As many (MSCRM Developers, users and Analysts) await the release the next version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM (coded as MSCRM 5.0 temporarily) with much intrigue, we at IOTAP, Mumbai, have come across certain articles and screenshots. We would like to point out a few references from them so as to bring a consolidated idea about the exciting upcoming offerings.
The following 2 articles which give interesting as well as important aspects of the enhancements:
1.       A sneak peek into the offerings for the End Users, Administrators and Developers has been described in the link given below. Being either the end users or the developers, often we tend to overlook the viewpoint of the other. Going through this document could help comprehend a 360 degree idea of the upcoming version.
2.       To view conversations at different levels of conceptualization, we recommend you to click the following link. It not only aligns the reader’s sporadic thoughts about MSCRM 5.0 but also attached are video chats between architects and program managers.
 
These links apart, there are certain screenshots which have drawn our attention.  Looking at these screenshots one is able to envisage the kind of functionalities they would bring about as well as the new look-and-feel of the new release.
1.       UI
 
 
Looking at the start page ribbon content, there’s a button called “Add connection”, which mostly is about the creation of ad-hoc relationships between entities. Something interesting was the “Get started with accounts” instructions pane. That might be just a feature of CRM Online, which was used for the demo, but mostly it would be a better way to provide customized instruction links to user’s right within the CRM UI.
 
2.       Data Visualization
 
 
Dashboards will finally be a OOB feature of all CRM editions, so there’s a dedicated menu for them, in addition to the reports list. The Silverlight controls in the charts allow dynamic filtering and other nice user interaction with the data, but we didn’t get to see how you actually modify or build a dashboard. The message seemed to be that these are more intended for getting the CRM users started on looking at their data, but any complex analysis should be done elsewhere. They could therefore be just another way to present the charting feature that appears on all of the entity ribbons in CRM5.
 
3.       Customization and Settings
 
Moving to the sysadmin side of the UI, the customizations menu now presents us with some interesting options:
·         Find Customizations. Probably some link to an MS marketplace, aimed at bringing the ISV solution ecosystem closer to the CRM users. Didn’t see this one.
·         Customize the System. The traditional customize menu, with a new UI (see below for more)
·         Publishers. Didn’t quite catch the full concept behind this one, probably used for subscribing to cloud based services from within your on-premises CRM5.
·         Solutions. The big new concept in CRM5.
·         Download Web Service Description Files. Why the WSDL download is a separate menu option, remains to be seen.