I am a strong believer that the user interface and user experience of any application has to be at the top of any requirements list and is a major factor in any successful CRM project or product. People are visual and from a demo perspective it is not the complex workflow that you built that they are going to remember it’s the pretty chart that you showed at the end.

The out of the box Microsoft Dynamics CRM charting and dashboards are really good, however at the moment I’m very excited about some of the charts and components being delivered by some our partners. I’ve used a number of these tools in the past and my current favourite (from a look and feel perspective) is ComponentArt. Below is a screenshot of their sales dashboard:

componentart

Not only does it look nice but it is fully interactive. The screenshot above is from my surface but they have dashboards and chart components for WPF, Silverlight, HTML5 and .NET). You can download the W8 app and get the above chart and many others from the windows store. Click here to open the store or here to go to their website.

My second favourite chart (did I really just say that!?)  is the Team Calendar chart from Telerik. I’ve used this in one of my products before and it works very well:

tekerik calendar

You can see the above calendar demo in action here. By the way they call this Schedule View not Calendar).  Tekerik have chart components for W8 WPF, Silverlight, HTML5 and .NET). Telerik also have a great Windows 8 application prototyping tool (AppMock)but that is for another post.

UI Chart and components worth a look are:

Do you have any recommendations? Have you built something using the above tools or something similar? I’d love to know if you have.

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Next week on Mark Margolis’s Blog: Power View & Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011