Silverlight + XRM Book by David Yack MVP

Building the next generation of business applications using Microsoft Silverlight and Dynamics CRM 2011

Fellow MVP David Yack has produced the perfect guide to Silverlight with Dynamics CRM 2011. I highly recommend this book for people new to Silverlight or Dynamics CRM but I also think  those already working with either Silverlight or Dynamics CRM should check it out. I’ve been reading through it this past week and have been learning key things that will help during the design and implementation of my latest projects. I wish I had this book earlier, as my CRM tools on Codeplex could have really benefited from the details in this book too. It shows the knowledge and understanding David has of Microsoft’s latest incarnation of CRM along with Silverlight and how to integrate them.

David Yack MVP is the CTO of Colorado Technology Consultants based in Colorado. He is a Microsoft Regional Director and a Microsoft MVP for Silverlight. This guys knows his stuff…

For an overview of the book’s chapters check it out here, and here is a quick summary of chapter titles.

Chapter 1 – Using Silverlight with CRM 2011 
Chapter 2 – Getting Started
Chapter 3 – XAML 101 and Basic Layout
Chapter 4 – Silverlight Controls
Chapter 5 –Data Binding Basics
Chapter 6 – Application Navigation
Chapter 7 – Out of Browser Support
Chapter 8 – Application Composition with MEF
Chapter 9 – Other Silverlight Business Application Features
Chapter 10 – Enhancing the User Experience
Chapter 11 – Discovering SketchFlow
Chapter 12 –Interacting with CRM Form
Chapter 13 –OData Basics
Chapter 14 –OData Beyond the Basics
Chapter 15 – Using the WCF Service
Chapter 16 – Application Architectures
Chapter 17 –Silverlight Debugging

There is now no excuse for not producing high quality Silverlight apps when developing for Dynamics CRM.

CRM 2011 Tools by Tanguy Touzard CRM MVP

Nobody has produced more CRM 2011 tools than fellow CRM MVP Tanguy Touzard. There are a number of CRM 4 tools Tanguy has created as well which you can find on his blog and codeplex.

You can find his blog here http://mscrmtools.blogspot.com

The list of CRM 2011 tools that can be found on codeplex so far include

SiteMap Editor for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Ribbon Browser for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

JavaScript Web Resource Manager for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

View Layout Replicator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Searchable Property Updater for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Let’s thank Tanguy for his hard work and for sharing these great tools with the CRM community.

You can also find these tools along with more development resources for Dynamics CRM on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM TechNet Wiki here http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/microsoft-dynamics-crm-2011-development-resources.aspx

Microsoft Application Framework – CRM, NAV, AX, GP

Microsoft CRM is built upon a platform that allows for an ever increasing level of customisation and extension. Microsoft is providing this platform packaged as a CRM system and we now have the term XRM which is devised to break Microsoft CRM down to this core platform and then build something up from it. It’s this platform for rapid application development that would be ideally shipped as a framework of some sort that allows for custom systems building and also with the ability to install add ons such as CRM, NAV, GP, etc… 

Name it the Microsoft Application Framework or Dynamics Application Framework (DAF, ok maybe not the best acronym) but integrated with Visual Studio, SQL Server, SharePoint and the various other Microsoft technolgies. Imagine the ease of integrating CRM with NAV if both systems existed within the same framework.

Obviously Microsoft is building up and investing alot of effort into this feature rich application framework, namely Microsoft CRM and its underlying platform, and only time will tell if the true  potential of this technology mix will be achieved. We could maybe take and alter a statement from HomerSimpson by saying “The Microsoft Application Framework, is there anything it can’t do!”, and although this doesn’t actually exist just yet, I hope it will.

Custom Application in ISV Folder Not Working

One of the most common issues that I have found developers’ experiencing with custom applications not working when placed in the MSCRM ISV folder is when the httpModules section of the web.config does not include the <clear /> element. The <clear /> element prevents Microsoft CRM’s httpModules from trying to process the custom aspx pages.

<httpModules>
        <clear />
…your own module elements can go here still…
 </httpModules>