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Bringing multiple SharePoint Sites together in Dynamics

   Words by Paul McQuillan

   on 20/12/2018 17:00:00

DocMan can be used to bring multiple SharePoint Sites together within Dynamics 365.

This can be useful for integrating existing SharePoint Sites into Dynamics, and controlling which Entities or Business Units then use different Sites.

If we take the scenario where we have an existing SharePoint Site for storing Legal Documents, plus a second SharePoint Site tracking Documents by Client Accounts, then we may want our integration from Dynamics to SharePoint to be intelligent to show Documents from the right Site at the right time.

To do this, we would:

(1) SharePoint Sites - First, browse into the SharePoint Sites area of Dynamics within Settings:

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Browsing to the SharePoint Sites area of Document Management in Dynamics

(2) Add a New SharePoint Site - This presents the list of SharePoint Sites that we have connected to Dynamics – here, we can add new Sites and specify the Absolute URL for the SharePoint Site we want Dynamics to communicate with.

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Creating a new SharePoint Site in Dynamics 365

Typically this would define a new Site within Dynamics, but this would not normally be connected to any of the integration between Dynamics and SharePoint.

However we can use this SharePoint Site in our DocMan Configuration Rules to start specifying which Entities in CRM use which Site.

(3) DocMan Configuration - To do this, we browse to the DocMan Configuration Area in Dynamics.

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The DocMan Configuration Area in Dynamics

Here we can view the list of Configuration Detail by CRM Entity and drill down into the Entity we want to define our Rules for.

In this example, we will drill down into the Product Entity to define that this Entity in Dynamics will use our secondary SharePoint Site.

(4) Entity Configuration in DocMan - Within the Configuration for the Entity, we have the configuration for the Dynamic Map, Bucket Map, Parent Map and at the top level, the Site Map.

These Maps control the resulting SharePoint Document Location that will be used or created for each Product Record in Dynamics.

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Building the Rules for an Entity in DocMan

The rules for how Dynamic, Bucket and Parent Maps work are best described here – we will focus on the Site Map element.

This Mapping controls which SharePoint Site from our list of Sites will be used for this Entity in Dynamics.

(5) Site Map Configuration in DocMan – We can drill down into the Mapping to review the settings.

For a Site Map, this can be easily configured with:

Section Field Description Suggested Value
General Name Useful Name for the Mapping to act as a Comment for other DocMan Configurators Use Knowledgebase Site
General Map Type Whether to have a fixed state or read a value from CRM? Fixed Value
General Location Type The Type of logic we are asking of DocMan for the Mapping Site
Match to CRM SharePoint Site The SharePoint Site to use (from our list of Sites in Dynamics) CRMCS Knowledge

This mainly allows to pick which SharePoint Site we want Dynamics to link in with for that particular Entity.

So we can define that our Product Entity in Dynamics will use the CRMCS Knowledge SharePoint Site to store, upload and manage Documents.

In most cases we can leave this Site Map blank and this will instruct DocMan to use the Default Site we have setup for Dynamics, but in some cases when working with SharePoint, we will want to use this Site Map to point Dynamics at different areas of SharePoint depending on the Entity, Business Unit or other Condition.

(6) Test it! – With this in place, we can browse to a Record of that Entity in Dynamics and see how the Documents List is coming from the chosen SharePoint Site instead of the Default SharePoint Site.

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Viewing the List of Documents in Dynamics, showing the Documents from the selected Site

We can most visibly see this when clicking the LOCATION button to navigate directly into the intended SharePoint Location and Site.

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Drilling down into SharePoint itself

This ability to link multiple SharePoint Sites (and even Servers!) together in Dynamics can then be a useful feature – particularly in making more complex SharePoint Topologies or Security easier for the User to work with in Dynamics.

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