MB2-710 – Implement Microsoft Dynamics for Outlook

As I revise for the MB2-710 exam I am creating posts covering all aspects of my revision. Hopefully collectively they may help others prepare for the MB2-710 certification. (Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Online Deployment.)

In this post I will look at Outlook.

The skills measured statement that relates to Outlook is as follows;

  • Deploy Dynamics CRM for Outlook
    • Identify supported operating systems; describe required software components; compare Dynamics CRM for Outlook versions; identify deployment methods; configure Dynamics CRM for Outlook; configure multiple organisations
  • Configure offline capabilities
    • Describe offline capabilities; identify fields that can be synchronised; describe limitations for synchronised fields; configure synchronised fields

As I create this post I will attempt to cover all of the topics implied by the skills measured statement. Personally I am guessing that we should note that configuration of offline capabilities is given a separate bullet point! Why? Well, if Microsoft have taken time to separate this out in the skills measured I think we can make a safe bet questions will come up on this topic.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook is installed on the laptop or desktop running Outlook. It provides;

  • Access to the same data / functionality shown in web client but within Outlook.
  • Capability to track (copy) emails, appointments, contacts and tasks from Outlook into CRM.
  • CRM email templates for emails created in Outlook.
  • CRM for Outlook allows users to work with CRM data offline.

System Requirements

The supported operating systems are;

  • Windows 10 (64 bit and 32 bit versions)
  • Windows 81. Or Windows 8 (64 and 32 bit versions)
  • Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (64 and 32 bit versions)
  • Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2, when running as a remote desktop services application

Support versions of Outlook are this in;

  • Office 2010,
  • Office 2013,
  • Office 2016.

Note that the 64-bit client of CRM for Outlook is only supported on 64-bit versions of Office.  For 32-bit versions of Office, the 32-bit client of CRM for Outlook must be installed.

Internet Explorer 10 or 11 is required.

The CRM 2015 CRM for Outlook will work with CRM 2016 but only in online mode.

Install options

Possible install options include;

  • Manually,
  • By users being prompted with the CRM web application,
  • By command line,
  • Via Active Directory Group Policy,
  • Using Microsoft System Cneter Configuration Manager,
  • Using 3rd party tools.

I will show you the manual method of installing the Outlook client, which requires local admin rights.  But if you are installing on several computers, installing using the command line can save time.

Alternatively, the Group policy feature of Active Directory can be used for software installation.  Software can be automatically installed or made available for manual installation.  The benefits of using group policy is that users do not require local administrative rights on the computer to install software made available by group policy.

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager is a tool for managing PCs and servers and keeping software up to date.  It can be used to deploy CRM for Outlook.  And there are third-party tools that provide features similar to System Center Configuration Manager.

Depending on your system settings your users may be prompted from within the CRM web application to download the outlook client. This feature can be turned on / off by the system administrator as required. (See the outlook tab in system settings shown below.)


Manually Installing the Outlook Client

Let’s first look at how to download and manually install the Outlook client.

You can download Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 from the Microsoft site. http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=50370


Having selected the download button, you will need to opt for the 32 or 64 bit version of the client. (Or download both!)


After a short pause you can run or save the downloaded application. It will first extract the install files you will then be asked to accept the license agreement.


You can then start the install process.



After the installation process has completed, you will need to restart Outlook. When you restart Outlook it will prompt for detail of a CRM organization. If you are installing for CRM on premise you would enter the url for you CRM server. Alternatively, you can select “CRM Online”, as shown below.


If you selected the CRM Online option, then you’ll be prompted for your credentials.


NOTE: If the email address in Outlook does not match the email address on the user’s CRM record a warning will be given.  CRM for Outlook can display information from more than one CRM organization. (on-premise or online!)  To add more organizations, run the configuration wizard again.  However, only one organization can be the synchronizing organization.  This means for non-synchronizing organizations the ability to go offline is not available and there is no synchronization with Outlook items. You can only track emails, appointments and contacts into the synchronizing organization.

If you have more than one CRM instance available, then the configuration wizard will also prompt for confirmation of which instance to connect with.

Now there will be a pause whilst “things” are setup.


Outlook Features

Once the CRM Outlook client has been configured you will have some additional toolbar buttons when working with emails, appointments and tasks. These give the ability to track Outlook records directly into CRM and link them (set regarding) to associated CRM records.


In addition, you will be able to convert emails, appointments and task into CRM opportunities, leads or cases.

It is possible to add a connection between the record and any CRM record capable of tracking connections. (Applied to email, appointments, contacts and tasks)

When creating an email in Outlook you will be able to insert CRM templates, CRM knowledge base articles and CRM sales literature.

Also, as shown below you can navigate CRM entities directly in Outlook. As shown below. Also notice that the account entity has been enabled for Outlook preview. (As option available to developers when customizing CRM.)


Offline Capability

The offline feature of the CRM outlook client allows a user to work with CRM data even when disconnected from the internet. (Or company network in the case of CRM on premise.) It can be installed when Outlook is installed initially or later.

When working off line change to records are stored in a local Microsoft SQL Server Express database, when going back online a synchronization process updates the CRM server.

The size of the local database is kept manageable, as only records that the user specifies to be available offline are copied to the local database. This is achieved using synchronization data filters.

Note:
I have previously covered the Outlook client in another blog post as I prepared for the MB2-713 certification. You can view that post here.

Sync Fields

With field synchronization, admins can set the sync direction between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook fields. You can control synchronization when using either Outlook synchronization or server-side synchronization (Exchange).

For example, a salesperson may want to take personal notes about a contact and not want the notes to synchronize with CRM data available to all users. You can set the Personal Notes field for contacts in Outlook to not Dynamics CRM for Outlook with CRM so the salesperson’s notes will remain private.

Outlook client synchronization works with server-side sync. It does not work with the email router.

Users can see the field level sync settings in the CRM for Outlook app but they are maintained by a admin user in CRM.

The sync fields are defined in the CRM web application. In CRM, under settings, go to email configuration. Then with email configuration settings select the field level synchronization tab.


Note: Configuring synchronization might have an impact on the time it takes to sync between Dynamics CRM for Outlook and CRM.

You can find more information on configuration of sync fields here.

I hope this post will have helped you revise the details you need to know for the MB2-710 exam around Outlook. As always, don’t rely on theory alone. Hands on practice is important.
J

2 thoughts on “MB2-710 – Implement Microsoft Dynamics for Outlook

  1. Pingback: MB2-710 – Email Processing Options | Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Unified Service Desk

  2. Pingback: MB2-710 – Complete Revision Guide | Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Unified Service Desk

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