Microsoft Dynamics CRM
This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (May 2018)
Dynamics 365 / February 2018
|Operating system||Windows Server 2012 and later|
|Available in||Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Latin), Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian|
|Type||Customer relationship management|
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a customer relationship management software package developed by Microsoft. The product focuses mainly on sales, marketing, and service (help desk) sectors, but Microsoft has been marketing Dynamics CRM as a CRM platform and has been encouraging partners to use its once proprietary, now Open Source (.NET based) framework to customize it. It is part of the Microsoft Dynamics family of business applications.
Dynamics CRM is a server-client application, which, like Microsoft SharePoint, is primarily an IIS-based web application which also supports extensive web services interfaces. Clients access Dynamics CRM either by using a browser or by a thick client plug-in to Microsoft Outlook. Besides Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox browsers are fully supported since Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM first began in 2001 with the development of Dealer Point, which was designed to make MSN Auto Dealers longer customers. After the bCentral team work on it, they purchased iCommunicate, a web based CRM company with only 10 employees. With this collaboration, the development of a modern, web based CRM application began to form. In 2003 Microsoft CRM 1.0 was released offering basic contact management and email campaign functionality aimed at the small and medium business (SMB) market.
Microsoft CRM 1.0
Microsoft CRM 1.0 was released in January 2003, with name Microsoft Business Solutions Customer Relationship Management 1.0.
But soon the name was changed to Microsoft CRM 1.0.
- Microsoft CRM 1.2
- Microsoft CRM 1.2 was released on December 8, 2003. Microsoft CRM 1.2 was not widely adopted by industry.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0
- The second version was rebranded as Microsoft Dynamics 3.0 (version 2.0 was skipped entirely) to signify its inclusion within the Dynamics product family and was released on December 5, 2005. Notable updates over version 1.2 are the ease of creating customizations to CRM, the switch from using Crystal Reports to Microsoft SQL Reporting Services, and the ability to run on Windows Vista and Outlook 2007.
- Significant additions released later by Microsoft also allowed Dynamics CRM 3.0 to be accessed by various mobile devices and integration with Siebel Systems.This was the first version that saw reasonable take up by customers.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
- Dynamics CRM 4.0 (a.k.a. Titan) introduced in December 2007 (RTM build number 4.0.7333.3 Microsoft CRM build numbers from version 4.0 to version 8..;). It features multi-tenancy, improved reporting security, data importing, direct mail merging and support for newer technologies such as Windows Server 2008  and SQL Server 2008 (Update Rollup 4).
- Dynamics CRM 4.0 also implements CRM Online, a hosted solution[buzzword] that is offered directly by Microsoft. The multi-tenancy option also allows ISVs to offer hosted solutions[buzzword] to end customers as well.
- Dynamics CRM 4.0 is the first version of the product which has seen significant take up in the market and passed the 1 million user mark in July 2009.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
- Dynamics CRM 2011 was released to open Beta in February 2010
- It then went into Release Candidate stage in December 2010
- The product was then released in February 2011 (build number 5.0.9688.583)
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
- Dynamics CRM 2013 was released to a closed beta group on 28th of July 2013.
- Dynamics CRM 2013 Online went live for new signups in October 2013.
- Dynamics CRM 2013 was released in November 2013 (build number 6.0.0000.0809).
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015
- Dynamics CRM 2015 was announced in September 2014 (RTM build number 188.8.131.5243).
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 was officially released on November 30, 2015.
- Versions for CRM 2016 was 8.0, 8.1 and 8.2. With version 8.2 the name, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016,was changed to Dynamics 365
- Microsoft Dynamics 365
- The latest update called the 'October Update' was released in October 2018 and was called Dynamics 365, with version number 9.1.0.0035
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.0
- Work-group Edition
This edition is only allowed 5 Client Access Licenses; it is not possible to add more. If more are needed, an upgrade to Professional or Enterprise versions must be done. Also all the server roles are installed on one machine and cannot be separated. Only one organization can be created in this version and the use of external connectors is not allowed. This version is ideal for small organizations that can use it with the SQL Server Work group Edition and on a Windows Small Business Server.
