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Dynamics CRM Online Spring ‘14: Server-Based Sharepoint Integration

To get ready for CRM Online Spring ‘14 update, we are highlighting some of the enhancements in the new update.

SharePoint document integration was introduced in CRM 2011, allowing users to manage documents in a Sharepoint Document library associated with an account, opportunity, or virtually any other entity.

Traditionally the SharePoint integration was client-side, meaning that when a user clicked the documents link on an account, the related document library was displayed in an iframe via a special grid control.

This worked well, but a recent change in SharePoint Online made this approach work less than optimally for CRM Online customers. For the grid control to display, the user had to be logged in to SharePoint first. Not a problem if your SharePoint is on premises, but if you have SharePoint as part of Office 365, you had to first go log in to SharePoint. While this worked in the web client, it basically meant that users of the Outlook Client were unable to use the document integration.

The new server side SharePoint integration answers this challenge for CRM Online users. Since the integration now happens at the server level, it resolves the single sign on issues with the client-side integration.

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It also simplifies the deployment of SharePoint integration, as no grid control installation is required. Simply enable the server side document integration and set up the document integration.

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Differences between client-side and server-based integration

Server-based integration displays SharePoint documents in a standard CRM grid. The most common commands like Check Out are available right from the command bar.

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The client-side integration grid includes links for Alert Me, Download a Copy, Copy Shortcut, Send Shortcut, View Properties, and Version History actions. Since the server side integration does not use the grid control, these options are not available from the document grid in CRM; however, the server integration grid includes a link to Open SharePoint, which will open the library in SharePoint in a new window. From there, all these commands will be available.

Since the server-based Sharepoint uses a native CRM grid, you also gain some functionality to create and save customizable views of the documents list, something not available from the client side integration grid.

Upgrading to server side SharePoint integration

Once your organization has been upgraded, you should see a link to enable server side SharePoint integration

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This will take you to the document integration screen, where you can click the link to enable server-side SharePoint integration

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The wizard will then validate your SharePoint sites.

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Once complete, you will continue to enable entities for document integration in the same manner as you did for the client side integration.