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

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dynamicsconnector/

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

Gotchas

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.

A Interesting blog on Microsoft Dynamics from Metaphorix

[tweetmeme source=”BenHosk” only_single=false]

I thought I would just let people know I have started to write blog entries for my company blog, which I have set up this week.

The blog will be about CRM, NAV on the technical side and with articles about Metaphorix and the people who work for Metaphorix.

It might be worth adding the blog to your RSS feeds because I other wise you might not come across the articles because it’s a new blog the blog posts appear very far down the google search rankings.

It’s quite a challenge to began a blog from scratch again but it is interesting to write about other things other than just CRM.

I will of course keep writing this CRM blog.

You can read the Metaphorix blog by clicking here 

there are two blog posts of interest (currently there is more on the way)

SQL Optimization

and

a blog entry about the new starters at Metaphorix which you can read about here of which I am one.

if you want to learn more about Metaphorix than you can have a look at the website which you can find here or you can have a look at the company and the employees by looking on linkedin here