Portal Capabilities Integrated Into Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK
Last year, adxstudio (news, site) released a number of extensions for Microsoft Dynamics that beefed up the Customer Relationship Management application. Microsoft must have been impressed because now it has included xRM web portals into its Dynamic CRM Software Development Kit (SDK).

The xRM portals consist of a suite of .NET based portal accelerators that provide enterprises with the ability to deliver portal capabilities to their customers while tracking and managing those interactions in Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management.

The Advanced Developer Extensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM will enable developers to integrate web-facing portal features with the CRM. Key features included in the extensions are:

  • An enhanced code generation tool (CrmSvcUtil.exe) which enables developers to code against the Dynamics CRM APIs
  • LINQ to CRM which will allow developers to use LINQ to retrieve data in the CRM system
  • A portal integration toolkit to easily integrate external portals and Dynamics CRM
  • Connectivity and caching management

Advanced xRM Extensions

In addition to including xRM in the Dynamics SDK, adxstudio has also announced that it has enhanced the xRM extensions to include advanced features that add and upgrade the list of extensions that were released last year. Amongst them are:

  • Multilingual web content management: This provides global enterprises with multilingual portals in local languages.
  • Event management: An enhanced web-integrated event management CRM tool for co-ordinating events and conferences across multi-location enterprises.
  • Surveys and Polls: Enables users to collect business intelligence and place it in Dynamics CRM, while linking it directly to customer contacts.
  • E-Service: Combined with ecommerce tools, e-service includes a help desk that enables users manage to clients directly from the portal, as well as linking the clients to the parent account. It also has a shopping cart which was introduced last year.
  • Social tools: Enhanced collaboration across the enterprise through forums and enterprise blogs with posts and contributions linked to the contact records

Earlier xRM Extensions

This is on top of the extensions that were added last year:

  • Web Content Management: For organizations that have invested in the Dynamics CRM platform and are in need of a flexible content management solution capable of delivering fully-functional website solutions.
  • ADXSTUDIO CRM Developer Toolkit: Framework that simplifies and accelerates the development of internet-enabled applications that interact with Dynamics CRM.
  • Membership Management: Enables administrators to manage member records and provides the ability to offer members self-service access to their website or member portal.
  • Profile Management: Live ID for authentication, invitations and access permissions are core components of this module.

Licensing can be subscription based or on a perpetual basis. There are two types of licenses: Full Use, which is both read and write access to Dynamics data, and Read-Only, which is read only access to Dynamics data. You have to have at least one Full Use license before you can purchase Read Only licenses.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Development Kit, including the new adxstudio xRM web portal technologies, is being distributed by Microsoft as part of the May 2010 CRM Service update.