The essentials of testing a customized Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a full-scale clients` relations system. The system combines the features of operational, collaborative and analytical CRM. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM companies successfully face a great number of clients` relations management issues.
3 April 2014
CRM testing
The article by Svetlana Pravdina

One of Microsoft’s flagship products, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a full-scale customer relationship management system. It can be successfully adopted by various departments such as sales, marketing and operations to get an in-depth visibility into the state of both the sales funnel and the customer base in general. This is made possible as tthe system combines operational, collaborative and analytical features, all with dedicated dashboards and flexible user rights.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, both B2C and B2B companies can successfully solve a number of business-critical tasks and improve its relations with customers at every stage of their lifecycle. Among such tasks, there are the following:

  • creating and keeping a unified customer base with complete data on the history of customer interactions and communication
  • sales automation, including updates of customer records
  • management of marketing and customer service
  • data analysis and reporting

The Dynamics CRM platform can be easily adjusted to different business needs, as its out-of-the-box, basic functionality is customizable and expandable. Though this requires professional help of CRM customization consultants, the efforts pay off with having a more flexible, user-friendly, and relevant system that’s tailored precisely to the company’s needs.

In technical terms, customization includes the following. The administration module can be expanded with new entities, or the current ones can be changedor retargeted. Apart from that, in the CRM you can develop all the necessary views and forms, as well as set up the Workflow for every entity. Using CRM plugins, you can expand basic system functions, develop new ones or integrate with some sub-systems.

On the whole, it’s possible to customize your CRM by developing the following on top of it:

  • entities, attributes, forms, views, basic functions
  • plug-ins, business processes, ASPX-pages, reports, add-ons

When it comes to QA outsourcing as part of the customization project, here’s our list of tips to help you on the way.

What you need to know before testing your CRM

The standard, out-of-the-box functionality of Dynamics CRM comes in 24 languages, which simplifies localization testing considerably. It means that when customizing the system, only newly developed or configured functionality need to pass localization tests.

When localizing the customized part of CRM, testing engineers usually check forms and views, customized entities and/or fields, control elements, plug-in functionality, functional updates made on JavaScript (messages, additional webpages) and custom reports.

Localization testing is not the only one necessary, however. Running functional and GUI tests is important to check and validate how correct the current functionality was developed, regardless of whether it is basic or customized. The results that you get at this stage will define the overall testing plan.

Keep in mind that in a customized CRM, the largest part of the functionality is likely to come pre-checked. This means that you’re left with testing only the newly added and customized part, which usually have to do with entities, attributes, and fields. Often, there is no need ito validate new fields as the control elements acquire the standard features according to the data type.

For the newly developed functionality, which is alsoto be thoroughly tested, the testing requirements are similar to the ones for the customized functionality. Along with that, all the forms, windows, control elements and other important items, which were developed separately and added to the CRM via JavaScript or other plugins,toned to get through the full-scale check. Otherwise, the time spent on customizing your customer relationship management system won`t bring you much value.


Having a well-functioning and tailored CRM system is often the staple of a successful business. Yet, buying off-the-shelf products may be limiting for your organization if you want to improve business processes in your sales and marketing department. To ensure the system addresses your urgent needs, customization of a CRM platform is frequently the solution to this, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not an exception.

In the article above, we’ve outlined major areas of focus when testing the customized solution. Hopefully, you’ll use them when localizing your platform, as well as when testing its functionality and user interface.

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