Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: CRM 2011 Administration Bible

Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Matt Wittemann, Geoff Ables
CRM Entropy Rating (in Baked Goods): 3.1415926535897

Matt, a fellow CRM MVP, sent me a copy of this book a long time ago, and I’ve pretty much only used it for reference material here and there until recently.  I’ve read a handful of CRM 4 books in my day, and found a great deal of helpful information from them.  The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Administration Bible marks my first in-depth read relating to CRM 2011.

The title of this book is both accurate and misleading—and I don’t mean from a theological standpoint.  (Though I imagine, given the apologist forewords by Matt and Geoff, the word “God” was uttered on multiple occasions with various modifiers during its authoring.)  This book is indeed a Bible in the sense that it combines a complete picture of CRM, from URL to SQL, from Form to Filter, and from Dialog to Migration.  It really has it all.

However, don’t let the word “Administration” throw you for a loop.  This book isn’t geared specifically for administrators of any kind, and it doesn’t just cover administration.  It’s so thoroughly educational on the core processes of CRM, I dare say that it is the first and last book you’ll need for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 (see my “Bible” comment above).  Matt and Geoff take special care to make every reader an Administrator.  And that’s why the damn thing is so thick!  (Caution: Ordering more than 3 of these books at a time involves freight charges.*)

The machines with which this Bible was written have long surrendered their keyboards to a higher power.  The material is dense and enriching not only for newcomers to the CRM experience, but for those arriving to CRM 2011 looking for what changed from the previous version—like myself.  As with a religious text, you’ll find yourself engaged in the index or table of contents quite a bit, if you’re working with CRM already.  But, you will find value throughout the areas you don’t think you need to read.

This book will teach you all of the standard features that come with Dynamics CRM out-of-the-box, and then open your mind to the possibilities of custom enrichment.  It wouldn’t be a book to buy if you’re only investigating Dynamics CRM (though it wouldn’t hurt to read); but it is an essential part of any CRM implementation, and its material is useful to every deployment and use of CRM that I can think of.

So, from this digital pulpit, I preach from one Bible, and that is the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Administration Bible!  If you have Dynamics CRM, do yourself a favor and have this book, too.

* I’m kidding!  But really, you do get more words for your dollar… and the most helpful ones to boot!

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