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.
I’ve developed the CRM 2011 Metadata Browser as a Silverlight 4 application that is packaged as a Managed CRM 2011 Solution. This tool allows you to view metadata within CRM including Entities, Attributes and Relationships. The tool uses the 2011 endpoint Organization.svc/web WCF service and is accessible from the Settings area under Customizations in CRM once imported into CRM.
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.