CRM/NAV Connector – Heading in the right direction

I noticed a few links today from an article published on Dynamics world, you can read the article below

Microsoft Looking for Improved Sentiment on V2 of Connector for Dynamics ERP and CRM

The article is made up from quotes from a number of my blog posts on the connector and overall it gave the overall impression that using the CRM/NAV connector is hard work and can be difficult to use.

I was thinking about my comments and I would certainly say it hasn’t been easy and working with the connector has been very frustrating and I have had some wrestling to make it work.

On the other hand if you want to use the standard maps the connector works very well.  The problems arise when you want to do something that isn’t standard.

I am now onto my 3rd or 4th customer integration using the connector and I have done a few internally and it does start to get easier once you know the solutions to the problems that pop up.

I have also recently started to feel that Microsoft have made some movements in the right direction to make it a bit easier.

The biggest problem I experienced with using the connector was the complete lack of information on it.  There are hardly any blogs, videos or any type of information on it.  So as soon as anything goes wrong you are on your own trying to decipher the puzzling log messages.

On the plus side Microsoft have over the past couple of months released quite a few videos on the connector, which have been published on the dynamics connector blog

Microsoft have also released a new version of the connector which has fixed some of the problems which caused problems before.

The Dynamics Connector team know about the problems and been contacting users of the Dynamics connector to get feedback from them.

I would still say using the connector is more difficult than it should be.  I believe the Dynamics Connector team should have a weekly blog posting.  I assume there is a team of people working on the connector so for one of them each week to write a blog posting shouldn’t be too hard.  So what would I like to see

Examples of connector maps

more templates

walk-through (like adding an entity which isn’t in the standard maps)

common problems and solutions


I also hope that my blog posts on my experiences will help people in the present and the future who use the connector.

I think if the things below start to happen then the Dynamics connector could be pushed from difficult product to use to a good alternative solution to Scribe /writing a solution yourself.

1.   If the Microsoft Dynamics community can document their experiences and problems/solutions regarding the connector it would make a big difference, the more information out there the easy it will be to use and resolve any problems people experience

2.  The Microsoft Dynamics connector team can fix some of the more annoying issues like – More detailed logging messages, ability to transfer maps.

3.  Better documentation on how to use, setup and configure the dynamic connector

4.  More blog posts from the Dynamic Connector team.

5.  Decide on the title of the connector, is it the dynamic connector, CRM/NAV connector, Connector for Microsoft Dynamics??? just pick one and everyone can then use it.  This will make it a lot easier searching for solutions to problems.

3 thoughts on “CRM/NAV Connector – Heading in the right direction

  1. richardsbusinessblog February 21, 2012 / 12:43 pm

    There are several issues with the NAV to CRM connector which obstruct out of the box implementation for the normal Implementation.

    1. CRM automated pricing for Opportunities \ Quotes.
    The out of the box uploads NAV stock codes and creates a price list per currency.
    In the real world, NAV users use the pricebook file with price lists , special prices & discounts.
    This means that the out of the box solution is unusable.
    How have other users handled this? – we are currently looking at NAV web services to submit a stock code, account, qty and retrieve the price into CRM. If this fails we are looking at replicating the complete NAV pricing logic within CRM.

    2. Quotations.
    Quotations are not mapped out of the box.
    In the real world we do not wish to submit Orders as
    a. Customer credit limit is not checked.
    b. Stock levels are not checked.
    c. pricing may not be up to date.

    It would be preferable to submit Quotations to NAV and these could be converted to Orders within NAV – NAV login would prompt with any exceptions.

    I would love to hear from other users on how they have handle the scenarios above


    • Hosk February 21, 2012 / 1:10 pm

      great comments Richard.

      You have picked out two problems I have come up against as well.

      The problem with Quotations is they are very different in NAV and CRM. Also the way quotations work in CRM makes it difficult to map them across and keep them synchronised because quotes in CRM to keep a revision keep creating new versions of themselves and when are active they are read only and can’t then synchronise any changes from NAV.

      I have also had people who used NAV practically refuse to use CRM because the quoting is so rubbish. I think they Microsoft should really address the issue and improve quoting in CRM.

      I have tried to sync quotes from CRM to NAV and did get them to work one way but they would often fail when going back. The one problem I had was before they have added filtering into the latest connector (v2) I had to put in If statements to wait until they had submitted the quote because I was getting errors due to the quote products.

      The price list problem can be a problem in both CRM and NAV camps. The Connector basically means you cannot use price lists in CRM, which is taking away one of the only few features quotes actually has in CRM.

      As quotes are quite tricky I think the Dynamic Connector team should look into adding quotes into the default mapping templates and add a submit button onto the quote.

      At the moment I think it would take some coding to get the functionality you require into CRM and Synchronising from NAV.


  2. Chris Hetzler February 21, 2012 / 6:03 pm

    I’d like to comment on #5 above. The offical name for the product is “Connector for Microsoft Dynamics” and that is how it is reffered to internally at Microsoft and Externally on our blog and on PartnerSource.

    As you know, it is hard to enforce product names in the Dynamics Community.


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