CRM 2011 really is a Rapid Application Tool

I heard something interesting today.  someone needed to mock up some screens quickly to show a potential client the basic idea of a potential solution we were interested in offering to them.

The question came up, what would be the best and quickest way to quickly mock up screens.  The initial thought was mocking up the screens in asp.net but that didn’t seem a quick solution.

Then the idea came to someone, we will create a new organisation in CRM and then we can quickly create some forms to show the potential client what data the screens would have and roughly how we would space them out on a page.

 

This highlights one of the advantages of CRM, you can quickly make screens with fields behind them.  This means you can very quickly create the screens and the flow in a default look and feel that everyone is comfortable with.

not to mention that CRM also has a bunch of the most popular entities/actions already built, e.g. marketing, leads to orders to sales.

 

The other major bonus for CRM is you can quickly change fields and layouts.  The person doing these changes doesn’t have to be hugely technical because they can use the GUI tools in CRM to do these changes

Extending CRM is a bit tricky, well not tricky but the first time you do any code in CRM it never flows smoothly and involves alot of head banging until you finally find the way it should be.  One of the major benefits of using CRM is most people have used Microsoft so will know their way about it.  Also the skills needed to develop and extend CRM are quite common because they are Microsoft skills of .NET, ASP.NET, Javascript and with .NET 4, it’s WCF, JQuery, OData, these are fairly common technical skills because there are lot of Microsoft developers out there.

 

I just thought it was interesting that someone was using CRM to quickly create a prototype.  I thought it was a clever way to quickly make a screen but then thought, if they can make the screen they might as well do the whole thing in CRM

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