The Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform allows you to manage sales and marketing. Configuring and customizing the platform allows you to tailor the platform to your needs, for example, by adding additional user interface components. This book covers a selected set of advanced scenarios where you wish to customize the application beyond simple modifications of existing elements.

Dynamics CRM (CRM) provides tools that allow you to configure and customize the application. The tools are designed to allow you to configure and customize entities, workflows, forms and other major components. The modifications you can make through these tools are quite expansive and in general allow even a novice to make modifications to the existing system. However, after working in Dynamics technology for many years, there are many things you may wish to do that are not covered by the tools provided by Microsoft.

Examples of more advanced customization tasks include:

  • Adding new user interface components to a form.

  • Creating new workflows and workflow actions.

  • Integrating with other systems.

CRM was designed to be extended simply, using the tools provided by Microsoft, but it was also desgined to extend the system using more advanced techniques, techniques that may include programming code in javscript or C#. More advanced development allows you extend the base application to achieve your business objectives. CRM was designed as a development platform and it is fully expected that the ecosystem would extend the CRM system in this way.

When you use more advanced customizations, especially code based customizations, you run an increased risk of compatibility with future versions. While CRM is generally good about maintaining API compatibility between versions, there are changes in the API over time. Therefore, the general advance has always been to stick with the CRM provided configurations and customizations unless you really do need to incur the cost and risk associated with developing your advanced customizations.

Read this book when the costs and risk make sense for you.