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Dynamics CRM and Outlook Contacts Interaction - Know the Rules

Post Author: Joe D365 |

It is important for every Microsoft Dynamics CRM user within an organization to understand how CRM and Outlook contacts interact.  If I delete a contact in CRM, is it deleted in Outlook?  What about editing a CRM contact, does it change my Outlook contact?  **All of the following assumes using the default Outlook Filters**

Editing in CRM – An edit made to a CRM contact will update the Outlook contact the next time CRM and Outlook sync.

Editing in Outlook – An edit made to an Outlook contact will update the CRM contact immediately.

Deleting an owned contact in CRM – Deleting a contact I own in CRM, which has synced to Outlook, will remain in my Outlook.

Deleting an Outlook contact – Deleting a contact from Outlook that has been tracked to CRM, will remain in CRM but will not sync back to Outlook.

Assigning a contact created in CRM to another user – Assigning a contact created in CRM and that synced to Outlook will remove that contact from Outlook.

Assigning a contact created in Outlook to another user – Assigning a contact created in Outlook that was tracked in CRM, will remain in Outlook and changes made in Outlook will change the CRM contact.  Changes in CRM will affect the Outlook contact as well.

This is just the beginning as to how Outlook and Dynamics CRM interact but these rules are very important when deciding how to add contacts to CRM.

Happy CRM’ing!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

13 comments on “Dynamics CRM and Outlook Contacts Interaction - Know the Rules”

  1. Thank you for the explanations. I ran into a senario where a synchronized contact was deleted in Outlook by mistake. The contact is still in CRM. But it seems that it cannot be synchronized back to Outlook. Is there a way to enforce/reset the synchronization and bring the contact back into Outlook? Thank you.
    My configuration: Dynamics CRM 2011 - Outlook 2007

    1. I was experimenting with this yesterday. If you deactivate/activate the My Outlook Contacts filter from the Outlook Filter in the Syncronization tab in CRM Options, this should re-sync all contacts you own back to your outlook. You might have to delete the "My Outlook Contacts" filter and then Restore Data Filters in More Actions to make it re-sync I can't quite remember now. Hope that helped

  2. Hi Joe,
    Is there a simpler way to import marketing lists from CRM into outlook? I am noticing that the rules will import contacts within marketing lists, but we need to retain the 100 contacts in the marketing lists in their current form.

  3. is it possible to use Microsoft Dynamics CRMs outlook capabilities with a mac, without going through a remote desktop?

  4. Joe,
    When installing CRM 2011 for outlook 2013 on an employee computer, I initiated the sync and as it updated I noticed it said "cleaning contacts" his CRM contacts were updated and I didn't pay much attention but several hours later he called me an realized some of his contacts had been deleted. I logged into outlook and there are no contacts in deleted folders. Any idea why this happened or how to reverse this? thank you.

  5. Hello,
    I have a haunting issue occurring and having a hard time finding a solution. We are using Outlook 2010 with CRM at RU 16. now the issue lies when accessing the CRM-Contacts Address book in Outlook where the contacts are not listed in Alpha order and any searches fail, however our current workaround is to use the 'more columns' radio button then search for the contact as that seems to work. I am hoping you might have some ideas on why this happens or how to correct it. At first I thought it was a windows update that broke it but it seems to impact those who are up to RU 16 but doesn't impact those still using RU14...Any ideas? I am more than happy to provide any information that you might require. I would hate to think that I need to roll back from RU 16 but it's becoming the only option.
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi - interesting issue. It does sound like a potential bug. DOes the issue occur in UR 17 too?

      1. Hi Joe,

        It was a fun issue, I can tell you that 🙂 The issue also occurred when I tested with RU 17.

        I did manage to have a person provide a solution on the dynamic community site.

        His advice was to follow this KB: support.microsoft.com/.../2691237
        And then change the setting for AddressBookMaterializedViewsEnabled value to False using OrgDBOrgSettings tool.
        Not 100% sure of future implications of changing this setting but it did fix the problem. I thought I would let you know in case you see this issue yourself.
        Thanks again!

  6. Hi Joe,

    My problem with CRM 2011 and Outlook 2010 is the following. Our company member contacts in CRM are not always up to date. Once updated/changed, I have sufficient rights do perform those changes, they are changing constantly back to the status before the change/correction. This happens sometimes after one hour and sometimes after days.

    To avoid the back-change, I created my own contacts in CRM (duplicates) where I am the owner/admin, however MY correct entered contacts are changing as well and match the already existing contacts.

    What could be the reason for that?

  7. HI - I am working as an assistant for a realtor who uses CRM. He gave me his passwords and I logged into CRM from home. I did a lot of "cleaning up" of his database and saved as I went along a few days later, all the changes were gone, none lasted. Why would that be?

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