Thursday, March 11, 2010

Siebel CRM Desktop - Hands on

The latest Fix Pack for Siebel CRM (8.1.1.2 - available for customers on My Oracle Support) includes support for Siebel CRM Desktop for Microsoft Outlook.

I couldn't help but get my hands on this as it provides a lot of features which are quite interesting.
  • Web service based integration of Outlook and Siebel CRM
  • Offline storage of Siebel CRM data
  • Ability to synchronize e-mails, contacts and calendar
  • Extensible framework
So if you want to get your hands on Siebel CRM Desktop for MS Outlook too, this is what to do:

1. Download and install Siebel CRM Fix Pack 8.1.1.2

Ensure that you install the Fix Pack on all Siebel software components, including Siebel Tools as this will fill the tools/reppatch directory with the necessary .sif and .dat files for the next steps.

2. Import repository and seed data

The ACR464.zip archive in the tools/reppatch folder contains all necessary files to update the database. Follow the instructions in the word document in the .zip file to import the .sif archives and the seed data.

The repository updates include the following:
  • Brand new S_PIM% tables to hold the CRM Desktop package information
  • UI components for the new Administration - CRM Desktop screen (which is added to most standard application object definitions)
  • Some business services and classes
  • a bunch of integration objects
  • updates to the S_EVT_ACT table and Account, Contact, Employee and other BCs and BOs
Don't forget to apply the schema changes and compile...

The seed data import creates the necessary LOV data and registers the new views with the Siebel Administrator responsibility.

BTW: In a real-life environment the procedure described in this post would be executed against a Siebel server database. However you can also run it against the sample database if you wish to have a small demo environment.

3. Upload the CRM Desktop metadata files

This step is done in the new Administration - CRM Desktop screen. After logging in as SADMIN, we should be able to locate the new screen in the sitemap. In the Metadata Files view, we have to register the java script and XML files that make up the CRM Desktop metadata. These files are located in the CRM Desktop installation folders, so we can upload them in the Metadata Files view from the following folder:


%imagedir%\ClientAncillary\Siebel_CRM_Desktop_Client\enu\Outlook\SIA (or HOR respectively).

The step is explained in the documentation and the result is as follows:


CRM Desktop metadata files uploaded and registered with the respective file type.

4. Create a test responsibility

CRM Desktop packages are associated with responsibilities to control which user groups have access to what packages. For first evaluations it is recommendable to create a test responsibility and assign the test user account to it.

5. Create a CRM Desktop package

In the Administration - CRM Desktop screen, we use the Packages view to create a new test package and associate it with the test responsibility.

The test package includes all metadata files which we previously registered. The step is described in the documentation.

6. Install the CRM Desktop client

The client side software is based on invisibleCRM's Sales Desktop for Siebel and the installer is delivered with the 8.1.1.2 Fix Pack. Before attempting to install, ensure that you have set up MS Outlook (2003 or 2007) with a default profile.

7. Set up Siebel CRM Desktop

Once MS Outlook is started, the CRM Desktop Setup Assistant is launched and guides us through the remaining setup steps. This includes the connection information to the Siebel CRM server. With a bit of tweaking (the Windows registry) you can convince CRM Desktop to connect to the Siebel Mobile Web Client (which supports inbound web services since 8.1.1.2) but this should only be done for evaluation purposes.

If you run your first evaluation against a large Siebel database or the Siebel sample database it is recommendable to set some filters to limit the amount of data to be synchronized.


The CRM Desktop Synchronization Control Panel with filters for Siebel Account data

8. Initialize local CRM Desktop data

The first synchronization downloads all necessary data to local files. After patiently waiting for completion, we can marvel at the results.

The screenshot above shows the Outlook form for Siebel CRM Contacts. We can now start modifying or creating Contacts, Accounts or Opportunities (replete with notes and attachments) or send e-mails to contacts.

CRM Desktop will synchronize all these changes to the Siebel CRM server.

