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Microsoft CRM Installation and Configuration V.1.2
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Linda Leung talks with Marc Wolenik and Rajya Vardhan Bhaiya, authors of >Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 Integration Unleashed, about Microsoft Dynamics CRM, its appeal to customers, and how it stacks up against the competition.
From the author of
It's probably difficult to find a business, great or small, that doesn't employ Microsoft software. Whether it's Microsoft's Office productivity suite or the Exchange mail platform, Microsoft's software appears ubiquitous. But Microsoft isn't just about personal productivity products. It likewise has a suite of enterprise applications for enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Dynamics CRM 4 is Microsoft's flagship CRM product that is seeing stiff competition from standalone CRM products from companies such as Salesforce.com. Microsoft in early 2008 moved to further extend the appeal of Dynamics CRM 4 by releasing a hosted version for customers that don't want to manage an on-premises product. In November 2009, Microsoft launched an aggressive initiative aimed at luring Salesforce.com customers away.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 Integration Unleashed written by Marc J. Wolenik and Rajya Vardhan Bhaiya, presents proven techniques, best practices, and instance code for going far beyond the out-of-the-box capabilities of Dynamics CRM 4. The authors provide a step-by-step usher to integrating Dynamics CRM with SharePoint, Office Communicator, PerformancePoint, BizTalk, Silverlight, and other tools.
Wolenik, MCP, PMP and MBS CRM certified professional, is the owner of Webfortis, a consulting company based in Northern California. Webfortis specializes in solutions around Dynamics CRM and is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Bhaiya, based in San Francisco, Calif., is an IT Solutions Architect with extensive undergo supporting large-scale Fortune 500 applications that employ and integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, and PerformancePoint.
I spoke with Wolenik and Bhaiya to contend Dynamics CRM, its appeal to customers, and how it stacks up against the competition.
Linda Leung: Why should customers admiration Microsoft for their enterprise software needs?
Marc Wolenik: If you admiration Microsoft Servers and virtualization options, Microsoft already serves the enterprise space with their software. Enterprise ERP and CRM is an additional offering that Microsoft has been offering for over five years now. The edge to using Microsoft for ERP and CRM across the enterprise is that the software is supported by existing infrastructure, technology and skill sets. Built on .NET technology, existing customers can easily extend their software across the enterprise — something that is not always an option with competitors.
Rajya Vardhan Bhaiya: Microsoft software provides a scalable and integrated system platform. The platform has capabilities to integrate with applications across various platforms and services.
LL: Why should customers pick Dynamics CRM 4 compared to Salesforce.com or other established CRM platforms?
MW: First of all, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 IS an established CRM platform. Designed from the ground-up on .NET technology, it has been being for over five years, and has over a million people using it. Secondly, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a much more than just "Customer" relationship management. The xRM initiatives that are available (whereby the "x" is anything management), allow organizations to employ Microsoft Dynamics CRM for more than just customer management and they fill seen organizations consolidate many LOB (line of business) applications onto the one platform.
Additional reasons to pick Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 include:
The "Power of Choice" whereby customers can start in the cloud on a hosted solution and then ride that solution to their in-house servers if they desire.
Easily extended platform and technology built on .NET.
Single pricing for every single functionality.
RB: Microsoft Dynamics provides a customizable and agile foundation that can breathe configured to the traffic process for a variety of organizations across every single industries. The higher-end services from Salesforce.com or other vendors provide configuration. But Microsoft Dynamics allows that on every version.
Here is a petite list of features that are superior in Dynamics:
Dynamics CRM has indigenous integration with Outlook and other office client products.
All the data is stored in a dedicated database, which makes backup and recovery easier.
Depending on the version of the competing products, the organization is entitled to different features (Activity, Campaign, Marketing Lists, Leads, Products, Workflow, ad-hoc reporting, and more). In Dynamics CRM, every single the CRM features are share of the standard installation.
LL: Microsoft rolled out an on-demand version of CRM 4.0 in early 2008. Did this befriend to enlarge awareness and interest in the market for Microsoft CRM?
