Dynamics CRM integration with SharePoint- Can we do better- PART 2

The issues build into the out-of-box (OOB) CRM integration with SharePoint, are described in the post “Dynamics CRM integration with SharePoint- Can we do better

In this post I will describe how Dynamics SharePoint Organizer (SPO) offers better integration between SharePoint and CRM.
Dynamics SPO trial version, can be downloaded here.

Dynamics SPO has two main functions:

Email2SharePoint – Upload documents to SharePoint by emailing them to CRM Queue, which activates CRM plug-in, that uploads the files attached to the Email, and save them in SharePoint with the related metadata / columns retrieved from the Email (read more)

Add SPO functionality to CRM Entity – A better way to integrate entities with SharePoint document location, and how to save relevant metadata to the document, retrieved from the attributes (fields) of the CRM record. A functionality I am going to describe, in details, in this post.

What is SPO functionality?

The function of SharePoint Organizer (SPO) is as it sounds, a methodological and consistent way, to organize documents in SharePoint, so that they can be easily found, when they are needed. In a nutshell, use less folders and more relevant metadata retrieved from the attributes of the CRM record.

The SPO function is a simplified way to upload documents to SharePoint. The CRM user, while he /she is in the record form, can upload files from hard disk, from documents attached to Notes, and from documents attached to Emails, related to the record, which are Emails where the Regarding field is the record we upload from. SPO function is also more efficient and time saving function to upload files to SharePoint. It allows multi-selection of files to upload in one step, unlike similar function in CRM OOB, which requires an upload of one file at a time, and only from the hard disk. In other words, with CRM OOB, to upload a file attached to an Email, it firstly needs to be saved to hard disk and only then it can be uploaded to SharePoint.

CRM OOB defines the folders and folders names where documents will be saved in SharePoint. SharePoint user finds it difficult to find documents spread over many SharePoint folders and without metadata to support SharePoint search functionality.

SPO uploads document to configurable folders and with metadata based on the attributes of the entity. As an example, when configuring the integration of Invoice entity with a location in SharePoint, you can also select the attributes: Name, Total Amount, Customer, Due Date, and Email address of the related Contact, as metadata columns in SharePoint. You can then use this meaningful metadata for search and metadata navigation in SharePoint. Updating payment due date from CRM to SharePoint, can trigger a SharePoint workflow to follow up payment on due date.

While configuring SPO, you can enable / disable overwrite of existing document in SharePoint, as well as to delete or keep the original attachments after they are uploaded from Emails to SharePoint.

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