The “Ideal” Microsoft Dynamics CRM Demo Environment #MSDYNCRM – Introduction & Links

Very often you need to have a nice and quick Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 demo environment either for a presentation, a Pre-Sales demo for a bid or in response to an RFI or RFP.

This post is covering what I believe is the ideal demo environment and how you can do it quickly.

In my view, the ideal environment will have at least:

  1.  CRM online instance integrated with
  2. SharePoint (Office 365) along with a
  3. Customer portal that is configured and contently managed within CRM and updates CRM directly,
  4. Bing Maps on the CRM Customer and Account forms (at least),
  5. Mobile Access to CRM
  6. Sample Data that can be presented in an elegant way on some powerful CRM Dashboards
  7. Some Social integration such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
  8. Lync and Skype integration within CRM for making calls.

Sounds a lot, right? Well, you can do a lot of this using Microsoft’s Demo Builder which is a great tool for anyone who wants to build a quick nice and clean demo with lots of features. You can find the Demo Hub or the Demo Builder: http://demobuilder.cloudapp.net

Using the demo builder you should achieve most of the points I mentioned above. To get the customer portal, I suggest you use the ADX Studios community version of their Portals (Customer & Partner Portals). You can access it through this link: http://demo.adxstudio.com.

As for the Mobile Access, I recommend using CWR Mobility demo solution and CRM Mobile Apps they built for iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, Android and Blackberry. To get their demo solution, check this link: http://www.cwrmobility.com/mobile-crm-blog/enhancing-your-demo-builder-system-with-mobile-crm

The social integration can be achieved using InsideView which comes free with the Demo Builder. Just make sure you use the Demo Builder (Polaris version) if you want all the additional features. If you choose the Basic Empty Demo, you will get CRM and SharePoint with integration but without the additional features.

As for the Twitter, Lync and Skype Integration with Dynamics CRM, this will be the subject of a different post.

Do you have any additional recommendations for the “ideal” CRM demo? Please comment below with ideas, suggestions and any feedback on this post.

Hope this was useful.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Online Error Codes – full list of API Web Service Error Codes from SDK

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Error Code list of Web Service and API Error Codes. The following is copied from MSDN online and Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK.

This topic lists the error codes you may encounter when debugging your code. You can find helper code for using error codes in the Microsoft Dynamics SDK download package in the folder SDK\SampleCode\CS\HelperCode\ErrorCodes.cs. In the same folder you will also find CrmErrors.xlsx, which is provided for an easy way to look up error information. For more information, see Handle Exceptions in Your Code.

The following table lists the error codes used in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. I have coped it into a post so that it is easy for me and hopefully for everyone else to pick these errors up. Please note that errors usually start with Ox which refers to the code being in hexadecimal. Error codes below do not have the Ox prefix. You need to remove it from your error code before you search.

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Cookbook – Book Review

Packt Publishing has recently asked me to review the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Cookbook” book. I have just finished reviewing it and I found the book to be a good introduction to any new starters into the Dynamics CRM world.

The book has 10 chapters over about 380 pages. The book tries to cover all core features of Dynamics CRM including its installation, maintenance and administration. The book also provides a good overview on Data management and Dynamics CRM solutions management in chapters 4 and 5. It then tries to briefly explain customising Dynamics CRM using standard customisation and configuration capabilities. It also covers creating ribbon buttons, site map customisation and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Processes and Workflows. Finally, the book highlights the out of the box integration between Dynamics CRM and SharePoint.

I found the book to provide a good introductions to Dynamics CRM new starters at beginner-level. It helps their understanding of the Microsoft CRM software system and gives them basics on how to deploy, maintain, configure, and customize a Dynamics CRM 2011 applications.

The book also assumes the read has some basic IT Infrastructure knowledge and some functional knowledge of Dynamics CRM.

The book is available here: CRM 2011 Cookbook Pack Publishers