Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Application Design

I recently had the opportunity to review Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Application Design, written by Mahender Pal, a very talented developer and who also happens to be a Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP.

Although the book does start off with a nice introduction to Dynamics CRM, that is useful for anyone who wants to know more about the application, this book is definitely targeted at those who either are or want to be Dynamics CRM developers.  More specifically those who want to learn how to leverage CRM as a development platform (XRM).  You will need to have some knowledge of .Net, JavaScript, and Silverlight to get the most from your time with the book.

As mentions, Chapter One provides a nice overview of the Dynamics CRM application to include deployment options, the web, outlook, and mobile client, software and hardware requirements, out-of-the-box modules.  Chapter 2 takes you immediately into Dynamics CRM development.  The author wastes no time moving quickly into the meat of the subject.

One of the nice surprises about this book is that you will not not only read about how to develop using Dynamics CRM but will also gain hands-on experience.  Mahender uses an approach similar to that used by Jim Wang and Darren Lui when writing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 New Features.  In Jim and Darren’s book, the authors walk you through the actual creation of a Dynamics CRM project.  In this book, Mahender walks you through not one but several projects to include the creation of a Training Enrollment System, Employee Recruitment Management System, Hotel Management application, Bing Maps application using Silverlight, Editable Grid , and an Issue Tracker application.  You will also learn about creating solutions, the email router, web resources and more.

The only question at this point is; are you ready?  If you are ready then I encourage you to purchase this book.  Get started today on your Dynamics CRM development journey or continue on your path. Either way you will be sure to improve your skills and learn from one who is obviously well ahead of the pack when it comes to developing real world solutions that solve every day business needs.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Books

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve responded to several inquiries regarding books available for CRM 2011.  When that occurs, I know it is time for a blog article.

There are many amazing number of Dynamics CRM 2011 books available today.  I’ve reviewed several, was Lead Author for one, didn’t know some of them existed and know that each delivers practical yet insightful information that will help you master the Dynamics CRM 2011 application.

Below is a consolidated list with links and a summary for each.  The list is in no particular order.

The CRM Field Guide

Of course I have to list the book that I helped author first Smile  I was the Lead Author on this book and identified 80% of the topics covered, selected authors for each topic based on their focus, created the project plan, managed to it, worked with the authors to get their content to the publisher….. and the end result is an amazing book packed full of information that you won’t find in any other CRM 2011 book.  Why, because it is written by 19 CRM MVP authors.  Each chapter provides the reader with lessons learned in the field, knowledge gained from years of experience and tips that will position you to CRM like an MVP.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Administration Bible

Written by Matt Wittemann and Geoff Ables; a book you can turn to when you need good how-to advice on the features of CRM 2011.  You can read more about the book in my review on Amazon by simply selecting the Customer Review link on the page.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 New Features

Written by Jim Wang, Darren Liu; walks you through creating a real world Dynamics CRM project.  You can read more about the book in the review I wrote.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Customization & Configuration (MB2-866) Certification Guide

Written by Dynamics CRM MVP Neil Benson; contains a plethora of information relevant to helping you pass the Dynamics CRM MB2-866 exam to include a practice exam.  I’ll be surprised if you absorb the information in this book and get a perfect score on the practice exam yet don’t pass the certification exam.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook

Written by Dynamics CRM MVP Mark AuCoin; provides you with everything you need to become the Master of CRM Dashboards.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Application Design

Written by Dynamics CRM MVP Mahender Pal; targeted at individuals who would like to learn more about extending CRM to include using the newest customization features, creating custom modules using site map customization, use the developer’s toolkit to build plugins, create a web applications in Silverlight and create mobile applications with Mobile Express.

Building Business with CRM

Written by Dynamics CRM MVP, Richard Knudson; a definitive guide on building CRM 2011 Processes to include using dynamic values on the fly, get the most from the Workflow designer, query CRM data from your Dialogs, work with child Dialogs and Workflows, deep-dives and hidden gems of CRM Processes, and downloadable step-by-step exercises for hands on learning

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Unleashed

Written by Marc J. Wolenik, Damian Sinay and Rajya Vardhan Bhaiya; a good reference guide for getting started with Dynamics CRM 2011.

Working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Written by Mike Snyder, Jim Steger, and Kristie Reid; provides hands-on insights for customizing CRM in your organization—with or without programming.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Step by Step

Written by Mike Snyder, Jim Steger, and Brendan Landers; easy-to-follow lessons to master the fundamentals of Dynamics CRM 2011 to include downloadable, and ready-made practice files.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 Quick Reference

Written by Edward Kachinske, Timothy Kachinske, and Adam Kachinske; the title says it all. Explores end-user features in CRM Online 2011 and includes step-by-step instructions, tips & tricks, and expert advice from some of the country’s top CRM consultants

Maximizing Your Sales with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Written by Edward Kachinske, Timothy Kachinske, and Adam Kachinske; targeted for Sales Professionals and other CRM Users who want to learn how to get the most from the application when working with Accounts, Contact, Opportunities, Reports and more.

Dynamics CRM Deep Dive: Security

Written by Dynamics CRM MVP Mitch Milam, a deep dive into all aspects of security related to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 application

Silverlight + CRM

Written by Dynamics CRM MVP, Dave and Julie Yack; targeted for developers who want to learn more about the capabilities of Silverlight and CRM 2011.

Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 in 24 Hours

Written by Anne Stanton; 24 lessons of one hour or less will help you become familiar with and learn more about the Dynamics CRM 2011 feature set.

This list includes books available at the time of this writing.  I will work to keep it updated as new books become available.


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

Another CRM Book for Your Reading Pleasure

I’ve been asked to review the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM book.  I’m looking forward to completing that review this month and will share my thoughts with you when finished.

The book is titled “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 New Features” and written by two of my favorite people; Jim Wang and Darren Liu.  I’m sure I am going to enjoy reading the book and learn many new things about CRM as these two have a lot of great product insight to share.

If you would like to join me this month in reviewing the book you can pick up a copy at PAKT Publishing.  Once you’ve completed your review, please feel free to add your comments to this post or send your them to me and I will incorporate them into my final review.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 New Features