Extend Your CRM with Dynamics 365 Plug-ins

Extend Your CRM with Dynamics 365 Plug-ins

A Dynamics 365 plug-in is a powerful feature that can allow you to inject custom functionality directly into your CRM. Plug-ins extend the limits of the native automation tools available within Dynamics 365. Whether you’re looking to automate complex business processes or simply streamline daily tasks, plug-ins are an essential tool for any Dynamics 365 developer.

What is a Dynamics 365 Plug-in?

A plug-in is a custom C# program that you can use to extend the standard behavior of Dynamics 365. When an event occurs, such as the creation of a new record or the update of an existing one, the plugin will execute and perform the program that you have written. This could be as simple as auto-populating a few fields, or as complex as calling an integration with other systems.

Why Use Plug-ins?

Plug-ins provide a level of customization that workflows and Power Automate flows cannot match. They are the best of both worlds, since they can perform automations in real-time while remaining flexible and scalable. You can use plug-ins to validate data before saving a record, integrate with external APIs, or simply perform automation that is impossible to achieve with workflows alone.

How to Make a Plug-in?

Here are a few things to consider before creating a plugin:

  • You’ll want working knowledge of C#.
  • Visual Studio, to write, test, and compile your code.
  • And the Dynamics 365 SDK, which provides the necessary libraries to create a plugin.

Now that you have the essentials to get started, below is a 30,000 foot view on the process for creating and implementing a plugin into your CRM:

  • Create a new Class Library project in Visual Studio using the .NET Framework. This will contain your C# code.
  • Add the Microsoft.CrmSdk.CoreAssemblies NuGet package to your project. This package contains the libraries needed to interact with Dynamics 365. It contains useful tools that allow you to query, write, and update data within Dynamics.
  • Write your plugin logic in C#.
  • Register your plugin with Dynamics 365. The most common way to achieve this is by using the Plug-in Registration Tool created by Microsoft.

Best Practices

When developing plug-ins, there are several best practices to keep in mind. First, always make sure to implement logging into your plug-in. This will allow you or other users to troubleshoot potential failures with your C# code. You can achieve this by enabling plug-in trace logs underneath system settings in any of your CRM environments. Next, account for failures. If a plug-in fails, it can throw an intimidating error to you or your users. Luckily, you can control this within the plug-in itself. Finally, test your plugin. When you think you are done testing, test it again. Once you are done testing a second time, test some more. It is crucial to thoroughly test plug-ins given their highly custom nature.


Dynamics 365 plugins are an excellent option for extending the capabilities of your CRM. By understanding how to develop and implement them, you can create powerful automations that cannot be achieved with out-of-the-box tools.

Reach out to Beringer today!

Do you need a custom plug-in to help extend the functionality of your CRM? Take a look at our Microsoft Cloud Applications consulting services page for more information.  We’ve been working with Microsoft Dynamics since its inception, and we’re always finding innovative ways to implement the latest tools and help automate business processes.  Contact us today!

Beringer Technology Group, a Microsoft Solutions Partner for Business Applications, specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT ServicesBackup and Disaster RecoveryCloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and TrainingUnified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.