In the next post, I'll describe how the synchronization works, so stay tuned.

have a nice day

@lex
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51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Alex - Does CRM Desktop interact with Microsoft Exchange server in any shape or form?

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous,

no, Siebel CRM Desktop only acts on MS Outlook local data and synchronizes it with Siebel CRM.

have a nice day

@lex

Nitin Jain said...

Hi Alex,

Thanks for sharing the info.
Just wondering, how is this tool different from the Siebel PIM Client Sync functionality available in Siebel ?

I like the UI of this tool ! ;-)

Nitin

@lex said...

Hi Nitin,

the main differences (short version) are:

1. It has a UI (in Outlook) as you say.
2. It also creates e-mail activities besides from synchronizing contacts etc.
3. It is much more flexible regarding custom extensions.

have a nice day

@lex

Anonymous said...

Hi, Alex. Do you have a similar post outlining the steps on how to install SSSE (Siebel 8.x)?

Thanks

Nitin Jain said...

"Custom Extension".. Can you elaborate a little on that part please ?

Thanks,
Nitin

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous,

SSSE installation is described fully in the Server Sync Guide in Siebel bookshelf.

SSSE setup is very complex and I have no plans to post on it.

have a nice day

@lex

@lex said...

Hi Nitin,

I am planning a post on extending Siebel CRM Desktop. Please be patient.

have a nice day

@lex

Frode Sivertsen said...

Hi Alex,

could you leave some notes on how to customize the registry for a Local /Sample demo of CRM Desktop?

I have completed the install successfully on a developer client, but connection to local webservices fail/siebel.exe crashes when starting CRM Desktop. What needs to be modified to make it work?

Best regards,
Uxoball

@lex said...

Hi Uxoball,

I think this is worth a post but here is the short version.

In regedit, go to/find My Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ORACLE\CRM Desktop and set the following

Siebel:RequestSuffix = start.swe?SWEExtSource=WebService&SWEExtCmd=Execute&UserName=[Username]&Password=[Password]

Siebel:Server = localhost

Use this post to create a script which invokes siebel.exe with the /webservice switch.

hope this helps

@lex

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex:

I had a couple of questions. Hope you can answer them.

1. As per my understanding Siebel CRM desktop and SSSE are independent products. Both use PIMSI engine but CRM Desktop is not a product that replaces SSSE.

2. Can SSSE and CRM desktop work simultaneously on a Siebel instance?

3. Do you have any information about Oracle's direcion for this product?

Have a nice day

$ands

Anonymous said...

@lex,

Is CRM deskttop also severely impacted by customizations to Action/Contact BC like for SSSE?

Sandesh

@lex said...

Hi $ands,

CRM Desktop and SSSE are completely independent and CRM Desktop does not use the PIMSI engine in any way.

It uses web services to read and write data.

I have no information if SSSE and CRM Desktop interfere with each other and I have no information at the time of writing this about Oracle's official product direction.

@lex

@lex said...

Hi Sandesh,

yes, as CRM Desktop is built on top of the standard BCs (the integration objects refer to these), there is an impact.

@lex

sandesh said...

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the info.
Really appreciate the prompt response.


$ands (a.k.a Sandesh :))

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex

I believe that CRM desktop supports attachment synchronization. However I believe it is stored as a .msg file and you cannot attach the file to the corresponding activity at Siebel side.

Do you any info about attachment sync and if outlook attachments files can be stored in Siebel as Siebel attachments?

Sandesh

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous,

the e-mail messages are stored as a single .msg file attached to the activity.

There is no OOB mechanisms (known to me) which allows extraction of the attachments to a mail message and synch them as a separate attachments.

However you can (manually) add attachments for example in the Contact form.

Have a nice day

@lex

Anonymous said...

Alex

I see that the Siebel FixPack 8.0.0.9 includes ACR 464 and instructions for preparing the server for CRM Desktop. I cannot find any information regarding CRM Desktop and 8.0.0.9 other than this, do you know if it actually works with v8.0.0.9?