MW: Absolutely. Customers are increasingly interested in cloud or on-demand software. The fact that Microsoft offered this, followed by SharePoint, Exchange and now Office as a hosted service shows that the product is develope enough to breathe available on-demand.
RB: Yes, this increased awareness and people were more cozy to confidence this application as "enterprise ready." People fill a perception that if something can hasten in a hosted/cloud environment, it is able to scale to the highest degree. Smaller organizations are considering this as the primary CRM system. This change is sprouting interests in medium size companies to switch to MS Dynamics CRM.
LL: What's the process that customers should proceed through to pick whether to opt for on-premises or on-demand CRM?
MW: Typically this decision process is made based on a technology decision — i.e. whether or not the infrastructure is in state to champion an implementation. Additional considerations involve "rent or buy" decisions (there is usually a break-even point at just under three years), and wish (or lack) to integrate the system.
RB: The organization will requisite to poise the cost of maintaining the servers vs. the cost of the network connectivity required for a hosted solution. It is recommended to fill redundant network connections, so that there is a backup connection for the clients to employ the hosted solution.
If an organization has offices across the globe they will requisite to fill sufficient network connections between the clients and the servers.
Network connectivity is the key determining factor between a hosted vs. non hosted solution.
Other things to admiration are the integration required with other systems. For instance does the data requisite to synchronize with the backend system constantly?
LL: Integrating CRM with key Microsoft collaboration software such as Outlook and SharePoint is a key requirement of many customers. But established CRM providers, such as Salesforce.com, fill been providing as profound an integration to Microsoft for a while. How does Microsoft compete here?
MW: I would question the point about "deep" integration for several reasons. It is true that competitors fill integration points however it is unlikely that anybody can conclude it as well or as profound as Microsoft. When you stare at the indigenous Outlook integration offerings for example, you will not find anything equal to that flat of integration.
RB: Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides indigenous integration to Outlook and to other analytical tools like surpass and Access. Other CRM providers usually require either a developer-level access, or usually fill an additional fee associated with the process.
Also, since every single products are from Microsoft, they fill an upgrade roadmap which will ensure upgrades and long term stability.
LL: On the other hand, one of the traditional limitations of hosted software is that customers fill to drudgery arduous to integrate the software with other enterprise systems, such as ERP, because the on-demand apps often don't easily champion the APIs of those applications. How can customers overcome this?
MW: Hosted software has an inherent limitation with integration due to the nature of ERP system — i.e. they attend to breathe on-premise. Because of this, most organizations are looking at performing a multi-platform integration whereby the ERP is hosted locally and the CRM is hosted and therefore there can breathe challenges with the availability, hasten and reliability of the systems. Microsoft Dynamics CRM overcomes this limitation by allowing you to execute an integration in a hosted environment, and if required bring the data in-house/on-premise.
RB: In a hosted CRM, you can hasten a synchronization utility on the selfsame network as the ERP system, which will communicate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM's Web Services. every single Web services are on the selfsame network port as the Web site, which makes the integration seamless.
LL: Even if you employ APIs to integrate hosted apps with existing enterprise software, how robust is that integration?
MW: Depending on the integration technology you implement, the integration can breathe very robust. They fill three chapters on Scribe integration in their engage and this software has plenary redundancy built in. This is essential not just for a hosted application, but for an on-premise integration.
RB: APIs are the preferred approach for integration; this interface allows an abstraction layer between the data structure and the traffic processes. When using the APIs, the system can/will invoke any workflows associated with that object. This will allow every single traffic processes to breathe executed properly, thus providing a stable and consistent CRM system.
LL: Some observers mumble that a limitation of CRM software is that it doesn't offer the entire spectrum of relationship management, such as transaction management. How should customers ensure their CRM systems provide everything they requisite to hasten their business?
MW: This is completely untrue with admiration to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Leveraging xRM, organizations can occupy edge of any benign of management, including transactions. They fill seen implementations consisting of Financial, Grant, Student, Vendor and Investment management just to cognomen a few.
