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Microsoft® Dynamics CRM 2011 Administration Bible by Geoff Ables, Matthew Wittemann

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Chapter 22. Working with Server-Side Customizations

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Custom Development Architecture

  • The Dynamics CRM API

  • Using plug-ins to extend the platform

  • REST/OData interface

  • Extending to the cloud with Azure

  • Custom workflow rules

As previous chapters show, Microsoft has released an incredibly powerful and extensible platform that can be tailored to an endless variety of business processes through GUI-based configuration tools and client-side techniques familiar to many Web technologists. The company has also incorporated a robust and flexible server-side programming architecture, enabling developers to tap into the power of the Dynamics CRM platform in order to supplement the system's functionality or build entirely new functionality in a supportable and scalable manner. The goal of this chapter is to introduce you to the concepts and techniques used to extend the functionality of the Dynamics CRM platform with server-side technologies.

As far back as version 3.0, Dynamics CRM started to emerge as a compelling platform for applications that had little to do with traditional customer relationship management. Still, many developers were stymied by some of the quirks of developing with Dynamics CRM. For example, some of the system's custom data types didn't behave the same way as their standard .NET counterparts. The many little quirks compounded together sometimes made for a steep and unpredictable learning curve.

With version 4.0 the idea of XRM really took hold. The application programming ...

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