by John Seeds and Karl Phenix
Big news released today! In April/May 2012, Microsoft will release the next iteration of Dynamics CRM 2011 code, which they package up into functionality internally codenamed "R8". There are lots of great features coming that you can read all about in the new Statement of Direction. Here are a few of my favorites:
1) New Mobile Client! It will be called Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile and will run as a native client on all the popular mobile devices (including tablets). It was developed by CWR Mobility, but is now a standard branded and supported Microsoft application. Mobile workforces will love this functionality. It's going to be offered in addition to the same free browser-based option that's been around for several years, referred to as Dynamics CRM Mobile Express.
2) Support for mutiple browsers for the CRM web client experience! Finally, you will be able to run CRM's web interface on machines running IE, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. Here's the matrix of what's supported where:
3) Options for faster browsing experiences...
In this release, users can decide if records should open in a read-only mode first (will load each page significantly faster if all you need to do as view the data). If the user decides after looking at the record that they want to edit it, they would just hit an edit button to do so. Alternatively, users can choose to open records in edit mode if they usually are updating something about the record. It's a great addition giving users even more control over how they experience working with the platform!
There are many other great advances coming in social networking capability, SQL Server 2012 support that will increase performance and give whole new levels to BI capabilities, custom workflow activity code in CRM Online, certifications for CRM Online related to SAS70, HIPPAA, Safe Harbor, etc., Industry Templates to speed deployments for organizations in those industries, and portal framework enhancements. Check out the Statement of Direction for details on all of this.
I can't wait for the update to release! My hat is off to the development team for tackling this much in an interim service release. I hope to see it live by early May.