Saturday, January 01, 2011

Comparing Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint

In this post will try to state part of a session I delivered in early 2010, in one of the community events in Saudi Arabia, I will discuss the comparison between , SharePoint and Dynamics CRM
SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics CRM - Similarities

  • Both run as server applications on the Windows platform.
  • Both are built on the .NET developer platform.
  • Both use SQL Server as their database engine.
  • Both are web applications that run on the Internet Information Server (IIS).

SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics CRM– Differences

  • Data model
    In SharePoint for example, users can add an item to a list, and upload documents to a document library. These lists and libraries are customizable. While a list is similar to a table in a database application, SharePoint cannot create relationships between lists (however, you can use lists as lookups for each other). Microsoft Dynamics CRM has explicit out of the box support for relational database management features. Its "entities" correspond to database tables, which have customizable "attributes" (columns), and it has a powerful set of features for creating relationships between out of the box entities, and custom entities you create.
  • SharePoint Pages compared to CRM Forms
    With SharePoint, the primary user experience is through web pages. Customizers of a SharePoint site can use the built-in user interface to create custom pages using Web Parts, and SharePoint Designer can be used to create highly graphical custom pages. These web pages do not generally have any built-in data awareness, and can be created entirely independent of any SharePoint lists or libraries. Dynamics CRM does not provide out of the box support for a generic web page. Every Dynamics CRM entity has only one form that manages the user experience of working with the highly structured data contained within Dynamics CRM.
  • Document management (Versioning, Approval, Source Control)
    SharePoint has powerful out of the box features designed for efficient and secure collaboration on shared documents, such as major and minor versions, content approval based on security role, and the ability to require check-outs before allowing edits. Dynamics CRM documents can be attached to an entity's records, but there is no support for versioning or any of the other document management features available in SharePoint.
  • Query and Search
    Dynamics CRM provides powerful end-user querying tools that are tailored to the product's relational database strengths. For example, users can easily include columns from multiple related entities within a single result set, and can sort and filter based on values from related entities. With SharePoint, search is much less structured, and the experience is more similar to a Live or Google web search experience where a user can enter a search keyword in the search box, and the SharePoint search engine will potentially find every occurrence of that keyword in every list, library, page or document in an entire site collection. SharePoint enterprise search is less structured and much broader than Dynamics CRM search, and offers users the potential to search across SharePoint content (including document libraries, lists, blogs, and wikis) as well as network file shares, external web sites, other business applications (such as SAP), and even Dynamics CRM data, (if you configure the SharePoint Business Connectivity Service).

Jobs for SharePoint

  • Document management and collaboration.
  • Web sites and web content management.
  • Reporting and dashboard applications.
  • Enterprise portals and Enterprise search.

Jobs for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • Marketing Management.

The Dynamics CRM is used by the marketing team to manage the entire marketing process; Dynamics CRM manages the entire marketing processes it helps in: marketing planning and budgeting, campaigns, marketing lists, marketing teams and marketing activities reporting…etc.

  • Sales Management.

You can use Dynamics CRM for the management of your sales processes starting from very simple sales process to roughly saying very complex sales processes.

  • Customer service

Such as case management, service scheduling, contract management, knowledge base.

  • xRM (Any Relationship Management).

xRM is a business application framework that accelerates the development and delivery of enterprise-class, relational business applications. It the one of the amazing extensibility features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it moves you to a space where sky is the limit. xRM capabilities forged from customization, configuration and business process automation investments.


crmrockstar said...

Nice article. I'm a CRM addict but I know little about SharePoint, but I sometimes get asked what the differences are. Now I'll be better informed.

Ledzepster said...

Thanks Hany, just wondering if you've worked with Enterprise Search in Sharepoint 2010 and whether you've crawled CRM 2011 data (in the absence of the expected CRM accelerator)?

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RobertRFreeman said...

I posted an article on this exact same topic. We both agree that relational support is the key missing feature from SharePoint. My article asks Microsoft to finally step up to the plate and combine these 2 engines.

RobertRFreeman said...

Here is the link to my article.

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