09/16/14 – For updates on this blog post – click here.

School is back in session, Labor Day is around the corner and summer will soon be over. So it’s time to start preparing for the next Wave release (code named Vega) is going to be here sooner than you know it. While no final release date has yet been announced, there are a few things users should be aware of before the weather starts cooling down.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 was released late autumn 2013 under the code name Polaris. As part of the upgrade we were given a plethora of new features – a clean new interface with a controversial tile based navigation UI. Mobile Apps were made available for smartphone and Tablet platforms including the iPad and iPhone. Business Rules and On Form Processes were a surprising and unexpected improvement, while Server Side Synchronization allowed for companies to begin phasing out the dreaded email router. Finally there were upgrade considerations to consider, including the need to rewrite CRM 4.0 compatible JScript code to cross browser compatible code.

Spring of 2014 saw the rollout of Leo for CRM Online and On Premise. This was a surprisingly full featured update to Dynamics CRM that included a plethora of new features including Server Side Synchronization for CRM Online, Social Listening (formerly NetVibes), Integration with Dynamics Marketing (formerly Marketing Pilot) and the inclusion of Social Insights powered by InsideView. The changes listed above related to integrations with CRM, however the largest set of changes to the CRM application occurred in the Case Management functionality. These improvements included

  • Case Hierarchies
  • Case Routing Rules
  • Service Level Agreements
  • Entitlements
  • Unified Service Desk
  • Integration to Parature

So, back to the fall 2014 update. Vega has been announced as a code name by Microsoft as far back as March of 2013. First the news about the different platform options for CRM On-premises users.

Users of CRM on Premise will no longer be able to use the following platforms to support their Dynamics CRM 2013 application:

  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Small Business Server (All versions)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

This will be the supported platform going forward

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • SQL Server 2012

End Users will also need to look at the software on their PCs to ensure compatibility as CRM will no longer support Internet Explorer 8 or 9. Also no longer supported will be Windows Vista and Office 2007.

There will be a few programming changes coming with Vega as well as dropping support for a long forgotten relic of CRM 2011, the read optimized form. As a matter of fact all user forms will need to be 2013 compatible – the “Information” form will no longer be supported. Finally the Kit entity will be deprecated. But will it even be missed?

Finally, the following feature updates have been leaked – It’s not much at this point, but we will continue to update you as more news comes out:

  • Offline capabilities for tablets
  • Branching logic on process flows
  • Graphic display of Organization trees
  • Rollup fields from child to parent entities.

Finally, what about the name? Upon the anticipated release timeframe we will have been using the CRM 2013 for at least nine months since the end of 2013. Will Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 be the new name for the application? One would hope, as the addition of features since the initial release date of Microsoft Dynamics 2013 is more than enough to justify a new product name.

Time will tell all of the details to come with the Vega update. As more details are released over the coming months, be certain to follow our blog or Twitter account to keep up with the latest updates.

Are you in the market for a new CRM solution or looking for ways to expand your existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM investment? If so, we’d love to talk.  Contact us here or call 1-877-373-6697.  As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Silver level partner enCloud9 is a recognized expert in deploying Marketing Solutions and Customer Service. Located in Omaha, Nebraska and Phoenix, Arizona, we serve clients throughout the United States, Canada and UK. We understand what your business challenges are and work with you to develop a strategy to successfully implement CRM and a Social Media strategy across your enterprise.