CRM 2011 Views and Filters Toolkit available in Codeplex
I’ve seen many threads, tools and approaches to manage the Local Data Groups, which control what the users download to their Outlook CRM client.
CRM 2011 includes new functionality to assist administrators, but, (as specified in this article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg328205.aspx) the core part of these additions is only accessible through the SDK.
In the past I’ve written a desktop application to manage views for CRM 4.0 (http://crm40admin.codeplex.com), but instead of upgrading it I’ve decided to change my approach and go for a set of much leaner Custom Workflow Activities.
The intent is that these custom workflow steps perform simple, well defined tasks that can be aggregated to carry out complex functionality through workflow. In my plans, this set will gradually grow to include functionality about saved personal views and filter templates.
This approach eliminates the need of a specialised GUI, provides flexibility and fosters re-use and adoption. In addition, workflow is well suited for administrators, which can setup recurring jobs or manually invoked workflows to accomplish administrative tasks such as setup templates for new users etc.
My assets (currently just one) will be grouped under this Codeplex project: http://crm2011ldgmanager.codeplex.com, which has just become available.
You can find more information on how to use the toolkit by clicking on the Views Toolkit category of the blog.
Expect new articles about usage and a new release with more content coming soon!
Alberto “A view with a view” Gemin