MS DYN CRM: Auto Send Order/Invoice to Client

I'm looking for a way in which. upon entering in a quote/order/invoice, the donor automatically gets an emailed copy (like a receipt). I've looked at workflows, but the problem is that I would also like to display the line items - similar to what you would get if you were to run a report (such as the Invoice report). The only thing I've been able to do so far is to create a workflow that emails very general information to the donor (such as the total order, etc).

We're using this in our non-profit and would like a way to send (automatically) donation receipts that include the details of each "product" ordered. For example, in addition to accepting cash donations, we also accept what's called In-Kind Donations, which basically are either time/services or products. For these types of donations, we want to list out each item/service that was donated on the receipt that will be sent to the donor.

I can run a report manually then create a PDF file, and then once again manually email the PDF file to the donor - but I am looking for something to automate this. Also, PDFs are fine, but we'd really like to include this directly into the body of the email.

Any help would be appreciated - even if its just pointing me in the right direction...
savetheorcasAsked:
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Feridun KadirPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
The first thing that comes to mind is to write a custom workflow action that generates the e-mail body. The custom action would get the line items for the quote/order/invoice and create an e-mail.  To do this will require programming skills.
If another option occurs to me I'll post again.
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savetheorcasAuthor Commented:
Any goods sites/books that you could suggest that would give me a start? I'm not really a programmer (though I did some stuff with PHP) but if I could just get a sense of what's involved and a few reference points, I might be able to piece something together.
Thanks,
Sean
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Feridun KadirPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Have you looked at the CRM SDK before? That is a good starting point.

You can download it here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=82e632a7-faf9-41e0-8ec1-a2662aae9dfb&displaylang=en

Also have a look here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd393295.aspx

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59calCommented:
if you are not keen on the Dev route, Use a piece of software called Spindle made by Draycir - this can automate the sending of emails by printing the report to a specific printer.

Look at this for an example:
http://blog.increasecrm.co.uk/2009/02/finally-easy-document-distribution-from.html 
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savetheorcasAuthor Commented:
59cal: The link doesn't seem to work on my end.
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savetheorcasAuthor Commented:
Feridun: So, would I be looking at creating a plug-in then?
Thanks,
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59calCommented:
Try this one:
http://tiny.cc/luagk 
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60CalCommented:
This link works:

http://tiny.cc/edf9u
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savetheorcasAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the updated link. The price for the solution is way beyond our budget though. I've been going over the SDK to see about tackling this problem from a programming angle, but I'm lost. I don't know if I've be looking at a custom plugin, a custom workflow or what. If someone could tell me which target to focus on (plugin or workflow) that would be somewhat helpful.
It seems to me that this should be an option from within CRM itself. Would be nice is all this could be automated via a workflow.
Whatever I figure out, I'll be sure to post back here for other people that may be searching for something similar.
 
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Feridun KadirPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I believe that you need to create a custom workflow activity.  The workflow activity will need to generate the text for the e-mail body based on the GUID of the quote/order/invoice by interrogating the quote/order/invoice to see which line items are attached and then to send the e-mail to the appropriate recipient.

You then compile the activity into an assembly and register the assembly as a plug-in and it will then be visible as a workflow action when you design a workflow in the CRM application.

Try searching for "Custom Workflow Activities" in the SDK.

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savetheorcasAuthor Commented:
Feridun,
Thanks, I was thinking I would need to build some sort of integration between the workflow and the reports (i.e., have the workflow run the report, then send that to the client). It sounds like, from what you're saying, I can do all this directly in an custom workflow.
I've never attempted to build either a custom plugin or workflow, but I have a book "Programming MS CRM" that I just got, as well as the SDK - which I'm still trying to figure out. I downloaded the SDK, but I'm not sure if I need to install it on the CRM server or what. I extracted the files to my local workstation, but it's all rather confusing.
You say "try searching for "Custom Workflow Activities" in the SDK", but all I'm seeing is a directory of folders and files. Is there an actual program or something that I need to install in order to access the search feature?
Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it.
Sean
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Feridun KadirPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
The SDK is documentationand examples. In the files double-click on crm4sdk.chm this should the documentation much like a help file. In here you'll be able to do the search.

I think you should be able to do all this in workflow. I wasn't anticipating using a report at all.


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savetheorcasAuthor Commented:
This project may be beyond my abilities. What are other users doing in order to send quotes/orders/invoices to their clients? Maybe I'm just missing something...
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59calCommented:
You could try making a word template with the info you want. If you did a mail merge, it could then send the info via email.
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Feridun KadirPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
A question: do you really want the e-mail to go out automatically?  If not, you could create a button on the toolbar of the form labelled send e-mail, pressing the button would trigger an asp web page to create the e-mail and then send it.  This shouldn't be too difficult but it wouldn't be automatic.
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