RB: Typically, every single transactions are managed through the ERP system, so it is recommended to set the transaction management entities into read-only mode, and create a one-way sync between the ERP system and the CRM system. This architecture will provide higher visibility to the data.
LL: Microsoft is getting pretty aggressive in its marketing of on-demand CRM 4.0. In November 2009, the company offered customers six months' access to CRM 4.0 at no saturate if they signed a 12-month contract. Is this benign of initiative attractive to customers? How should customers occupy edge of these and any retaliatory moves by competitors?
MW: Well, this offering is only available if you are an existing customer of competing software — such as Salesforce.com. modern customers were offered the software at a reduced charge — $44 per user per month, with the previously separated advanced functionality (offline access, increased storage, etc.). If you stare closely at the offering by competitors (where each module/feature has an additional price) and you compare the single cost of $44 per user per month, and the 30 day free trial, there is a strong and compelling judgement to proceed with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.
RB: These kinds of initiatives are definitely helping the customers to adopt Microsoft Dynamics CRM; after every single in today's market, everyone is focused on saving cost and getting the most for the investment.
Customers should compare the ROI between various CRM systems with promotions like this one. The other thing to admiration is that once a decision is made to invest in a specific CRM system, typically the lifespan of that system is three years. Usually by then the traffic process needs alterations, or maybe a significant change has been made to the CRM system that the organization needs to optimize traffic processes.
LL: Microsoft final year eliminated restrictions that prevented customers from stirring virtualized applications, which included CRM 4.0, to a different server more than once every 90 days. What other licensing restriction changes or other initiatives should Microsoft implement to Make CRM 4.0 more attractive and elastic for customers?
MW: Microsoft Dynamics CRM licensing is very elastic and allows organizations to re-use licenses if a user is no longer necessary (the system will automatically ride every single records associated with that user when they are deactivated). Additionally, with the Enterprise version, organizations can fill unlimited "tenants" or organizations within the system — allowing for a vast and robust xRM build-out if desired.
RB: Microsoft provides a elastic licensing structure, and the license is associated to each vigorous user. When a user leaves, the organization can reallocate that license to a different user. This is one of the more liberal license agreements for CRM system in the market.
LL: Final question: What has been your most memorable CRM 4.0 installation and why?
MW: My most memorable CRM 4.0 installation was for a customer located in San Francisco. They had involved traffic requirements and expected the installation to occupy several weeks. Instead they completed the installation in half a day, made the configurations with the other half and they were up and running the next day. The customer was amazed at how facile everything was and involved to start using the system — not to mention demonstrate the surplus budget.
RB: The most memorable installation was with a customer who wanted to employ Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the front proximate to an SAP ERP system. The share that made this implementation snoopy was the conversations regarding the traffic processes and the requirement of specific attributes. They were not only defining the system, but likewise defining the traffic process for the company.
In this Microsoft CRM special report, we've compiled the latest word and information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. You'll find exclusive coverage from Microsoft Convergence 2008, including CRM announcements from CEO Steve Ballmer. Read recent Microsoft CRM headlines and advice from their expert panel. Listen to podcasts featuring tips from experts and users on using Microsoft Dynamics CRM and watch a demonstration of Dynamics 4.0 by Microsoft executives.
Microsoft Convergence 2008 coverage
Microsoft commits to enterprise, CRM, SaaS -- In his Convergence 2008 keynote address, CEO Steve Ballmer pledged that Microsoft is earnest about CRM and enterprise applications -- and hinted at on-demand ERP.
New features will befriend sell Dynamics CRM 4.0, Microsoft partners mumble -- Dynamics CRM 4.0's integration capabilities and multi-tenant architecture will bring modern sales and services opportunities, according to value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators (SIs) at Convergence 2008.
Microsoft CRM word headlines
NEW: Microsoft launches CRM Online -- Microsoft's on-demand CRM application is now available, and the company is taking flat at Salesforce.com.
Microsoft releases CRM 4.0, gears up for 2008, competition -- With CRM buyers looking to consolidate, supersede or install CRM, Microsoft is targeting usability and multi-tenancy with Dynamics CRM 4.0. However, CRM buyers fill many options to pick from.
