Welcome to the second post in my series in which I’m creating a revision guide for the customization and configuration certification for Microsoft Dynamics CRMN 2016 (MB2-712).
This post will cover configuring CRM.
The skills measured statement for this topic is;
Configure Dynamics CRM settings
- Configure auditing, document management and collaboration; configure business units; perform user management; configure email; manage teams
This statement hints that we need to understand how to configure business management, data management and administrative options in CRM. And also have an awareness of how CRM integrates with other Microsoft products such as SharePoint and Yammer.
Business units are another important topic as they form the structure for an organization. A structure that will define the scope of security rules within the application.
User setup is another important topic. With an on-premise installation these will be from a local Active Directory or with online they’d be Office 365 accounts. Irrespective of the source of the user record you will need to appreciate how this relates to the CRM security model.
Teams are used to group users together. Teams can also own / share record and therefore have a relationship to the security model of CRM. Meaning teams are another key aspect to understand.
You will also need to understand how to configure email. Each user and queue can have an email address that will need to be configured.
Configuration of CRM is a big subject! I will expand on many of the topics (such as business units) in future posts. Initially we will quickly look at the following;
- CRM Administration
- Business Management
- Document Management
- Data Management
The administration section contains most of the general settings for CRM.
The administration area of the settings options gives access to various options. Including;
- Auto-Numbering to define how cases and other entities should be assigned unique numbers.
- Languages lets you install language packs when working in a multilingual organization.
- Collaboration options like Yammer and social engagement configuration.
Note: Be aware if you enable Yammer you cannot disable it. Yammer replaces the CRM out of the box posts / wall functionality.
System settings is an important option as it gives access to a lot of settings which drive system behaviour. Such as how email processing works, default currency, enabling auto save, skype integration etc etc.
Part of your revision should involve spending time going over the options in each tab in system settings so you are every familiar with the capabilities. (Getting hands-on time is always important!)
There are eight entities in CRM which are enabled to auto-numbering. Those being contracts, cases, articles, quotes, orders, invoices, campaigns and knowledge articles. You cannot add more entities to this list using this out of the box numbering but you can configure how the numbering should operate for each of these entities.
Here you can define fiscal year settings, business closure dates, define queues and many other options. (Including record creation rules.) All these options relate to how a particular organisation will function. Including many options used by the service scheduling module of CRM. (Such as facilities / equipment, resource groups and services.)
Record creation and update rules allow you to configure when records are automatically created within CRM. For example, you may wish to automatically create a case when a new email is received onto as particular queue.
Multiple currencies associated exchange rates are also defined in business managements.
The document management options in settings allow you to configure SharePoint and OneDrive for Business integration.
I don’t believe the MB2-712 exam will test your SharePoint knowledge in detail but you should understand its basic operation and installation.
Two architectures exist for SharePoint integration. Client-side integration typically used in an on-premise scenario and require the installation of a SharePoint list component. Or alternatively you use server based SharePoint integration which doesn’t require the list component. Server-based integration is the recommended approach when possible.
It is worth knowing that SharePoint integration also supports integration with some of the other Office 365 products. Such as OneNote integration.
Data Management Settings
Data management options allow you to define duplicate detection rules, import data, manage bulk deletion jobs etc.
Duplicate detect rules let you define rules that are run as records are created in the CRM database. These help you spot and resolve duplicates at source. Duplicate detection jobs is an option that uses these rules to review the current data to help identify potential duplicates in the existing data.
One useful option in data management is the option to enable and disable sample data. It is really handy when testing or demonstrating a CRM solution to be able to use this option to quickly create a sample dataset to work with.
Another option allows “add ready-to-use business processes” allows the expansion of the number of business processes that are available out of the box. It might be that you create all of your processes from scratch or it might be this option is used to give templates or starting points for business processes with the system.
A key feature of CRM is the ability to import data from other systems. The import option lest you see the status of current imports and to review an audit of past imports. The data maps option allows you to create data maps to make importing data easier. Or you can use the “Templates for Data Import” option to create a blank template to make the process of create spreadsheets ready to import CRM entities easier.
Auditing is another key area to review. Auditing can be defined at a system level, entity level and field level.
At a system / global level you can enable auditing and define which areas to audit. You can also log when user log in / out of CRM.
Once auditing is enabled you can use customization options on each entity to define which entities and also which fields should be audited. I will look at this in more detail when reviewing the options available for entity creation.
The audit settings also allow you to view and manage the audit logs.
As you have seen there are LOTS of configuration options with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016. Even the most experienced consultants don’t always remember all the options or where each one resides. But for your exam prep you should become as familiar with these options as possible. In my opinion the best way to do this is to spend time hands-on working with the CRM. At this point take time to look around the system and test out as many options as possible. Good luck.