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Enhanced: FTP Server as Document Store for CRM4

Microsoft CRM can store files as annotation but is not a document management system at all. There are many ways to integrate CRM with Document Management Systems. My approach in this article is pretty much utilization of CRM as xRM. So this xRM based solution is built on top of powerful Dynamics CRM platform.

The idea behind this post is a cost effective way to create, persist, and distribute documents. Since document size can increase to GB’s so attaching documents as annotation is not a good idea and can clearly increase the size of database in days and degrade the system performance.

I am using FTP and FTPS protocol to manage documents. At CRM side i have created an entity representing document as a record and then associated this entity where ever required. So here is my entity.

I have document category and sub category (dependent picklist) to categorize and classify my document on FTP Server. I have a due date to trigger my document escalation/follow-up workflows. I have a status reason associated to a document (Draft/Approved/Pending/Rejected/On Hold/Reviewed). I have Upload and Download Button to save and retrieve document from FTP server. In the references section, I have the meta data attached to the document entity. The metadata could be a relationship to case/contact/account or any other custom entity. So in Case entity my document will appear as shown below:

I can instantly view the file without downloading it on local disk by just pressing download button and click open.

So now I can instantly Approve/Reject/On Hold/ Review in CRM by using ISV buttons depending on current user privileges.

I have a full log of actions on my document available with status, user performing action and dates.

I have a comprehensive log of correspondence on this document available as shown below:

I have configurable alerts regarding Pending document/document on hold or documents to be reviewed. They are available to me on daily/weekly/fortnightly/monthly etc. bases and they are right in my outlook with links to my document in CRM.

Also I can utilize these documents online in my customer portals (eService). My documents can be accessed online by using FTP/FTPs and utilized in various ways as below:

Support Portals

Online Product Catalogues

Online Newsletters

Online Product Notices

FTP Server as Document Store for CRM4

Microsoft CRM can store files as annotation but is not a document management system at all. There are many ways to integrate CRM with Document Management Systems. If you are looking for search within document, version control, and publishing workflow then this post is not for you.

The idea behind this post is to utilize CRM structural relationship model and build a Document Store to process documents and also a cost effective way create, persist, and distribute document. Since document size can increase to GB’s so attaching documents as annotation is not a good idea and can clearly increase the size of database in days.

I am using FTP and FTPS protocol to manage documents. At CRM side i have created an entity representing document as a record and then associated this entity where ever required. So here is my entity.\

 I have document category and sub category (dependent picklist) to categorize and classify my document on FTP Server. I have Upload and Download Button to save and retrieve document from FTP server. In the references section, I have the meta data attached to the document entity. The metadata could be a relationship to case/contact/account or any other custom entity. So in Case entity my document will appear as shown below:

 

So now I can apply approval workflows in CRM whenever a new document is created.

 

Also I can utilize these documents online in my customer portals (eService). My documents can be accessed online by using FTP and utilized in various ways as shown below:

HTML Content Editor in CRM4

It is often required to format and validate HTML contents in CRM 4. Here is a quick way of integrating a JavaScript WYSIWYG Editor. You can find many open source as well as 3rd part JavaScript WYSIWYG Editors. The editor I have used in my post is from TinyMCE – Javascript WYSIWYG Editor.

TinyMCE is a platform independent web based JavaScript HTML WYSIWYG editor control released as Open Source under LGPL by Moxiecode Systems AB. It has the ability to convert HTML TEXTAREA fields or other HTML elements to editor instances. TinyMCE is very easy to integrate into other Content Management Systems

So here is a step by step process to integrate this editor to CRM4.

Step One:

Create an ASPX page with only one HTML TEXTAREA control and a Submit Button. TextArea control will hold the content editor and button will move the generated HTML to crmForm Controls.

<asp:TextBox ID=”Content” runat=”server” TextMode=”MultiLine”></asp:TextBox>

    <div>

        <asp:Button ID=”btnSubmit” runat=”server” Text=”Submit”

            onclick=”btnSubmit_Click” OnClientClick=”javascript:OnSubmit();” />

        </div>

    </form>

 And copy the script as provided below:

This Script can be found at http://tinymce.moxiecode.com/examples/full.php#

<script src=”<your installation path>/tiny_mce/tiny_mce.js”></script>

<script>

tinyMCE.init({

                // General options

                mode : “textareas”,

                theme : “advanced”,

                plugins : “safari,spellchecker,pagebreak,style,layer,table,save,advhr,advimage,advlink,emotions,iespell,inlinepopups,insertdatetime,preview,media,searchreplace,print,contextmenu,paste,directionality,fullscreen,noneditable,visualchars,nonbreaking,xhtmlxtras,template,imagemanager,filemanager”,

 

                // Theme options

                theme_advanced_buttons1 : “save,newdocument,|,bold,italic,underline,strikethrough,|,justifyleft,justifycenter,justifyright,justifyfull,|,styleselect,formatselect,fontselect,fontsizeselect”,

                theme_advanced_buttons2 : “cut,copy,paste,pastetext,pasteword,|,search,replace,|,bullist,numlist,|,outdent,indent,blockquote,|,undo,redo,|,link,unlink,anchor,image,cleanup,help,code,|,insertdate,inserttime,preview,|,forecolor,backcolor”,

                theme_advanced_buttons3 : “tablecontrols,|,hr,removeformat,visualaid,|,sub,sup,|,charmap,emotions,iespell,media,advhr,|,print,|,ltr,rtl,|,fullscreen”,

                theme_advanced_buttons4 : “insertlayer,moveforward,movebackward,absolute,|,styleprops,spellchecker,|,cite,abbr,acronym,del,ins,attribs,|,visualchars,nonbreaking,template,blockquote,pagebreak,|,insertfile,insertimage”,

                theme_advanced_toolbar_location : “top”,

                theme_advanced_toolbar_align : “left”,

                theme_advanced_statusbar_location : “bottom”,

                theme_advanced_resizing : true,

 

                // Example content CSS (should be your site CSS)

                content_css : “css/example.css”,

 

                // Drop lists for link/image/media/template dialogs

                template_external_list_url : “js/template_list.js”,

                external_link_list_url : “js/link_list.js”,

                external_image_list_url : “js/image_list.js”,

                media_external_list_url : “js/media_list.js”,

 

                // Replace values for the template plugin

                template_replace_values : {

                                username : “Some User”,

                                staffid : “991234″

                }

});

</script>

 

 

Step Two:

Write two JavaScript functions to handle Onload and button submit events:

Onload will load the generated HTML to Editor and On Submit will submit form and load Generated HTML back to crmForm.

function OnSubmit()

{   

    document.myform.submit();   

    window.parent.document.forms[0].all.end_content.DataValue = document.getElementById(‘content’).value;

}

 

function OnLoad()

{

    document.getElementById(‘content’).value = window.parent.document.forms[0].all.new_content.DataValue;

}

 

Step Three:

Place this page at ISV/ folder and use an IFRAME at the form where you want this editor to be visible. Set the IFRAME src to this aspx form and you all set to go.

 aaa

 

 

Generated HTML in crmForm control.

 aa

 

Let me know in case you need any assistance or suggestions.

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