I saw this link on twitter today and I liked the idea of a CRM survival guide and this would be very useful to someone starting out with CRM 2011.
You can find the link here
It has a good guide to finding information and resources in CRM 2011 but this is really for people who are just starting with CRM 2011 so I put that information here.
I was interested in the resources and help from the CRM community.
If you have questions which you cannot answer using the resources within CRM, my next port of call would be ‘The Forums’. These are online discussion areas full of people who use, make money implementing or design Dynamics CRM (yes, the teams at Microsoft involved with Dynamics CRM are active participants on the forums). This is as good as it gets in terms of free, professional support for Dynamics CRM.
The forums are also one of the measures used in determining whether a Microsoft MVP is actively engaged in the community so us MVPs have a vested interest to ensure we are active in the forums and providing good answers in a timely fashion (because if we don’t someone else will).
Activity in the forums is so good that if you are asking a non-technical user kind of question e.g. “How can I add an attachment to an email?” you are likely to get a response within hours, if not minutes, not days.
The CRM Forum (http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/crm/threads )
This is arguably the most popular and most active of the forums. There are actual three main forums (CRM, Deployment and Development) therefore CRM tends to get more user-type questions than the other two, although the rule is not hard and fast and you will sometimes get dev-type questions posted.
Dynamics ‘Ask the Community’ page (http://community.dynamics.com/product/crm/f/117.aspx )
This is not as active as the main forum but does still get some activity and worthy of a search if the main forum does not come through with the goods. There is talk of this being rolled into the main forum but nothing has happened as of yet.
CRM Online Forum (http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/crmonline/threads )
I did not mention this before as I am mentioning it here. The main CRM forum is for any question on Dynamics CRM regardless of deployment, the CRM Online forum is specifically for online deployments of Dynamics CRM 4, although questions do arise on there which apply to CRM in general. If your question is online-specific, this is a good place to go.
CRM 2011 Beta Forum (http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/crm2011beta/threads )
This is similar in purpose to the CRM Online Forum, except specifically for Dynamics CRM 2011 beta. If the new version is of interest, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the online beta at http://www.crm2011beta.com .
CRM Public Forum (http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.crm/topics?hl=en )
Microsoft have made it clear that they no longer are active in the public forums and encourage people to go to the main CRM forum. Certainly the main activity on the public forums these days are non-CRM related advertisements. However, as a historical resource for Dynamics CRM it is worth a search if others have failed you.
Blogs and Twitters
There are many, many blogs and twitters out there dedicated to Dynamics CRM. Here are a couple whose content is often not as technical as others.
Dynamics CRM Team Blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/MSDynamicsCRM)
Yes, this is the blog and twitter of THE Dynamics CRM Team at Microsoft HQ in Redmond. While technical articles do appear, there are also plenty of ‘how to’ and ‘here is a feature you may not know about’ type of articles which can keep you using Dynamics CRM to its full potential.
Leon Tribe’s Blog (http://leontribe.blogspot.com) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/leontribe)
The focus is on the functional aspects of CRM. It has articles on codeless solutions to common problems or general CRM-related articles of interest. It is rare to see code or discussions on things like plugins on my blog.
Tweets are designed for broad-audience appeal. Often they are links to interesting videos, the latest service pack or industry analysis on the CRM market. Check them out and if they’re not to your liking, there are many, many others out there, some of which got plugged in my blog post from last year.
The following resources are specifically geared toward CRM 2011 and/or CRM Online.
- Dynamics CRM 2011 Resources: A collection of Technical Documents, Update Rollups, and Software components for CRM 2011.
- Dynamics CRM Online Resources: Same as above, but for CRM Online.
- Dynamics CRM 2011 Reporting Mechanisms: A look at various ways to obtain data from CRM 2011.
- Dynamics CRM 2011 Development Resources: A developer-oriented collection of resource links for CRM 2011.
The following resources are specifically geared toward CRM 4.0.