Since users have control over their own CRM for Outlook personal options, the settings they choose could impact the CRM system as a whole (think: setting up automatic email tracking which can pollute your CRM database).
In this post, I’ll walk through how to prevent any issues by demonstrating two utilities for Dynamics CRM administrators that will help to centrally manage Outlook personal options and roll them out to the organization.
CRM for Outlook User Settings
Update Multiple User Settings From a Central Location
There is a great tool kit that has been developed by Tanguy Touzard called the XRMToolBox Utility. Among all the handy applications available is the CRM User Settings utility.
The utility allows you to quickly and easily update system user settings for multiple users from one central location. System Administrators can select a group of users and set attributes such as the default pane, language time zone, default calendar, records per pages etc. Of particular interest are the Email Settings, where you can specify which emails to track and whether to automatically create records in CRM.
Paying attention to tracking settings is particularly important because, if no tracking is specified, then it will be up to users to manually choose what they want to promote to CRM. It is far easier to dictate what the company wide standard is through this utility so that users know what to expect.
Here are the steps for getting going with the CRM User Settings Utility:
1. Download and extract the toolkit from https://www.xrmtoolbox.com/
2. Connect to your CRM organization using the Connection page
3. Once connected you will be able to browse the many tools available to you. Locate the User Settings Utility.
4. Select the users whose settings you wish to change
5. Identify which settings you want to specify (below you see I only want to “track emails in response to CRM email.
6. Press Update User(s) Settings.
There you have it! A great way to quickly and effectively manage those sparse user settings. This utility is compatible with CRM 2011, 2013, and the newly released CRM 2015.
Sync Filter Manager
Change Outlook Sync Filters on Behalf of End-users
There is another handy management tool within XRMToolBox called the Sync Filter Manager, originally shared here. This utility gives CRM administrators the power to create and change Outlook personal options — in this case, filters — on behalf of end users.
Specifically, the tool allows administrators to manage synchronization filters applied to the Contact and Activity entities with CRM for Outlook (i.e. Outlook filters) or data that is being synchronized offline by CRM for Outlook (i.e. Offline filters).
Using the Sync Filter Manager, you can easily plan the proper synchronization strategy and deploy the correct settings to all users in a controlled manner, instead of needing to manually configure the Outlook client or trying to get everyone to click the right options.
To administer user’s Outlook filters, open the XRMToolBox utility, connect to your organization per the steps above, and locate the Sync Filter Manager.
With This Tool, You Can Do the Following:
Identify and delete System Synchronization filters.
- These filters are applied to all users and cannot be changed.
Review, delete, define as default, and apply Synchronization Filter Templates to specific users.
- This includes both the Outlook sync templates and the Offline templates. Although the sync filters can be applied to through this utility, users can delete these particular filters if they want to.
Review, enable, disable and delete user’s synchronization filters.
- They are the filters currently in use for users and are directly responsible for what gets synced to Outlook. Users perform different functions in each organization and therefore will want to sync different CRM information. By defaulting the sync filters through this utility you at least have confidence that the filters are level set for everyone at a given time.
List out the System views associated with each entity.
- You can also create a sync rule or a sync template from a given system view from this form.
List out system users.
- This allows you to replace all synchronization rules for the selected user(s) with the organization’s default local data rules. Any user-created rules will be removed.
Even though filters are personal options to a user, they don’t necessarily have the ability to know what should be synced and the effect it could have on their Outlook. This empowers administrators to take control of this process and rollout the filters that are best suited to the organization.
CRM for Outlook Personal Options
Centrally managing CRM for Outlook personal options for multiple users can help administrations ensure that established processes and data quality are maintained. Have you developed any other strategies for centrally managing these options? We’d love to hear them.