In CNet’s reporting of the release of Microsoft CRM and in Microsoft’s press release there were conflicting reseller quotes. One said MSCRM was customizable and one said it was not. I brought this up to a Microsoft spokesperson and here’s their side of the story that further clarifies the extent to MSCRM’s customization.
Microsoft Customer Relationship Management offers customizable forms and views that can be configured without IT support, as well as open APIs for easy systems customizations. Customizations are immune to upgrades and do not interrupt productivity.
Microsoft CRM is offered as a horizontal application that can be customized to fit vertical business needs. We will provide a number of vertical templates and expect that our partners will supplement these based on their specific vertical expertise. Today, over 1000 ISV’s are already developing add-ons and extensions for Microsoft CRM, including vertical add-ons in banking, financial management, high-tech manufacturing and not-for-profit sectors among others.
Partners and ISV’s will have the ability to add custom menus and UI extensions by uploading an XML based customization file using the Import and Export features of the Microsoft CRM Deployment Manager. Any new columns added to an existing Microsoft CRM table will be automatically synchronized to the Microsoft CRM Outlook Client. We believe the majority of customers will be covered by this functionality. For those partners and ISV’s who are creating additional extensions that require entirely new objects, we are in the process of developing prescriptive guidelines showing how Visual Studio.NET, ADO.NET, and.NET remoting can be used to support offline data access.
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