CRM 2011 now works with SharePoint online

I don’t usually blog unless I have something original to say, and try to avoid becoming just another echo in the blogosphere, but felt this announcement is important enough to merit it.

You can now properly integrate CRM 2011 with SharePoint online – in other words the SharePoint list component can be installed and configured properly and the previous problem whereby you could not get the SharePoint online server to serve up .htc files which are a vital component of the “seamless” document management experience enjoyed by on-premises customers has been resolved.

This also means by extension that you now use CRM online with SharePoint 2010 online (eg via Office 365) for a totally cloud-based setup. Note this is supported for SharePoint 2007 and 2010, but only 2010 gives the completely integrated look and feel inside CRM.

Thanks to Donna Edwards for tweeting this article by Eric Boocock: CRM Integration with SharePoint online is here

Previous problem is described and documented very well by Jukka Niiranen here: Office 365 launches without Dynamics CRM integration

More information on how to setup SharePoint to work with CRM 2011 is on MSDN:

SharePoint and Office 2010 Service Pack 1 announced

Office2010Logo_small

The Office Sustained Engineering blog has an announcement that Service Pack 1 for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 is on track for release at the end of June.

As you might expect, this will include a roll up all previous patches and cumulative updates, as well some minor feature changes.

Update 28th June 2011: It’s here!

Read all about it and find links to all sorts of information and resources: Office 2010 sp1 available for download

Change to Outlook reminders dialogue

One of the changes declared for Service Pack 1 will be to revert the behaviour of the reminders window in Outlook 2010 back to the way it worked in 2007 thanks to sustained pressure from various contributors on the Microsoft Answers forums.

In Outlook 2007 when you snooze a reminder it remembers how long you snoozed that item for, and next time it comes up that is the default time chosen so you can very easily hit snooze again for the same delay. Each item (calendar entry, task or follow up) remembers it’s own interval so you can snooze a meeting later today maybe 15 minutes at a time, but a reminder about a conference next month a whole day at a time.

Outlook 2010 changed this behaviour so that each time you snooze any item, the time interval chosen is remembered for the next item as well, which means some people found they had to keep changing this back and forth between different values, and might snooze something for too long without realising – possibly ending up being late for that important meeting for example. Service Pack 1 will switch this behaviour back to the 2007 method, and it sounds like this will just happen, rather than providing the user with any option to choose which approach works better for them.

Which way would you prefer this to work? Let us know via the comments.

No news on Outlook 2010 holiday errors

For over a year now people using Outlook 2010 have been able to add public holidays for their country, with the slight problem that many of these holidays have several errors in at least 23 countries around the world . I have actually seen some people report the problem and offer fixes for it which still contain some of the incorrect dates, or “corrections” which introduce different faults.

Hopefully Microsoft will stick to their plan of including fixes in the service pack to finally address this problem, but there is no detail available on this yet, but we’ll update this with any news when it arrives.

Office 2010 launch failure

Looks like Microsoft are too popular for once, and shot themselves in the foot. The Office 2010 launch which was supposed to be taking place today in 38 countries (or was it 60?) at 15:00 UCT is currently falling very flat as it struggles with the load of too many people trying to see what all the fuss is about.

I am sure Stephen Elop is giving a rousing speech to the several hundred people who have gathered in New York to hear him live, but the “virtual launch” is a big fail at the moment. The links to the live keynote speech media stream are not connecting, the main launch website returns a 503 or a custom “service not available” message.

As an aside, the launch site is running on Sharepoint 2010 – maybe that dog food does not taste so great today.

So far a great product looks like it is being let down by a launch which is going to be an unfortunate flop.

(Update: the main URLs all now seem to be delivering the same pages, but the link to the actual keynote speech still comes up as a dud. Media Player can’t connect to the stream, it seems.)

Office 2010 first thoughts

Well, there’s some information finally coming out about Office 2010 and some of the features we will hopefully be seeing in the final release version next year. As the Technical Preview gets released to an invited audience only at this stage, there aren’t loads of sources of details, but a few places are showing off some interesting ideas and if you watch the videos carefully and look closely at the screenshots there are nuggets to be found.

If you want to be considered for the technical preview yourself, you can still sign up via the “Get a pass” link on the main “launch” site at Office 2010 – the movie. This site started out just hosting a teaser movie but now has a look and feel similar to the new “Backstage” interface which has been added to the Fluent UI to replace the current Office button menu to help you work with different aspects of your document in one place. There are a few videos posted on there right now, no doubt more to come soon.

Where can I find out more?

There are some useful overview documents on the Microsoft PressPass site, including an Office 2010 FAQ which covers a number of things, notably an outline of which products will be included in which versions of the suites available through retail or volume licensing. The oddest thing is that the various press releases available here are all Word .doc documents. Not a universal format like PDF. Not even Microsoft’s own portable format XPS. Not Word 2007 DOCX (probably a good idea not to assume people would already be on board with that, even with the compatibility pack for older versions). Other documents linked from that page give more detail for each of the products individually, but only at a brief marketing level, nothing too technical.

What are the biggest changes?

The most obvious change across the Office system as whole is that all the applications will now have the fluent UI and ribbon, which has also had slight facelift – they have removed many of the borders round buttons, reducing the visual clutter and “flattening” the overall effect (almost exactly what they did in the evolution of the toolbar from Office 97 to 2000). Selected or active options still appear to have borders to make them clearer. When you have additional context-sensitive tabs appearing in the Ribbon, the coloured highlight above them seems to be bolder because it extends from a solid colour at the top of the title bar fading out as it goes down into the Ribbon tabs area, rather than at the moment where this is only visible in the title bar area and fades quickly upwards. This may make the additional tools more obvious to new users when they need them, and help distinguish between similar items by getting used to the colours used.

The other big news items are the introduction of browser-based document viewing and editing (discussed below), and the availability of a 64-bit version of all the products (as well as 32 bit for legacy compatibility). This may provide some speed and productivity benefits to those who have appropriate hardware and OS to take advantage of this, use more memory and so on. Larger Access models might make more sense, but Excel spreadsheets of over 2GB? Hopefully not too often. I do know some people who could probably build PowerPoint shows that big though…

Read more of this post