CRM 2011 – Attaching a file to an account and other entities without using SharePoint

I was reading the CRM book Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Step by Step today because I need to talk to a customer about using CRM out of the box and this book is pretty useful at doing this.

In fact I was quite surprised that CRM 2011 doesn’t have a user manual which I could go through.  I would say CRM is easy to understand in terms of layout because it uses the standard Microsoft layout but I think the CRM product is quite complex to make it difficult for new users to understand how it all works together and leverage the CRM product.

I found this interesting paragraph about attaching documents to an account.  I always assumed the user would setup Sharepoint 2010 or SharePoint 2007 with CRM and link the documents that way but there is in built functionality to attach documents to accounts.

If you go to an account in CRM 2011

go to the Add Tab

You will then see there is a paperclip (no not that evil helpful paper clip) which allows you to attach a file to the account.

if you click the paperclip and attach a file, this then uploads the file and creates a note (in the notes section) and has a link to your file.  I assume it uploads you file to the database.

It’s interesting to be reminded about this functionality because I had totally forgotten about it.  It’s not as useful as linking a SharePoint Site but is a built in alternative for companies who don’t to use SharePoint or who aren’t going to be uploaded lots of documents.  This functionality is also there for many other CRM entities (contacts, orders, quotes etc etc)