Friday, June 19, 2009

Cool CRM 4.0 tools that may not be generally known

I have come across a number of different tools, some shown to me by Microsoft reps, others by other partners, some by clients and still some (more typically) by my coworkers. I always find it funny when I have a tool that I've been using for a really long time but I never told my coworkers about (or that situation in reverse). All of a sudden life is so much easier. So, here's a list of some tools that I have found and use to make my life easier.

1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Demonstration Tools
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Demonstration Tools provide a simple user interface that allows you to easily enter and edit data to populate or modify your instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It also allows you to load and store your data in XML format, so that you can reuse your data in the future.
This is one that one of my sales team members showed me how it helped him with his demos. I told him it would be great for implementation too.

2. MSCRM Plugin Registration Tool
PluginRegistration tool is enhanced version of the tool that is published with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 SDK (if you're using plugins I hope you know about this one, if you don't, it will change your life)

3. Microsoft CRM Support Tools
Things like the diagnostic tool for tracing and the email connector logger.

4. Microsoft Dynamics 4.0 Performance Toolkit
Helps to stress test an environment. A lot of set up but you get a lot of good data.

5. Microsoft Dynamics Internet Facing Deployment Configuration Tool
You could set up IFD manually, but why would you do that when this tool makes it so easy?

6. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Accelerators
I've blogged about these before, but these essentially are free "modules", external portals, or reports that help make CRM be more effective to you and your organization. Codeplex has a number of other CRM tools that you can easily search for and try out.

7. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Logical Database Diagram
Maps whatever entities you choose in Visio. If you keep your select entities to only a few, this can be very useful. But don't expect to use this for your entire system. This maps out EVERY relationship on any specified entity (activities, notes, users, imports, plus all the regular ones you want).

8. Stunnware's FetchXML Wizard
Great for scripting. Stunnware has lots of other great tools, so poke around and see what you can find.

There are lots more. If you have any that you really like, post it in a comment.

David Fronk
Dynamic Methods Inc.

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