Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the eXtremeCRM event in Barcelona this year (“the Woodstock for CRM Rockstars”), but I’ve been keeping an eye on the buzz in Twitter around the #eXtremeCRM hashtag. Although it’s not exactly the same as enjoying live CRM geek talk over some tapas & cerveza, for anyone interested in hearing the latest news and tips around Dynamics CRM this is certainly a better pastime than any reality shows on TV.
There’s a bit of a reality TV style competition every year at eXtremeCRM, called the the eXtreme App Challenge, where the participants have 24 hours to build an application leveraging the Dynamics CRM platform. The idea is of course to showcase the potential for extremely rapid app development where an idea can transform into a functional application overnight, thanks to all the “plumbing” that CRM platform already provides you. Well, I’d like to just point out that it’s not just the technical platform of Dynamics CRM that makes it such an excellent tool for delivering real life business solutions. There’s also an awesome community formed around Dynamics CRM that at the end of the day powers the platform in an equally important way as the SDK or the bits of code delivered by Microsoft. Here’s one excellent example of it:
While spending the afternoon coffee break on Tweetdeck yesterday (like I far too often do), I came across one picture tweeted by Jonas Rapp from an eXtremeCRM session that demonstrated how to manipulate the CRM 2013 default dashboard setting via the Sitemap XML. The dashboard settings behavior is one of the less known areas of the latest Dynamics CRM version, although it has been covered in CRM Team Blog (which I was of course quick to point out, being the “certified Smar As*” that I am).
The guru of CRM, Adam Vero, jumped in on the discussion and pinged the lord of the
rings CRM tools, Tanguy Touzard, with a suggestion on making this setting a part of his Sitemap Editor, included in the ever growing XrmToolBox. Things kind of escalated from there and just a moment ago there was a new blog post published: Change the default dashboard in Dynamics CRM 2013 with XrmToolBox SiteMap Editor plugin.
What just happened there? Let me summarize it for you:
10.2.2014 12:47 – A tweet about a less known feature in CRM 2013 Sitemap XML presented at eXtremeCRM.
11.2.2014 16:39 – The announcement of a free tool to configure the setting via a graphical, user friendly UI.
That’s 27 hours and 52 minutes “from tweet to complete”. Folks, we have a winner and you all should know him by now: Tanguy! Please show him the appreciation he deserves by dropping by his sponsor page on your way to collect the latest XrmToolBox download. Thank you.
We’ve all heard (and some of us even blogged) about the rapid release cadence that Microsoft is nowadays pursuing via their cloud-first strategy of pushing out new releases of Dynamics CRM every 6 months (12 for on-premises). Still, all of this pales in comparison to the speed at which the community around the product, powered by social networks like Twitter and open source galleries like CodePlex, can deliver their own little “hotfixes” to the platform.
While browsing through my stacks of CRM blog feeds and weeding through the #MSDYNCRM tweets, it’s sometimes too easy to forget that not everyone knows about the great tips and time saving tools that are available out there. It’s almost scary to think that in reality there are many people working with Dynamics CRM professionally who haven’t yet discovered the many ways in which the CRM platform could more easily be leveraged to deliver better solutions for customers in a shorter period of time – if only they knew how.
There’s a very simple way how each and every one of us can make a difference here: if you come across a useful piece of information that helped you solve a problem you’ve faced while working with Dynamics CRM, please pass it on. You don’t have to develop a set of advanced configuration tools, or even build an app in 24 hours – just share what you’ve seen, heard or discovered. Then we can all be the winners.