As I revised for the MB2-715 exam (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Online Deployment) I am creating blog posts detailing all aspects of my revision. I hope these posts will aid anyone who is also revising for this exam. In this posts I will review Outlook integration.
The skills measured for integration with Outlook is shown below. It covers quite a bit! So I feel you probably need to be well prepared for questions in this area.
There are two solutions available for Outlook integration, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Outlook Client and the Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. Both are mentioned in the skills measured statement, so I will review both options in this post. You may be aware that Microsoft recently announced that the Dynamcis 365 Outlook client would be deprecated. This announcement came after the date the exam was published, we should therefore assume that questions around the Outlook Client will remain.
Dynamics 365 Outlook Client
The Dynamics 365 Outlook Client 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 Dynamics 365.
- Use Dynamics 365 email templates for emails created in Outlook.
- Allows users to work offline.
Dynamics 365 Outlook Client – System Requirements
The supported operating systems are;
- Windows 10 (64 bit and 32 bit versions)
- Windows 8.1 (64 and 32 bit versions)
- Windows 8 (64 and 32 bit versions)
- Windows 7 with 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: The 64-bit client of Dynamics 365 for Outlook is only supported on 64-bit versions of Office. For 32-bit versions of Office, the 32-bit client of Dynamics 365 for Outlook must be installed.
Internet Explorer 10 or 11 are required.
Dynamics 365 Outlook Client – Install options
Possible install options include;
- Manually – from command line
- By users being prompted within the Dynamics 365 web application
- Via Active Directory Group Policy
- Using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager
- Remote desktop
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 Dynamics 365 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.)
Dynamics 365 Outlook Client – Installing
Let’s first look at how to download and install the Outlook client. You can manually download and then install Dynamics 365 for Outlook from the Microsoft site. http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=50370
Alternatively, your used will be able to download and install directly from the ribbon bar of Dynamics 365. (As shown below)
Having selected the “Get Apps for Dynamics 365” button the user will be presented with a screen similar to the one shown below. Notice I have highlighted the option to download and install the Dynamics 365 for Outlook client.
Having selected the “Download Dynamics 365 for Outlook” button as dialog similar to the one below will be displayed. After a few seconds the download should start and the installation process will be triggered.
Before continuing you will need to accept the license agreement.
You can simply click install now to accept the default install options. Or clicking options will allow you to review / change them before continuing.
Below you can see that the options dialog allows us to decide if the offline capability should be installed. By default this isn’t enabled but can be added later if required. Additionally you can control the installation location.
After the installation has completed you will need to restart Outlook, before the configuration of Dynamics CRM for Outlook can begin.
When Outlook is restarted you will be prompted for the details of the Dynamisc 365 organization you’d like to connect with.
NOTE: If the email address in Outlook does not match the email address on the user’s Dynamics 365 record a warning will be given. Dynamics 365 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.
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 Dynamics 365 and link them (set regarding) to associated records.
In addition, you will be able to convert emails, appointments and task into opportunities, leads or cases.
It is possible to add a connection between the record and any Dynamics 365 record capable of tracking connections. (Applied to email, appointments, contacts and tasks)
When creating an email in Outlook you will be able to insert Dynamics 365 templates, knowledge base articles and sales literature.
Also, as shown below you can navigate Dynamics 365 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 entities!)
The offline feature of the Dynamics 365 for outlook client allows a user to work with Dynamics data even when disconnected from the internet. (Or company network in the case of Dynamics 365 on premise.) It can be installed when Outlook is installed initially or later.
When working off line changes to records are stored in a local Microsoft SQL Server Express database, when going back online a synchronization process updates the Dynamics 365 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.
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.
With field synchronization, admins can set the sync direction between Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 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 Dynamics 365 data available to all users. You can set the Personal Notes field for contacts in Outlook to not sync into Dynamics 365 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 Dynamics 365 for Outlook app but they are maintained by an admin user in Dynamics 365. (Via the system settings options, shown below.)
The synchronization options applies to appointment, contact, fax, letter, phone call, recurring appointment, service activity and task entities.
The sync fields are defined in the system settings of Dynamics 365, under settings, go to the synchronizations tab then select the synchronized fields option.
FYI: Appointment attachments are not synchronized by default but can be configured if required.
Note: Configuring synchronization might have an impact on the time it takes to sync between Dynamics 365 for Outlook and Dynamics 365.
You cannot add new fields or custom fields to the synchronization settings, you can only select the direction (or none) for existing fields.
You can find more information on configuration of sync fields here.
Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
The alternative approach to Outlook integration is to use the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. As the Dynamics 365 for Outlook client is to be deprecated the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook should be considered the recommended approach to Outlook integration.
The App is enabled on the server meaning no installation is required on the user’s machines. Additionally, as it operates on the server, the app is available in Outlook and also in Outlook online. You can also access via Outlook on a iPhone. (When using Exchange and Dynamics 365 online.)
The App gives improved performance over the Dynamics 365 for Outlook client. As no install is required the system administrator simply enables the Outlook App. It can then be automatically enabled for all eligible users. Eligible users will be those with a security role that grants access to the App for Outlook. (as shown below.)
The system administrator can then us the Dynamics 365 App to Outlook option, found in the Settings ares to define which users can acecss the app. Or commonly select the option to automatically app the app for all eligible users.
Below you can see the App for Outlook being used with Outlook online. Notice the Dynamics “D” logo. Clicking this will open a panel on the right hand side of the screen which lets me track an email or access the records the email is regarding.
The App for Outlook is supported with Exchange Online and Dynamics 365 online. Additionally on-premise to on-premise and mixed scenarios are all supported.
In the App for Outlook possible matches for email senders will be displayed, you can then track emails with a single click. If a sender is unknown there is an option to create new records directly from the App. (Including new accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities and cases.)
Distribution lists are also supported when matching contacts. If one of the recipients is a distribution list, contacts from within the list would be matched.
Another useful feature whilst tracking records is the ability to quickly access recently used records. You can also pin your favorites so these are always quickly accessible.
As with the Dynamics 365 for Outlook client you can access Dynamics 365 email templates, knowledge base and sales articles.
You may need to be able to compare the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and Dynamics 365 for Outlook. Some features available in Dynamics 365 for Outlook that aren’t available in the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook are listed below.
- You can’t track (or set regarding) on tasks in the Dynamics App for Outlook.
- You can’t sort, filter, format, group and categorize views in the Dynamics App for Outlook.
- You can’t create Word mail-merge documents in the Dynamics App for Outlook.
- You can’t control field synchronization in the Dynamics App for Outlook
- The Dynamics App for Outlook has no offline capability.
But the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook does work with Outlook on the web, Outlook for Mac and works with phones. (Dynamics 365 for Outlook cannot do these things.)
Supported browsers for the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook include;
- Internet Explorer 10
- Internet Explorer 11
- Microsoft Edge
- Google Chrome (latest version) on Windows
- Firefox (latest version) on Windows
- Apple Safari (version 9 or 10) on Mac or on OSX
Note: In IE10, IE11 or Edge you may need to ensure protected mode is enabled.
The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is supported on Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016 and Outlook for Mac.
Supported mobile devices include;
- Apple iPhones running iOS 8 or later.
- Android phones running Android 4.4 (KitKat), 5.0 (Lollipop), 6 (Marshmallow) or 7 (Nougat)
- Windows phones running windows 8.1. or windows 10.
You can find more details on the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook here.
I hope this post will have helped you revise the details you need to know for the MB2-715 exam around Outlook integration. We have covered quite a lot! So, as always, don’t rely on theory alone. Hands on practice is important.