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Microsoft CRM for Corporate Business working offline
by: Andrew Karasev
If your company has regional and worldwide operations, you might already realized that it is very hard to get decent internet connection in your remote locations. In this small article we will try to give you highlights on how to implement Microsoft Business Solutions CRM for worldwide operations with restricted internet connection.
Outlook Client. This was very bright idea from Microsoft side to have outlook client as a presentation for Microsoft CRM data. Outlook has such nice features as synchronization and then working offline. If you have outlook client for CRM you can download your customers, leads, contacts, and event properly programmed custom features, then work with them and finally synchronize them back to MS CRM database
MS CRM Integration. As the task itself it is not difficult or challenging one. You can deploy MS SQL Server linked server to show your third party or even heterogeneous data on MS CRM screens. However, when we are talking about enabling working offline we should get different approach. Your third party system should feed data into MS CRM database through MS CRM SDK custom utility. In CRM itself you should stick to MS CRM user defined fields. If you take this direction MS CRM custom features will be taken by Outlook client and synchronized with local machine. Your third party data could reside as it was mentioned in heterogeneous platforms: Oracle, DB 2, Sybase, Lotus Notes Domino, SAP, Pervasive SQL 2000, Ctree or any ODBC compliant database.
Typical Industries. The most popular industry to deploy MS CRM as we saw so far is Transportation & Logistics, where MS CRM is usually integrated with Cargo/Shipment tracking database. Other industries, deploying CRM are: Education, Recruitment & placement, publishing & advertising. MS CRM is getting market in such industries as aerospace & defense, wholesale & retail, pharmaceutical, oil & gas, biotechnology, medicine/hospitals, non-profit
Customization Tools. Visual Studio.Net is the first to mention, where you can create web application for MS CRM in VB.Net or C#.Net. Then you should use Crystal Reports Enterprise to expand reporting functionality. You use MS SQL Server scripting to pull the data from third party system (but not to update data in the CRM you should use MS CRM SDK for this purpose
Self Implementation. This was surprising discovery for us about 3 years ago. Microsoft CRM deploys all the spectrum of Microsoft technologies: MS Exchange, Active Directory, full-text search, BizTalk, XML streams, .Net and we see that Microsoft-oriented IT departments take an initiative and implement MS CRM with minimal outside help
You can always appeal to our expertise to help you implement Microsoft CRM for your company. Give us a call: 1-630-961-5918, help@albaspectrum.com


About the author:
Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, serving Chicago, California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, New York, Australia, UK, Canada, Continental Europe, Russia and having locations in multiple states and internationally ( http://www.albaspectrum.com), he is Dexterity, SQL, C##.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer.


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