As the Spring ’14 Wave continues to make ‘waves’, we continue our own deep-dive into the changes. Previously, versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM online used a client-to-server strategy to authenticate and transmit data from Microsoft Dynamics CRM to SharePoint Online. Now Dynamics has introduced a new approach to CRM and SharePoint integration. The integration now happens at the server level and, administrators can enable server-based SharePoint integration.
NOTE: The SharePoint list component is now deprecated. PowerObjects recommends that you utilized server-based integration as outlined in this blog. For more information on the list component, jump to the end of the blog.
Steps to enable server-based SharePoint Integration:
1. Make sure your organization has been upgraded to Spring ’14 version.
2. Navigate to Settings ->Document Management. Click Enable server-based SharePoint integration. You can also click Enable Now in the yellow alert notification as seen in the picture below.
3. When you click on Enable server-based SharePoint integration, a wizard will open where you have to enter your SharePoint Site URL and click Next.
4. The wizard will validate your SharePoint site. After validation is finished, click Next.
5. Click Finish to finish creating a server connection between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint Online. Server-based SharePoint integration is now enabled.
6. Click Document Management Settings as seen in the picture below. A wizard will pop up to configure Document Management Settings. Select entities for which you want to enable the document management and enter your SharePoint site URL and click Next.
7. Next step is to select a folder structure as seen in the picture below and then click Next.
8. Click Finish to finish configuring Document Management Settings. Now, you can start using the document management feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM by using server-based SharePoint integration as you did with the previous client side integration.
- The server-based authentication does not require you to install the Microsoft Dynamics CRM list component in the sandbox environment for Microsoft SharePoint Online.
- You can enable server-based SharePoint integration for Microsoft Dynamics CRM online only by using the web or Outlook client.
- After you enable server-based SharePoint integration, you can’t revert to the previous client-based authentication method.
- With server-based SharePoint integration enabled, you can now perform SharePoint actions in the CRM command bar. And, you can now view SharePoint documents in Microsoft Dynamics CRM lists, no more iFrames.
- Users don’t need to log into SharePoint before viewing documents in CRM.
The need for managing documents into document management repository from within Dynamics CRM has always been there for organizations and it has been fulfilled normally by using the SharePoint List Component to store documents into SharePoint. The list component uses a sandbox solution of SharePoint which will be deprecated completely in the near future. The recommended solution is server-based SharePoint integration. Currently, CRM online only supports this feature but soon this will be available for on-premises version of CRM. Let’s take a look at some of the drawbacks of using the list component listed below.
- User needs to sign-in to both CRM and SharePoint
- Need to install additional software and then worry about upgrading every time new version of CRM is released
With server-based SharePoint integration you would not need to sign into both CRM and SharePoint. SharePoint documents will display in CRM lists and user can perform SharePoint actions from the CRM command bar. The things you will need to consider before migrating into server based integration can be found here important considerations for server-based SharePoint integrations.