Release Announcement: Data Exchange Framework 1.3 and Dynamics CRM Connect 1.3

Today we released Data Exchange Framework 1.3 and Dynamics CRM Connect 1.3. You can read the release notes for all of the changes, but there are a couple of things we've added in direct response to customer feedback, so I wanted to call those out.

Support for reading & writing language-specific content to Sitecore items

When were building Data Exchange Framework, we wanted to create a product that could be used to synchronize ANY kind of data. So far, our focus has been on data from Dynamics CRM and Sitecore xDB. I think this shows - there's a lot of functionality available for working with data from those systems.

In order to support some of our requirements, we included some basic functionality for working with data from Sitecore items. This functionality was very basic: you could create and update items, but you could only write to the default language.

Almost immediately we got requests for the ability to read and write content to specific language-versions of items. So we included this feature in version 1.3.

Information on how to use this feature is available in the product documentation. We also put together a working example on GitHub that you can install on your Sitecore server.

Support for writing option-set values to Dynamics CRM entities

This is another feature that we always planned to deliver, but we delivered it sooner based on customer feedback.

Our original focus was making sure data from Dynamics was available to Sitecore. We also provided the ability to write data back to Dynamics, but that functionality was limited to basic data types.

This caused a problem for option-set fields (which are fields with predefined values, like enums in .NET). It was possible to write option-set values, but it wasn't very easy. So we added a feature to make it easy to write option-set values. All you need to do is identify that the field is an option-set value on the value accessor that maps to the field. Sitecore will take care of the rest.

One thing to note, though, is that in order to write a value to an option-set field, you must know the numeric value. You can't write the string value. Just keep that in mind.

Please let us know what you think of the new features, as well as other features you'd like to see added.