Dashboarding Feeds in MSCRM Part 2

Last week I looked into a quick way of dashboarding RSS Feeds in to CRM. My results which can be found here, weren’t idea and I wanted to revisit my attempt to try and do a better job again without any hardcore development. Shai kindly left me some links to look at, and after setting up a new dashboard the resulting feeds are much much better! So another weekend, another attempt and heres the difference!

 First Attempt

Dashboarding Feeds
Ugly Result

Second Attempt

Dashboarding Feeds
Better Result

As you can see the second attempt at dashboarding has produced some much better results!

In the second attempt I have used all 4 of shai’s suggestions. After looking in to the products they all seem to work in similar ways, which is you provide the link to the feed. In return, the products provide a link to your feed through their site with the selected formatting, or your CSS formatting. Awesome! That means the hardcore development I could have done to get this working is already done for me! Lets take each one in tern.

Information

Styling Feeds

Its important to note that some of these feeds can be made to look a lot nicer through CSS. Whats import for this post, is the ability to see the RSS feed within the dashboard and to be given the tag to apply CSS to the feed. So I will not be applying CSS myself but I will note down where you might want to use it.

 RSSinclude

Top Left – https://www.rssinclude.com/

This is by far my favourite product out of the four. However, unfortunately this is also the one you have to pay a yearly subscription to for more than one feed or the use of a pretty feed style. You are required to create an account and then add your feed. You can then choose a style for your feed, all of which look very nice. After that the site offers you several ways of getting the styled feed on to your site. I went with the IFrame option and placed it directly on my dashboard.

WebRSS

Top Right – http://www.webrss.com/mysite.php

This is another site that requires you to sign up for their services, of which seem to be free. Again you add your feeds to the site which provides you with ways in which you can place the styled feed on to your site. The styling on this site isn’t predefined like in RSSinclude. Here we have to alter CSS and tweak certain options on or off. For example like Show / Hide Post Date. The result I got isn’t as good as RSSinclude but with more tweaking maybe I could get it looking a lot better. The great thing about WebRSS is that you can add multiple feeds and not be charged, but don’t forget to donate if they really help you out!

bloople

Bottom Left – http://rss.bloople.net/

As you can see the result of bloople’s RSS to HTML is very basic! However, its quick and easy to set up. You don’t need to set up an account, all you do is post in your feed URL and the site returns you be another link to use. The only customisation of the feed you get is to specify how many words to display for each post and how many posts to show. If you want a nice looking feed you can spend time creating your own embedded CSS that styles the basic feed we get back. Initially I took the source of the link and placed it on to my dashboard as an IFRAME. There was a slight error with this as the feed would render some JavaScript to the screen before showing you the posts. To get around this Copied all of the tag provided and placed in to a HTML page which I set up as a web resource. From the dashboard I then added the web resource that I had created.

RSS to JavaScript

Bottom Right – http://www.rss-to-javascript.com/p/RSSRDF-Converter___138.html

The result for RSS to JavaScript is the same as bloople. Again no account is required. You simply tell the site about your feed. RSS to JavaScript does provide you with a few more options to configure your feed than bloople. The result however is completely JavaScript so to get it in a dashboard you will have to create a HTML page as a web resource that contains the JavaScript. You can then add that web resource to your dashboard. Again if you want a nice looking feed you can spend time creating your own embedded CSS that styles the basic feed we get back. The only downside I noticed about RSS to JavaScript was that it seemed a bit slower than the other sites at producing the feeds.

Information

Acknowledgements

Thank you Shai for providing links to viable solutions for displaying RSS Feeds in Dashboarding Feeds in MSCRM Part 1.

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