With the release of CRM 2011 Microsoft built the IFD components (Internet Facing Deployment) using .net4 components which in itself is great. What is tough for the GP developers is that GP is still firmly rooted in .net 3.5 – and you can not call the CRM 2011 IFD components from within a .net 3.5 environment.

What this has meant is that we either need to write a middle ware solution that we can talk to from within GP that will in turn talk to the CRM components OR we had to move our interface outside of Dynamics GP completely.

We had investigated both options and determined the best solution was to move entirely to a non GP/non Dex based interface for SmartConnect. Now this is not a big leap as we had released a distinct external SmartConnect interface earlier this year. We are very excited about this development as it provides more flexibility in regards to look and feel and removes our reliance on the GP development path. For our customers and partners there is no loss in functionality at all, and the experience will be the same as you have now. You will be able to launch SmartConnect from the GP menus (which will effectively launch and external application). Everything you can do now, you will be able to do in the new release.

So while we were originally frustrated by the way this played out, we are now full of energy about what the new solution will look like. We plan to have a release available to cater for CRM 2011 IFD and Online in the next 3 weeks (limited release to those in immediate need). We will then follow this up with a general release containing a much sexier look and feel given our partners and customers a better experience.

If you are using IFD and considering an upgrade I ask you to hold on for 3 weeks, and for everyone else hold on for a bigger and better SmartConnect. I would like to say that at eOne we remain 100% committed to supporting integration with and between all deployment types of CRM, GP and Salesforce.com