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CRM 2011 Integration with SharePoint: Custom Document Management

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There is a good post on Custom integration of CRM 2011 and SharePoint from CRM Consultancy blog

Snippet from the post

This article aims to describe how we can leverage this flexibility via custom development to define a more bespoke Document Management solution between SharePoint 2010 and CRM 2011, using different arrangements of Document Libraries, Folders and an initial look at Metadata.

Developing a Plugin to integrate CRM to SharePoint

Towards achieving a custom format of Document Management between CRM and SharePoint, we can look at creating a Plugin which will automatically integrate a new CRM Record with a new SharePoint Document area for a particular entity or entities in CRM.

This is similar to how custom Document Management Integrations were often implemented between CRM 4 and SharePoint 2007, however with the advent of SharePoint 2010 we are able to use the SharePoint Client Object Model to make this development simpler and less code-heavy. The aim here being to focus on the desired business logic of our Document Management and not get bogged down with the coding for the SharePoint development.

Conclusion

This concept of using CRM Development to control the Document Management between CRM and Sharepoint allows us a great deal of flexibility in how documents for a CRM Solution could be structured.
As we have seen here this allows a Solution Architect to consider other methods of governance when storing documents provide the initial folder-per-entity structure that CRM provides by default. The inclusion of SharePoint Metadata then allows this to be taken one step forward towards SharePoint best practice for managing volumes of documents – essentially providing methods for taking unstructured document data and streamlining this into a structure that fits the business. (or in a more snappy way, working the way you do, and not you working the way the software does)
Moving beyond this, for the next article in this series I will aim to look into how the concept of SharePoint Metadata can be used alongside CRM for SharePoint Views and Templates to further extend a custom document management configuration, and begin to looking at how we could handle the migration of legacy data into CRM and SharePoint.

Read the full post here: http://crmconsultancy.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/crm-2011-integration-with-sharepoint-custom-document-management/

**For CRM 2011 Training, please check out our CRM Training page. Please share |Like in Facebook if you feel like this page is useful.

How does CRM 2011 and SharePoint integration work?

CRM 2011 and SharePoint integration

Here is a good post on CRM -SharePoint integration from CRM Consultancy Blog:

Snippet from the post:

One of the best new additions to CRM 2011 is tight integration with SharePoint 2010 for storing documents.  In the past when using v3 or v4, CRM Projects have been forced to develop custom code to integrate CRM with SharePoint, but now the standard CRM functionality allows the two products to be integrated and easily configured in the CRM 2011 settings area.

Following the CTP and release of 2011 at the beginning of this year, many great articles have been written and posted on the web to provide step-by-step guides for connecting CRM to SharePoint using this functionality:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2010/10/08/crm-with-sharepoint-integration-introduction.aspx
http://blog.pointbeyond.com/2011/04/30/integrating-sharepoint-2010-with-crm-2011-for-document-storage/

However as with many areas of ‘out-of-the-box’ functionality the default integration is limited in certain ways.  This article aims to take a deeper look at this integration between CRM 2011 and SharePoint to examine how the integration works ‘under the hood’; with the aim of understanding how CRM 2011 has implemented this integration and how it could be extended further to meet the requirements of more complex Document Management scenarios.

The crucial understanding here is that this structure of a Document Library per Entity Type with Folder per Entity Record is simply the default business logic provided by CRM 2011 – and is in no way set in stone as the functionality provided by the SharePoint Site and Document Location entities in CRM can easily be extended to provide bespoke business logic for tracking documents.
As with many areas of Dynamics CRM, the application here provides a platform of functionality that can either be used in it’s default configuration or be extended via custom development.
In terms of why we may want to do this, when we look at the standard SharePoint integration here we can see some limitations for Document Management:

  • a single Document Library is storing all the CRM Documents, this could result in a single huge Document Library when it may be better to spread out the documents across multiple document libraries.
  • the Document Structure is heavily dependent on nested folders, this can often create a confusing layout for storing documents; and long-time SharePoint experts generally shy away from heavy use of folders for creating good Document Management governance. (SharePoint Document Libraries and Horrors)
  • Without customising the Document Library in SharePoint, the Document Structure does not make use of SharePoint Views or Metadata for managing documents.

Read the full post here: http://crmconsultancy.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/crm-2011-integration-with-sharepoint-taking-a-deeper-look/
**For CRM 2011 Training, please check out our CRM Training page. Please share |Like in Facebook if you feel like this page is useful.