Microsoft Business Solutions CRM and IBM Lotus Notes Domino, being two groupware products from competing software development leaders, however could coexist within one organization computer network and even work together in collaboration. There maybe multiple reason why corporation would use both products: licensing, commitment to IBM Lotus Notes as legacy product, risk balancing – staking on both Microsoft and Java/EJB/J2EE platforms, deploying Lotus advanced workflow to automate document management, etc. The need to synchronize MS CRM and Lotus Notes Domino databases is dictated by the ERP market and the connector is available. In this small article we’ll answer on the frequently asked questions.
o Messaging. Can MS CRM use Lotus Domino instead of Microsoft Exchange? Yes. MS CRM Lotus Domino connector allows you send messages from MS CRM objects: Lead, Account, Contact and all the future object, including Sales and Service modules
o Outgoing Messaging. When Microsoft CRM send email from Account, Contact, Lead – connector takes control over and sends email through Lotus Domino server. It has Java Agent at the Lotus side and MS CRM SDK custom piece at the MS CRM side. If you compare outgoing messaging with standard MS CRM Exchange connector, then mechanism is slightly different. Microsoft CRM Exchange connector places GUID in the message header and uses this GUID to identify the object in the responding email to push it back to CRM and attach. MS CRM Lotus connector doesn’t use GUID – instead it scans MS CRM objects (Accounts, Contacts, Leads) in smart cached way
o Incoming Messages. When Lotus Domino server receives email – Java Agent side of the connector triggers checking with MS CRM if addressor email matches with any Contact, Lead or Account email. In the case of the match – email is transferred into MS CRM in the form of activity of email type. Again – please note that connector doesn’t use GUID mechanism. We found that matching is better approach and we have Microsoft CRM Exchange advanced connector – which works with matching, without standard GUID mechanism.
o Microsoft CRM & Lotus Notes Events synchronization. Future version of the connector will synchronize MS CRM and Lotus Notes objects: Calendar, Appointment, Fax, Phone Call, etc. Please, note that Lotus has different objects – we have the matching table, please check with us.
o Lotus & MS CRM Versions. Lotus should be version 6.0 or higher. The reason for this is simple – version 6.0 supports Java Agent technology. MS CRM should be 1.2 or 3.0. Lotus could work in multiple hardware & OS platforms, such as Windows Server, AS/400, etc.
o Product Pricing. It is US$3k basic pack, including 30 users and then $75 each additional user. In Europe price is proportional in Euro.
o Support. Product is installed Worldwide and supported in Europe from German office, in the USA and Canada from Houston and Chicago, in South America, Africa, Australia, Asia, New Zealand from office in Sao Paulo Brazil.
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