Thanks

Tom

Anonymous said...

How did you import the seed data into the sample database?

Anonymous said...

How did you import the seed data into the sample database?

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous,

this is what I set in the Seed_import.bat file (the file is part of the ACR464 archive).

SET TOOLSPATH=D:\SIA81\TOOLS
SET USERNAME=SADMIN
SET PASSWORD=SADMIN
SET DATASRC="SEAW Samp Db default instance"
SET TBLOWNER=SIEBEL
SET DBPLATFORM=MSSQL

Have a nice day

@lex

Sadar said...

Hi,
Based on my testing in a sandbox envt I was able to sync only the Primary Owner data ( primary in contact team/account team). Is there a way to sync shared data also to Outlook. By shared data I mean contacts and accouns that the user is part of the Contact Team and account team ( but not as the primary ) ?

Can this be accomplished by modifying integration objects in tools or by modifying js script files on the client machine ?

Thanks
Sadar

@lex said...

Hi Sadar,

I have to put this question to the audience/reader community.

Any input is welcome on this.

Have a nice day

@lex

Satya said...

Hi Alex,

To import the seed data in Sample database i set the parameters mentioned by you in the Posts/Comments, still i am not able to run the Seed_import.bat file. Could you please help me out from this ?

Thanks

Satya.

@lex said...

Hi Satya,

do you have an error message?

@lex

Satya said...

Hi Alex,

Please ignore my last post, i have managed to import the seed data
in Sample database by mentioning the correct DATASRC ("SEAW Samp Db default instance")

I am getting an error: "Cannot access server" in the CRM Desktop Login window. What Connection information needs to be added/modified to make this work with Sample ?
I tried changing the settings in Windows Registry Editor, Set the parameters in application cfg and confirmed that the siebel.exe process is listening for Web service calls also.

Thanks

Satya.

@lex said...

Hi Satya,

you will find this post useful.

have a nice day

@lex

Anonymous said...

So what is the difference between Siebel Outlook Addin v/s CRM Desktop??

Anonymous said...

CRM Desktop is brand new product, build from scratch and based on different principles. It is not just Outlook Addin, but "melding" of CRM data and UI within native Outlook.

Here is the demo of CRM Desktop done in Larry's Ellison keynote on OpenWorld this year - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBl4KD3VNQE

Anonymous said...

where to get more technical details for the implementing CRM Desktop.like customisation and configuration.
Oracle Bookshelf is not detailed one.

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous,

you might want to check out the Siebel 8.1.x CRM Desktop for Microsoft Outlook course from Oracle University.

Have a nice day

@lex

Lance said...

Hi Sir,

I have a error when setting up CRM Desktop Client add-in, import SIF and seed data was done successfully. But when I completed installation of Client add-in, and lunch CRM Desktop, the system icon shows "CRM Desktop can not start", when I trying to obtain package again, it shows package error, I can not find out any root cause. could you tell me how to trouble shoot? Very very appreciate!

@lex said...

Hi Lance,

thanks for your comment and question. Please refer to My Oracle Support for this type of inquiry.

have a nice day

@lex

Lance said...

Hi Alex,

I fixed that issue and want to consult you one more issue. There are a lot of dump files be created under folder "dumps" when first launch outlook after installation. is that normal? over hundreds of files and consumed a lot of disk spaces. Could you give me some hint of this?

Many Thanks,
Lance

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex,

I'm just curious how you were able to know all of the initial setup/installation tasks for CRM desktop.. especially the part about the zip file and what to do with it.

Without following the steps you shared, I am totally lost if I just read the section from the guide from Oracle...

Thanks and appreciate all your help!

Dom

@lex said...

Hi Dom,

the maintenance release guide which accompanies each patch contains the instructions for installing the ACRs.

