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What's New in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK

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[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0]

Find the latest SDK documentation: CRM 2015 SDK

This section is an overview of the new features offered in this version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Rich Business Modeling

Improved application and platform customization provides data modeling that maps more closely to business realities including:
  • Many-to-many relationships across standard and custom objects.
  • Multiple relationships between entities.
  • Support for relationships between system entities.

For more information, see Entity Relationships.

Powerful new workflow technology supports robust process automation across end-user applications. This technology includes the following:
  • Windows Workflow Foundation, which is a common workflow and process management system across Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • New Web-based workflow experience.
  • Native Windows Workflow Foundation orchestration and monitoring.
  • Scalable, reliable workflow service.

For more information, see Workflows.

Regional and locale-based customization supports personalized system settings across your global operations, including data object and form-based translation settings. You can also import and export system-based translations for each language.

For more information, see Import/Export and Support for Multiple Languages.

Robust Developer Experience

The improved event and plug-in infrastructure lets you take advantage of development investments across solutions by using the following features:
  • Unified event pipeline.
  • Streamlined plug-in registration and deployment.
  • Offline events.

For more information, see Plug-ins.

Integration with Microsoft Visual Studio provides the following:
  • Support for Windows Workflow Foundation designer.
  • Improved programmatic management for metadata

For more information, see Workflows and Metadata Web Service.

Improved Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook support allows for the following:
  • Full SDK available while offline.
  • Option to automatically deploy registered assemblies.

For more information, see Outlook SDK.

Pluggable authentication provides the following:
  • Integration with Windows Live ID on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
  • Active Directory on-premise.
  • Form authentication on partner hosted installations.
  • Same APIs across all authentication methods.

For more information, see Authentication.

Multitenancy support provides the following:
  • Targeting multiple organizations within one implementation.
  • Discovery of organizations and their end point.
  • Same APIs across multiple organization.
  • Dynamic Web Services Description Language (WSDL) per organization.

For more information, see Multiple Organizations.

Offline support gives you the following:
  • Web service APIs in offline mode.
  • Access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM data and major operations while Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook is offline.
  • Same APIs and programming model as online APIs.
  • Easy to detect mode in order to build smart applications

For more information, see Support for Offline Programs.

Improved helper code for your projects is provided as follows:
  • Indexer for Dynamic Entity.
  • QueryExpression helper for creating queries with fewer lines of code.
  • Partial classes for core types and properties. These provide a fuller set of constructers and methods.

For more information, see Helper Code.

Extensibility across Product Offerings

The following table shows which extensibility mechanisms are supported on each product offering.

Supported Authentication MechanismsOn-PremiseHostedCRM Online
Integrated Active Directory authenticationYesYesNo
Forms based authenticationYesYesNo
Windows Live ID authenticationNoNoYes
CustomizationOn-PremiseHostedCRM Online
Basic customization
  • Entities
  • Attributes
  • Forms and views
  • Relationships
  • Mappings
Data Modeling
  • Business units/teams/roles
  • Customer relationship modeling
UI Control and customization
  • Navigation (SiteMap)
  • Web client scripting (Jscript)
Import and Export On-PremiseHostedCRM Online
Web ServicesOn-PremiseHostedCRM Online
Discovery Web serviceYesYesYes
CrmService Web serviceYesYesYes
Metadata Web serviceYesYesYes
Deployment Web serviceYesYesNo
ExtensionsOn-PremiseHostedCRM Online
Integrating custom pages and controlsYesYesYes
External applicationsYesYesYes
Plug-insYesPartner specificNo
Custom workflow activities (.NET Assemblies)YesPartner specificNo

Web Service Features

The following table lists the new features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web services.

Metadata APIs:
  • New Metadata APIs with an improved object model
  • Language Pack support in metadata

For more information, see Metadata Web Service.

Backward compatibility for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0:
  • New 2007 endpoint
  • Backward-compatible 2006 endpoints
  • Default Organization when using 2006 endpoint
  • Same APIs across multiple organizations
  • Dynamic WSDL per organization

For more information, see Upgrading your Code.

New messages and APIs:
  • Plug-in and workflow registration APIs
  • Metadata driven request messages
  • Full metadata-driven Web service definitions

For more information, see New Messages in CrmService and Metadata Web Service.

