Microsoft recently announced a new Web API for its Dynamics CRM offering. The initial announcement of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web APITrack this API introduced a preview version so developers can get their hands dirty with the new API. The goal of the API is to simplify the ability to create applications with Dynamics CRM across multiple platforms, devices and programming languages. Eventually, the new API will replace the existing SOAP and OData v2 endpoints to the apparent delight the developer community.
"If you have ever struggled to integrate Dynamics CRM with an app written in node.js, Java, Ruby, Objective-C or any other language that doesn't really do .NET WCF without jumping through hoops, then you will understand the allure of having a powerful and detailed RESTful and standard compliant API, not just with CRUD messages, but with high level complex platform support," DevBeard's Henrik wrote in a blog post. "Hopefully there will be more samples going forward, but this is an excellent start."
The new API utilizes OData v4, the OASIS standard for creating and consuming RESTful APIs. The transition to a more modern architecture should enable Microsoft to rely on the new API for future growth and development for some time to come. Further, using the new standard allows developers to build more feature-rich, sophisticated apps on top of Dynamics CRM. Additionally, utilizing the modern standard serves as an acknowledgment by Microsoft that it must adapt to non-Microsoft platforms that dominate certain areas of the market (e.g., tablets, smartphones).
While Microsoft intends the new API to replace its legacy endpoints, it will make the transition smoothly and over time. In its announcement, Microsoft assured developers that "both of [the] existing web services will be available for years to come. This will enable a gradual transition to a single Web API." To test the preview version, users must first update to Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1. Once the terms are agreed to and the API is enabled, check out the API docs to become more familiar with the features and functionality of the new API.