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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 iPhone App First Impressions


Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 iPhone App First Impressions

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 .

Dynamics CRM 2013 iPhone App

Then, enter your CRM user name and password. The app connects and away we go!

First Impressions

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.

Happing CRM'ing!

Joe CRM
By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

8 comments on “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 iPhone App First Impressions”

  1. I feel like I must be missing something. Looks like this will only connect to 2013 instances? Does it work with MS cloud hosted instances?

  2. does it save the data in the iPhone or each time it communicates with back end?
    thanks in advance.

  3. Can you tell me what needs to be enabled on the back end for this to work? I keep running into issues and I imagine my IT department needs to do something and I'd love to tell them specifically so they get it done.

  4. I'm interested in Best Practices for which entities/fields should be included in the mobile app. Can any entity be included?

    1. Hi Heidi - Most entities can be included. As for best practices, what we recommend is to NOT overwhelm the user with a barrage of fields so one of the most important items is to carefully select which fields are needed -- what is the user doing when using the mobile app....driving, doing a home visit for blah, and if so what data would they need. This varies a lot depending on the use case.....

  5. Right now my Contact entity shows full name and job title. I want it to show full name and phone number, as it is above. How do I make this change? Thanks.

    1. Hi Blayze - you can modify the the attributes for the mobile form. There is a form specific for the mobile app that you can defined in crm.

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