Microsoft just released a new 19-page Release Preview Guide for the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 (on-premises) and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13. Read on for a summary and link to download the guide!

User Experience Redesign

CRM has a new, flatter look that is more “fast and fluid.” No more pop-ups and flipping back and forth from windows. The whole thing has been redesigned with efficiency and productivity in mind. It even has a new (much needed) streamlined navigation experience that drops down from the top of the screen allowing fast access to common records. New “Quick Create” and “Quick View” options for records allow faster entry and lookup by putting commonly used key fields at the forefront.

Process Improvements

A revised business process model takes CRM from a transactional system to a more business process-centric, guided user experience. The new configuration processes help you define and run your company’s processes in a step-by-step wizard fashion… and processes can span multiple entities seamlessly! Processes can also be role-specific to meet the needs of different types of users.

Mobility

CRM is going full-blown mobile with new applications for Windows 8 and iPad tablets. The new native mobile apps support dashboards and other common functions so you can stay up to date while you’re on the go. Caching keeps your data available for offline viewing without a connection. Client-side logic is supported on mobile, and configuration changes are automatically optimized for touch on mobile devices. A more fluid layout (Microsoft calls it “liquid layout”) optimizes the web experience on tablets in various screen sizes, shapes and orientations.

New phone apps for Windows 8, Android and iPhones are coming soon after the launch of CRM 2013. They will allow access to common entity records and interact with your phone using native device capabilities. Basically, this looks like the next generation of Mobile Express.

Integration

New Yammer integration manages your comments on CRM activity and contextual conversation, extending even to Yammer users who are not licensed CRM users. New synchronization options for both Exchange and non-Exchange email systems will be rolled out following initial launch of CRM 2013. Lync and Skype both benefit from better integration and automatic activity creation where possible. Of course, CRM 2013 will work great with Microsoft Office 2013, enhancing the experience with contextual lookups and import/export of data.

Control

If you’re a CRM Online administrator, you will be able to schedule when updates are applied to your environment. New Business Rules allow for better control over forms, adding common validation options that previously required JavaScript coding. Access Teams allow even more granular access to specific records, providing a better way to share record access with common team members. Real-time workflows enable synchronous processing of workflow processes, opening up some possibilities previously restricted to plugins. Forms now have an auto-save option, but don’t worry, you can disable it if you want!

Development

If you’re a developer, you can now modify the out-of-box workflow Actions to override default business processes. And here’s the big bomb: Authenticated through OAuth, extended apps can now use either the SOAP or REST OData endpoint outside of pre-authenticated web resources!

Download the Guide

Download the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Release Preview Guide

What new features are you most excited about in the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013?

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