The NDA of the new version of SharePoint 2010 has been lifted and hence a lot of new functionality is out!
You can read a lot about it on the SharePoint Team Blog here: http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2009/10/19/sharepoint-2010.aspx
From a CRM perspective, this is very interesting. The new version of CRM is rumored to have a much tighter integration with SharePoint, so from that perspective it is almost essential to learn a bit more about SharePoint.
There are some areas of SharePoint that are of special interest from a CRM perspective:
- Enhance BI functionality including performance Point server now included in the new SharePoint
- Business Data Catalog enhanced – an excellent tool to work with in relations to CRM
- Enhanced Document Management – one of the weaker parts of Dynamics CRM 4 is the built in document management so integration with SharePoint in regards to document management is often used.
- Enhanced API and development capabilities. When integration with SharePoint development is often required to create the necessary functionality. The SharePoint API is currently ok but compared to the excellent API of Dynamics CRM, it can do with an upgrade. Hopefully to the mark set by Dynamics CRM.
So that is all good news.
However, there is still one major issue from a CRM – SharePoint integration perspective that Microsoft REALLY need to address and that is the licensing issues of SharePoint users working in a very slight way with CRM data by, for instance, looking at data from a data warehouse in SharePoint with drill-down functionality. Today, all users with access to this need to have a full read only CRM license. Similarly, if there is a webpart used in SharePoint to create leads in CRM, but with no other need for access, a full CRM CAL is required for all users of the Intranet since they are employees and hence cannot use the external connector license. This is preposterous! Please Microsoft, we really like CRM, and we want to pay our dues, just make it fair!
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Chief Architect
Jonas Deibe at Microsoft responded to me that the answer to the latter part of the posting is the licensing form "Application Platform Agreement". I plan to write a bit more about it later…
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