Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 New Features Book Review

In late November I let you know about a new Dynamics CRM Book that I planned to review, “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 New Features” written by Dynamics CRM MVP Jim Wang and Microsoft employee Darren Liu.  I finished the book and want to share my impressions with you.

The first thing I noticed is the no-nonsense approach.  Beginning with Chapter 1, the authors jump directly into building and configuring Dynamics CRM.  In going through the book you will learn to work with CRM by building a solution for an Airline company. You’ll also gain experience installing Microsoft Dynamics CRM & SharePoint 2010 in a virtual environment.

One thing you’ll want to understand is that the book’s target market is people who want hand’s on experience with configuring and extending the CRM application.

Here are a few key highlights that I think will help you determine if this book is right for you:

  • Requires a certain level of technical expertise to setup the environment (instructions provided), ensure everything is working as expected and troubleshoot issues if they arise.
  • CRM Project you work with mimics a real-world experience to include objective, scope, and functional requirements.
  • Nice mix of custom and out-of-the box entities leveraging relationships and other standard CRM features
  • Points out feature improvements and enhancements between versions
    • CRM 4 & CRM 2011
  • Walk through of customization steps with screenshots to include:
    • Creating and adding fields to forms
    • Customizing Form navigation
    • custom Entity creation
    • Solution and solution management
    • Site map and ribbon editing
    • Other commonly used customization features
  • Learn to use the data import wizard to include:
    • Creating an import template
    • Data map
    • Import file setup
    • Working with duplicate detection
  • Client side scripting to include:
    • Using Web Resources
    • Calling Web Resources in forms, form & field events
    • Use of SOAP & Rest Endpoints, and JavaScript
  • Server side programming to include:
    • Web Services methods and messages
    • SDK Assemblies
    • Query data
    • Plug-ins
    • Using the Developer toolkit
  • Create a workflow and dialog and understand the difference
  • Implement and configure SharePoint integration with CRM for document management
  • Work with Dashboards and Charts
  • Implement the Customer Portal solution with complete steps for configuring, deploying and testing.

I think you’ll agree that this is a pretty amazing list of features and functions to cover in one book.

If your goal is to get your hands dirty while you learn then this book will definitely meet your needs.   If you use this book the way it was intended then you will learn how to implement, configure and extend the Microsoft Dynamics CRM product.

Hands down, this is a terrific resource for anyone who wants to gain immediate hands-on experience with CRM in a real-world scenario.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 New Features


  1. What a brilliant way to understand and learn more about the awesome list of features and functions of Dynamics CRM 2011 in one valuable book. Now it is much easier to configure, extend and implement the product according to your needs and specifications. To be able to learn new and valuable things one must have to explore and get his hands dirty. Thanks for sharing this to us.

  2. it is more than an overview. It is difficult for me to say it is medium or advanced as It depends on where you are in your experience level with programming. It is actual hand’s on experience creating and registering a plug-in. I hope that helps

    1. yes that helps thank you. Bought other books that are a bit misleading when referred to plug-ins and examples and so on 🙂 trying not to get the same type of books, the last two chapters of this book are interesting.

  3. Donna, are there any good books out where main focus is on extending CRM 2011 through plug-ins, JavaScript, OData/JSON (rather than SOAP, XML-stuff that you had to use in CRM 4.0) instead of just “Get started customization” register your first plug-in.

    I mean like programming with CRM 4.0 but more towards the way things should be done in CRM 2011. Introducing new best practices for CRM 2011 rather than the old stuff (even though some of them still might work).

  4. I bought this book, It’s really a nice one regarding Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. I enjoyed read this book

    Thanks for Sharing with us

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