A few years ago I was working for a company that was rolling out a new website, built using Sitecore. At the time the company was using the Personify Association Management System to keep track of its members, and we were looking for ways to link Sitecore’s marketing and reporting with Personify’s records. One of the things I learned as part of this is that Sitecore actually makes it really easy to link external systems to its Marketing Automation and Contacts.
Which leads me to where I am now and working closely with Dynamics CRM. As more clients look to Sitecore to provide their content management needs, it will be a natural fit to look to couple a new or existing Sitecore Content Management system with the power of either a new or existing Dynamics Customer Relationship Management implementation. The power of both systems will well equip a company to track opportunities and leads from the first website visit to the final closing and beyond.
We can explore some of the ways that these two systems integrate in future posts, but for now, there are a couple of different options available to someone looking to track data across both systems. In fact, a quick search shows that Sitecore has as part of their developer resources a connector to Dynamics CRM that provides the ability to synchronize data between the two systems.
What’s nice about both Sitecore and Dynamics CRM is a high level of flexibility and customization that’s allowed, so if the provided solution doesn’t meet your needs, its very easy to build a custom integration that would address any business needs.
There are three components to the Dynamics CRM Connector, each providing slightly different levels of integration:
- Data Exchange Framework 1.1
- This is the foundation for the connector. It provides the ability to define synchronization process, mappings, and definitions that expose the data from Dynamics CRM into Sitecore and vise versa.
- Sitecore Provider for Data Exchange Framework 1.1
- This provides the ability for the Data Exchange Framework to access Sitecore Items, marketing taxonomies and xDB
- Dynamics CRM Provider for Data Exchange Framework 1.1
- This provides the ability for the Data Exchange Framework to interact with Dynamics Entities, such as contacts, Marketing lists and campaigns.
With these tools it becomes very easy to expose data to each system, allowing administrators a great deal of control on how to handle the data.