The Microsoft Dynamics CRM web services allow external resources to interact with CRM data and with the metadata that defines the specific CRM instance to which you’re connecting.
There are two web services exposed by CRM:
This is the primary web service used to access (CRUD operations) customer, sales, marketing, and service data; in addition, it exposes metadata that defines the specific “structure” of the CRM organization that you’re accessing.
This web service allows a developer to examine the possibly multiple organizations that are hosted within a single instance of CRM (multi-tenancy) to determine which is the proper organization and endpoints to use for data access.
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM web services are primarily used for building portals (allowing non-CRM users to interact with CRM data) or for allowing external applications to push or pull CRM data or for other external applications to integrate CRM data with other systems.
The primary usage of the iOrganizationService is to execute CRUD operations against CRM data; the most widely used methods of the web service, thus, are Create, Retrieve, Update and Delete. However, there is also an Execute method which provides a Request/Response system for executing platform “message” like running a workflow, assigning records to queues, deactivating records, or a wide variety of other platform operations.
Other usage of CRM web services include:
- Mobile applications
- Portal Development
- Custom CRM User Interface Development
- Data Migration
- Data Integrations
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK is the single most important resource when extending CRM’s capabilities. The SDK provides guidelines, sample code, and tools to help a developer extend CRM using the techniques (and more) covered in this chapter.
Perhaps more importantly, the SDK is the single best source of documentation around the architecture of CRM, its data model, security, and services.
You can download the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK by visiting the download page.
- Developer Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM (MSDN resource)
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK (Microsoft download)