Simple Automatic Trello Card Creation Using Dynamics CRM Workflow

Jeff WightBusiness Solutions Manager
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Automatically creating a Trello card using data from a Microsoft Dynamics CRM record turned out to be an easy project that yielded great results.  Here's how I did this for an internal team at General Code.

Back Story


At General Code, we have a small team that creates sales proposals.  Requests for proposals are submitted to the proposal team from individual sales people using tasks in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Once the task is assigned, the proposal team manages the proposal generation workflow, including any collaboration with other people in the organization using Trello. 

Trello is a great tool to help manage projects and has grown in popularity. It has a highly visual interface that allows users to organize information by creating/listing 'Cards' on a 'Trello Board'. This Article is about automating the card creation process and assumes you are already using Trello. 

Prior to implementing the solution described below, the team was manually creating Trello cards for each assigned proposal task.  Team members involved in the proposal generation were tagged using Trello @mentions, a brief synopsis of the task was re-keyed in Trello, and a link back to the task record in CRM was added.  This worked, but was a manual process that required some effort to accomplish.  
 

Solution


A quick search on how to automatically generate Trello cards yielded this Trello blog post about Trello's email-to-board functionality.  I created a simple CRM workflow that leverages the functionality described in the blog post to create a Trello card automatically whenever a proposal-request task is assigned.  The workflow-generated email in CRM is formatted like this:
 

EMail-Activity.png
  • The message is sent to our unique email-to-board email address, which can be found in the Trello board settings.
  • Trello uses the email subject as the name of the Trello card.  To make the card identifiable and the name relevant, I used the name of the opportunity record that the task was set regarding.
  • The email body becomes the Trello card body.  I added slugs for the relevant data from the task that users were previously re-keying in Trello. 
  • To create a link in the Trello card back to the CRM task, I used the dynamic record URL slug that was introduced in CRM 2011.  When Trello creates the card from the email message, it preserves the link so users are able to open the card in Trello and then navigate directly to the CRM task.
  • Trello converts recognized @userids into @mentions when they are listed in the email body on their own lines.  In addition to static @mentions that are added to every card for managers and supervisors, I created dynamic @mentions for CRM users associated with the task.  To make this work, I added a custom field to the system user entity that stores that user's Trello @user id.  The workflow email includes this field for the task creator and task owner in the email body.

The result in Trello looks like this:
Trello-Card.pngWe are using an on premise installation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, but I think this same approach would work for CRM 2011/2013 and online.


Quirks


  • Since the Trello card title comes from the subject of the email, and the workflow email sent from CRM has a tracking token, the Trello card ends up with the tracking token in the title. 
  • The URL back to the task generated using the Record URL(Dynamic) slug creates a link using the IFD CRM url.  For users who are currently on the company network, we plan to use the solution described here to simplify the login process when clicking those links in Trello.

If you have a need to generate a Trello card using Microsoft Dynamics CRM data, hopefully you found this small write-up helpful.  It was fairly easy to set up, but the results were much appreciated by users.
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Jeff WightBusiness Solutions Manager

Comments (2)

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Commented:
Good One , got an idea about Trello.
Voted as Good Article :)
Feridun KadirPrincipal Consultant
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Commented:
Interesting idea and a good tip for other users of Trello. This should work in CRM 2011/2013 and Online too.

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