In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, there are few options for SharePoint Integration in CRM. One of the simple ones is to have a static link to a particular list in SharePoint on the main CRM navigation or in an IFrame on any of the entity forms (something like a knowledge base for users). Here is the accelerator “Enterprise Search” Accelerator from codeplex. This is an example of searching CRM data from the SharePoint interface. Other complex options include writing plug-ins to create folders in SharePoint from CRM and accessing that folder in an IFrame from within a record in CRM. But what’s coming for CRM 2011 Sharepoint integration?
In the beta of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, we are seeing pretty robust SharePoint integration with a couple of settings on SharePoint and CRM. Firstly, we have to install the “List Component” (available for CRM 2011 beta) on the SharePoint Server. It is a solution that can be added to the SharePoint server. It can be downloaded from Microsoft and the solution file can be added to the SharePoint and then should be activated.
Afer the List Component is installed, then we have to configure CRM to point to this sharepoint server. There is a new area in CRM 2011 settings called the “Document Management”.
Here we need to configure the “Document Management Settings” which will show the list of all entities in the system that can be configured for SharePoint integration. Here we define which entities will have folders created in the SharePoint Site. It lists all the entities available in the system. Here you can select all the entitled you want SharePoint folders to be created for
Custom entities can also be configured for document management as well. You can enable this setting on the entity customization screen as well
Then in the document management settings, you will enter the SharePoint URL and click Next. Here it will validate the URL and determine if this is valid sharepoint site or not and also notify if the list component is installed/activated properly or not
Click Next and it will show the status of the creation of folders on the SharePoint as success once it completed the creation. Here it will use existing folders if they have already been created
The folders will be created for the enties selected
Notice only the folders are created and the actual folders for individual records will not be automatically created. The individual record folders are created only when you open a record and click on the documents link on the left navigation. Then it will prompt the first time if you would like to create a folder or not in Sharepoint.
Then, it will create the folder in the sharepoint under the account folder when the OK button is clicked.
And all the options available in the Sharepoint will be available in CRM at that point for that folder depending on the security the logged in user has to the Sharepoint site/folders.
You will also have an “Open Sharepoint” link which will open the folder in Sharepoint website.
This is pretty much the basic things we can do with almost out-of-box CRM 2011 Sharepoint integration. There are other advanced settings like defining new locations from within CRM and also changing/defining how the folder/location names of particular records are handled etc. with a matter of some clicks.
This is also one of the most requested features of the clients in the MS CRM 4.0 version. Although it can be attained by some considerable amount of custom coding, it adds a great value to having an almost out-of-box SharePoint integration for CRM 2011.
- All the above mentioned settings like automatic folder creation with list component and other advanced settings like defining locations are possible only with SharePoint version 2010. SharePoint 2007 is also supported in the integration but we have to manually do it in an IFrame as previously in CRM 4.0
- The CRM outlook client does not offer document integration with SharePoint, when the client is in offline mode
Thanks for spending a little time with PowerObjects today to learn about CRM 2011 sharepoint integration. As always we would love to work with you and take your MSCRM experience to a new level!