Using CRM from an external website – intro

Tonight I was helping someone in the Dynamics community forums. He was looking for a way to integrate a drupal environment with Dynamics CRM. I was able to help the person by handing him a couple of links. Combining the links might result in a solution.

Helping him out, I thought of the blog posts I’ve written on integrating external systems with Dynamics CRM.
One of the few things I didn’t investigate was the way I could hookup CRM to an external website, that was exactly what the person I was helping wanted to do.

That inspired me….


In my articles (e.g. How to integrate #IoT and CRM) I focused on getting data into Dynamics CRM. In the SharePoint connector series (e.g. A better SharePoint Connector – part8: Finally!) I focused on getting data out of CRM using plug-ins.
However in real world scenarios, you might want to integrate you Dynamics CRM environment with your website. An example could be a self service portal for your customers, in which they can modify personal data like addresses.

In this series of articles I’m going to explore if I can get data into and out of Dynamics CRM using an external website. The reason I want to use an external website, is that I have to deal with authentication. Something that normally is handled when you run custom web pages in the context of CRM.

The techniques I’ll be using are going to be javascript, odata, json.
*Am I turning into a script kiddie? *


In the next articles I’m going to use the scenario below. I want to be able to read and modify data stored in CRM, by accessing CRM from an external website.
My external website is running behind a firewall and will consume the organization service from Dynamics CRM using OData.
I access the external website as an anonymous user. In the external website I will authenticate an user that will be used to access the data stored in CRM.



My goal with this series of articles is to create a generic approach for consuming CRM data from an external website that is simple to use and that will deal with the user authentication.

For now I don’t know if it will be easy to achieve. What I do know, is that I’ll be having a blast in the days to come.