Microsoft to proceed Live with on-demand CRM -- Capitalizing on the success of Software and a Service (SaaS), Microsoft has made the decision to offer CRM on-demand as share of its CRM 4.0 release.
Microsoft taking partner hosting international -- In a ride to expand globally, Microsoft has added to its partner hosting program abroad and is slashing pricing for the hosted version of Dynamics CRM 4.0 by nearly 40%.
Microsoft CRM targets usability -- At its annual Convergence conference in 2007, Microsoft stressed usability and taut integration between its CRM application and Office products. User adoption remains a key hurdle in the CRM market.
Microsoft CRM podcasts
NEW: What you requisite to know about MS Dynamics 4.0 -- In this podcast, hear an overview of the modern features in Microsoft's latest CRM release, Dynamics 4.0. Find out about modern functionality from Richard Smith, founding partner of Green Beacon Solutions, a Microsoft Dynamics reseller and consulting partner.
Click on the arrow to play the podcast:
Microsoft users give CRM tips -- Three Microsoft CRM users -- a marketing executive, a customer service manager and a systems manager -- share advice on implementing CRM.
Click on the arrow to play the podcast:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 screencast
In this screencast, Bill Patterson, group product manager for Microsoft CRM, demonstrates Microsoft's modern on-demand application, scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2008.
Microsoft CRM expert advice
How does Microsoft CRM 4.0 integrate with Microsoft Office? -- Microsoft CRM expert Richard Smith explains how Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 integrates with Microsoft Office. He likewise describes the major Office-integration enhancements in the modern release.
Microsoft CRM Live: Pricing and long-term options -- Learn about pricing and long-term options for Microsoft CRM Live, Microsoft's hosted CRM offering, in this expert tip. According to Richard Smith, CRM Live could breathe a major competitor for Salesforce.com.
Estimating Microsoft CRM customization or configuration costs -- When estimating the cost of a Microsoft CRM customization, Smith urges users to burst down the functionality they are looking for in a CRM system. He likewise explains the incompatibility between customizing and configuring CRM systems.
Microsoft CRM and Siebel CRM On exact evaluated -- Resident expert Bill troupe explores the pros and cons of Microsoft CRM and Oracle's Siebel CRM On exact in this expert response.
Preview of Microsoft's advanced analytics tools for Dynamics CRM -- Read highlights of the advanced analytics tools available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM in this expert tip.
Information on Microsoft CRM pricing and return on investment (ROI) -- When conducting an ROI analysis for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the experts mumble that it is necessary to understand how CRM can impact traffic growth.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM server can breathe integrated with WS-Federation protocol in WSO2 Identity server. Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a traffic solution to befriend develop leads, nurse contacts, track your sales, and retain your customers happy. Generic employ case is to connect and authenticate the CRM users with vigorous Directory store which is supported by Microsoft product. But here they will breathe discussing how Identity server can breathe integrated to authenticate this user space.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM supports claims based authentication using the WS-Federation (Passive) protocol. Typically, claims are configured with ADFS as the Service Provider to wield authentication requests with the claims provider. Optionally, CRM can employ a custom Security Token Service (STS) in order to enable federated authentication. The WSO2 Identity Server provides a secure token service by default.
Identity Server 5.2.0 doesn’t fill a passive sts meta data endpoint out of the box. In order to champion using the Identity Server with CRM, a custom metadata file needs to breathe generated and it should breathe accessible to the CRM claims configuration wizard, which will give CRM the STS passive endpoint and private key for signing of claims. They define the aforementioned metadata file (named as metadata.xml) resides in <IS_HOME>/ repository/deployments/server/webapps/mex/metadata.xml. But if you are using Identity Server 5.3.0 onwards you don’t requisite to add this file. It’s there in the vanilla pack.
Following is a sample metadata.xml file. The simplest course to snare this working with 5.2.0 pack is to copy two webapps named mex and mex-ut from 5.3.o pack.
