Outlook CRM client synchronisation explained
May 17, 2010
Outlook synchronisation white paper
Another recent find was this page with a link to a pdf file “nuts and bolts” white paper about Outlook synchronisation. This covers the basic concepts effectively, but also drills down into some of the details about how and when exactly the synch process takes place (some things are effectively immediate, others are queued up) This helps answer those peculiar edge-case questions which come up from time to time about what happens if you create a record here, update it there, share it to someone else then delete the original, or mark it as complete, or some other strange scenario. For example:
An E-mail that is deleted in Outlook will not be deleted in CRM at the next Outlook Sync
An E-mail that is untracked in Outlook will be deleted in CRM at the next Outlook Sync if the user designates
So you can track an email into CRM then delete the copy to keep your mail file size down, and the deletion does not “propagate” to CRM. It is this sort of behaviour which makes perfect sense when you think about the implications, but calling the process “synchronisation” seems to confuse many users as they expect that to mean “keep both copies entirely identical”.
Similarly this table explains what happens when you (or someone else deletes something in CRM which is linked to an item in Outlook:
|Entity||Behaviour after deletion in CRM|
|Contacts||A Contact that is deleted in CRM will be deleted in Outlook at the next Outlook synchronization if the Outlook user is not the CRM Owner of the Contact. If the user is the owner in CRM, then the Outlook contact will be unlinked after synchronization.|
|Appointments||An Appointment that is deleted in CRM will be deleted in Outlook at the next Outlook Sync if the Appointment Start Time is in the future.|
|Tasks||A Task that is deleted in CRM will be deleted in Outlook at the next Outlook Sync if the Task has not been completed.|
|E-mails||An E-mail that is deleted in CRM will not be deleted in Outlook.|
The distinction between synchronised Contacts I own or do not, Appointments in the future or the past, Tasks which are open or completed, all these details matter in real-word implementations. This document is definitely worth a read, then keep a copy handy for when you need the definitive answer for an awkward situation.