Microsoft CRM integration

Does anybody have any experience of Microsoft CRM and how it might integrate to Navision? I have been in a number of prospect situations where customers are interested in Navision and also want some CRM functionality. Curently I find it difficult to advise them on the relative merits of using Navision Relationship Management or using Microsoft CRM and integrating to Navision. Any thoughts? Chris.

We’re in the same boat at the moment. We have had expressions of interest, but have not taken it further. I think we are waiting to see what V4.0 will bring in terms of integration. Good luck though…

We created a Navision-MSCRM integration for Customers and Jobs (Accounts and Incidents in CRM) for one of our clients. This took a very long time and was very complicated, but we are happy with the end-result. It is based on the standard Navision commerce gateway (Biztalk) functionality, expanded to include ASP.NET applications to access the CRM application, and COM+ components to go from CRM back to Navision. Version 4 will not have a CRM integration. I have been on endless support calls with Microsoft, and from what I could hear is that nobody there even knew exactly how to integrate Navision with CRM (Not on the Navision side, not on the CRM side and not even on the .NET side), so don’t hold your breath. Theoretically we could take it to the next level and create more of a generic integration, but we don’t have the opportunity right now and my company is not willing at this time invest in such a thing. I’m sure though that we could do more complicated things now that we have the knowledge of how to do it.

Please note that MS CRM doesn;t hold any marketing module, which will not be released before the end of this year. For now, it looks great in is very userfriendly but regarding functionality it has nothing to add to the current CRM solutions! The functionality of the Navision CRM modules is more difficult to use, but has far more functionality. F.a., try to make a word document with mailmerge, this is not possible! Regarding the integration: next week there will be a presentation in the netherlands of the integration between navision and MS CRM, built by a dutch international NSC…

I went to the Microsoft event for business solutions in Brussels where they released MSCRM v1.2 The way to interact between MSCRM and Navision is to use Biztalk Server (which you will recieve when you buy a copy of MSCRM) You have to use SQL, so all of you who use C/SIDE will have to eather run two databases or migrate all the data to SQL. The most interesting aspect that MSCRM gives, is the offline functionallity and the very userfriendly outlook environment. I do think if you have a good working CRM (Navision) up and running , it’s to soon to change to MSCRM. I would wait untill version 2.0 That’s what I understood from it. Greetz

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Originally posted by Peter Willemse Regarding the integration: next week there will be a presentation in the netherlands of the integration between navision and MS CRM, built by a dutch international NSC…


Congratulations [:)] so we’re not the only one anymore, but we were the first [:D]. Want to compare notes?

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Originally posted by NeokeThe way to interact between MSCRM and Navision is to use Biztalk Server (which you will recieve when you buy a copy of MSCRM)


It’s a lot more complicated than just installing Navision, Biztalk and MS CRM and there you go… There’s a lot of development necessary behind the scenes (unleashing MS-CRM post-callouts, building an Application Integration Component to get information from MS-CRM to Biztalk and from Biztalk back into MS-CRM, mapping information in Biztalk, and not to mention customizations to the Navision Commerce Gateway and many other things), with lots of undocumented functionality and many confused MS Support people. Note that the Biztalk Server that you get with MS-CRM is not a fully working version, but the so called ‘partner edition’, limited to one partner. I also believe that you only get this if you buy the MS-CRM / Great Plains integration package.

I read Microsoft is going to release these so called “connectors” to make the integration between MSCRM and Navision, Great Plains, etc easier… Release in March 2003. Do these connectors take away the problems you discribe Daniel ?

If (and I do mean IF, because last I heard a Navision integration was not in the planning until 2005 or beyond) Microsoft releases a MSCRM integration with Navision, they will include all components that you need. I don’t know about what you call ‘connectors’, I don’t know what they would be and what development you would not have to do as a result. Where did you read this news? A link would be nice.

“Alexander said Microsoft will ship BizTalk, its application integration tool, with CRM 1.2 and expects to be able to provide out-of-the-box integration with its Great Plains and NaVision software by March 2004. The software modules, called connectors, which BizTalk needs before it can integrate CRM with Great Plains and Navision, are still in beta testing. Until that time, CRM 1.2 users will not find it any easer to link with other Microsoft software than to software from competitors.” url = http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/applications/0,39020384,39118362,00.htm

That is pretty amazing news. We just recently finished a Navision-MSCRM integration and we had to have lots of support from the MS-CRM group, and nobody there (and nobody in the ASP.NET group, and nobody in the Navision group, and nobody in the SQL Server group, and nobody in the COM+ group and a bunch of other groups as well) had a clear idea of how to make it happen, we had to piece everything together ourselves. We even talked to the people who wrote the MSCRM-GP integration, and they were not very helpful either. Now we spent about 2 months with 2 people for a tiny little integration, and I think MS would do it on a much larger scale with more people and over a longer period of time. If they are indeed working on it (and ready to deliver, it’s march 2004), then they are doing a heck of a job hiding it. I’d hope that they weren’t being secretive about it, because the company I work for has pretty close ties with MS, and for a while we were really stressing out if we could deliver.

Daniel, that’s what I was trying to point out. Microsoft is establishing the integration with at least one partner I know of, the watermark group, (www.watermark.com), the news about Bizztalk standard being deliverd with MS CRM was already old news as in the first integration factsheet of MS CRM I already read about it. Did you do the integration with Bizztalk, or otherwise?

Hi I was thinking that together with MS CRM, you can have a lot of predefined integration suites, to Navision, Axapta, even SAP. I remember to have read that some time last year (spring), but obviously it didn’t come out that way…

When I talked to some MBS partners in a Microsoft Executive Forum Event in Brussels, they also knew about these connectors. I hope Microsoft is going to release them soon…

Well just because MS is assisting certain partners on such integrations does not mean that they are about to release a generic product like that. When I was working on ours (and yes we did an extension to Commerce Gateway using Biztalk, custom ASP.NET applications and post-callout components) MS said they have no intention to release any such product for Navision until 2005 at the earliest.

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Originally posted by Helmut Wimmer
Hi I was thinking that together with MS CRM, you can have a lot of predefined integration suites, to Navision, Axapta, even SAP. I remember to have read that some time last year (spring), but obviously it didn’t come out that way…


That is indeed the hook that Microsoft is using, but the practicality of the matter is that it takes a significant amount of development to make integration between MSCRM and Navision work. I’m not saying it is not possible, but this sales pitch is oversimplifying things in a very big way.