But I am glad that you find the post useful ;-)

have fun

@lex

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex,

What is the difference between downloading the patch that you mentioned and the Media Pack (Siebel Business Applications for Siebel CRM Desktop Release 8.1.1.2 Media Pack for Microsoft Windows (32-bit)) from Oracle e-delivery?

Thanks,
John

@lex said...

Hi John,

there should be no difference. It shouldn't matter where you download the patch/media pack from.

Starting from 8.1.1.2, Oracle ships the CRM Desktop installers.

have a nice day

@lex

Anonymous said...

Hello Alex,

Where can I find the CRM Desktop metadata files to import?

Help please coz I'm stuck on this step.

Thanks in advance,
Rain

@lex said...

Hi Rain,

you'll find them in the CRM Desktop installation program folder.

Have a nice day

@lex

Syed said...

Hello Guys,

We are implementing CRM Desktop. And below are some areas I am not able to figure out a fix.
1) How to synch MVG from Siebel to Outlook. Especially Address MVG(Contact) from Siebel to Outlook.

2) Are there any compatibility issues on Outlook 2007

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I have added new picklist field but list(LOV values) is not visible in the dropdown in CRM Desktop. But it correctly brings values from siebel.

What's wrong?

Nitin said...

Hi Alex,

I have a question, we are implementing the SSSE on siebel 7.7.2.12, its stated in Bookshelf that "The Secure Socket Layer protocol (SSL, which
uses URLs that start with https:) is not supported." for Configuring the IIS Web Server changes for Exchange.

However in our organization, we are using the webURL as https://

so my question is, do we have any way to Setup the SSSE on siebel 7.7.2.12 keeping the Https:// URL , if so how can we achive this.

Harish Kumar said...

Hi Alex,

Just curious, when I have tried the all steps,but I get a specific error message saying that unable to find the webservice "PIMClientMetadataService".

Do we need to provide any webservice related set up for this.if yes,please specify.

Otherwise, I have packages created,sif applied,outlook set up done,registry modified,webservice client running using command prompt etc all on 8.1.1.5

Thanks in advance
Kumar

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex,

Thanks for this post. I have tried this configuration and it is working fine except Activity and Attachment. Contact Attachment and Activity created in outlook is not getting created in Siebel. Is there any other config i need to do. I am doing this sample demo in my local using Sample Database.

Andrew said...

Syed,

1) You need to check with the Oracle CRM Desktop Admin Guide that is available at Oracle docs for some specifics. Though major customization tasks may require you to either get some training or paid engagement.

2) No compatibility issues on OL 2007 as long as you hit the requirements provided by Oracle.

Andrew said...

Anonymous ...

If some Objects don't end up in your Siebel it means that you might have some customization done on Siebel side while at the same time you're using CRM Desktop with a default package.
You should either use a vanilla Siebel for testing or make some changes to the package to reflect your Siebel specifics.

Srinivas M said...

Hi Alex,

We need to install CRM Desktop on IPAD. Can you please provide us the documentation or what are the steps we need to follow to make CRM Desktop application up & running in IPAD.

Thanks in advance.

Srinivas.

Alexander Hansal said...

Hi Srinivas,

I doubt that there is such a thing because CRM Desktop is a plug-in for MS Outlook.

have a nice day

@lex

Anonymous said...

Hello Alex. First that all, my compliments on your blog posts. They are very interesting. We have been configuring CRmDesktop for Siebel 8.0.0.12. It has been working for a Dev and QA environment. But now, in PROD whe have some issues. We have the packet published and associated with a responsability. We try to execute the First Run Assistant fro Outlook, but we face an error: Exception 'class siebel::siebel_cntr_exception' throwing: This user does not have an active package available.

I expect you could help us.

Thank you in advance

Alexander Hansal said...

Hi Anonymous,

I would check if the user is properly associated with the responsibility. Otherwise, I suggest contacting Oracle Support.

have a nice day

@lex