Andrew Bybee and Girish Raja had a pre-recorded session released on the PDC10 site, called Building Business Applications in the Cloud with Dynamics CRM Online. Not surprisingly, this presentation was revolving heavily around Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and how it’s new features can help developers build XRM applications on top of Microsoft’s cloud architecture: Windows Azure, SQL Azure, AppFabric and, last but not least, CRM Online. You can view the full session here, below are a few takeaways from that session for the CRM crowd.
The concept of XRM is probably pretty clear to most of us by know, but since PDC is not a Microsoft Dynamics event, an introduction was of course presented. The example used by Andrew here was the familiar HR scenario for processing job applications.
In the next slide the MS pieces of the puzzle are laid over the solution components.
With the native support for SharePoint integration in CRM 2011 (limited but extendable through SDK), drawing the document management box inside the XRM platform is already perfectly valid. ERP in the cloud is not a scenario actively promoted yet, but that’s where AppFabric and CRM 2011’s Azure aware plug-ins come into play, allowing the cloud apps to exchange data with on-premises apps. The whole Azure side of things is of course presented in less detail, as these are more of generic services rather than the XRM framework which Dynamics CRM 2011 tries to deliver us. Anyway, compared to the first application development platform talks around Dynamics CRM, it’s safe to assume that Microsoft’s cloud message will become inseparable from the XRM story and form a single Cloud XRM concept. In order to challenge SFDC and Force.com, the hybrid model and power of choice will of course remain in the marketing materials, but I’m sure no one wants to build a non-cloud demo for these kind of conferences anymore.