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From Optional to Necessity: Key Features That Impact Daily Business Processes

A little over a decade ago, CRM could have been considered optional, a nice upgrade to one's sales process. However, it now seems that CRM is not only prevalent but a necessity. Brad Wilson, General Manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 stated in an interview with Software Advice, "It is a critical tool for differentiating your business and building your customer service.

Microsoft CRM 2011 oData Examples

Microsoft CRM has added support for oData in the 2011 release. oData, according to the oData web site " a Web protocol for querying and updating data that provides a way to unlock your data and free it from silos that exist in applications today." What it means is that using an XMLHttpRequest object, you can send a query string to a web service with syntax that is very SQL like and get data back from the web service.

Table-Valued Parameters

Being able to pass a table as a parameter to a stored procedure is a welcome addition to SQL Server 2008. In previous versions you had to use an XML document or a delimited string, both of which required additional processing. Below is a simple example that populates the Shippers table in the Northwind database. See table-valued parameters in the MSDN documentation for more information.

Windows Phone 7 (Part 2)

Well, it has been a several months and I have had more time to get to know my new Windows phone.  For this post, I would like to just go over several different parts of its functionality, along with accompanying screenshots and tell you what I like, what I don't like and what I think could be improved.  I mentioned at the end of my last post on the subject that I would write on the actual programming of WP7 (Windows Phone 7) applications.

Getting the best feedback on your user interface design

Screen mockups of software functionality provide enormous value when trying to communicate how an application is supposed to function. It helps both the client and the development team envisage how the application will look, feel and function. But how polished should it for your target audience?

MS CRM 2011: Date Controls and Column Width

A coworker of mine was recently experimenting with some changes to the Account entity in our MS CRM 2011 test environment and came across an interesting quirk. They had formatted a section to be four columns wide and set the labels to a reasonable width of 100 pixels. To their surprise, every column in every section on the form was suddenly inflated, pushing items off-screen, including the horizontal scrollbar. As it turns out, the Date control was the culprit.