CRM 2011 – Top CRM blogs

Microsoft Dynamics world recently had a survey to find out the best CRM blogs, Richard Knudson discusses the top 5 on his blog this week, which you can read about here.  Although Richard is talking about it because he is featured at number 4.  He certainly deserves to be in the top 5, his blog is consistently excellent, especially considering he is a one man band, where as other blogs featured have a few contributors.

Since I have been using Netvibes I can subscribe to lots of CRM blogs but it is these 5 which produce some of the best articles.  Not only do they produce the best blog entries but the volume of blog entries is incredible from these blogs

Here’s an executive summary, starting with the listing of the top five:

  1. The official Microsoft Dynamics Team Blog
  2. The Customer Effective Blog
  3. A CRM Riff by Jim Glass
  4. Richard Knudson’s Dynamics CRM Trick Bag (this one)
  5. The PowerObjects Blog

I would also add a few more blogs to that list


CRM 2011 – Getting Started with LINQ in CRM 2011

I have been using LINQ with CRM 2011 and I have to say it’s awesome.  It’s a great way to code without having to write connectors to SQL databases.  I used to spend hours and days writing database code when I was a Java programmer, not to mention I am always forgetting how to write complex SQL statements joining tables etc.

LINQ is one of the areas that is well covered in the SDK, it has lots of examples and creating the dataContext is a piece of cake.  I went about learning LINQ a bit backwards because I got started with LINQ in CRM 2011 by just using the samples and then I have just finished reading a chapter on it for the 70-515 .NET 4 exam.

If you want to get started writing LINQ queries for CRM 2011, I found these pages from the SDK the most useful

Firstly you have the parts of a LINQ query




How to retrieve data using LINQ

then you have this page about the LINQ functions



An example on how to build a complex LINQ query

I would also recommend this page Use The Organisation Service Context Class, You need to know this because this creates the DataContext which LINQ uses to connect to the CRM database (which saves you writing all that troublesome code yourself)

finally to finish off you have the real winner, lots of LINQ Samples.  If you are going to click on one link then this is the one to go for because from this you will quickly understand enough to start writing your own LINQ queries.

SDK code Samples : queries

I found learning LINQ one of the easier parts of CRM 2011 and also one of the most beneficial.

These pages from the CRM 2011 – building LINQ queries

In This Section

Use LINQ to Construct a Query
Provides information about how to create LINQ queries. 

Use Late-Bound Entity Class with a LINQ Query
Learn how to use late-bound entity classes with LINQ. 

Order Results Using Entity Attributes with LINQ
Learn how to use Lookup attributes with LINQ. 

Filter Multiple Entities with LINQ
Learn how to work with multiple entities. 

Page Large Result Sets with LINQ
Learn how to use the Skip and Take operators to page query results. 

LINQ Query Examples
View LINQ sample queries. 

Sample: Create a LINQ Query
Learn how to create simple LINQ queries. 

Sample: Complex LINQ Queries
Learn how to create more complex LINQ queries. 

Sample: RetrieveMultiple With Condition Operators Using LINQ
Learn how to use retrieve multiple condition operators with LINQ. 

Sample: More LINQ Query Examples
Learn how to use Skip and TakeorderBy and complex where conditions. 

Sample: Use LINQ with Late Binding
Learn how to build LINQ queries that use late bound entities. 



Sample CRM Developer Resume/CV

I caught a link the other day to a sample CRM Developer CV.  Although the samples are very general they do give an insight to what recruitment consultants think should be on a CRM developers CV.

They are of interest to me not because I am looking for a job but because it gives me an idea of what areas I should be learning.  I would say they are focused around CRM 4, so I would imagine CRM 2011 developers would also need to have the .NET 4 skills such as WCF, oData, Linq, Jquery and silverlight would also be beneficial.  These are certainly some of the skills I have improved on since I have been developing with CRM 2011.

the main skills it lists as

SQL Server, Microsoft CRM 4.0,.NET, Reporting Services, web services, C#, SSIS, Scribe, Ajax, JavaScript, Workflow, CRM System Architecture.

These and the new ones I mentioned above would certainly cover all the knowledge you would need for a CRM developer.  These are the core skills it would also be beneficial to have experience in Sharepoint development, particularly as SharePoint 2010 integrates very well with CRM 2011.

These are the core skills mentioned, they seem a bit non de script to me

Core Skills

  • Design, customization, and implementation of Microsoft CRM 4.0.
  • Coordination in Wireless Devices and Outlook CRM Laptop Client.
  • Design and administration of SQL Server Database.
  • Integrations with Great Plains, SharePoint, Scribe, Web Services, and BizTalk.

I was interested to see how they described the skills they had picked up at work, quite well written, not a great deal of detail but to the point and this is what employers want, they want a quick tick of your skills and maybe an example.  All the CV is really going to do is get you an interview and then at that point you can persuade them why you are perfect for the job.

Microsoft Crm Consultant
2004 to Present

Technical expert provides highly effective CRM application design skills to offer configuration, installation, customization and enhancement of CRM systems for small to mid-size firms.

  • Custom installation and integration of MSCRM Outlook client.
  • Incorporation of accounting systems (e.g., QuickBooks) into Microsoft 3.0 CRM.
  • Design and implementation Microsoft CRM Architecture.
  • Web 2.0 developments with Adobe Flex, Ajax, and SilverLight.
  • Administration and design of SQL Server database.
  • SQL Server 2000-2005, IIS, BizTalk 2006, Oracle,.NET 2.0/3.0, SharePoint 2007.
  • Visual Studio 2003-2005-2008, C#, ASP.NET, XML, C++, Java, DHTML, JavaScript.


Here are the links to the Sample CV’s I found

CRM Developer CV’s


crm consultant