Microsoft CRM 2013 Spring ’14 Update – Platform Features
The Spring ’14 release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 will be made available to online customers as an automatic service update with the option to install the new features. Customers running Dynamics CRM 2013 on-premise can download the update as an installable service pack (SP1).
This update provides updates on the “platform” itself – these features allow for a more streamlined experience for the CRM administrator, as well as for the end users of the Dynamics CRM environment.
With server-side synchronization, administrators can easily manage the synch process of email, tasks, appointments and contacts between CRM and Exchange. These tasks were previously handled by either the CRM client for Outlook or the CRM Email router application. Now users can have CRM and Exchange data in sync, and use only the web interface if desired. The CRM client for Outlook will remain available and supported, for environments where users prefer to have access to CRM data through Outlook instead of in a separate web browser instance. POP3/SMTP providers are also supported for sending and synchronization of Email.
This feature was originally introduced in the Dynamics CRM 2013 / Fall ’13 Release to synchronize emails, tasks, appointments and contacts between Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Exchange on-premises deployments, and now it will be available for online customers, as well.
A screen shot of the configuration pane is shown below. Please note that the configuration details are straightforward, and a bit similar to those of the CRM email router, for the incoming and outgoing profiles.
SharePoint Integration Enhancements
Another feature in this CRM update is the simplified integration between CRM Online and SharePoint Online, which can be managed within Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Customers who use both Dynamics CRM Online and SharePoint Online will no longer need to install and configure the CRM List Component to enable the Document Management integration. A yellow banner alert will be shown in CRM to notify the CRM Administrators when Server-based SharePoint Integration has not been enabled (similar to the Outlook Client install notification).
- Customers using Dynamics CRM 2013 online now have access to an isolated, non-production online environment called a “Sandbox Instance”. An existing CRM online instance can be copied into a Sandbox Instance and used for a variety of testing or development activities, without affecting the production CRM instance.
- There are a few copy options – minimal or full, to meet the need for testing against specific solution elements or a fully developed CRM site copy.
- A CRM administrator will have the option to reset a Sandbox Instance back to the default settings and start over. Administrators can take or restore a snapshot of a Sandbox Instance. Only one snapshot of a specific Sandbox Instance can be saved at any time.
New CRM Online Admin Center
The New CRM Online Admin Center is a portal for managing all of the features of CRM online such as:
- Storage usage
- Production and Sandbox instances
- Solution Lifecycles
- Enhanced platform capabilities enabling organizations to build, test and configure CRM deployments of all sizes.
- Solution Framework: Export-As Capability that provide the means to export a solution and target at a specific feature release of CRM lower than the current release of CRM.
- CRM Configuration Migration Tool
- Updated Plugin Registration Tool
- Visual Studio Toolkit enhancements
- More PowerShell Support
- CRM Package Deployment Tool
- New Windows Client API ( Microsoft.Xrm.Tooling.xxxx )
- OAuth discovery specification to support ISV/Office clients
- GROUP AND/OR for workflows Scaling
- Improvements in Async processing to handle very large workloads.
- Compatibility for the following configurations and versions has been added:
- Windows 8.1
- Internet Explorer 11
- iOS7 Safari on iPad (web application)
- iPad Air using Safari (web application)
- Windows Server 2012 R2 (CRM server)
- iPad Air using CRM for Tablets
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Compatibility List provides an up to date view of recent and upcoming compatibility testing results: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2669061