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Posts from the ‘Project Related’ Category

Inaport 7.3 – Dramatically improving matching performance using local cache tables

With the rise of CRM systems such as Microsoft CRM 2011 which are accessed via web services, performance becomes more of an issue. Analysis of Inaport projects indicates that for a typical import into a web hosted CRM system, up to 99% of the time may be spent in the web service calls to the target CRM system.

An important objective, then, is to minimize the number of web services calls as far as possible. This post describes some techniques available in Inaport 7.3 that can dramatically reduce or eliminate the cost of  matching on the target system, by removing the need to make any web services calls.

While these techniques have the biggest impact with web services based systems, they can also be very useful for on premise based systems such as SalesLogix.

It is a long and moderately technical post. A subsequent post will provide some examples of using these caching techniques. If you have any questions, it is likely that other readers do as well – feel free to ask for clarification in the comments, or to contact InaPlex direct.

The basic technique is caching the primary key of the target records in the source database. This can be done by one of:

  1. updating the source record with the primary key of the matched record in the target;
  2. using a cross reference table, that stores the primary keys of the source and target records, along with match information;
  3. building a match table that stores the primary key of the target, along with required match information.

Each of these techniques is useful in different scenarios.

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Building GoldMine relationship trees with Inaport

Guest blogger Gail Darling of leading GoldMine partner infoSpectrum describes how she used Inaport to automatically build and update GoldMine relationship trees for a manufacturing customer. Relationship trees are very useful to provide navigation around complex account/contact structures, but they can be difficult to set up and maintain. Over to Gail…

InfoSpectrum’s client had a problem. It was using GoldMine to manage clients and the sales process, but was finding it difficult to view customers from an account perspective.

A leading manufacturer and supplier of antibodies, antigens and critical assay reagents, this client’s customer base includes many large organizations with contacts in different locations. Being able to view activities and relationships from a customer account perspective is imperative for winning and maintaining business. The solution lay with Inaport’s Relationship Builder.

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Microsoft CRM – Moving Views Between Development and Production With Inaport

At times in chez InaPlex, we are slightly dumbfounded by where our users take our product.

Guest blogger Justin Knieling of Grand Canyon University has been pushing the boundaries for a while, but now he has excelled himself. In this post, he describes using Inaport to move MSCRM views from one organization to another. Please note that in this particular scenario, he is using a SQL connection to the source CRM system, as he has it on premise. This might not work, or may need modification, if you are running hosted.

Over to Justin…

We often find ourselves needing to move system views from one Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 organization to another. A recent example of this was when we had a department who wanted to start using the case entity in CRM. They developed views to display their department’s cases along with some other views for activities related to the cases. Overall, I think there were about 15 views they created in our development environment.

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InaPlex to exhibit at Extreme 2011 in Las Vegas

For the second year running, InaPlex is a sponsor and exhibitor at Extreme 2011, in Las Vegas from October 2nd to 5th.

If you are planning to attend but have not yet registered, you can do so here.

We look forward to welcoming our partners and customers, and making new acquaintances. We will be in the exhibition hall; if you would like to set up a private session, please contact

Migrate ACT! to Microsoft CRM 2011 Online – Part 1

There have been a number of requests from partners and customers for assistance on migrating ACT! databases to Microsoft CRM 2011, both on premise and online. InaPlex has a lot of experience with migrating ACT databases, as we developed the Sage Migrator product for Sage, which has been extensively used to migrate ACT and GoldMine databases to SageCRM and SalesLogix.

InaPlex has a complete set of profiles available for migrating a standard ACT! version 11 or 12 database to CRM 2011. This series of posts will walk through the process of doing such a migration.

  • This first post covers preparation, and importing Account and Contact data
  • The second post will cover importing Opportunities
  • The third post will cover Activities and History.
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Importing Leads into Microsoft CRM (and other CRM systems)

This post demonstrates importing leads, an important first step in the sales process for many (most?) organisations. Leads can be gathered from many sources, which can lead to multiple problems such as poor quality data and duplicates.

Inaport can be used to:
  • Assign a quality score to each lead, allowing us to block low scoring leads, and rank the ones imported;
  • Use better matching techniques to prevent duplicates being imported.
While this post uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 as the target CRM system, the principles discussed can be used with Sage SalesLogix, SageCRM, ACT! by Sage, and GoldMine.

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Building GoldMine Relationship Trees

The relationship trees in GoldMine are a potentially very useful feature. They allow you to set up a visual representation of the relationships between different contacts. You can, for example, show all the people that work for a particular company; or perhaps all the people from different organisations that are assisting on a particular project.

A problem with using relationship trees is that GoldMine offers very limited support for building them. The GoldMine wizard allows you to specify a single field to use as the basis for deciding if a contact should be in one tree or another. So you can build a tree based on the company name, which gets you all the contacts for that company. But what if you want to also sort the contacts by city or state? Or if you are looking for a more complex relationship between different types of contacts, such as brokers, properties, and prospective purchasers?

As soon as you need to consider more than one field, or want to do something slightly more complex, you are forced to build the trees manually.

Manually building trees is a difficult process for all but the smallest data sets. There are several problems:

1. The labor involved in building all the trees initially

2. Ensuring accuracy

3. Maintaining the trees once built, as records are added, updated or deleted.

As an earlier post noted, Inaport provides a relationship tree builder that addresses all these issues. It allows you to model simple or complex multi-level trees; once the model is built, you can build the tree and re-build at any time, or schedule the tree to be re-built regularly.

New video available

The relationship tree builder in Inaport has recently been updated, and a video describing and demonstrating its use is available here.

The video shows how to design and build a relationship tree showing the relationships between contact records for real estate properties, units within each property, and tenants in each unit. An example of the kind of tree than can be built is shown in the screen shot below.

Example Relationship Tree built using Inaport

Example Relationship Tree built using Inaport

Inaport for Microsoft Dynamics CRM released

Inaport for Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been released.

This build has full support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.x, both on-premise and hosted, and can be used to:

  • import into any entity or set of entities, with full matching (including fuzzy matching)
  • migrate legacy systems such as ACT! or GoldMine
  • integrate with other enterprise systems such as Accounting or ERP

The adapter supports advanced features such as:

  • run SQL queries against the Dynamics system during import;
  • populate pick list fields from incoming values if not already there;
  • optionally, automatically add a field to entities for storing an import id for matching.

Of course, the complete set of Inaport features are available: automation, logging, error handling, preview of data before import, and many more.

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Insights Presentation – Integration and Migration Projects

We have had a number of requests for a copy of the presentation made at Sage Insights in Nashville, May 2009.

The PowerPoint is here, and the PDF is here.

The focus of the presentation was issues in the management of integration projects, and a suite of tools that assist. In particular, there was discussion of version control mechanisms using the open source Subversion system as the main tool, with client UI provided by TortoiseSVN and server hosting provded by Assembla.

InaPlex strongly recommends using version control on projects because it provides a large measure of safety and control, and makes it much easier for groups towork together safely.

Inaport supports version control because profiles built are just XML files, which can be versioned safely.

If you have questions about using version control with projects, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Inaport adds GoldMine relationship tree building capability

Inaport now has the ability to build GoldMine relationship trees, solving a major issue with using this functionality.

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