Server to Server configuration

 

In this series of blogs we will be covering integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the following Applications;

  • E-mail Server
  • E-mail Client
  • SharePoint
  • Excel
  • Power BI
  • One Note
  • Skype
  • Yammer
  • Office Groups

In Part-1 of this series, we will be covering Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration with: E-mail server, E-mail Client, SharePoint.

a. E-mail Server integration with CRM:

There are three options for integrating email with CRM;

  1. Server-side synchronization:The primary goal of the email integration is to allow users and queues to be able to send and receive mail in and out of the CRM environment.  Server-side integration is the recommended configuration for CRM deployments that are supported. Server-side integration allows CRM and Exchange to talk directly to each other for the integration.  There’s no additional client or server processes to run.
  2. CRM for Outlook: The CRM Outlook client requires Outlook to be running.  It requires the CRM for Outlook client to be enabled.  So it’s an add-on that goes into Outlook and allows the email integration to occur as well as it also supports the Outlook client doing the synchronization with CRM for some of the key information.
  3. E-mail router:E-mail Router has the broadest options for supported configuration. It runs as a separate server process and requires separate installation and configuration before it will work.  One thing to be aware of about the email router is it is email only.  There’s no support for task, contact or appointment synchronization.

Supported Server to Server Configurations

This image lists the current supported server-to-server configurations. If you are looking to do a hybrid deployment, for example, CRM on-premises talking to Exchange Online or CRM Online talking to Exchange on-premises, those are not currently supported with the server-to-server capabilities.

Server to Server configuration

Process for configuring server-to-server synchronization

The process for configuring server-to-server synchronization is fairly straightforward;

  1.  Enable it through the email settings.
  2. Set up the server profile, changing any options that are required,
  3. Set up the individual mailboxes for each user or queue that you want to configure.

Configuring email server to server

 1. Email Setting :  Settings -> Email Configurations -> Email Configuration Settings

In the email settings, this is where you’ll choose what processing options you want to use.  You have a choice between server synchronization and Dynamics CRM email router.

email settings

 

2. Email Server Profile:  Settings -> Email Configurations -> Email Server Profiles

The next step is establishing a new email server profile as Exchange Server or POP3 SMTP. We have selected Exchange Server.

e-mail profile

  • Select a suitable name
  • A User as an Owner of this email profile.
  • Select an option among Authenticate Using in Credentials.

Email profile Exchage server

 

3. Mailbox Configuration: Settings -> Email Configurations -> Mailboxes

  • Mailbox records are created automatically when users and queues are created.
  • Mailbox information: Give a suitable name, set the User as Owner, Enter a Valid E-mail address that has to be use.
  • Credentials: Enter e-mail address and password.
  • Synchronization method: Select the Profile that has been created earlier, Select Server side synchronization in  Incoming, Outgoing & Appointments, contacts and tasks.
  • Then they must be approved, tested and enabled to begin processing.

mailbox

 

b. Email Client Integration with CRM:

There are three different options for integrating from a client side with CRM, they are as follows;

email clients

 

1. CRM for Outlook:

This is an add-in that installs into the Microsoft Outlook product.  It allows you to not only do tasks like track and sync email, do the appointments, contacts and tasks like we talked about in the prior module, but it also lets you have full access to the CRM data.  It effectively becomes your client for interacting with CRM.  You could still, of course, go visit a web browser and get into CRM, but a lot of people like this because while they’re in their email, they can also jump over through the navigation and very quickly see a list of their accounts or contacts, opportunities or any of the other data that’s exposed.  The other key benefit that the Outlook add-in has is its ability to go completely offline.

 

CRM for Outlook

 

2. Outlook App for Outlook:

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online you can add a very light weight App for Outlook in order to track your emails, whether on Desktop computer (Windows/MAC) or Phone(Android/iPhone). You can also open and add/create CRM records directly as well as application of custom forms and business logic into Microsoft Dynamics CRM through this App.

3. Folder Tracking:

The CRM 2015 Update 1 release also added the concept of folder tracking, a new feature that allows mail clients, without having any software installed, be able to move an email from the main inbox to a specific folder and track that in CRM. To enable folder tracking go to Settings -> Email Configurations -> Email configuration settings and mark on the check box as shown in below image;

Enabling Folder Tracking

Once you’ve enabled folder tracking at the CRM system level, each user that wants to leverage it would need to configure their folder tracking rules.  They can find the configuration under the personal options email tab and look for the configure folder tracking rules.  They can set up to 25 rules that can be active.

Configuring user folder tracking-1

Configuring user folder tracking-2

 

 

c. SharePoint Integration with CRM:

The built-in integration between the two is around storing and managing documents in SharePoint document libraries and ultimately then surfacing these in the context of a CRM record. By integrating these two you can able to navigate to the associated documents without having to go to a vast SharePoint library. SharePoint also allows some collaboration by non-CRM users by sending them links of the document and for the CRM users you are able to do things with the document management features by opening in SharePoint to see the native SharePoint folder that the documents live in and use the full capabilities of SharePoint at that point.

There are really two types of integration between CRM and SharePoint, they are as follows;

  1. Client Side Integration: 
  • It is recommended for CRM On-Premises (This works with both SharePoint Online as well as SharePoint on-premises, as long as you’re version 2010 or 2013 with the specific service packs that are supported.)
  • It talks directly to SharePoint from the user’s browser.
  • It actually has a list component that the CRM team provides that uploads to SharePoint as a sandbox solution.

To Enabling Client Side Integration:

  1. Download the list component from the download center.
  2. Install into the SharePoint site collection (used for Document integration).
  3. Go into CRM’s Setting -> Document Management -> Run the setup of Document Management Wizard  (prompt you to enter into the site collection that you want to use & configure).

Architechture overvioew

 2. Server Side Integration:

  • It is recommended for CRM Online deployment. (This works with both SharePoint Online as well as SharePoint on-premises).
  • This is a little bit more robust than Client Side Integration.
  • It uses server-to-server communication between the CRM server and the SharePoint.
  • It allows CRM to surface in the grid using the native document grid that you see for any other record in CRM, the SharePoint documents.
  • When you click on an action in the document grid, CRM communicates server-to-server to complete that action.

To Enabling Server Side Integration:

  1. It is a One time Process.
  2. go to: Setting -> Document Management -> Enable Server-Based SharePoint Integration
  3. Once you’ve enabled the server side, though, it is not possible to go back to the client side.

Enabaling Server Side integration

 

 

In Part-2 from this series of blogs, I will let you know the integration process of Excel, Power BI & One Note with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. So stay tuned for the upcoming learning.

 

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