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:
Online Product Catalogues
Online Product Notices