2013 was a great year for AIS — we worked on exciting projects for our terrific clients, built some cool apps and won some cool awards. We were honored with the 2013 Microsoft Mid-Atlantic Cloud Practice Award and are among the first Amazon Web Services partners to earn a “SharePoint on AWS” competency. And throughout the year, we wrote and blogged about our passion for cloud computing, SharePoint, going mobile, and doing “more with less” for our government and commercial clients. Here’s […]

Microsoft has revamped its licensing model for Dynamics CRM 2013.  Here’s a summary of the information from the latest Microsoft documentation. There are three basic versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, and each has its own particular licensing requirements: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 On-Premises: Most useful for organizations that do their deployments in-house.  You must purchase a license for each server that will run the CRM Server software.  You must also purchase Client Access License (CAL) for each user or device […]

My decision to join AIS six years ago was a revelation. After almost seven years spent working as an embedded IT analyst for various government customers, I joined AIS to support a customer who was implementing SharePoint.  I soaked up everything I could about this (at the time) brave new world of SharePoint. I loved it. SharePoint 2003 had been available for use in my previous office where I had initially set up out-of-the-box team sites for working groups to […]

Software development is a risky endeavor, with many things that can go wrong. At any moment, you may find that your budget or schedule targets have been completely missed and your developers and customers disagree about the scope and functionality of the project. In fact, numerous studies state that up to 60% of projects completely fail or massively exceed their budget. A recent study by McKinsey found that on average, most software projects over $5 million exceed their budget by 45%, […]

Dynamics CRM 2013 is about to be released and if you have already made a large investment into SharePoint as a development platform, you may be asking yourself why Dynamics CRM matters.  After all, you are already using a wildly successful platform that underpins collaboration tools, intranets, your ‘corporate’ social media and quite likely a base of custom applications and tools. Why would you need yet another platform if SharePoint is capable of handling everything you throw at it? First off, […]

I just finished working on a proof of concept using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. The application needed to support the activities of a crime investigation unit in the government. As a devoted Lennie Briscoe fan, I felt I knew my way around a crime scene…but what I didn’t know was CRM. As it turned out, it didn’t matter! Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 was fairly easy to get up and running. I put together a cloud-based implementation that included: CRM Online w/Office […]

Creating SharePoint Sites From a Dynamics CRM Plugin With more and more companies adopting both Dynamics CRM and SharePoint into their corporate technology stacks, I’ve found myself integrating the two technologies more often than ever before. It’s quite cool. These are two extremely powerful systems and they both do what they are designed to do very well. I’m not going to go in-depth about what the differences are between these products…they are in totally different software “genres.” Apples and oranges. […]

We recently deployed a five-node CRM 2011 topology using Windows Azure IaaS with the following objectives: Understand how a multiple node CRM setup can be provisioned using Windows Azure IaaS. Specifically, how the networking capabilities offered by the Windows Azure platform (i.e. stateless load balancing) map to the CRM requirements. Develop an automated way to provision and de-provision a CRM setup. This is not only useful for dev and test scenarios, but also for production scenarios where it is notoriously […]

I recently completed a large document management system on SharePoint 2010 that used FAST Search and claims-based authentication. The client wanted to secure and limit access to customer-specific documents based on data coming from their CRM system. We decided to implement a custom claim provider that would query the CRM system at login for customer claims based on the user ID. On upload (based on the customer that was assigned to the document), we used the content organizer to route […]

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 has come a long way from its predecessors in many areas.  For companies using both CRM 2011 and SharePoint 2010, the improvements can be appreciated even more since Dynamics CRM 2011 has native SharePoint 2010 document management capabilities right out of the box. This functionality is apparent in a couple of different places in the CRM 2011 web interface.  First, there is a page under the Settings section for Document Management.  Second, some entities will have […]