Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Dynamics CRM and SharePoint – birds of a feather?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is increasingly becoming an application platform for decidedly non-marketing uses. In this way it is moving away from it’s core platform functionality – Customer Relationship Management. Microsoft likes to talk about xRM applications (check out Developing ISV applications using Microsoft Dynamics CRM ) which are basically line of business (LOB) applications that use the Dynamics CRM database, extend the basic CRM web interface and add in extra logic using CRM workflows.

While Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint are definitely  complimentary platforms, this evolution allows you to probably build solutions on top of both SharePoint and MS CRM. Think about the following scenario’s:

  • Project management framework
  • Service desk and call follow up
  • Sales dashboards
  • Bid management – RFP process automation
  • Recruitment process automation
  • Citizen Service Platform (e-Government)

You can probably start from both SharePoint and CRM as a foundation and from there on build in the required functionality for your solution. Interesting choices … but who is making this choice?

From a development perspective you will also see some similarities.

  Dynamics CRM SharePoint
Encapsulate data CRM entities  Content Types
Adding business logic Plug in framework Event handlers
Workflow development Builds upon Workflow Foundation Builds upon Workflow Foundation
User interface extensions Embedded IFrames within CRM Forms Web Parts and SharePoint application pages

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