Dynamics CRM vs Salesforce: Part II

To follow up on my popular 1st blog Dynamics vs Salesforce: The War From the Trenches, here are some additional differences.
  • Field Auditing: SFDC only tracks change history on 20 fields per object/entity and keeps history for six months – if you want to keep history perpetually, you have to download them manually twice a year. Or, you can buy Salesforce Shield for an additional fee, which audits more fields and activities like exports. Microsoft audits all fields and keeps it as long as you want but does not audit activities that are not field changes, like export activity.
  • Configuration Auditing: SFDC tracks the history of configuration changes – who made a field and when, etc. Microsoft does not track this at all.
  • Products and Price Lists: Microsoft really shines relative to Salesforce here with CRM 2015+. Rather than enter a product line by line, screen by screen, there is a rapid-entry tool (but it’s not customizable). Microsoft also has advanced kits/bundling, alternative products, and cross-sell/up-sell prompts. But Salesforce has a tw0-click ability to email out a PDF copy of the quote.
  • Help Text: Putting mouse-hover help next to a field is inexplicably not available in Microsoft’s forms.
  • Publishing: Microsoft lets you make changes to the interface and not commit them until they’re published. This is good in some ways since it limits the impact to the production organization, but at the same time it doesn’t have much use in practice. Hitting the “publish” button also drags down the production org for 30-60 seconds while it’s processing.
  • Create It On the Fly: In Microsoft, when there’s a list of things – Contacts to choose from, email templates to add to a workflow – there’s almost always a “Create” button where you can whip it up on the fly.
  • Control over Asynchronous Processes: In Microsoft you can Cancel, Pause, Suspend, any given inflight asynchronous workflow. In Salesforce you can only do this with “Time-Based Workflow” meaning suspended processes that occur in the future; and even then you can only delete them. Also SFDC executes time-based (timeout) workflows every 15 minutes.
  • Batch Processing: Dynamics has no batch processing concept at all. There is no way to schedule a process to happen at 2am; everything has to be done in reaction to an event.
  • Web-to-lead:  native in Salesforce, if a little bare-bones.  Microsoft had it for a while – it was called “Internet Lead Capture” – and it was then withdrawn.
  • Related Lists: Salesforce related lists can’t be filtered. Meaning if you want to show related objects on a given object and specify a criteria – for example, products purchased in the last 6 months (vs all) – you can’t do it.

Analytics and Reporting

I always think of reports and analytics in terms of user, admin, developer – meaning the user has access to views and lists while using the system day-to-day; there’s a UI-based report designer best used by admins to build reports and deploy to the organization; and there’s developer reports built in an external system. Then there’s external tools like Tableau, but that’s not relevant here.
SalesforceDynamics CRM
User Reports (Views)Not great. You can’t set a default sort, column widths or pull data from related objects. And in order to be able to sort, you need to click onto a different screen.The ability to view, sort, and apply additional filters within the web app itself is pretty good, particularly when coupled with the Chart drawer. And Advanced Find is outstanding.
Admin Reports Very good. Provides lots of options, joins, grouping, summation, bucket fields, custom summary fields, etc. However users need to be cognizant of whether or not the report was recently recalculated. Report wizard is weak. It can provide some basic grouping and summation, but is largely ineffective and no one would want to present its ugly output to their boss. Generally speaking, Microsoft reports are executed at the time they’re opened.
Developer ReportsTo my knowledge this is not possible.Using SSRS, you can build and create any report you want. On-premise, it’s practically limitless. In the cloud, you’re slightly constrained by FetchXML.
  • Salesforce dashboards are recalculated on a schedule. Microsoft’s are live.
  • Microsoft only does snapshot reports on-premise with SSRS.
  • Scheduled Reports:
    • Dynamics has no capability to schedule reports in the cloud. On-premise, when coupled with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), you can email attached copies of reports on a schedule.
    • Salesforce allows users to subscribe to reports but it does not email a formatted attachment of the report – just a link back to Salesforce or in the e-mail body. It can also post a notification to Chatter and send a push notification to the Salesforce1 phone app.

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