Year 2010, I was working for a client, one of the largest luxury brand in the Unites States & our team is charged on building one of those applications needed to fulfill a certain “function” within the business.
At that point in my career I am a bit frustrated as a software developer since working for consulting giants means responding to the customer needs which sometimes requires realigning resource skill sets to survive. To be fair its not like these companies leaves you with no option, but as a young cub you always want to be perceive as a YES type, especially early on your career.
STARTING ALWAYS FROM SCRATCH
Started pondering why waste too much time designing similar data models, state diagrams, building primary keys etc just to get to a starting point of the application.
Why would Microsoft not create something similar to Visual Basic for data model & throw in the authentication & authorization. This all come standard requirement anyways.
I turned to Google & as it turns out, Microsoft is brewing some unpopular Dynamics CRM 2011 beta, which seem like the answer to my prayers. I was excited yet have no clue how to put my plan into action. I just knew that somehow I will find a way (least did I know it would be common theme in my interesting career, at least if you ask me)
AS FATE PUTS IT, DYNAMICS FOUND ME
In an interesting twist of fate, the company published a boot camp for Dynamics & the rest is history . Dynamics is what I thought it was… yet many businesses & stakeholder couldn’t really see the full potential of Dynamics as a platform for various reasons. One, it’s tied to the word CRM & business always equate this sales automation & marketing, Second for many consulting firms building custom web application from scratch is more profitable, & lastly which brings us to main topic of this post, its in a different league on its own.
Dynamics CRM 2011 is the pivotal era of this Microsoft business, yet some seasoned consultant like me would argue its Dynamics 4.0 however Package Solutions Management & the way plugins work for 2011 was innovative enough that it gets my vote.
Are all things good in the hood then? Of course not, there were performance issues, SQL Server timeouts that can happen online especially if you are naughty developer uploading thousands & thousands of data via ftp console app & a lot more that would fill this post. At least I am all in with the idea. In a span of minutes you can have an entity with relationships to multiple entities, It was headless CMS’s back on the days where Facebook still looks like Friendster.
Despite all this things I took the red pill without giving Morphues time to explain my options. It was headed very much to a direction I wanted anyways. But If you ask any XRM supporters, each will have their own criteria what constitute XRM platform & for me its simply Full Independence. The Common Language Interface for Integrations, User Interface option using Power App Control Framework, this year Dynamics 365 As A Platform has become a reality, kudos to Microsoft for embracing open source because never in our wildest imagination without the collective contribution of the community that it get to where it is now without leveraging technologies developed outside Microsoft, the acquisition of GitHub & open source versions of Visual Studio sums up Microsoft acknowledgement. The world of software development has truly changed & I can honestly say this time Microsoft has the solid platform to help many businesses perform well by addressing gaps never been done before.
Yes everything has caveats & having experienced professionals guide organizations on this labyrinth is vital or else decisions after decision will pile up that it would be COBOL statements all over again. Trust me I live through that pain by experience.
Life is nothing but perfect, the licensing model has become slightly expensive & confusing, It’s like reading Lord of the Rings series but started on book 3 or like talking to a Sales Person, you are never sure if you’re really getting your moneys worth.
To end this post, I just want to highlight that despite the tragedy of this pandemic, we take great solace in the fact that we can now developed systems & processes to be more efficient & result oriented. Dynamics has plenty to offer for organizational processes & gaps, using the diverse tools of the platform. It’s now more than ever we need to build the next generation of apps using the Dynamics 365 Platform.