Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a Development Platform

By May 1, 2008 Articles No Comments

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a sophisticated business application platform that provides the basic services required by developers and even business analysts to build upon. A wide range of applications can be created with this platform. These applications may be based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM but are not limited to CRM-type applications.

Microsoft partners and customers have taken advantage of this platform to build several industry specific solutions. These industries include education, government, financial services, manufacturing, distribution and many more.

Dynamics CRM is designed with the following goals in mind:

  • Connect your company’s “business model” and “software model”: Dynamics CRM reflects more of the business model in the software model so that when changes occur within your organization or its business processes, the software can adapt to these changes more easily and affordably.
  • Adaptive process: It enables you to customize the solution to adapt to the model of the business instead of forcing the business to adapt to a process built into the application.
  • Focus on users: Users can access Dynamics CRM (including any customizations) from within Microsoft Outlook client or using the web browser. This provides the user experience that is tightly integrated with how they work today.


Based on Microsoft CRM security roles, users, managers, system administrators, system customizers, and software developers can take advantage of the flexibility provided in Microsoft CRM to customize the application’s appearance and behavior. Here are some examples of how users with different roles can customize Dynamics CRM:


End users can configure the way they view information and their personal options.

Company Managers

Company managers (executives, sales, marketing, customer service managers and other business managers) can customize user permissions, business unit settings, and workflow processes.

System Customizers

System customizers can customize the schema, including adding, modifying, renaming, or deleting entities and fields. System customizers can also modify the user interface by changing form and view content and defaults, adding or modifying reports, and changing the default filter for reports. System customizers can use the Workflow Manager tool to create workflow rules.

System Administrators

System administrators can do all the tasks system customizers can do, plus modify any record in Microsoft CRM.


Developers can customize and extend Microsoft CRM functionality by using the Workflow and Deployment Manager tools on the Microsoft CRM server, and by using the processes defined in the Microsoft CRM Software Development Kit.

Dynamics CRM System wide features

Dynamics CRM provides the following features and capabilities you can leverage in your application without having to build them from scratch.

  • Access within Microsoft Outlook or from a web browser
  • Import data using built-in data import tools in Dynamics CRM
  • Integrate with other applications using web services based APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
  • Export data in various formats such as Excel (including dynamic PivotTables and worksheets), PDFs and Word documents
  • Build cubes using SQL Server Analysis Services and analyze the data in Excel and other analysis tools


Dynamics CRM is a horizontal development platform that can be used by any company, regardless of industry or size. It can be used to develop variety of applications that go beyond CRM.