experience a problem with an unsupported customization and you call Microsoft
technical support, guess what they'll say? "That's unsupported, so we can't assist you." Of course they'requite friendly people and they might give you a tip or two related to your request, but you should notexpect any assistance from Microsoft technical support if you implement unsupported customizations.Some of the most obvious unsupported customizations include:

Manually or programmatically interacting directly with the SQL Server database (other than filteredviews)
Modifying any of the .aspx or .js files
Installing or adding files to the Microsoft CRM folders
Referencing or decompiling any of the Microsoft CRM .dll files

Even though many "unsupported" customizations are technically possible to implement, you shouldcarefully consider the risk/reward tradeoff of doing so. You should anticipate that your unsupportedcustomizations could possibly break with Microsoft CRM 3.0 hot fixes and that they will probably breakwith future versions of Microsoft CRM.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Requirements

Reactions:  
Microsoft CRM uses industry standard technologies such as Windows Server, Active Directory, and SQLServer for its platform. You have great flexibility in designing and configuring your Microsoft CRM environment,and your final system design will depend on several variables such as:

Number of servers available and server hardware specifications

Number of Microsoft CRM users and their expected system usage

Hardware specifications of your servers and your local area network performance

Your network structure and security configurations, including firewalls and virtual private network (VPN)connections

Amount of disaster recovery and failover systems needed in your deployment

The Microsoft CRM 3.0 Implementation Guide lists some recommended deployment configurations based onthese variables. However, as a general rule of thumb, the Microsoft CRM server environment requires thefollowing components:

Windows Server (2000 or 2003) or Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition

SQL Server (2000 or 2005) with SQL Server Reporting Services

Exchange Server (if you want to integrate e-mail with Microsoft CRM)

Of course, users accessing Microsoft CRM must also meet certain minimum hardware and software requirements on their computers. These requirements range from minimal for Web interface users (Windows98 or later with Internet Explorer 6.0 with Service Pack 1, for example) to more restrictive for Microsoft CRMclient for Outlook users (Windows 2000 Professional with Service Pack 4 and Office 2003 with Service Pack1, for example).