SINCE 10th of November THE DEMO RUNNING VERSION OF ADDON NICE SERVER IS NO MORE AVAILABLE on
http://www.addonnice.com, I AM SORRY FOR THIS, WORKING TO BUILD A REPLACING SOLUTION ASAP
Addon Nice Server could look like a simple CMS as DotNetNuke or Umbraco, but its usage is wider because it relies on and extends Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.
Addon Nice takes its strength from its powerful wrapper which allows addressing CRM 3 and CRM 4 using the same API.
The wrapper's roles are multiple:
- It prevents recompiling your code as soon as you customize a CRM entity, working totally on Dynamic entities calls to the CRM Server,
- It simplifies the CRM API, allowing a more natural way of writing c# code, no needs to bother with opening the server, preparing special data structures, all is done inside the wrapper,
- It propagates the MS CRM security based on CRM users roles to its pages and modules architecture, taking care to assume the transparent authentication and authorisation whatever the CRM Server installation is (IFD, AD or Online),
- It provides a base DynEntity class from which inherit all MS CRM related entities allowing to use inherence and intellisense when extending CRM entities.
The modular approach allows combining modules to create pages which could be used directly inside an external web application or inside any CRM entity dedicated Form.
Just like SharePoint, Addon Nice Server uses 2 web sites: one for management, the other being the public view.
The whole Addon Nice Site is highly customisable with parameters for the site (and any extension), for each page and each module occurence.
With a notion of familly of modules, the parameters could be shared between several modules occurences in the same or different pages, allowing extended features not available on other CMS.
Addon Nice also defines functional package optionally installed with version checking.
Working with Addon Nice could as simple as using the (50+) existing modules, dedicated or not to CRM, but also writing your own's.
See Addon Nice running with packages Imagine CRM & ECommerce here
Base Addon Nice Modules
A package being a sum of modules bringing a dedicated functionality as ImagineCRM, @Commerce, XrmEmailing and CRMProspector available soon separately on codeplex.
Addon Nice extends the CRM security based on role to its own pages, its adds two facility roles: EveryUser and Administrator.
You will be able to create a page with visibility for everybody or limited to some CRM roles
This also apply to each module in each page where you will be able to select its visibility according the role of the current user.
You may also select which CRM role will be able to create, update or delete on a module basis.
Addon Nice supports any languages through langages assemblies, its base version contains english and french but coiuld easilly be adapted to any new language by simply translating the key/values resource files and rebuilding.
But this feature is not limited tostatics fields, Addon Nice allow managing different langages even for the dynamics fields, and even for MS CRM attributes (it stores the alternates text values in its own database and does the automatic translation on the fly).
Classic Power tools
- Page Editor,
- SiteMap/Menu Editor,
- Dynamic strings Editor,
- More than 10 Themes to change just on a clic the whole site look&Feel, easy to extend
- css compression to allow faster display,
- url rewritter to protect your site,
- full trace system which could be turned on/off from web.config using .net switches and trace directly. This provide an powerfull debug feature,
CRM power Tools
- Edit CRM SiteMap,
- Edit CRM ISV Config,
- Customize CRM Entities,
- Automatically add an 'Addon Nice created page' inside an iFrame for a dedicated CRM entity,
- Redefine some very unfriendly CRM pages: faster Order input, account/contacts hierachy, import princings from Excel, easier lookup dynaically selecting inside several entities, etc.,
- Manage language independant text values for CRM text attributes,
- Manage options for products (ECommerce module)
- Generates html pages to include in CRM iFrames, it includes all the tools to automatically extend any entity Form with an iFrame and display its pages inside.
- Presents CRM data on non IE browsers with apsx pages, it contains a lot of modules simplifying some CRM screens
- Moves data between different CRM servers, even with different versions,
- Includes external applications data through its modules and iFrames inside CRM,
- Manages rating through dedicated custom entities,
- Adds packages for managing images (repository, libraries, etc), e-commerce site, extended e-mailing, call-center call-out campaign management,
Internet Access to CRM Data
Addon Nice can be installed on the intranet using windows authentication on domain, or it may be installed as an internet front-end using Form authentication and managing its users with a dedicated Membership provider.
This last mode allows mapping external internet users to an internal CRM SystemUser with a dedicated role.
Internet users have the ability to register, their informations are directly mapped to CRM contacts or accounts.
User not registered are treated as Anonymous user, which is mapped to a dedicated CRM SystemUser with limited role (you simply adapt this from the CRM role management).
All the plumbing concerning password management follows the Membership process and API (thanks to our dedicated CRM Membership), note that its is preferable maintaining a high constraint on password content.
This feature provides controlled access to any registered user, the level of data access being managed through the CRM roles.
