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Technology requirements for a Dynamics CRM installation

Expert Richard Smith discusses the key technologies required for a Dynamics CRM installation.

I am planning to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Are there any technology requirements that are necessary before I can configure and install Dynamics CRM?
This is an excellent question. One of the biggest benefits of Dynamics CRM is its integration with the core Microsoft applications and technologies.

There are several key technologies that Dynamics CRM requires, including:

  • Windows Server: Dynamics CRM runs on Windows Server 2003 and leverages Windows Internet Information Services.

  • Exchange Server: Dynamics CRM is tightly integrated with Exchange Server for sending and receiving email through CRM.

  • SQL Server and Reporting Services: All CRM data is stored in Microsoft SQL Server, and reports are provided through Microsoft SQL Reporting Services.

  • Microsoft Office: Dynamics CRM is tightly integrated with Microsoft Outlook, providing both an online and offline (out of the office) client and direct synchronization to the Outlook Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Email. Additionally, Dynamics CRM has seamless integration with Excel for reporting and imports, and with Microsoft Word for generating targeted letters, emails and faxes.

  • SharePoint Server: SharePoint can provide users with dashboard views of CRM data, including reports and quick access to CRM records.

    While Dynamics CRM is based on and tightly integrated with each of these Microsoft products, you do not necessarily need to understand each of them in order to implement Dynamics CRM. The setup routine installs the website, the SQL Server databases, SQL Reporting Services and the integration with Exchange. My consultancy, Green Beacon Solutions, is a Microsoft partner, and many of our customers have found it makes sense to focus on learning how to configure Dynamics CRM while they rely on us to help them implement CRM -- from analyzing the business through installation, configuration, data conversion and training.

  • This was last published in April 2008

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