Folder Based Exchange Sync for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

The Spring 15 release for Dynamics CRM Online (2015 Update 1) delivers even deeper integration with Outlook and Microsoft Exchange.

The existing Dynamics CRM connector for Outlook is still available to track emails and set regarding but there are some exciting extensions on the way!

CRM App for Outlook

Microsoft will release a new CRM app for Outlook that is installed once on Exchange Server enabling all CRM users to automatically track their emails in Microsoft Dynamics thereby removing the need to handle individual client installations.

Folder Based Tracking

Folder-based tracking enables emails to be tracked on any device by creating a folder in Exchange and linking these message to a CRM record.

Create a CRM tracking folder, use any Exchange folder under your Inbox, and drag in an incoming email message to this folder and it'll be tracked in CRM.

This attaches the email to a matching CRM contact or lead, or promotes a new record.

A simple way to achieve this is to create a generic Exchange folder e.g. 'Track in CRM' to enable quick tracking.

Individual tracked folders can also be associated with a specific record, for example this can represent with an individual customer account.

When you move a newly received email to this folder, it automatically attaches the messages in CRM. This approach is ideally suited for teams and individuals who are working with a fairly small selection of accounts, opportunities or projects enabling them to use a series of Exchange folders to files messages specific to these items.

Works with Exchange Rules

Tracked folders work with Exchange Inbox rules to automate the filing of email attachments in CRM.

For example, an Exchange Inbox rule can be set to automatically route emails from a specific domain or contact name to a folder under the inbox for this account. The folder is linked to Microsoft Dynamics to automatically file these messages in CRM.

As a result, new incoming emails from contacts are routed to the tracked email folder and in turn they'll be filed in CRM as ‘Set Regarding’ the account record.

Works with all Mail Apps on All Devices

The new folder based tracking works across any email app that supports Microsoft Exchange. No additional installation is required.

As a result, CRM users can now quickly file emails in Outlook Web Access and using mobile devices.

Configuration Requirements & Rules

• This process requires server-side sync and Exchange
• Multiple Exchange folders can be used for tracking but all must sit below the inbox
• There is a limit of 25 rules per mailbox, per user

Tracked Exchange folder rules must be enabled by a CRM administrator as shown below to associate individual Exchange folders with CRM records.

As described above a generic 'Track in CRM' (or similarly titled Exchange folder) can also be defined. In this instance a 'Regarding' record won't be set in CRM Folder Tracking Rules as all emails placed in this folder will automatically be attached to the CRM contact or lead that matches the address.

Like all the updates in the Spring '15 release this will be an Online only release for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Folder-based sync and other 2015 Update 1 enhancements will be rolled up in an Autumn 2015 release for on-premise users.