- Professional Edition
The Professional Edition has the same functionality as the Work group Edition except there is no limit on the CALs. If the installation profile calls for supporting either multiple organizations or servers, the Enterprise Edition is required.
- Enterprise Edition
Has the same functionality as the Professional Edition but without limits. This version is to be used when multiple divisions should be accessing CRM from one platform.
- Service Provider Edition
This edition is actually an Enterprise Edition that is configured to accept Internal user requests from AD and external user requests through IFD (Internet Facing Deployment). This version is mostly implemented by Microsoft Partners that offer Hosted CRM functionality, when letting external users connect to this CRM version through the Internet.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers two types of licenses: Server license and Client Access License (CAL). Each deployment should have at least one server license and one CAL. CAL is also known as a user license.
There are two types of Client CAL:
- Named User CAL: This is tied with the user name i.e. the user can access MSCRM from any computer.
- Device CAL: This is tied with the Device (i.e., CRM can be accessed from only one device). This model is useful in environments such as Call Centers.
Read Only Licenses
New in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 are readonly licenses. Users that do not have to have write permissions can be assigned Read Only licenses. These licenses are cheaper because they do not allow any write operations on the records. If later a user should be able to perform a write operation, a step-up license can be bought to upgrade the Read-Only license to a Full Client Access License.
Full Use Licenses
Full Use Licenses are licenses where the client (user / device) has read, write and update permissions.
External Connector Licenses
Whenever an application (windows or web) reads or writes data from/in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, an external connector license is required. External Connector licenses are only valid when bought for a Professional or Enterprise edition. It is not allowed to use them with a Workgroup Edition.
These also come in three forms:
- External Connector: Is a combination of the Limited External Connector (that provides Read Only functionality) and the Full Use Additive External Connector (that provides Write Only functionality)
- Limited External Connector: Provides Read Only functionality for the external application. This license can be upgraded to an 'External Connector License' when the Full Use Additive External Connector is bought.
- Full Use Additive External Connector: Provides the Write functionality to a "Limited External Connector" license.
Dynamics CRM version 4.0 adds a number of new features, including support for duplicate data detection and other enhancements. Perhaps most importantly, CRM 4.0 provides true multi-tenancy, which will allow the creation of multiple organizations on a single server. CRM 4.0 was released with the following improvements:
- More powerful and easier to configure Reporting and BI (now based on SSRS instead of Crystal)
- More powerful data import tools, de-duplication capability now included
- Enhanced entity relationships – many to many, self-referential
- Improved programmability – enhanced Web Services, unified event model, plug-ins to replace callouts
- Light inquiry user license now available – potentially reducing the costs associated with rolling out across larger organizations
- Multi Tenancy – One server can host more than one business organization
- Multi Currency
- Multi Lingual
- Microsoft Office Communicator / Windows Live Messenger presence integration support
- cloud computing with Microsoft Online Services
Microsoft publishes updates for Microsoft Dynamics CRM (called Rollups) every two months. At the time of writing, CRM 4.0 Rollup 21 is available. For CRM 2011, rollup 18 is available. For CRM 2013, rollup 3 is available which was introduced after an SP1 releases.
Accelerators for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
In order to maximize the integration with other products and to enable basic templating, Microsoft released the Accelerators, a set of basic vertical solution[buzzword] templates that can be used to extend Microsoft Dynamics CRM in a few directions. These accelerators could be downloaded (for free) from the CodePlex website and adapted by the organization itself. This was eventually retired February 28, 2013.
Support and End of life
Mainstream Support for Microsoft Dynamics 4.0 ended on April 9th, 2013. 
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is available as a cloud offering or an on-premises installation by a partner/customer. As in CRM 4 these versions can be highly customized using advanced extensions. New feature set includes – Visualizations, Dashboards, Document Management, Grid Filters, Dialogs, Recurring Appointments, Custom Activities, Goal Management, Fetch based Reports, MAPI based Outlook clients, FLS, etc.
