xRM is a framework that is comprised of four core components (UI, database engine, reporting engine, workflow engine) that are applicable to any business
Don't simply think of Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a traditional CRM application. Instead, understand the framework that powers the application. The framework is more important than the out of the box CRM functionality and modules. You should understand the following four critical components of the framework:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has three interfaces; Outlook, Internet Explorer, Windows Mobile. 80% of corporate America uses Outlook as their mail client. 95% of all computers in the world have Internet Explorer installed. Long story short, because Microsoft Dynamics CRM leverages existing Microsoft applications that are already well engrained in corporate society, there is only a minimal learning curve when it comes to using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. User adoption will be high as a result of this.
The concept here is a simple one; don't worry about the technology, let Microsoft do that. Instead focus your time on what makes your business unique, how to better manage it, how to grow it, how to be successful and more profitable. We are confident that by leveraging Microsoft applications and putting and xRM strategy in place, you can achieve 80% of what you are looking for out of the box, with only a 20% configuration/development effort.
Database Engine – SQL Server
Microsoft continually invests millions of dollars of Research and Development on Microsoft SQL. As a result, SQL is a scalable, easily maintained and efficient database. SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) allows applications to work in tandem with the SQL Server as well as other applications so that all your information is tightly integrated and constantly accessible. As one of the most pervasive database applications in corporate America, SQL is engrained in corporate society.
Reporting Engine – SQL Server Reporting Services
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a tool set that allows you to create, manage and distribute reports allowing for granular report customization. With xRM you can leverage SSRS to improve your reporting creating interactive, tabular, graphical reports from relational, multidimensional, or XML-based data sources. These reports can be delivered in a variety of formats via the web, a desktop application or SharePoint site.
Work Flow Engine – Windows Workflow Foundation
One of the most important components of the xRM framework is the workflow engine that it leverages. Microsoft Dynamics CRM uses Windows Workflow Foundation (WFF), which is already packaged with Windows Server. Not only does this make integration and adoption easier, but also provides ease of use for Windows Network Administrators, as this is already familiar software. This tool set enables you to quickly create workflow-enabled applications on Windows with a consistent development experience as other .NET applications.