Feb 28, 2005

Microsoft CRM Live Chat on March 8th

I wanted to let you know that the MBS Community site is hosting a live real-time chat about boosting the performance of your Microsoft CRM 1.2 installation in March. This chat will occur on Tuesday, March 8, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific time.

The chat room is here:
http://www.microsoft.com/businesssolutions/chatroom.aspx

And here's a description of the chat:

***Tuning the Performance of Your Microsoft CRM 1.2 Installation***

Here’s your chance to talk to the guys who know! Take a breather from the whirl of Convergence 2005 and join Chad Rexin and Greg Gawryluk, Microsoft Business Solutions CRM Support Engineers, in an in-depth chat about the best ways to tune up the performance of your CRM 1.2 installation. Chad and Greg will talk about which tweaks have the potential to increase performance the most and are also relatively easy to perform, plus they will delve into more
complex optimizations.

Great Plains Service Pack 2 now available

Microsoft Business Solutions has release Service Pack 2 for Great Plains. Partners and Customers can use this link to download SP2.

Also, at the bottom of that page you'll find links to get the latest service packs for other related products such as Integration Manager and FRx.

Feb 17, 2005

Microsoft CRM 2005 - not quite around the corner

Just last week, Microsoft announced that their next generation CRM product will be delayed a little longer. Rather than coming out in the next few months, we're now looking at a fourth quarter release in 2005.

Microsoft CRM 2005 (formerly going to be called Microsoft CRM 2.0) is being held up in an attempt to add some more of the features that partners have been requesting. One of the big topics is to make installation easier and require just a few clicks. Other areas for improvement include workflow and more exposed API's for developers to extend the solution.

I guess i'll be waiting a little while longer before seeing the new and improved customization tools that were supposed to be available.

Convergence 2005 is less than a month away

The annual Microsoft Business Solutions customer conference will be here before you know it. Convergence 2005 starts on March 6th in San Diego, CA. Be sure to visit the official website and register ASAP.
Here is a summary from the website....

Convergence 2005
March 6-9, 2005
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California, United States

Welcome to Convergence 2005, the premier event for Microsoft Business Solutions customers. Each year we come together for an intense four days of sharing ideas and exploring ways that will increase the efficiency of your business now and in the future. Thank you for joining us.

Convergence 2005 promises to be our most exciting event ever. You will be busy from the moment you arrive - from the opening sessions and plentiful networking opporunities and hands-on labs and in-depth solutions sessions. You'll also be treated to compelling presentations from Microsoft's most inspiring executives, including Bill Gates and Doug Burgum.

This is your conference, so we encourage you to make the most of it. Widen your circle of contacts. Expand your knowledge base. Identifiy new business opportunities. Convergence is about creating memorable experiences that can help unlock your true business potentional. It's where issues become answers. And in 2005, it's where business is headed.

I'm definitely going to be there. I've never been to Convergence before, i'm more of a Tech Conference kinda guy, but i've heard for years how awesome this event is so i'm really looking forward to it. I hope to see my fellow MVP's there and i'll be hanging out in the new MBS Community Room as well. See ya in San Diego!

Feb 3, 2005

Want to beta test SQL 2000 SP4?

Service Pack 4 for Microsoft SQL Server 2000 is currently being beta tested. You can sign up to be a beta tester. Just check out this page.

"SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4) includes a roll-up of bug fixes, added platform support for AMD64, and Intel Extended Platforms in WOW so you can use 32-bit applications on 64-bit architectures. This is the first service pack to service the 64-bit release of SQL Server. SP4 is suitable for all SQL Server 2000 customers who want to update their existing installations to incorporate all changes since SP3a. In particular, customers who want to use their 32-bit applications on 64-bit hardware should consider the SQL Server 2000 SP4 beta." -- From Microsoft

Also on that page, you'll find a few other SQL-related beta programs available including SQL Reporting Services Service Pack 2 and SQL 2005 Express Beta Service Pack 2.

The notes on the Reporting Services SP2 mention some new Sharepoint webparts for viewing and browsing reports. Sounds like a nice way to integrate those SQL RS reports into your Sharepoint portal.

Feb 1, 2005

Microsoft CRM 2005 is just around the corner

The word on the street is that Microsoft CRM 2005 (formerly Microsoft CRM 2.0) will be released to manufacturing (RTM) in March with general availability (GA) this summer.

The enhancement i'm most looking forward to is the improved customization tools. Supposedly you'll be able to do a lot more with the built-in tools than you could in the previous 1.x versions. You were very limited - adding a new field to an existing table and form was about the most complicated thing you could do. Anything else required .Net development. I don't think i should have to right any VB code if i just want to add a new table or a new window. The schema in CRM 2005 is supposed to be much more extensible with the built-in customization tools - you can easily add new objects such as tables and forms that didn't exist.

There is also talk that there will be a special bundled edition that will combine Small Business Server 2003 and Microsoft CRM 2005.

I'm trying to get my hands on a beta of CRM 2005 so i can provide a better review. I'll keep you posted.