Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Are you ready for an open source Microsoft Dynamics CRM Framework for EPiServer?


Since May I’ve been contemplating developing an open source Microsoft Dynamics CRM Framework for EPiServer. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I made up my mind. I’m going to do it!

Doesn’t that already exist though? Well, yes. EPiServer has its own EPiServer Connect for CRM which is useful in simple projects, but it has quite a lot of limitations when it comes to more complex cases. For instance, it only supports retrieving attributes of some CRM types and it’s limited to working with the Contact and Account entities. It is possible to extend the CRM Connector, but you will not be able to come clear of all the limitations. But EPiServer are not the only ones developing CRM frameworks, there are tons of them out there. The only problem is that most of them are too complex and not made for EPiServer. So my goal is to create a framework that can be used in complex projects where EPiServer Connect for CRM won’t do the trick, but the framework will be easy to use and most importantly: open source and free.

The development has already started and is coming along great if I may say so myself :) In phase 1 of the development I’m focusing on the following:

- CRUD operations on all types of entities (custom and standard)
- Read and update all types of entity attributes (custom and standard).
- Conditional search for entities
- And of course: Integration with EPiServer

I will keep on blogging while developing the framework, so you can expect the first technical blog post this weekend. That will give some insight to how you can use the framework and it will give you the opportunity to influence the development. I’m not quite sure when the framework itself will be available, but I’m hoping the Beta version is out in a couple of months (after all, I do have a job).

All opinions, wishes or slaps on the hand is highly appreciated!

4 comments:

  1. Cool! Looking forward to dissecting it! :) Will you publish it on EPiCode or Codeplex?

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  2. Interesting initiative! Let me know if you need any help!

    Also, it would be great if you develop it in a way so that it's easy to integrate with in unit testing scenarios.

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  3. Thanks guys! My plan is to publish it on EPiCode, and I'm writing unit tests as I go.
    You'll probably hear a cry for help at some point, I'll make sure you hear it! ;)

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