- Native integration with SharePoint 2010
- Ability to create a query behind a look-up
- Placing of a grid with child records on the parent record
- Auto filter sorting capability like in Microsoft Office Excel
- Microsoft Office Ribbon interface replaces menus
- OData endpoints
- LINQ programming API in the SDK
- WCF services
- Global Optionset which can be used for other entities
- Customization can be packaged as solutions[buzzword]
- CRM Online supports plugins in sandboxed mode
- Multiple forms per entity
- Dashboard designer
- Yammer integration
- Lync integration
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 RTW/RTM is available since January and mid February 2011 respectively. 41 languages are supported.
Since the 2011 version, it is possible to store and manage documents in the context of Dynamics CRM records on a server that is running Microsoft SharePoint. This feature allows to use the advanced SharePoint framework for the content management infrastructure inside Dynamics CRM. With the SharePoint integration, it is also possible to share documents for external users with granted permission but no access to Dynamics CRM account.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is available as a cloud offering, on-premises or a hybrid of cloud and on-premises installation by a partner/Customer.
- Navigation drops down from the top of the screen. The old navigation pane is gone
- Different work areas can be accessed by hovering over the Microsoft Dynamics CRN logo
- Clicking on a work area will bring users to the record types worked with most often
- To get to other info related to the record being viewed, all that has to be done is to click the arrow next to the name of the record
- Information can be edited inline rather than having to flip to a different screen
- Notes can be added to each record
- Lookup lists and inline editing help keep data current
- No longer have to click "save." Records are saved automatically
- CRM 2013 applications for Windows Phone, iPhone, Android, & Windows 8
- 5 – 200 gigabytes of storage
- Process-driven user experience
- Contractual privacy protections via European Model Clauses
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015
On Sept. 16, 2014, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, as well as updates to its Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing services, will be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2014. Microsoft also released a preview guide with details.
On Nov 30, 2014 Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and the 2015 Update of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.
On Jan 6, 2015, Microsoft announced the availability of a CRM Cloud service specifically for US Government that is designed for FedRAMP compliance.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 was officially released on November 30, 2015. In the official press release Microsoft calls this “The most comprehensive upgrade ever for Dynamics CRM” and says it “includes advancements in intelligence, mobility and service, with significant productivity enhancements”. In June 2016 was developed a special application which sends scanned info from business cards into MS Dynamics CRM named Business Card Reader for MS Dynamics and Call Tracker application in 2017.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement
Microsoft Dynamics 365 was officially released on November 1,2016. The product is presented as a revolution, combining Microsoft business products (CRM & ERP Dynamics AX). The software that was known as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, is now known as Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement. This software contains the following applications:
- Dynamics 365 for Sales
- Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
- Dynamics 365 for Marketing
- Dynamics 365 for Field Service
- Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation
The offerings Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and Dynamics 365 Business Central cover the ERP needs, such as book-keeping, invoice and order handling and manufacturing.
The strategy is to let the customers choose the module they need. Microsoft proposes a general offer, called Dynamics 365 Plan, a Customer Engagement Plan for CRM applications and a unified operations Plan for ERP applications.
In Dynamics 365 version 184.108.40.206 many notable features like Virtual entities in Dynamics 365, Auto Numbering Attributes, Multi Select Options sets etc. were introduced.
The latest update called the 'October Update' was released in October 2018 and was called Dynamics 365, with version number 9.1.0.0035 For more information:Dynamics 365
The CRM community consists of professionals, typically employees of Dynamics Partners, End-users and MS MVPs (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional).
The Dynamics CRM User Group (CRMUG) is the largest, user-led community for companies using the software.
eXtremeCRM is the premier event focused exclusively on Microsoft Dynamics 365 and dedicated to advancing best practices and strategies for Microsoft Dynamics CRM organizations.
- The CRMUG Summit is held each fall and is an independent, for-profit conference.
- There are two separate eXtremeCRM events held each year, one in Europe, and one in the United States.
- 365 Saturdays
- The free community event that takes place in many cities around the world 
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