Microsoft will be releasing version 2013 of Dynamics CRM, code-named Orion. A new version means brand new features aimed at improving every aspect of the application.
- User Experience
· Instead of having a permanent navigation pane on the left hand side the new model will appear on top, switch tiles as options are selected and disappear when not used to allow for more screen real estate.
· Instead of a ribbon with multitude of buttons there is now a command bar with up to 7 items so it is easier to remember. Additional items are exposed from the ellipsis
· Each module (Sales, Marketing, and Service) has its own home page where each can have its own dashboard.
· The record form has been redesigned so that all the necessary information is visible or quickly accessible.
· A new Quick Create function allows you to add relevant related data in a more intuitive fashion.
· The interface will reformat the layout across window sizes and device types; desktops, tablets and phones. CRM is now cross browser compatible and integrates to Yammer, Skype, Lync and Bing Maps.
· It has an auto-save feature, global search and in-line grid editing for Opportunity Products.
- New Functionality
- Processes can span entities. One process might include a lead and an opportunity, another might start at the opportunity progress through a quote and go back to the opportunity.
- Processes can have stages. Rules can be setup so that processes cannot move through stages until all necessary steps are accomplished.
- Users can switch from one process to another. Flexibility can be created to accommodate any situation because business sometimes doesn’t moves in a straight line. For example, a cross sell opportunity that got put on hold because the customer was being acquired might get revived as a new lead because the new company has to be re-qualified, but we don’t want to lose the history.
- Stages can be linked to stage categories. Process stages can be assigned to independent stage categories so reports can be created across all processes.
- Roles can be assigned to processes. Users can be limited to which processes they can follow.
- An entity can belong to multiple processes. Opportunities can have different stages per process, for example, which was difficult to achieve in prior CRM versions.
- Technical Improvements
· The current CRM Outlook Client design lumped its processes within the Outlook memory stack. The effect has been lower stability and reliability because of high memory use, leaks and fragments
· The new CRM Outlook client isolates its processes into two separate memory stacks. This way if there are a lot of customizations, and if they happen to leak memory, they won’t affect the overall Outlook experience.
· One difference between the Outlook Client and the Web Client is since Outlook has the left hand navigation; CRM will continue to use it allowing for more space at the top of the screen.
· In 2011: Currently synchronizing emails between an email server and the CRM server worked through either Outlook or the CRM email router. Synchronizing though Outlook requires Outlook to be up and running. The Email Router needs to be installed on an on premise server and be administered separately from CRM.
· CRM 2013 can now synchronize directly to a mail server without the need for Outlook or the Email Router. If the mail server is Microsoft Exchange, emails, tasks, appointments and contacts are synchronized. Other POP3/SMTP mail servers will only sync email. The sync configuration is handled all within CRM which enables it to be used in online deployments. Besides users, email processing can also be configured for CRM queues.
· Actions are a new function similar to workflows that can now perform a collection of record changes that depend on variable input or output parameters across steps in the process. Previously this functionality had to be performed by multiple web service calls.
· Technical Limitations
- Unsupported CRM 2011 customizations may not work in 2013. HTML DOM manipulations will throw script errors. The CRM 4.0 client API is not supported any longer.
- Upgrade Process
Customers on CRM 4.0 must upgrade to CRM 2011 before they can upgrade to CRM 2013.
Unsupported CRM 2011 customizations may not work in 2013. HTML DOM manipulations will throw script errors. The CRM 4.0 client API is not supported any longer.