Keeping up-to-date with the Microsoft Dynamics platform is a challenging feat; you only have two options- keep on top of it every day or just stick to picking up the most important parts.
I’ve compiled a list of links to relevant documentation/sites to help with keeping on top of the latest news and changes. The list is regularly updated so it might be beneficial to bookmark this page and to check back regularly to see the updates.
The best way to learn or to manage your learning is to ensure you have access to the Microsoft Dynamics platform. Sign up for a trial – it’s free.
- Microsoft Office 365 Trial signup (https://signup.microsoft.com/signup)
Once you’ve signed up, read through the official Onboarding documentation
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Onboarding (https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/Dynamics/crm-customer-center/onboard-your-organization-and-users-to-dynamics-365-online.aspx)
Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM Resources
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 What’s new (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/what-s-new.aspx)
The best way to keep up-to-date with the Dynamics platform is to keep checking this page for product updates. It’s worth familiarising yourself with new product features then testing the new features out in a CRM trial. This link should be at the top of your resource links.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Roadmap (https://roadmap.dynamics.com/)
This is another great resource that you should keep in your pool of web resources. This is the official Dynamics roadmap that documents planned features or new products that will eventually make its way to release. Some features are already available as a preview in CRM, so it’s worth consistently checking this link out.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 User Guides (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/microsoft-dynamics-365-user-guides.aspx)
CRM User guides were never as great as they are now. The official guides take you through using Microsoft Dynamics in a walkthrough fashion. User guides are great when you just need to get started with a specific area of Dynamics or you need to quickly configure something OTB (out-the-box). Although there are YouTube videos and blog posts by members of the community – I always default to using the official User Guides as my first starting point purely because Microsoft cover everything you need to know about an area in Dynamics, that a community contributor might omit.
- Microsoft Dynamics Developer Documentation (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn833472(v=crm.10).aspx)
Great documentation for developers and customizers. This is the official documentation from Microsoft. The documentation is also available in the latest SDK as a CHM file, you can keep this locally and read offline.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Help & Training (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/)
This link is an overlap of the links above; however, the link is the official Help & Training link so it’s worth a mention.
- Get Ready for the next release (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/get-ready-for-the-next-release.aspx#bkmk_UpdatesCent).
This is the official Microsoft version release web page. The page details new features, improvements and anything new that Microsoft is doing with Dynamics 365.
- Dynamics 365 for Field Service – User’s Guide, (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/dynamics-365-for-field-service-user-s-guide.aspx)
Project Service Automation
- Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation – User’s Guide (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/dynamics-365-for-project-service-automation-user-s-guide.aspx)
- Dynamics 365 Portals – User’s Guide (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/portals/administer-manage-portal-dynamics-365)
- Keep your employees engaged and productive by using Gamification (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/gamification/increase-employee-productivity)
Voice of the Customer for Dynamics 365
- Create a survey to get customer feedback (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/voice-of-customer/create-voice-of-customer-survey)
Microsoft Outlook for CRM
- Dynamics CRM Tip Of The Day (https://crmtipoftheday.com/)
Great site with hundreds of Dynamics tips that will help you maximise and understand what Dynamics is capable of! This site should absolutely be part of your daily news feed. Tips are submitted regularly by contributors that work in the Dynamics field.
- Power Objects Blog (http://www.powerobjects.com/blog/)
- Dynamics CRM in the Field Blog (https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crminthefield/)
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog (https://community.dynamics.com/b/msftdynamicsblog)
- SMS Management & Company (http://dynamicscrmcoe.com/)
Best YouTube Channels
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJGCg4rB3QSs8y_1FquelBQ)
The official Microsoft Dynamics YouTube channel. This channel has a great set of videos that are small snapshots or overviews of product features. There are also keynote videos from Microsoft conferences. The channel is mixed, housing all the Dynamics platforms (Operations, Field Service, NAV, PSA). This channel can feel like a huge advertisement channel at times which is great if you’re working in pre-sales or sales, selling Microsoft products but for the rest of us- just search for videos using the YouTube channel search to find videos of interest.
- MSDynamicsWorld (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZtv7sfQIchQyquybdfzR_g)
The MSDynamicsWorld has a blend of case studies, conferences and webcast training sessions. It’s great for picking up ideas or gaining an understanding of what Dynamics can do coupled with other technologies. The videos are long, however, I’ve found that you can speed things up a little by clicking on the 1.5 to 2.0 player speed settings.
- Dynamics CRM Tip Of The Day (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1X6_fR7yfE)
- Microsoft Developer Network (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC04_E5cXyKb_nkjLWjuHIXw)
While not completely Microsoft Dynamics related; the Microsoft Developer Network is updated regularly, has a vast video library that covers an impressive array of topics including Microsoft Dynamics. This is a channel that I like to keep an eye on, particularly because the Microsoft ecosphere is converging. You have Azure, Office 365, Dynamics, Power BI, SharePoint etc. all uniting to eventually provide seamless integration between the platforms. This is a YouTube channel that you definitely want to keep an eye on.
Twitter Accounts you need to follow
- Mitch Milam, @mitchmilam – https://twitter.com/mitchmilam
- CRM Tip Of The Day, @crmtipoftheday – https://twitter.com/crmtipoftheday
- Scott Durow, @ScottDurow – https://twitter.com/ScottDurow
- Dynamics 365, @MSFTDynamics365 – https://twitter.com/MSFTDynamics365
- Dynamics 365 CRM, @slowxrm – https://twitter.com/slowxrm
- Microsoft Learning, @MSLearning – https://twitter.com/MSLearning
- XRMToolBox (http://www.xrmtoolbox.com/)
This is arguably the best Windows application to configure Microsoft Dynamics outside of the CRM application itself. The XRMToolBox contains several tools that will help make the Administration of Dynamics easier. You’ll have to visit the XRMToolBox site to get a better understanding of what it can do; writing a description here just doesn’t give it any justification.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forum (https://community.dynamics.com/crm/f/117)
- CRM Audio by Joel Lindström.
Good podcast with random content surrounding Dynamics 365. Joel covers quite a lot in each episode going into detail for certain topics.
A word on CRM Books
Before my hosted server crash I wrote an article on the top 5 books every CRM Administrator needs. The list included the books; Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Administration Bible, by Matthew Wittemann and Geoff Ables, Working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Book (PRO-Developer) by Mike Snyder and Jim Steger and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Unleashed 2013, by Marc Wolenik just to mention a few. The issue that I have with Dynamics CRM books now is that they are quickly outdated because of the number of product updates Microsoft releases. The books still have some value, they provide some basics and are version specific. So this means if you’re still using Dynamics CRM 2011 and you’re not thinking about upgrading in the near future you can buy the relevant book and use them as a reference. If however, your goal is to improve your knowledge, holistically, then I advise that you stick with the official Microsoft documentation.
With that said, here is a list of books that I do recommend:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Administration Bible
by Matthew Wittemann and Geoff Ables
- Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 in 24 Hours (Sams Teach Yourself…in 24 Hours)
by Anne Stanton
- Working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Book (PRO-Developer)
by Mike Snyder and Jim Steger
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Unleashed 2013
by Marc Wolenik
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customization Essentials (Professional Expertise Distilled)
by Nicolae Tarla
- Mastering Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016
by Deepesh Somani (Author)
- Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Cookbook
by Rami Mounla