Download (direct link):
This Web site is for registered users only. You need to login with your company user name and password. If Microsoft has your current e-mail address on file, your CustomerSource user name and password have been e-mailed to you.
If you have not received this confirmation or have lost it, you need to contact your authorized Microsoft Business Solutions partner or request the information via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CustomerSource site is nicely designed, and by following the steps in the next section (after you have logged on), you can search a vast database called TechKnowledge. In the TechKnowledge section, you can select Microsoft CRM as a category. I counted 22 different topic areas within the Microsoft CRM category, ranging from “Microsoft CRM Installation” to “Microsoft CRM Sales” to “Microsoft Data Migration” to “Microsoft CRM Workflow.”
Follow these steps to view TechKnowledge:
1. From the CustomerSource Home Page, click the Support link in the upper-left corner under the Home tab.
The Support page appears.
2. From the same menu, choose Knowledge BaseOTechKnowledge.
The TechKnowledge window appears.
3. In the main display, under Categories, click Microsoft CRM.
All available topics are displayed.
4. Click on a topic of interest to you.
A list of issues is displayed.
5. Click on an issue.
The associated document with information and/or a solution appears.
298 Part V: The Part of Tens
The Microsoft Developer Network is a great Web resource for information on all Microsoft’s products, including CRM. The MSDN is, by definition, a pretty technical group. But the content can be very informative, even if you’re not a technician. After you’re on the MSDN Home Page, type CRM into the Search For field and click Go. When the linked page opens, look under Best Bets for the Software Development Kit for Microsoft Customer Relationship Management link. When you click on the link, you’ll be taken to the Microsoft CRM SDK page.
Microsoft CRM SDK
Use this link as a starting point. Enter Microsoft CRM in the Product/ Technology field, enter SDK in the Keywords field, and click Go.
SDK stands for Software Development Kit. If a software application has a broad install base, its manufacturer is likely to offer a SDK. The kit is basically technical documentation with emphasis definitely on technical.
The SDK is a road map of the structure and design of the software application. In the hands of a talented team of programmers, the SDK provides all the information necessary to create enhancements and customizations to the original application. The programming team uses the documentation provided in the kit and writes code that integrates with hooks (called APIs) available in the application code. API’s (Application Program Interfaces) enable new features, created outside the host application, to work inside the host application.
On the SDK Web site, I found some very useful sample code (see path text that follows this paragraph) that performs a duplicate check on data being imported into CRM. This means that if you import a list of Contacts from a new sales rep, you can avoid adding someone who is already in your database. Although you may not be a programmer, poking around the Microsoft CRM SDK Web page can give you a glimpse into the architecture of the program and suggest areas where customization can improve the return on your CRM investment.
To find out more about the duplicate checking code described in the last paragraph, start at msdn.microsoft.com/library/.
Chapter 25: Ten Ways to Get Help 299
In the navigation pane on the left of the library page, drill down by clicking the following path (take a deep breath!): Enterprise Developments DevelopmentSMicrosoft Business SolutionsSCustomer Relationship ManagementSTechnical ArticlesSAdding a Custom Application to Microsoft CRM: Duplicate Checking Sample.
I set up this account in Outlook Express and use it every day. This is not a Web address; you must set it up and subscribe to it from Outlook Express. Follow these steps to subscribe to a newsgroup:
1. From Outlook Express, select ToolsSAccounts.
The Internet Accounts dialog box appears.
2. In the upper-right corner of the Internet Accounts dialog box, choose AddSNews.
The Internet Connection Wizard dialog box appears.
3. The first and second windows of the Internet Connection Wizard require you to enter your name and e-mail address. Do so.
4. In the third window of the Internet Connection Wizard, enter the Internet News Server Name of news.microsoft.com.
5. In the fourth (and final) Internet Connection Wizard window, click Finish.
The Internet Connection Wizard window closes, and the newsgroup is added to the Internet Accounts dialog box.
6. Click the Close button at the bottom of the Internet Accounts dialog box.
You’ll be asked if you’d like to download newsgroups from the account you just added.