The new iPhone app by Microsoft for CRM 2013 was recently released. While most of the folks in the office here at PowerObjects are Windows Phone users, there are a few of us who remain on the dark side as iPhone users. I recently installed the app on an iPhone with iOS 7 and gave it a test drive.
Downloading the App
Downloading the CRM app is very simple on the iPhone. Simply open up the App Store and search for Dynamics CRM. Click the download button on the Microsoft app and wait for it to finish. It is a very small download and finishes very quickly.
The direct link to the app in the App Store is here .
Configuring the App
Configuration of the application is very straightforward and is accomplished in two steps. The configuration prompts are displayed automatically the first time you launch the app.
First, enter your CRM URL .
Then, enter your CRM user name and password. The app connects and away we go!
After first logging in, you will be greeted by the main navigation in the app. The icons are bold and colorful and look and feel like the new UX that is present in CRM 2013.
Navigation is a breeze; simply tap the icon of the entity you want to take a look at.
The views that are defined in the customizations area of CRM are all available within the CRM iPhone app. One very cool feature on the iPhone is that the blue phone numbers are links, and iOS will attempt to dial the phone number when you click on it. This makes it breeze to quickly access a contact's record and dial the number if you are out and about and need quick access to data.
You will notice three icons across the bottom of the screen:
- The HOME icon will return you to the main navigation.
- The MAGNIFYING GLASS allows you to search for a specific record.
- The PLUS SIGN launches a blank window where you can enter a new record.
The records themselves also contain the hyperlinks that work with iOS. Click an email address and it opens a new email windows, the website link opens Safari, etc.
Records can be edited by clicking the PEN icon on the bottom of the screen when you have a record open.
Sales users will really like the activity management capabilities of this iPhone app. There have been previous versions which were lacking in activity management—but not anymore. Sales users will now be able to create and edit phone calls and tasks directly from their iPhones!
Configuration of End-User Display
Configuration of the iPhone app is accomplished in the familiar 'Mobile Express' area that has been a part of CRM since the 4.0 days.
In each entity, there is option of whether or not the entity is available in 'CRM for Phones'. If this is checked, the entity will appear as an option in the main navigation of the app.
Form layout is controlled via the 'Mobile' form that is present in each entity as well. We blogged in the past about how to use this for 'Mobile Express' but the process is the same with this new iPhone app. Check out this blog for more information.
While there are some features that we certainly would've liked to have seen in the Dynamics CRM 2013 iPhone app (offline sync, dashboards, reports, maps), folks should be reminded that the iPhone is not exactly the world's greatest data entry device. The idea behind the iPhone app is to provide quick and clean access to common CRM information to users out in the field. It is not intended as a replacement for other CRM access methods and really has been rolled out by Microsoft as an augmentation to those pre-existing access methods.
Keep in mind that iPad users have an app all of their own now—also available in the App Store—which contains some features (i.e: dashboards) that are not present on the iPhone app. Expect a blog on the Microsoft CRM iPad app very soon!
This is an impressive offering from Microsoft with a bright future ahead of it.