General Interest

What's new in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 provides new and enhanced features that help you to increase your organization's effectiveness and productivity.

Activity Feeds

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Activity Feeds provide real-time notifications and quick sharing of information through short updates. They appear on your personal wall in the What's New area of the Workplace. Activity Feeds enable you to follow and learn about important activities that take place around people, accounts, contacts, leads, and anything else that you care about.

Updates can be posted manually by you, or automatically based on predefined system rules through a workflow. Activity Feeds can also be posted to by external applications through the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online web services API. Activity Feeds expose Microsoft Office Lync real-time presence functionality so that you can initiate communication activities such as IM, phone calls, and emails.

Using Activity Feeds on Mobile Express offers users the chance to stay up to date with their organization while on the go. From mobile phones equipped with Windows Phone 7.5, users can keep in touch with colleagues by posting and commenting on each others’ pages, as well as keeping up with the latest news on the leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities they care about.

Auditing

The auditing feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 lets you track changes made to your business data. Use auditing to analyze the history of a particular record, view a summary of everything that changed, or to comply with regulation standards. Keep track of the changes done to a record, a field, or by a user. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online automatically creates logs for the changes that are tracked. In addition to these, in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online November 2011 Service Update, you can also track when a user has accessed Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

Improved Microsoft Office interface

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 introduces a new Office 2010 contextual ribbon for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics CRM browser clients and for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for Microsoft Office Outlook. The new ribbon delivers a consistent, familiar navigation and user experience that helps you better integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with your Office 2010 environment.

Advanced user personalization

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 lets you configure a workspace that is personalized to meet your unique role and information needs. Personalizing a workspace means that you can set the default pane and tab that display when you open Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. You also have control over what links appear in the workplace view, how many records appear in lists, how numbers and dates display, and the language for your user interface. Combine this personalization with the new dashboard feature to create a personalized dashboard for your default view.

Role-based forms

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 displays forms based on user roles. This role-tailored design ensures that the business professionals in your organization have fast access to the relevant information they need. Role-based forms also prevent users from viewing data that they are not authorized to view.

Inline data visualization

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, you can quickly create and share inline charts with drill-down intelligence. Using these charts, you can visually navigate data and uncover new insights that contribute to your organization's success. View the charts you create from the main list of records or from the list of associated records for an individual record. Share your charts with other users or teams in the organization. Import charts created by other users into your records.

Dashboards

Dashboards are a powerful feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Use a dashboard to see at a glance all the important information you need to make key business decisions every day. Assemble and present information from several places in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in a quickly-read format. This means that you do not have to search multiple areas for the information you want. Dashboards are easy to create, and are easy to revise as your changing business needs require.

Better Office Outlook experience

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 improves the integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online into Microsoft Office Outlook with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for Microsoft Office Outlook. It takes full advantage of native Outlook functionality, such as previews and conditional formatting, and presents Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online areas as sub-folders in Outlook mail folders. With a few exceptions, these Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online areas in Outlook include all of the same functionality as the browser clients.

Contextual document management

If your organization uses Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, you can easily manage documents that are related to records within a particular entity. Using Windows SharePoint as your document depository, the seamless interface in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 allows you to quickly add and edit documents that are associated with a particular record. When you set up document management, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online creates the structure on your Windows SharePoint site that works with the entities and records that you want for document management.

Goal management

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 gives you the ability to define key performance and business health indicators. This way you can track and measure results against your organization's goals or metrics. Easily and quickly define goals for a campaign or fiscal period. Combine smaller goals, such as for specific teams or territories, into the overall goals for your organization. Create a rollup of all the goals into the actuals that show how you are tracking.

Interactive process dialogs

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 expands its workflow capability by adding interactive dialogs. Dialogs present a consistent message to your customers. Also, dialogs collect and process information by using step-by-step scripts to direct users through every process. At one level, you can use dialogs to guide customer interactions and internal processes. At another level, you can increase dialog performance and versatility by incorporating workflow logic. This logic invokes automated tasks by using the responses a customer or user makes during the dialog script.

Cloud development

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is at the leading edge of cloud computing. Developers can take advantage of the Windows Azure platform to develop and deploy custom code for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online by using powerful tools, such as Microsoft Visual Studio. Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0, developers can also incorporate Microsoft Silverlight, Windows Communication Foundation, and .NET Language Integrated Query (LINQ) into their cloud solutions. Cloud development for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is a powerful tool for customizing your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online solution for optimal performance and business results.

Solution management

Solutions in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 are a new way to save customizations and share them with other users. You can create a solution or import a solution created by a developer outside your organization. It is easy to share a solution with other users. A managed solution can be edited only by specific users. An unmanaged solution can be edited by any user with an appropriate user role. A solution can have version numbering, relationships with entities and other components, and security features based on user roles.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace

Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is your online solutions catalog. These solutions help you accelerate and extend your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online implementation.

Quickly discover and apply industry-specific applications and extensions from Microsoft and its partners. Then, Marketplace distributes your solution directly to you.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Find your solution directly from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

Summary

The new and enhanced features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 offer new levels of user productivity and collaboration. These features help you meet your specific business needs with a low total cost of ownership. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 delivers familiar, intelligent, and connected experiences to increase the productivity and effectiveness of people inside and outside your organization.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 unlocks new opportunities and provides a single development environment for cloud-based and on-premise deployments. Partners, including independent software vendors, global system integrators, and value-added resellers, can quickly create, package, and distribute Microsoft Dynamics CRM extensions and custom solutions.

Applies To:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online December 2012 Service Update

(For CRM Online, CRM 2013, and CRM 2015, see CRM Help & Training.)