Sitefinity is a powerful content management platform that empowers website editors with easy to use tools for creating and manipulating website content. Sitefinity also provides a very mature API for developers to interact with as well as a host of Visual Studio integrated tools which make common custom development tasks a simplified process. Using these tools pavliks.com has developed a solution that integrates Sitefinity with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Aero Auctions provides auction services for everything from motorcycles to RVs. With having live auctions, with hundreds of vehicles, several times a month they needed a way to track consignment, purchase, commission and other essential information, enter Dynamics CRM. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM managing the business aspects of each auction and the relationships they have with their clients, vendors and consignors, Sitefinity is responsible for advertising and displaying the auction items to the public.
The solution uses Sitefinity’s dynamic modules, scheduled tasks and custom REST services. The primary point where data is entered is through Dynamics CRM. As a new auction is entered, users can choose when to submit the auction data to Sitefinity. The only data submitted, at this point, is the unique primary key from the Dynamics CRM system. The key is submitted via a REST service residing on the Sitefinity site, it is stored in a Sitefinity dynamic module used as a processing queue. The processing queue is the most important element of the solution as it ensures control over how much data and which systems are accessed at what frequency. Once the key is stored in the processing queue, at a specified interval, a scheduled task runs that will take the next item in line in the queue and process the item.
Item processing involves the use of the Dynamics CRM API to access the auction data within CRM, retrieving the information and inserting a content item into a dynamic auction module within Sitefinity. This auction is then automatically published within Sitefinity resulting in it being displayed on the live site for the general public.
Other aspects of the solution include the submission of auction item data and the associated images for each item. With a similar process as the auction data, auction item keys are sent to Sitefinity, queued and then processed in turn. As users of Dynamics CRM upload images for each item in their business system those images, or rather their unique keys, are also sent to Sitefinity to be uploaded to Sitefinity’s image libraries in a controlled manner through the queue.
With the flexibility of Sitefinity’s dynamic modules and the manageability of business data within Dynamics CRM and Sitefinity, integrations between the two systems provide a feasible and efficient way to provide a single point of entry for business data and have it pushed out to potential customers in a controlled, manageable format.
About the Author
Steve Webb is Senior Solution Architect at pavliks.com. Steve has been a member of the pavliks.com team for over 14 years. He is a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist in Dynamics CRM as well as a certified Sitefinity developer. Steve’s roots as a developer, his keen business acumen, and his ability to visualize solutions are key elements in his role as Senior Solution Architect at pavliks.com. Steve has been leading project teams in the creation of Dynamic CRM solutions for six years and has been leading project teams in the creation of Sitefinity solutions for eight years.