The new CRM 2015 SDK was released this week and it got me thinking about how useful the What’s new for developers section is and why everyone should read it.
You can download the SDK here
It’s always useful to know what changes are coming down the pipe in CRM, some of which you might use to create solutions in the future with. For CRM Developers/Solutions architects it pays to have a good idea of the new functionality in new releases, even if it is merely a basic understanding
Here are some more reasons why I think it’s important to read the what’s new for Developers in the CRM SDK.
Developers point of view
This is a completely different list of items than the many blog posts talking about new user functionality, things like improved if statements in business rules, hierarchical data, custom help. The point of the SDK and the what’s new for Developers is to give CRM developers an overview of the new functionality and the new cool tools and methods you are about to get hold of.
It also includes new back end changes, depreciated methods, new methods.
Do it now
If you don’t look now then the chances are you only look when you have to start developing with CRM 2015. If you have a look at the SDK now you can start to get an idea of what new functionality there is and how it works. Once you know about new functionality you can then start to think about how you and your customers can use it.
What doesn’t work
Often the what’s new for developers will also tell you what will stop working in the new release. This is very important information for people upgrading customizations, sometimes the information could give you a heads up that the upgrade will be difficult.
it will also give you an idea if after upgrading your customizations, if things are not working and you are not sure why, check the SDK.
e.g. removing CRM 4 endpoints
Read optimized forms removed (ok no one noticed this one)
More Knowledge = More Pay
Development and being developer can be odd. Often developers are collaborating with other developers on projects and developers work in teams and share knowledge with Online communities.
From a personal view are you are also in competition with your fellow developers for better raises and better development jobs. In this sense it pays to stay ahead.
Continuous learning, keeping up with the latest functionality, you increase your chances of being a better developer/better informed developer who will hopefully make more informed development decisions.
In certain situations, using new functionality can save you lots of development time and/or change your development design
Understand how the new functionality is implemented
We have all read articles on the new CRM 2015 functionality but who can remember that this week. Glancing at the list of
Back end changes
I noticed they have added two-factor authentication and new methods organization web service.
New deployment web service methods, you can delete organisations!
These changes aren’t linked to big headline functionality but subtle dev user changes
Changes in the SDK, behind the scenes
Microsoft often sneak useful enhancements not related to new functionality. Things like new plugin registration tool in CRM 2013 service pack 1
Asynchronous solution import in CRM 2013. This is potentially very useful because it would allow you to import solutions without disrupting the CRM performance.
Learning a bit now will mean you have less to learn later on.
Always learning is a state of mind, good developers are always curious how things work, the new useful functionality added.
Good developers are always looking to improve their code, improve their solutions and one of the main methods is looking to optimize code, an easy way to do this is to utilize the new functionality
Some people may criticize some of the implementation of new functionality but Microsoft have lots of great developers. Reading the SDK/ new functionality, often gives me ideas of how to structure code/solutions that I am working on.
Good development, implementation can often give me ideas for code I am working on now and in the future, which I then of course rebrand as my own brilliant idea.
Find retired/depreciated methods
Microsoft SDK’s often give with one hand and taketh with the other hand. Usually when the depreciate functionality, it’s because they have replaced with something better/different.
It’s a very good idea to know what methods are deprecated/depreciating because this could effect current code and code you will upgrade to the SDK version.
I view knowledge as a 3 dimensional. You need to view knowledge from different angles to understand how things work e.g. Customer view/GUI/Development view
When you see the methods available for the new functionality, you can start to see how you would implement it.
When you read what methods and functionality is available you start to imagine how you would use it. Hopefully your brain will tuck this information away and bring it forth when you need it later.
It may be useful for a current customer
When I read new functionality I am always thinking how it would benefit current customers or how it could be applied to projects I have worked on.
It’s possible it could provide justification for a current customer to upgrade their CRM solution to the new version.
You always find things you didn’t know
Reading the CRM SDK can be boring, sometimes can be overwhelming (it’s a huge document) but I usually find it fascinating. Just thinking about all the work that has gone involved but also I think about possibilities that come with new functionality.
I find looking at the CRM SDK is a bit like surfing the internet, you soon get lost down some part you have never seen or find useful sections you haven’t read for a while.
Ultimately, you will be better prepared for when you do start creating solutions in CRM 2015