Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Microsoft CRM Integration with Microsoft Retail Management System (RMS) overview

Microsoft Client Relation Management system (Microsoft CRM) and Microsoft RMS are both Microsoft SQL Server based applications, however historically Microsoft was purchasing industry leading software applications, such as QuickSell which is now Microsoft RMS.  So, RMS design fundamentals were minted a long time before Microsoft CRM.  But, still integration between the two is straightforward and what you need is consultant, who is familiar with both systems structures and customization scenarios

Microsoft CRM is currently integrated with Microsoft Great Plains and will be integrated with Microsoft Navision in the close future, RMS integration is not planned to our knowledge, so you should seek third party solutions or create your own integration.  We see the need for such the integration when you sell on account in RMS and have customer support call center automated with Microsoft CRM.  Let us give you highlights:

  • Microsoft CRM custom lookup.  More likely you will nee lookup to your RMS headquarters or store records for the customer transactions from Account screen.  Microsoft CRM allows you to have custom navigation bar on Account screen by clicking on this bar you could call your custom web .Net application, which will call Microsoft RMS database and return you the grid of customer transactions
  • RMS architecture excurse.  Microsoft RMS has Headquarters and Store databases.  The exchange between the two types of databases uses worksheet mechanism.  Most of the transaction types are initiated on the store level and transferred to the Headquarters database (with some global data exception, global customers for example are handled on HQ level and then propagated down to the stores). 
  • Data Inquiry and Update.  The MS RMS architecture suggests you to query primarily Headquarters database and do not change data in HQ database.  If you need to change data on the store level from Microsoft CRM custom screen you should consider placing web service on the SQL Server hardware in the store to deal with the store-initiated transaction
  • Microsoft CRM programming.  Microsoft CRM has MS CRM SDK (Software Development Kit).  This is open source tool, you can download it from Microsoft site and it is description of Microsoft CRM classes and methods with sample codes in C# and VB.Net.  Microsoft technical support encourages you to use Microsoft CRM SDK objects and discourages you from direct SQL server programming.  If you need to query MS CRM database you should create your custom database and place your objects: SQL views and stored procedures there.  Do not place custom object into MS CRM databases
Do your homework in integration and if you have issues or concerns we are here to help! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-866-528-0577! help@albaspectrum.com

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, serving clients  in Chicago, California, Texas, Florida, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Minnesota, UK, Australia and having locations in multiple states and internationally ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ), he is CMA, Great Plains Certified Master, Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer. You can contact Andrew: andrewk@albaspectrum.com