Different faces of Dynamics CRM

By | October 9, 2012

I have to admit I’ve been in the trenches, and that’s been happening for quite a long time since I’ve managed to miss this announcement:

“What did CWR Mobility and Microsoft announce?

CWR Mobility and Microsoft announced on February 6, 2012 that the Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Q2 2012 service update will deliver the capability for customers to access the complete functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM on any device with a new cloud-based, cross-platform, native mobile client service called Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile for Windows® Phone 7, iPad®, iPhone®, Android™ and BlackBerry®  mobile devices.”

See details here: http://www.cwrmobility.com/mobile-crm-faq

That did not happen in summer, though. However, Microsoft has recently published it’s December release preview guide which sticks to the point that Dynamics is really going to be supported on tablets and browsers-other-than-IE, so it may still happen.. or may not:

http://crmpublish.blob.core.windows.net/docs/Release_Preview_Guide_December_2012_FINAL.pdf 

That, combined with the fact that I’ve spent a couple of days this week evaluating Resco.NET and CWR for the client, multiplied by the fact that most of the users would love to customize Dynamics UI a little(or far) beyond what’s available out of the box, kicked of a different thought process. It would be great if someone came up with a powerful UI framework for CRM applications. Such systems as Dynamics and Salesforce have very efficient backends. However, when it comes to the UI, you suddenly feel like your very basic freedoms have been cut off. After all, I do want to be able to see a different logo when I log in. I do want to play with filters, forms, views – that’s what most of the users will be working with. But I can’t.

And I don’t think I’m alone here, though some people may be taking it to the extreme (or are they?):

http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en/crmdevelopment/thread/56355a6e-0333-4b0a-a0ba-6a05709a6436

What CWR example really demonstrates, though, is that it’s doable, and Resco.NET gives yet another example (On a side note, I’m not sure if I like CWR more).

So, would it be possible? Do you happen to know of any existing UI frameworks that can be easily connected with Dynamics? Should we kick off a codeplex project to finally give different faces to Dynamics CRM?

PS. With that said, December release preview does mention browsers support, and it does not mention native clients. What’s interesting is that it specifically mentions very recent browser versions for non IE browsers(Chrome v22, for instance), which might be a hint of HTML 5 client being developed for Dynamics. December release preview also does not mention support for Android tablets, and CWR does have that support.. So, after all, maybe the deal did not work out and we are going to see something completely new from Microsoft.

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