How To Check Email Attachment Storage Usage in Dynamics CRM Online

Email attachments are often to blame when Microsoft Dynamics storage begins to grow at an uncomfortable rate.

If left unchecked this can potentially max out your cloud storage limit preventing further changes being written to Dynamics CRM Online, or result in escalating costs for additional data storage.

Whereas most data types are available to view using the built in charting capability of Dynamics CRM, this is not immediately available for email attachments.

However using a simple CRM report, database administrators can identify which users are consuming the most storage by attaching emails with accompanying PDF's, MS Word documents and other large files.

With the certainty of knowing how CRM storage capacity is being consumed, informed decisions and policy can be made to avoid an inoperable CRM system or increasing storage expense.

Creating a usage report for Email Attachments

In the Dynamics CRM Online Report Designer, select the Report Wizard and create a new report.

In the entity selection area, choose Email Messages as the primary record type, and Email Attachments (Item) as the related record type.

Due to the large amount of CRM data that will be queried by the report, it may be necessary to introduce filters at this point.

Typically, setting a time filter of 6-12 months should provide enough information to be able to spot any patterns. Specific users can be included/excluded as required from the report.

Filters can be amended at any time when the report is run.

On the next screen, select the relevant Groupings and Columns.

In this instance we will query the Email Message File Size (bytes) and Owner so these are selected as the groupings.

Next, we need to determine which data will be plotted on the graph, in this instance we've selected File Size (Bytes).

To confirm this will be displayed as a chart the relevant option is selected to display the chart and hide the supporting data list.

Finally, choose a chart type and define the chart values.

Once the report has been defined, it can be run on-demand from the CRM reports area, as shown below:

An example of the resulting CRM report is shown below.

To control data storage, depending on the type of attachments that individual users have tracked, a database administrator could customise Dynamics CRM to only attach the email body for selected users thereby excluding attached documents.

This can be especially useful if telemarketing teams are frequently emailing PDF brochures and other standard documentation to follow-up their calls which collectively absorbs a significant chunk of your CRM Online storage capacity.

Email Attachment Usage Dashboards

CRM reports are the most robust way to analyse email attachment usage as shown above but Dynamics CRM dashboards can also be used to dynamically track this and be alerted to potential storage issues without the need to run a separate report.

To avoid dashboards timing out caused by querying high volumes of data we recommend restricting displays to a more narrow definition, for example the dashboard below aggregates email attachment sizes that greater than 128KB within the last 3 months.

We hope you finding this useful in managing and optimising your Dynamics CRM Online data storage.

RELATED: How to Use Azure Blob storage to reduce cloud storage costs