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Applies To: CRM 2016 on-prem, CRM Online

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 (on-premises) provides many options to achieve the results you need. But how can you jump in and get started? This topic contains information about some specific key tasks and how you can accomplish them. You’ll get guidance at a high level with directions to where you can find the details you need.

If you just want to get an environment to start learning with, the easiest approach is to sign up for a 30-day free trial on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

If you’re looking for something more long term, or you specifically want to use the on-premises version, you can download the on-premises Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2016. During Setup, you have the option to supply a commercial key, or you can use one of the product keys listed on the download page for a 90 day free trial.

If you have an MSDN subscription, you can download Microsoft Dynamics CRM (on-premises) server software and access static activation keys that can be used for any number of installations.

In the Tutorials and resources for learning about development for Microsoft Dynamics CRM topic you can find information about several “quick start” samples included in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK as well as links to other resources to help you learn to program with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you create entities that include the database tables. You create attributes in those entities that correspond to fields in the application. These entities and attributes are core parts of the platform metadata. You don’t need to write code to do this. You can find instructions about how to create entities and attributes at TechNet: Create and edit metadata. If you need to create entities and attributes programmatically, you can find information in The metadata and data models in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Another place to look is Introduction to entities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications are all about improving efficiency by automating business processes. Understanding the different ways to do this can help you choose the right option for your requirement. The following are options available to you:


There are several different types of processes that you can configure in the application without writing code. More information: TechNet: Create and edit processes

If you find that you need to create processes programmatically or want to extend what processes can do, be aware that developers refer to processes as workflows because the entity that they use is the Workflow entity and the workflows are based on the Windows Workflow Foundation programming model. Learn more about what you can do with workflows at Write workflows to automate business processes.

Business rules

If you’re looking for an easy declarative way to consistently evaluate the business logic on both client and server, without the need to write code, you’ll want to explore business rules. The client-side logic evaluation is more immediate because it’is performed when you open and update the record form, while the server-side provides consistent logic evaluation on the server. More information: TechNet: Create and edit business rules

One of the great things about business rules is that they can be evaluated on the client and provide a very responsive experience. But business rules have some limitations. If you can’t achieve what you need with business rules, you can write JavaScript that will respond to events in forms. More information: Write scripts for forms


A plug-in is custom business logic that you can integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to modify or augment the standard behavior of the platform. Plug-ins are event handlers since they are registered to execute in response to a particular event being fired by the platform. They provide a way to examine and transform the data passed through the platform operations and initiate additional operations. Plug-ins operate at the deepest level and provide the most robust way to automate business processes regardless of whether they originate from one of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications, a custom client, data migration, or integration with another system. More information:Write plug-ins to extend business processes

Form scripts provide a way to automate business processes, ensure data entered is valid, or just improve people’s experience when working in forms. Form scripts are written in JavaScript and are added to Microsoft Dynamics CRM as web resources. You can learn more about how to create web resources in the application at TechNet: Create and edit web resources. For more detailed information, see Web resources for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Form scripts respond to events in the form. You can configure event handlers for many form events in the application using the form editor. To learn how to do that see TechNet: Use the form editor : Configure event handlers. Detailed information for form script developers is in Write code for Microsoft Dynamics CRM forms. For information about the events and the object model used when writing forms, see the Client-side programming reference.

Write mobile and modern apps contains information to get you started and links to additional content for mobile app development on the Mobile SDK.

XRM tooling is a set of APIs built on top of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK assembly APIs (Organization service and Discovery Service) that provide support for building Windows client applications for CRM. More information:Build Windows client applications using the XRM tools

Unified Service Desk for Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides a configurable framework for quickly building applications for call centers so that customer service representatives can get a unified view of the customer data stored in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You can aggregate customer information from different areas in CRM into an integrated desktop that provides a 360° view of the customer interactions. This gives your customer service reps immediate access to business critical information so they can quickly engage with customers and address queries and issues. More information:TechNet: Administration Guide for Unified Service Desk 2.0 and Unified Service Desk 2.0 Developer Guide

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 and CRM Online

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