Use Microsoft Connect to Drive Product Improvement


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A long time ago I wrote an article, My Dynamics CRM 5 Wish-List, on some of the features I most wanted to see in the next release of Dynamics CRM. I received plenty of comments and emails about that post, but these days if I really feel strongly about a feature I use the Microsoft Connect site:

This site is a great resource and I recommend you use it. You can sign in with your Windows Live ID, and once in you can go directly to pages like this one:

My personal favorite of the top ten most requested new features is currently at the number two spot:

The ability to do “NOT” searches just seems like something the product should have. Customer tend to assume it’s there, and it’s difficult explaining to a customer why we can’t create an Advanced Find query showing which customers have not purchased product A, or which leads don’t have any activities created for them:

While you can do queries like that easily with SQL, you cannot use the Advanced Find UI to create them.

And eyes really start glazing over when you try explaining why you cannot build reports showing information like that in Dynamics CRM Online, while you can in an on-premise deployment:

Dynamics CRM Online can do SSRS reports now, bringing it closer to parity with the on-premise version. But you cannot use SQL in custom “SSRS” reports for Dynamics CRM Online; you must use FetchXML instead. And FetchXML cannot do NotExists (sub queries) or NotIn (queries)
like SQL can. (I guess we should really refer to them as FXMLRS reports!)

I’m always impressed with the quality of the feature requests on the Connect site; the Dynamics CRM suggestions in particular are full of things that, if added, would really save us working-class CRM consultants a lot of time.

Here’s a tip: for maximum impact, review the list before you post a suggestion to see if somebody else has already suggested it. Currently 30 votes gets a suggestion in the top ten, and my guess is a single top-ten suggestion is more likely to be added than if it’s actually hidden in three separate but similar suggestions each with 10 votes. For example, I was surprised that Pablo’s suggestion only had 8 votes:

Surely that’s a top ten or at least a top twenty suggestion! But then I noticed a few other suggestions that were close enough to siphon off some votes. Anyway, Pablo’s suggestion now has 9 votes, and I encourage you to get in there and make your voice heard.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Knudson
Richard Knudson is a Dynamics CRM consultant and instructor, and has a special interest in cloud computing and helping organizations realize the potential of social CRM. His company, IMG, specializes in helping businesses implement and customize the Dynamics CRM platform.


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