First of all, I have no idea why a statement of direction for September is being released in November, but there it is. But enough of such quibbles, what are the nuggets of gold?
If you want to read the document itself, here is the link:
The release has stretched to Q1 2011. While the previous noise has been Q4 2010 i.e. before December, the statement of direction is clear.
The three we know about are stated (online with Microsoft, online with a hosting partner, on-premise). They also say you can move from online to on-premise. They don’t promise the other way around though.
Features of Dynamics CRM 2011
There is a bunch of pages on the features of Dynamics CRM 2011. I won’t rehash them here but if you want to know what is in the new version, look at my twitter feed for some excellent information.
For a comprehensive look, I can recommend Eric Boocock’s two-hour run through.
- IE 7 or above (sorry no support for other web browsers)
- Office 2007 or above if using the Outlook client (trust me, you want to be using the Outlook client with the new version)
- 64-bit ONLY (no 32-bit server support here) for the OS and SQL server
Microsoft has been reasonably tight-lipped on the story with the accelerators. The Statement of Direction gives some guidance.
The following accelerators have been made part of the standard product:
- Extended Sales Forecasting (the excellent sales goals stuff in the new version)
- Workflow Tools (really? I’ve seen no difference in the 2011 beta)
- Business Data Auditing
- Analytics (They are probably referring to the sock-blowing visualisations and dashboarding functionality of CRM 2011)
The following will be released as Solutions for the new version:
- Event Management
- Social Networking (hopefully they will fix Twitter integration which is currently broken)
- Partner Relationship Management
- Customer Case Accelerator
- Non-Profit Accelerator
I’m very excited about these being released as Solutions as the v4 accelerators have varying degrees of difficulty to install. The Solution packaging should remove a lot of those headaches.
NO MORE CODEPLEX!
Traditionally, Codeplex has been the home of the CRM accelerators. This will change with the new versions which will be located on the CRM marketplace:
Solutions and the Marketplace
Reading the Statement of Direction there will be two categories of solutions offered:
- Free and not officially supported (community solutions)
- Free or charged supported solutions (certified solutions)
Before there is an outcry that Microsoft are feathering their nest through the ‘Certified for Microsoft Dynamics’ program, there are tools available such as this (http://bit.ly/9ptJho ) which should help.
The GP integration tool will be updated for CRM 2011 around the time CRM 2011 is released i.e. the start of next year.
The AX6 and NAV 2009 R2 adapters will be out in the second half of next year.
The last bit of the document advertises the international availability of CRM 2011 Online and the Solutions Marketplace.
Overall, the document repeats a lot of what is already out there regarding CRM 2011. conversely, if you are not across what is happening with CRM 2011, this is a good place to start and will be quicker than listening to Eric B. for two hours.