One of the important features of Microsoft CRM is its capability to integrate with other applications. Other applications include third party applications as well as Microsoft products.
Integrating third party software
You can integrate Microsoft CRM with third party applications using BizTalk Server 2002, BizTalk Adapter and Microsoft CRM SDK. Microsoft CRM uses custom integration maps to provide functionality for integrating third party applications into it. You have to start with the Microsoft CRM AIC, Application integration component to begin integration with the third party applications.
BizTalk Mapper is useful for integration between Microsoft CRM and Microsoft Business solutions – Solomon, and Microsoft Business Solutions – Great Plain.
BizTalk Mapper provides features to customize field mappings of the existing fields and to add the new fields as well. This feature is very helpful in the business, for example, customer wants to order goods or services at that time you can capture additional information which can be helpful to your business and you can save lot of time and efforts to key in information again. BizTalk Mapper has the capacity to migrate complex data structures from source to the destination. Moreover BizTalk allows you to write a code to tell how the source data will be migrated to the destination. This utility makes BizTalk convenient tool for integrity. This transformation of data procedure is known as functoid. It is basically a formula which tells how the source data fields will be calculated to generate the output destination field. Microsoft BizTalk Server supplies its own set of the functiods and you have facility to create your own functiods as per your requirement. This is achieved thru scripting languages provided by the Microsoft. It is Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting language (VBScript) or Microsoft JScript.
Application Integration Components
Application Integration Components (AIC) is used to fetch data into Microsoft CRM and Great Plains. The AIC provides features to bind to BizTalk messaging services and provide data to the custom components. AIC is capable of communicating directly to the Microsoft CRM layer.
Microsoft CRM uses pipeline components for integration. Pipeline components talks to AIC. Pipeline components are doing following major jobs.
- Linking messages together.
- Handling status messages.
- Posting messages.
You can integrate other applications into Microsoft CRM. For example, to perform a look up in different database you can add a button.
For any integration with the Application Programming Interface (API) you must understand the object model and the security model of the Microsoft CRM.