CRM5 is currently on schedule to ship as part of the Office14 Wave (most likely sometime in 2010), and the team is only part way through the development cycle, having just completed Milestone 1 (M1). Even so, there is already much to get excited about. Here is a list of “features” that were discussed:
New Features For End Users
- Enhanced Navigation – I guess it was inevitable, but CRM5 uses the same “Fluent UI” (aka the Ribbon) as Office 2007. This new “command bar” replaces the CRM 4.0 “tool bars” at the top of each page, and is context sensitive. In addition, the “command bar” is fully customizable and you can add your own buttons much like you can with ISV.Config file today.
Incidentally, something that isn’t discussed but appears on the ribbon is the “Add to Queue” command, from which I can only surmise that you will be add any entity (including custom entities) to a Queue.
- Single Page Forms – The form model in CRM 4.0 made use of tabs to divide a form into multiple pages. In CRM5 tabs are displayed in the same way as section, with each form just having a single, scrolling page. As you can see from the navigation page of an Account entity, tabs are now displayed as a series of “quick access” navigation shortcuts under the “Information” link.
- Data Filtering – One often requested feature is the ability to filter data in grids, much like Excel. Now you can navigate to the “DataView”, click the “Filter” command, and you can perform your own in-line filtering.
Again, although not explicitly stated, it looks as though you can quickly save your filters as a View, as well as setting your own Default View.
- In-line Visualizations – Although not Business Intelligence in the true sense of the phrase, CRM5 allows you to visualize numeric data using in-line charts. This is not SQL Server Reporting Services, but looks very much like the .NET charting solution from Dundas.
The charts themselves are drill-through enabled and you can select a number of different chart formats such as Bar, Column, Funnel, Line, Pie & Scatter.
- Team Ownership – Entities in CRM 4.0 were either User Owned or Organisation Owned. Now Team Owned entities are added in CRM5, and integrated into the role-based security model.
- Native SharePoint Integration – Integration with Windows SharePoint Services for document management, which includes site and document library provisioning, document metadata, item security, and check-in/check-out capabilities.
- Unstructured Relationships – The next generation of “set regarding” and “relationship roles” functionality, allowing you to define ad-hoc relationships between any two entities.
More info can be found here: http://blogs.msdn.com/ukcrm/archive/2008/11/10/what-s-new-in-crm5.aspx