Few necessary entities in the above xml are described below.
entityID : This needs to supersede by the hostname that your identity server is running
ServiceDisplayName : This needs to supersede by the hostname and the port that your identity server is running
<X509Certificate> : Under this tag you fill to define the private key that you will breathe using to mark the requested claims. You can employ the default private key of Identity server for this.
<ClaimTypesOffered> : These are the specific claims requested by the Microsoft Dynamic CRM server. These claims are additionally needs to configured through identity server. (We will breathe configuring these claims in the identity server side for the pretense mapping purposes)
<Address> : This is the vigorous STS endpoint that will breathe used to integrate with the Dynamic Server.This is basically represents the vigorous STS endpoint of the Identity server.
<MetaData><Address> : This is the meta data exchange point or the mex endpoint for Dynamic CRM (we fill extensively discussed about this in my previous article)
<PassiveRequestorEndpoint> : This is the Passive STS endpoint that will breathe used to integrate with the Dynamic Server.This is basically represents the Passive STS endpoint of the Identity server.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM can breathe setup with internal claims based authentication, or further secured for external claims based authentication as an Internet Facing Deployment (IFD). Using an Internet Facing Deployment changes the URL structure CRM uses to load organizations, and thus has an effect on the settings required in the Identity Server.
Configuring user stores
Users requisite to breathe configured within the Identity Server in order to execute authentication. This can breathe done by manually adding users to the Identity Server or connecting directly to an LDAP server with email username enabled. The only requirements are that the user records represented in the Identity Server must fill a username field in the format of firstname.lastname@example.org or DOMAIN\username in order to correctly log in to CRM, and that username field matches a username field within CRM.
Configuring the service provider
Within WSO2, a service provider needs to breathe created to portray the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server that requests for tokens. The only two items that must breathe setup within the service provider configuration are the inbound authentication WS-Federation (Passive) configuration, and the claims configurations. If CRM is likewise configured for IFD, a service provider needs to breathe created to portray each organization that requests for tokens due to how CRM handles the organization’s URLs.
Within the service provider, in the inbound authentication section, a Passive STS realm and Wreply URL must breathe defined under the WS-Federation (Passive) Configuration area. This value should match the CRM server realm cognomen and URL. Typically, the URL will breathe in the format https://servername.domain.com/ (for non-IFD) or https://orgname.domain.com/ (for IFD). For IFD servers, one server provider must breathe created for each organization, with each one having the specific organization’s URL set as the Passive STS Realm in the Inbound WS-Federation authentication settings. Ensure that the trailing “/” is included, as CRM appends this by default to every single its endpoints and the values must match exactly.
Let’s create an service provider cognomen as “Dynamic-CRM” and add the Passive STS Realm in the Inbound Authentication Configuration section. Assume that i my CRM server is running on https://test.domain1.com:8443 URL. Once that’s completed they requisite to then configure the corresponding pretense mappings.
Figure 1 : Adding Dynamic-CRM service provider.
2. Expand the pretense Configuration section. Claims must breathe configured in order to log the requester into CRM as the remedy user. Microsoft Dynamics CRM expects two specific claims returned from the STS. They are as follows
In order to retrieve these values from WSO2, map the local pretense value to the CRM value. First they requisite to create apposite claims using he IS pretense manager module. You can succeed my previous articles on how they created custom claims in Identity server to facilitate the pretense mapping scenarios. Basically in here they fill to create two custom claims to map the aforementioned claims, namely ;
Figure 2 : Adding custom pretense mappings
Once that’s completed, under pretense configiuration menu under the service provider, select http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/name pretense as the matter pretense URI. This instance assumes that the http://wso2.org/claims/logonname contains the username field and the https://wso2.claims/upn contains a DOMAIN\username or email@example.com formatted field that matches up to a username that exists in the CRM organization that is being accessed. Below is the sample pretense configuration page.
Figure 3 : Custom pretense mappings with the service provider
As the final step, update the service provider page. Next ride is to Configure Microsoft Dynamics CRM in order to integrate with WSO2 Identity server.
