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Client Extension and Scripting Capabilities

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[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0]

Use the client extension and scripting capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to:

  • Include business logic or automation that is performed very quickly on the user's computer.
  • Extend the Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients to include other applications.
  • Include elements of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM application into other applications.
  • Change navigation options.
  • Develop custom applications that look similar to Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide a consistent user experience.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK describes each of these capabilities separately but customizations and extensions to Microsoft Dynamics CRM often use several of these capabilities together and in combination with:

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM customization tools provided in the Web application.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Plug-ins
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM workflow
  • Other Microsoft technologies, such as SharePoint.
  • Applications created by ISVs for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • Custom ASP.NET applications developed for your implementation.

Client Extension Capabilities

Client extension features allow an ISV to build a solution and add it seamlessly into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM UI. But client extension features can also be used to create implementation specific customizations or simply modify the user experience. For example, you can do the following:

  • Add custom menu, button, and navigation controls to launch Web applications.
  • Insert an IFRAME into a Microsoft Dynamics CRM form to add the functionality of another web site to the form.
  • Customize the application navigation structure and change text used in Navigation areas.

Client Extension Controls

You can add custom menus, buttons, and navigation areas to Microsoft Dynamics CRM by modifying the XML in the ISV.Config. Configure these controls with a URL to launch your page when they are clicked or add JavaScript to take actions on the form or interact with web services. You can pass parameters that contain data from Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the page so that data can be processed in the logic of the page.

To modify navigation areas found the Application Navigation pane, modify the XML in the SiteMap. This allows you to and new navigation areas to include another Web application within Microsoft Dynamics CRM or re-organize how the navigation is presented to users.

Adding client extension controls using the ISV.Config or SiteMap are the primary means to integrate other applications into Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Note    Beyond adding custom buttons, menus and navigation areas, developers cannot change the functionality of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM application. It is not supported for developers to modify, re-use, or inherit functionality from Microsoft Dynamics CRM controls.

For detailed information, see Application Navigation Configuration and Adding Client Extension Controls

IFRAMEs

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Form Customization tools allow for the placement of an IFRAME within Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forms. The IFRAME will display a specified web page as an element within the form. A static web page will probably not provide a great deal of value in an IFRAME – so it is expected that the target page of an IFRAME will have the capability to process parameters passed to it and possibly update form values using Form scripting if the site can be trusted.  IFRAMEs can also be used to include custom controls or other UI elements within a form.

For detailed information, see IFRAME Support.

Forms Scripting Capabilities

All Microsoft Dynamics CRM entity forms provide places to add JScript code that will run for supported events. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK provides details on the Form Object model that allows you to programmatically access and manipulate data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM forms. Form scripting can also be used to interact with other applications, especially web services, including the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web Services.

For detailed information, see Form Scripting and Form Programming Reference

Other Extension Resources

There are three other resources that are available. These allow you to:

  • Open Microsoft Dynamics CRM forms through a URL
  • Expose a Microsoft Dynamics CRM view through a URL.
  • Create UI elements in custom applications that look similar to Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide a consistent user experience.

URL Addressable Forms and Views

For more detailed information see URL Addressable Forms and Views

URL Addressable forms

If you need to add, view, or modify Microsoft Dynamics CRM data from a custom application, you can save time by configuring your application to launch a Microsoft Dynamics CRM form directly from your application. Rather than creating your own forms and writing code to interact with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web services, you can re-use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM forms to provide this capability to users of your application.

Each form in Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be opened using a specific URL. This allows a user to create a new record. If the GUID is provided as an argument to the URL, the URL will open a specific record. This feature allows you to create 'drill-down' capabilities into custom applications or reports.

URL Addressable views

Many views in Microsoft Dynamics CRM provide the capability for a user to copy the URL for a particular view or send an e-mail with the URL for a particular view embedded in the message. This feature is primarily intended to facilitate communication between users but it also exposes a way for a developer to get access to a URL for a view that they can include in another application, such as a SharePoint site.

Note    Views which use the user context as a parameter, such as My Accounts, cannot be copied.

URL addressable views cannot bypass Microsoft Dynamics CRM security. Only licensed Microsoft Dynamics CRM users will be able to access the views and the records they see in the views is based on the read privileges for their security role(s).

UI Style Guide

When you create an application that will be integrated into Microsoft Dynamics CRM you can help create a consistent user experience by using the same design elements as Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The UI Style Guide provides documentation and samples for all the design elements used in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

For detailed information, see UI Style Guide.

See Also

Other Resources


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