I've been hearing about new accelerators available for Dynamics CRM 4.0 – can you tell me a little bit about them?
Microsoft is greatly enhancing the functionality of Dynamics CRM 4.0 through the release of
which are free, add-on solutions. The accelerators can be deployed in both on-premise and on-demand environments.
The current list of released accelerators includes:
Extended sales forecasting – Enhances the sales forecasting capabilities by providing sales users the ability to review and classify their opportunities as committed, excluded or upside. Managers can monitor and track sales targets, budgets and performance against time their team's forecast.
eService – Provides the ability to easily create a self-service customer portal. The eService accelerator includes key components for membership and authentication and direct integration with CRM for creating and updating cases, scheduling and managing appointments and searching the Knowledgebase.
Event management – Extends Dynamics CRM's campaign management functionality to support the planning and management of events. The accelerator includes source code for an external (website) portal for event display and online registration, and back-end CRM workflows and configuration to support registration, waitlists and notifications.
Analytics – Includes sales, service and operations reports and dashboards built on SQL Reporting Services and Performance Point server and a predictive analytics module for monitoring lead and opportunity management.
Enterprise search – Allows Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) customers to view and search for Microsoft Dynamics CRM data directly from their SharePoint portals, simplifying the creation of dashboards for specific business audiences.
CRM notifications – Creates a RSS feed for key events within CRM. Users can subscribe to any saved view within CRM and can be notified when the view changes through Microsoft Outlook or any RSS reader or gadget.
All of the accelerators are available for download through the Microsoft CodePlex website.
Since the accelerators do make changes to the CRM application framework, I strongly suggest that you implement the accelerators in a development or staging environment before deploying to your production environment. If you do not have a development environment, you can download a demonstration Virtual PC image from Microsoft for that purpose from the Microsoft downloads website.
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