It allows to go further than the simple CRM 1.0 paradigm which gives a 360° view of the customer....from the company point of view.
Addon Nice allows to invert this and to allow external users changing CRM data, in a CRM 2.0 way, quite Social CRM.
Addon Nice is multi-sites and multi- CRM Server
Do notice that a single Addon Nice server is able to manage several logical sites connected to different CRM servers or the same CRM server but with different companies.
Each CRM server and its related portal are managed from the Server Management Module.
The default portal is named addonnice but you have the opportunity to manage several portals, just use the Portal Mangement Module from the Admin Menu.
Addon Nice has a modular approach just like DNN or other CMS: you add a page to your site then add modules from a large module library to this page.
Create your own modules just using inherance from the base PortalCRMModule class.
You may install an help manager which will present help pages for each module.
See the corresponding codeplex project
Addon Nice server includes a license checking feature.
This could be strange for an open-source project :) .
So I have included the license generator source code, allowing anybody to generated licenses when creating new packages.
The Addon Nice Server source code includes an unlimited license already in its licenses folder.
Addon Nice manages 2 sitemaps: Admin reserved for administrative actions like creating pages, adding modules, changing parameters, and external which is the user view of the final site.
Installing Addon Nice
was usually done with 'Advanced Installer' which was taking care to create the web site and initializing some values in web.config.
The actual implementation does not contain a dedicated documentation for a 'manual' install.
Firt step is to backup your CRM and SQL server.
Next let's say that you need to publish the project from VS and copy the generated files with same folder hierarchy to your web site folder, usually \Addonnice, mapped to the default IIS site of the server.
You must change web.config with your CRM server related informations as urls, administrator, anonymous user, etc. (see comments in Web config).
Then enter the SQL server connexion string info in web.config (the default DB name created by Addon Nice is ...addonnice).
Next step is running a browser (IE, Chrome or FF) to open your new site url, this should bring a SETUP page which will take care of creating the SQL DB nammed addonnice and the various CRM custom entities in your CRM.
MS CRM 2011 compatibility
MS CRM 2011 uses WCF and previous version simply .NET 2.0 SOAP web services, but it maintains a compatibility entry point for its web service call so most part of Addon Nice will run using this compatibility entry point.
BUT as Addon Nice uses direct XML editing to insert iFrames in the CRM Entity Form or to modify CRM navigation menus, all the modules relying on this feature no more work.
Moreover, the connection to a CRM 2011 server installed OnPremise with AD connection will be OK, but the IFD mode, CRM 2011 using Windows Identity Manager and Claims Based Identity process will not allow Addon Nice 1.0 to connect.
A project to move Addon Nice code to 2011 has beeen started but due to a lack of resources stopped at 90% of completion.
Its move under Codeplex in an Addon Nice 2.0 project will depend on the success of Addon Nice 1.0 and the building of a serious project team (send me email).
Unforntunately since 11 of november 2011, our supporting partner, Alyseo, is no more in position to host the running version of Addon Nice Server
, a new temporary site has been started but it is not based on Addon Nice Server, expecting to recover this
capacity in next months.
Thanks to them for all the support they provided during last year:
Addon Nice Server being built by french people, some documentation may be found in the Doc folder....in english but mostly in french.
Comments inside code are in english and are the main source of documentation.
Helper people to translate the string resource files in any laguage are welcome.
Addon Nice has its group in LinkedIn and its page in Facebook, places where you may also provide your comments.
Telerik license for using RadControls
Most of the Addon Nice UI are built using Telerik RadControls, with a dedicated full license I own.
As soon as you don't use their control editor assembly (Telerik.Web.UI.Design.dll not provided here) and don't create new displays with their controls, there will be no constraint.
Addon Nice supports all the classical ASP.NET controls, but care should be taken introducing new control libraries due to potential problems with the different version of the jQuery library.
I would say that buying a Telerik license is worth the cost regarding their powerful controls and all the help you get from them. Thank's Telerik support teams.
Seee the discussion about this license in corresponding page
Addon Nice has moved from a proprietary project from Addon Nice Technologies to Open Source under Apache v2, which will allow linking to any external library under a different licensing scheme.
Addon Nice uses Telerik RadControls for ASP.NET AJax for its User Interface and any professionnal usage will necessitate a valid Telerik license, you may temporarely use a Demo Version.
- In place of Telerik RadEditor, Addon Nice could use either FreetextBox or FredCk Editor to generate its pages, it is the responsability of the user to get the corresponding licenses from their authors.*
Complementary license declarations:
"Portions of RadControls for ASP.NET Ajax ©2002-2011 by Telerik Corporation. All rights reserved."
"Portions of RadControls for Silverlight ©2002-2011 by Telerik Corporation. All rights reserved."