CRM Consulting Best Practice

MS CRM Development: coding vs no-coding solutions

I have been working with Microsoft CRM from version 1.2. As a developer, of course. The CRM development is my bread and butter, my passion and my Superhero playground.

However…

Most of the times I was getting my daily “YOU ARE A GENIUS!” brownie points for something which has nothing to do with the actual coding but more related to the problem solving and common sense. I developed (Yes, I still love that word) the healthy habit: to think no-coding first.

If you are a developer and spend most of the time programming you start to think coding and limit yourself to “coding for the sake of coding”. It’s cool if your main goal is to produce the best-looking code in the world. What if coding is just one of many tools and your main goal is to solve the problem in the best possible way?

Thinking no-coding is a good brain training exercise. It’s also the entropy reduction so it’s truly environment-friendly and Zen friendly activity.

I am giving you some reasons why you need to code for CRM:

  • You don’t understand what customer NEEDS but going with what customer WANTS.

How often do you have the customer coming to you and saying: “You know, mate, I need a new button here! I was thinking about it last week – I really need it, mate, how long do you think will it take you to build it? It’s an easy 5 minutes job! ”? Well, too often in my world. How many times you said “yes” without asking:” WHY? Why do you need that button?” The answer would surprise you: the functionality he asked for was out-of-the-box sharing or something like this. Don’t let your customer design solutions for you.

  • You don’t like to say NO (go unsupported).

Sometimes you think you have to code but in reality, all you have to do is just to explain to a customer why it’s not such a good idea to have “that grid looking sparkly with green stripes and our company logo on top”.  Talk to them consequences and costs, and timelines or talk future CRM updates and broken systems. Even if all you care about is money find a better way to get them. I believe Microsoft CRM is changed a lot from version 1.2. I remember days when the only possible way to customize CRM was via a database. It’s all different these days.  And, yes, a customer can have their logo in the top left corner and change the color of the background in CRM 2016 without using unsupported coding the which is great.

  • You don’t know what out-of-the-box CRM can do or don’t understand the CRM architecture.

Well, it’s not possible to know everything. Google it! Read, think about it more and certainly there is a possibility that you will find some existing CRM feature at the end. Always try to solve the problem using out-of-the-box CRM first then, if nothing is coming up,

  • You just need to code.

At last! There cases when you cannot avoid coding and it’s the smart way to solve the problem. If this is the best solution for everyone then go for it!

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