Tag Archives: crm

Boston’s Big Datascape, Part 3: StreamBase, Attivio, InsightSquared, Paradigm4, Localytics

[Excerpted from the Riparian Data blog]

This ongoing series examines some of the key, exciting players in Boston’s emerging Big Data arena. The companies I’m highlighting differ in growth stages, target markets and revenue models, but converge around their belief that the data is the castle, and their tools the keys. You can read about the first ten companies here and here.

11) StreamBase

  • Products: StreamBase Complex Event Processing Platform lets you build applications for analyzing real-time streaming data alongside historical data. StreamBase LiveView adds an in-memory data warehouse and a BI front-end to the equation, essentially giving you live (well, a few milliseconds behind) BI.
  • Founder: Richard Tibbetts (t |ln), Michael Stonebraker
  • Technologies used: Complex Event Processing, StreamSQL, cloud storage, pattern-matching, in-memory data warehouse, end-user query interface
  • Target Industries: Capital Markets, Intelligence and Security, MMO, Internet and Mobile Commerce, Telecomunications and Networking
  • Location: Lexington, MA

[read the full post at the Riparian Data blog]

Solving the ‘double hop’ issue using Secure Store

[Image via Fabian Williams]

Last week I was working on some ASP.NET web forms that generated internal reports against MS CRM using ExcelWriter and I wanted to port the application to one of our SharePoint instances. Though it seemed simple at first, I ran into a few issues. One of the issues happened to be authentication related. It was a typical ‘double hop’ problem where this SharePoint instance was using integrated Windows NTLM authentication and my code was trying to access the CRM SQL Server database. By nature, NTLM is unable to pass the credentials to the database thus producing access errors. (You can find more information on the NTLM issue and using Kerberos as a solution here.)

Since we don’t have Kerberos configured on this environment, our best solution was Secure Store. This service allows a user to authenticate with domain credentials and then use an account established in Secure Store to access the database. In our case, this was the read-only CRM account. This also enables easy to use and convenient access control using AD groups. Continue reading Solving the ‘double hop’ issue using Secure Store

How to Create a Renewal Forecast Report with CRM, ExcelWriter and SharePoint

After finishing off our ASP.NET, SQL, and ExcelWriter training, the Technical Services Interns were given a project to create a proof of concept involving the dynamic generation of internal reports. We would use our new SQL knowledge to pull data from a customer relations database (Microsoft CRM), our ExcelWriter knowledge to create a rich Excel report from that data, and our ASP.NET skills to create a Web Form whereby users could constrain the reports they received. The reports would then be ported into SharePoint webparts. The reports were split into three categories:

  • Renewal Forecast
  • Case Distribution
  • Customer Activity

This post addresses the first of these reports. The Renewal Forecast report gives a company’s Sales and Support departments insight into customer contracts coming up for renewal.

Creating the Renewal Forecast Report

The purpose of this report is to provide a detailed overview of customers’ support contracts that are nearing expiration so employees can better manage the renewal process. The front-end in SharePoint is customizable so the report is generated completely dynamically and populated using queries from CRM. It is all ASP.NET code and uses a very sharp looking jQuery datepicker. Of course, the report generation is handled nicely using an ExcelWriter template. Not a current ExcelWriter user? No problem: you can download a free evaluation and follow along! Continue reading How to Create a Renewal Forecast Report with CRM, ExcelWriter and SharePoint

CRM 4.0: Coverage Dates Contract Acts Like Number of Cases Contract

Lately we’ve discovered an issue with Contracts not allowing users to create an unlimited number of Cases against them, even though the template of the Contracts was set as Coverage Dates.
The behavior could be described as follows:
An active Contract with contract template type Coverage Dates will show contracts lines with the “available number of cases” value set to 1.  As soon as you create and resolve one Case, the “remaining cases” value becomes 0. As a result, no more Cases can be created against the Contact.
To figure out where the issue is coming from and how to fix it – we looked at the way we create our Contracts and what is involved in the process.

Let’s say you’re using a heavily customized Microsoft Dynamic CRM. One of the business requirements you may come across is the need to generate Contracts programmatically. This need might arise via the necessity of integrating CRM with other legacy systems you have or simply to ease the life of your customer service reps by letting them create new Contracts in one click. Continue reading CRM 4.0: Coverage Dates Contract Acts Like Number of Cases Contract