Sunday, August 17, 2008

MS CRM and WF books

I've been working on a non-CRM application that will use WF for complex scheduled activities with lots of dependencies and notifications. Basically there are a lot of sequential workflow's with external method handlers and decision trees that run after external events occur. The end user will be able to configure their workflow's through the application's UI and generate XML that the workflow runtime can consume.  This is basically how MS CRM 4.0 and SharePoint 2007 use WF.  If you are just starting on WF, Kenn Scribner's book "Windows Workflow Foundation, Step by Step" is pretty good. It comes with a PDF version of the book on a CD with code samples from all of the chapters. It covers a lot, but not everything and sometimes a Google search will find a better explanation about how some things work. I like the way Kenn described WF in terms of being kind of like an application level Biztalk.

I've also been reading through Dave Yank's new book, CRM as a Rapid Development Platform which just became available electronically on August 11th. What is interesting is that there are things that I haven't explored yet with workflow's in CRM, like creating custom activities in VS2008 to use in CRM.  Dave wrote this book with a developer in mind and provides some very interesting and useful source code that I believe most people who are already familiar with developing in CRM would benefit from. There really isn't a lot of overlap with Mike Snyder and Jim Steger's, Working with Dyanamics CRM 4.0 which tries to cover everything from basic concepts and system administration to development basics. BTW one of the perks of going to TechEd or Convergence is a copy of this book. To earn this book you need to go to a Sonoma Partner's presentation or spend some time talking with the right person about CRM in exhibition hall.

No comments: