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Posts tagged ‘Dynamics CRM’

Fast, Secure Access to Cloud CRM with a Custom API

Financial Service Providers can offer clients direct access to their cloud database, for instance for leasing or insurance details. A custom API can be a the best way to provide secure, real-time access to cloud resident information. This post explains why.

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How to Succeed in CRM Integration and Migration: Database Reverse Engineering

Moving data to CRM systems - for a migration or ongoing integration - can involve poorly defined databases. This blog shows you how to reverse engineer a database for successful transfer of data to the CRM system.

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GoldMine to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Post III: Migrating Customer Details

This Post is the third in a series of four about migrating from GoldMine to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It details system preparation and migrating contact details, including email and web addresses. The final post will step through the process of migrating activities, history, emails, attachments and opportunities.

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GoldMine to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Post II: Project Management of CRM Migrations

Migrating GoldMine to Microsoft Dynamics CRM (MS CRM) presents a range of challenges. This second post, in a series of four, focuses on the Project Management of CRM migrations. Drawing on extensive experience in this field, David Evans, CTO InaPlex, presents some key factors to consider when managing a migration project.

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Extending Inaport – Example of a Custom Function

Following our previous post on extending Inaport using custom functions, Justin Knieling of Grand Canyon University kindly shared an example of a custom function he has written. The function assigns new users a security role in Microsoft CRM 2011.

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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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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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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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Inaport versus Scribe Workbench

Normally we would not mention a competitive product, but with the release of Inaport for Dynamics CRM a common question is “why use Inaport instead of Scribe Workbench”.

This is a fair question, because Scribe is probably the incumbent player for import/migration/integration projects with Dynamics CRM.

(I might parenthetically point out that a few years ago Scribe Workbench was the incumbent for Sage SalesLogix; now InaPlex is a Sage Endorsed Development Partner, and Inaport is the only endorsed integration product for SalesLogix.)

One obvious answer to the question is pricing. Inaport starts at $450 for an entry level 30 day license through to $3,495 for the unrestricted Professional Edition; there are no seat count restrictions, and no limit on the number of systems it can be installed on. This makes it very competitive against Scribe Workbench, which is $3,995 (server) + $1,295 (adapter) + $995 (user pack) = $6,285.

However, the British have a saying “penny wise, pound foolish”; the American equivalent is “you get what you pay for”. It would be short sighted to save a few thousand dollars on the software, to later discover that either it cannot get the job done or it adds significant time and complexity to the project. Integration projects are already tough enough without also battling your tools.

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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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