Synchronize CRM Online Data with Skyvia

I just discovered an interesting tool, thought I’d share a quick review.

Skyvia is a cloud data integration solution. It has connectors to a few data sources and is able to move data from one cloud based source to another based on configuration and schedule. Oh I forgot to mention, it’s FREE J

As a test, I configured it to connect to my Dynamics CRM Online sandbox organization and my Zoho CRM organization:

Once my connections are created and validated, I create and design a package to transfer contacts from Dynamics CRM Online to Zoho CRM:

As you can see on the screenshot above, Skyvia gives you the ability to create synchronization tasks (1) and also to schedule the execution your packages (2). The package can also be ran manually.

The tool can be very handy especially if you have simple synchronization needs between CRM and other systems. The supported data sources are Dynamics CRM Online, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, Salesforce.com, Zoho CRM, Sugar CRM. Obviously such a tool does not replace the need for more complete and mature data integration products such as Scribe and SSIS connectors, but it provides an easy way to achieve simple data integration between multiple cloud based systems. Works perfectly for me demos! And it’s free (at least for now).

CRM Online & SharePoint Online Integration

I was given an interesting task: integrate CRM Online with SharePoint Online (the native integration). Usually, it’s straight forward…

You have a few steps from a CRM/SharePoint perspective:

  • Download and install the CRM 2011 List Component for SharePoint (available for SP 2010 and 2013)
  • Configure SharePoint Sites in CRM (add your SharePoint site)
  • Configure CRM entities and add “Document Locations”

In fact, it’s so easy to setup that I think it’s crazy to have a document management system other than SharePoint if you want to integrate with Dynamics CRM… but that’s beside my point J.

Back on track, there are plenty of CRM/SharePoint environment setup scenarios (e.g. CRM Online & SharePoint On-Premise; CRM On-Premise & SP Online etc.). I am focusing on CRM Online and SharePoint Online.

In order for the integration to work smoothly, your SharePoint and CRM Online subscriptions should be part of the same Office 365 subscription. The reason for that is that authentication will be done through the same token(s). This makes sense, you log in once and have access to all Office 365 applications. In our case, the problem is Office 365 only recently added CRM Online and in our case, our instance hasn’t been migrated to our Office 365 subscription yet. How do we do integration then?

When some of the system users log on to CRM Online and try to view documents, this is what they get:

In order to make it work, all they need to do is connect to their Office 365 account in the same browser. Then they can simply refresh the Account form and navigate to the documents grid again. The Office 365 authentication token in the browser session will be used when the SharePoint document list in being displayed in the CRM frame.

Of course, in order to setup the integration, you need to be connected to Office 365 as well. The error above is something that end users will see and conclude that something is not working. It is important to find a way to let them know all they need to do is connect to Office 365. As for you CRM Admins, keep the faith and wait until your CRM Organizations get migrated to Office 365…

Cheers