New discovery service Web service:
  • Supports organization discovery

For more information, see Discovery Web Service.

Event Framework

The new event framework provides the following features. For more information, see Event Framework.

  • Plug-ins are supported per organization
  • Cluster deployment - Automatic deployment to all computers in a cluster
Unified event model:
  • Workflow and plug-in shared event model
  • Address missing events from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0
  • Support more plug-in events
  • Support building CRM business logic and workflow functionality
  • Expanded range of solutions that can be offered by partners

For more information, see Event Framework.

Offline plug-in support:
  • Offline SDK
  • Synchronized business logic from the server
  • Symmetric experience for server and client SDK and plug-ins
  • Simple deployment model for deep client customizations

For more information, see Supported Messages for Plug-ins.

Reliability and performance:
  • Loop detection and termination
  • Asynchronous plug-ins
  • Prevention of accidental infinite resource usage through chains of events
  • Ability to remove expensive logic from the synchronous pipeline
Partner plug-in integration:
  • Form data recovery on plug-in errors
  • Eliminate need to parse XML in plug-in
  • On-disk deployment
  • Data validation scenarios enabled
  • Less error prone coding
  • Support for on-disk deployment for debugging scenarios


Plug-ins were referred to as callouts in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. The following table describes the new features supported in plug-ins. For more information, see Plug-ins.

Plug-ins can be registered before or after built-in platform functionality (synchronously or asynchronously).
Dynamic entity support:
  • Entity images come in the form of dynamic entities.
  • New Dynamic entity indexer lets you access attributes by name.
Registration can be performed by using APIs.
Supported plug-in events (messages):
  • Create / Retrieve / RetrieveMultiple / Update / Delete / SetState
  • Assign / Route
  • Merge
  • DeliverIncoming / DeliverPromote / Send

For more information, see Supported Messages for Plug-ins.

  • Plug-ins are registered for a single organization.
  • Plug-ins are stored in the database to enable automatic deployment across a cluster.
  • A preconfigured dynamic typed proxy is available in a plug-in (sets up user, organization, authentication ticket, and depth).
  • Plug-ins cannot be registered in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
Plug-ins are trusted code and must be carefully reviewed for security issues.
Plug-ins must be signed.
Unified event model:
  • Architecturally move internal business logic to be closer to third-party extensions.
  • Internal business logic implemented by using a plug-in.
  • Workflow takes advantage of plug-in registration (unified event model).
  • Plug-ins receive and can modify input and output parameters symmetric to those in the SDK messages.
  • Enables us to more easily enable plug-in events for third parties.

For more information, see Event Framework.

Offline plug-in support:
  • Offline plug-in includes the availability of the offline SDK, which offers a subset of the functionality available online, but with the same WSDL.
  • Offline plug-ins are deployed on the server and synchronized when the client is taken offline.
  • Plug-ins will be able to determine the context (running on the offline client or on the server) in order to take differentiated actions.
Reliability and performance:
  • Loop detection and termination built into the event framework (applies to synchronous and asynchronous plug-ins, including workflow, data import, and so on.)
  • Support for asynchronous plug-ins lets the developer remove expensive logic from the synchronous path (positively affecting user response time).
Partner plug-in integration:
  • When a plug-in returns a failure condition, form data is not lost.
  • Enables data validation scenarios without the need to build JavaScript form events.
  • Ability to manipulate input and output parameters is easier than in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0.
  • On-disk deployment supported for debugging scenarios.

Data Management

Data Management is used to manage and maintain the quality of data in the system. It includes the following features. For more information, see Data Management.

Bulk Delete:
  • Data deletion across multiple entities
  • Entity instances deletion for a given entity type
  • E-mail notifications when bulk delete is finished
  • Recurring bulk delete scheduling
  • Bulk delete failure information retrieval

For more information, see Bulk Delete.

Duplicate Detection:
  • Duplicate detection during create or update operations
  • Detection and retrieval of duplicates of a particular entity instance
  • Duplicate detection and retrieval of duplicates for a specified entity type based on query criteria

For more information, see Duplicate Detection.

Data Migration and Import:
  • Data migration from various customer relationship management systems and data sources into Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Data import into standard and customized attributes of most entity types, including custom entities
  • Data migration of different types
  • Data import or existing data updates
  • Import failure information retrieval

For more information, see Data Migration and Import.

See Also


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