Dynamics 365 CRM – Fundamentals for Beginners

What is Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 is a cloud based software product bundle of Microsoft which targets to solve all ERP(Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM(Customer Relationship Management) needs of business using one common platform. Previously It was called as Dynamics CRM. Now It combines the ERP so the name is given as Dynamics 365 with more additional powerful application modules. We have two ares to know about Dynamics 365. The Functional & Technical parts. We will discuss these in below section. The below is a snapshot of Dynamics 365 homepage.


Functional Definition

Functionally we can define Dynamics 365 as a ERP & CRM package for business starting from small scale industry to large scale, to manage the Sales Process, Marketing Process, Customer Service Process, Field Service , Operations, Finanacial needs of day-to-day business which provides a 360o customer data analysis with Artificial Intelligence(AI) to mimic the real asistance, Relationship Insights to take smart decisions , Power BI for strategic reporting which becomes more powerful with native integration with MS Office 365 & MS Sharepoint.

The modules of Dynamics 365 are as given below:

  • Sales – Lead, Contact, Account, Opportunity, Orders
  • Customer Service – Contracts, Service Calender, Cases
  • Operations, Financials
  • Field Service, Project Service Automation & Marketing

The module snapshot given below.

Technical Definition

In a technical term we can define Dynamics 365 as a Microsoft.NET Web application hosted in IIS which uses SQL  Server as the backend database with a streamlined and high level data architecture, which provides extensibility options to extend the Out-of-the box  process features using Configurations & Customizations.

Configuration involves building components like as given below without using code,

  • Configuring Realtime/Background Workflows, Dialogs
  • Creating Business Process Flows(BPF), Configuring Business Rules,Designing Custom Actions
  • Configuring the System Settings
  • Configuring Web Resources
  • Defining Global Optionsets
  • Configuring Security Role & More

Customization involves building applications as given below which requires codes,

  • Writing Plugins & Custom Workflow Activities
  • Writing Javascript Codes
  • Creating Custom Websites
  • Writing Custom Web services & More

So as a Techincal Consultant we have to work on customization part of the Dynamics 365 syatem which requires coding knowledge on C#.NET and Javascript and some web development concepts like HTML, CSS, Jquery etc. We will leran more in next chapters in details about the technical stuffs.

Here is given a schematic model to understand how the Dynamics 365 is organized and how different systems are interconnected to built a whole powerful system.

The below model explain how SQL database and fornt-end processes are interacting and how end users are accessing the Dynamics 365 system.It also explains how SQL views are playing role in the model.We will explain more in details in next chapters.

What is the Difference between Configuration & Customization

There is always a confusion by the customers and beginners to identify the actual meaning of configuration and customization w.r.t Dynamics 365 system. So here you will find the differences in details.

Configuration Customization
 Definition This is the modification of the out-of-the box functionality using the available configuration scope. This is the process of extention of the out-of-the box process of the system with custom .net code or javascript
 Users Both End Users  & Developers with proper security previlege can do configuration Only Developers with coding knowledge of .NET can customize the system to extend Dynamics 365.
 Components Workflows, Dialogs, BPFs, Business Rules, System Settings, Duplicate Detection Rules Setup, Security Role Setup, Creating Business Unit etc. Plugins, Custom Workflows, Javascripts, Custom Webpages and web services, SSRS reports etc
 Reporting  System/ Custom Reports within D365 SSRS Reports built outside and integrated in D365