Configure Microsoft Dynamics CRM
In order to authenticate with a security token service, CRM expects federation metadata that contains specific details about the service. It requires the certificate that the STS uses to mark the responses as well as the passive STS endpoint for the WSO2 server, in addition to the claims expected. This file needs to breathe hosted somewhere accessible to the CRM server.This is the metadata.xml file that i fill mentioned at the dawn of my post. Now let me list down the steps to followed.
To federate Dynamic CRM with WSO2 IS 5.2.0, on the Dynamics CRM server, navigate to “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Deployment Manager” and click on “Configure Claims-Based Authentication” as seen in the screenshots as below.
Figure 4 : Configuring claims based Authentication with Microsoft Dynamics
2. Click next and Enter the metadata URL for IS 5.2.0. WSO2 Identity Server 5.2.0 natively does not fill a metdata URL so one has to breathe manually created and dropped into a directory (for instance authenticationendpoint) on the Identity Server. From IS 5.3.0 onwards, this file metadata.xml file would breathe reside at <IS_HOME>/ repository/deployments/server/webapps/mex/metadata.xml. Below is a sample metadata.xml.
If Identity Server’s certificate is not a trusted certificate and if your identity server is running on a different domain other than localhost you may snare an mistake in one of the next steps maxim that this mex endpoint cannot breathe reached. To avoid this you requisite to add Identity Servers public certificate as a trusted certificate in your server machine.
In order to conclude that double click on the crt file and the proceed install Certificate.
You can either install this certificate either to the current user or to the local machine. Let’s proceed with Local machine.
Then from the next dialog box select “Place every single Certificates in the following Store” and browse where you requisite to install this. From the directories you snare you can give “Trusted Root Certification Authorities” so that this will breathe trusted by your server and there wont breathe any issue while trying to connect to mex endpoint.
As i mentioned earlier in my post , you requisite to change the corresponding attributes listed in (1) — (7) according to your server environment. (i.e hostname, port, private key, mex/active-sts/passive-sts endpoints)
Figure 5 : Configuring and pointing metadata.xml
As mentioned earlier, WSO2 Identity Server 5.2.0 natively does not fill a metdata URL, hence you fill to manually create and drop this metadata.xml into a directory on the Identity Server. (For the ease i fill used authenticationendpoint folder for now).
Note : You just requisite to ensure that this file needs to breathe hosted somewhere accessible to the CRM server.
3. On the next screen, select the encryption certificate to breathe used to communicate with Identity Server. Here you can employ the default public certificate of WSO2 Identity server.
While you are trying to select your certificate you may not observe your certificate under listed certificate. Again you requisite to succeed the steps you followed in step 2 to and add it to “Personal” to it to breathe listed under certificates.
Figure 6 : Certificate used to encrypt the data sent between the STS and CRM
4. On the next screen, you should observe a confirmation of the metadata url and encryption certificate. Just like the screenshot below.
Figure 7 : Confirmation of the metadata url and encryption certificate
5. On the next screen, corroborate every single of the information is remedy and click Apply. Then reboot the CRM server for the changes to occupy effect.
Now, let’s ride on and observe the effects of Dynamic-CRM with the WS-Federation configuration.
Navigate to Dynamic CRM endpoint through the browser https://test.domain1.com:8443 (I assume my CRM server runs on the given domain and port)
Since they fill configured the Passive STS authentication with CRM server with Identity server, the browser is redirected back to Identity Server for authentication as below. Enter the credentials of the user created. (Make sure that in this user profile (firstname.lastname@example.org) the http://wso2.org/claims/logonname contains the username field and https://wso2.claims/upn contains a DOMAIN\username or email@example.com formatted field that matches up to a username that exists in the CRM organization that is being accessed)
Figure 8 : Redirecting to WSO2 IS for the authentication.
3. If you fill given the credentials correctly redirected back to Dynamic CRM and User is authenticated showing below.
Now you fill successfully authenticated to Dynamics CRM. You fill now successfully logged into Microsoft CRM Server with Identity server using WS-Federation protocol. In my next post they will breathe discussing the how WS-Trust protocol can breathe used to logged into Microsoft CRM Outlook connector with Identity server.