Developer Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

If you are a developer working on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you are by now familiar with the game changer in town, Solution Framework, which allows you to extend the capability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM web application has excellent tools for creating the non-code components that are part of your solution, for instance tools to extend the schema or create new forms. However, development of code-based solution components such as Plugins, custom workflows, and UI web resources such as JavaScript, has required developers to continuously update the solution with the latest versions of these components.

The Developer Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 represents our integration with Visual Studio and is focused on accelerating the development of custom code solution components for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 solutions. Microsoft Dynamics CRM developers now have the ability to write all of their custom code from within Visual Studio by using native tools and then to automatically deploy that code to the CRM Service in the cloud or in their on-premises environment.

So what can you do with the Developer toolkit?

  • If you are familiar with VS and .NET code development, but have not dipped your feet into CRM extensibility, the toolkit would get you started in less than 10 minutes.
  • The Toolkit supports the end-to-end create, update, delete and deployment of CRM Plug-ins, Workflows (both XAML and custom workflow activities), Silverlight applications and other Web resources; including Jscript and HTML.
  • Easily generate strongly typed proxy classes without having to run CrmSvcUtil.exe.
  • Works with Dynamics CRM Online, On-premise AD and IFD deployments.

Enhancements from the CTP version that we released earlier this year include

  • Better Authentication support – Integrated Authentication for on-premise, Automatic renewal of token for other deployments.
  • Manage all aspects of plugin registration inside the toolkit (CRUD of plugin assemblies, steps)
  • Better illustration of the CRM Solution components in the CRM explorer that indicates what I am working on as part of the current VS solution.
  • Better support for dependent solutions
  • The toolkit comes with an Installer that installs the tool and its dependencies, no more registry keys or manual copy of files required!

Key Features

Native Visual Studio Integration

Plug-In Creation in 4 Steps

1. To initiate the process from the CRM Explorer window, right-click on the Entity, and then click Create Plug-in.

2. In the Create Plug-in dialog box, specify the appropriate Plug-in settings.

3. Add custom code.

4. Click on Build->Deploy menu action to build and deploy plug-in on the CRM Server.

5 If you need to edit the plug-in settings, you can do so from inside VS, notice the plugin that is part of the VS solution is highlighted.

Connect to CRM deployments seamlessly

Support for key CRM Web Resources including the Visual Studio Silverlight Application template

Familiar development surface for Dynamics CRM developers

Download and Feedback

The V1 release provides the opportunity for us to gather CRM Community feedback that we will use to provide future enhancements of the Toolkit. We look forward to your feedback and suggestions on the Toolkit and its accompanying documentation. Please provide your feedback via the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Connect site at: (select Microsoft Dynamics CRM)

More Love for Developers

I would also like to mention two other tools we recently released to enable developer success with our platform:

  • Plug-in profiler to troubleshoot plug-ins.
  • Entity Metadata Browser, which allows developers to view the entity metadata in the system.

Another great resource that has grabbed the interest of the product team is the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Development Resources” wiki page started by George Doubinski where you can find additional tools developed by the community.

What is coming next

  • We are looking at additional functionality enhancements for the toolkit that will allow bigger development teams to work together on a single solution.
  • Additional functionality enhancements for the toolkit