Basic elements of Dynamics CRM (By David Robertson)

Thank you for clicking on this blog post, this will be the first in a series aimed at you hitting the ground running with Dynamics CRM.

A bit about me, my name is David and I recently began working with Dynamics CRM again, after working with a few different CRM technologies for the past few years. I’ve spent the past couple of months relearning the platform (Dynamics CRM 2016) using various sources which I’ve kept in the hopes that they will be useful for others. I have recently joined CRM Boutique Free Dynamics 365 Mentoring programme as a Mentee and I'm also helping on the forums on CRM Boutique.

If you have just started working with Dynamics 365, or you’re about to, you’ve probably realised just how much functionality there is out of box and although there is a lot of information on the web, there isn’t really a central place to learn about Dynamics CRM, except for the Dynamics learning portal (DLP).

As per Mohammed’s previous post a great place to start is the Dynamics learning portal (DLP), if you’re working at a Microsoft partner you might already have access, if not and you’re an independent consultant you can sign up at .

Now, where to begin if you’re not able to access the DLP? The first thing I would recommend is you get access to either a sandbox environment or create a free on-line trial, this will allow you to experiment with Dynamics CRM and the different topics we’ll be discussing without affecting a real production instance.

The next is an overview on the basic elements of Dynamics CRM, which are:

Entities:  Entities is a type of record, for example lead, account, contact ect. For further information on entites view the following blog

Records: Records are a single instance of an entity for example lead is an entity, Mr Smith would be a record

Field: This is where you would enter the data into the system for example a lead could have a telephone number you would enter that into the telephone field in a lead

Form:  forms are the interface which allows you to enter data into the system for example a form for the lead entity would contain the lead fields which users can enter data into


Next I’d would recommend you get familiar with the three main functional areas of Dynamics CRM, which is sales, service and marketing. For an overview on the different modules click the following blog post



After that I’d recommend learning about the different deployment options which are:

On-line: Your CRM system is hosted in the cloud (Microsoft data centres), the cost is spread over a subscription module.

On-premise: your Dynamics CRM is installed on IT infrastructure, that is owned by your organisation which will allow you full control over the data base

Hybrid/Partner hosted:  Your Dynamics CRM is installed on a managed hosting partner’s server, this will allow you the control of an on-premise solution without the costs of managing the IT infrastructure

For further reading, this post by Preact explains the difference and the benefits of each.



That is all for the first blog post in this series, I hope you find the information inside useful, for those of you who are new to this site please introduce yourself here


By David Robertson

CRM Boutique Forum Administrator and Mentee on the Free Dynamics 365 Mentoring programme

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