The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook was released in 2016 as a new way to sync data between Dynamics 365 (CRM) and Outlook. The application has evolved over time and has made some improvements. However, there are still issues that you may run into while using the application. We will address of few of the obvious items to check to help resolve these issues.
Before you deploy the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, I would recommend that you read through the "Deploy Dynamics 365 App for Outlook" article from Microsoft. Afterwards, you will need to check the Security Role(s) of the user(s). You will need to log into Dynamics 365 (CRM) as an administrator and navigate to "Settings/Security/Security Roles" and select the appropriate role. Next, check that the following options are set.
Security Role Areas to Check
You will need to check that Users have read/write privileges for the following areas.
- Business Management tab:
- The security role should have User or higher settings.
- Customization tab:
- System Application Metadata
- System Form
- User Application Metadata
- Set the privileges for a security role
- In the Privacy Related Privileges section:
- Verify that Use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is set to Organization. If not, click Use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.
Sometimes you may encounter an error message such as "We’re unable to connect to your Microsoft Dynamics 365 server". There are other miscellaneous errors that can appear, but going through the below items typically clears up the issues.
Clearing the Cache
The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook relies on Internet Explorer (IE) to render the panel that appears in Outlook. A majority of the issues I have encountered can be resolved by clearing the IE cache.
Open Internet Explorer (IE) and click on "Tools/Delete Browsing History". After the pop-up window appears put a checkmark next to all the options except for "Passwords" and "Tracking Protection". Next, click on "Delete". A small notification message will appear at the bottom of the screen once everything is cleared. You can now close IE.
Odd Issue - Search Returning No Results
However, I had run into an issue with a user where the "Search" option in the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook panel wasn't returning any results. The user would click on the search field and all records would appear in a list. Next, the user would type in a Contact name, but no results would be returned. But, the Contact did exist in the Dynamics 365 system.
So, what solved the issue was to navigate to "Tools/Internet Options" and click on "Settings" in the "Browsing History" section on the "General" tab. Next, click on the "Caches and databases" tab within the "Website Data Settings" window. And, If there are any items listed click on the items and click "Delete" at the bottom. Then, click "OK" a couple of times and close IE.
Microsoft's Resolution for Search Returning No Results
Microsoft recognized the issue of the search returning no results by posting a support article. This article covers the option of clearing the browser cache in Internet Explorer, but doesn't mention the "Caches and databases" area I mentioned above.
However, the article does cover another option for clearing the cache. But, this does not work on Windows 7 or Windows 8. This option only seems to be available in Windows 10.
In order for this option to work, you need to open the Dynamics app within Outlook on your desktop. Next, you need to navigate to the "C:\Windows\System32\F12" folder. Now, open the "IEChooser.exe" application, click "Dynamics 365", click on the "Network" tab, and then click the "Clear cache" button. Lastly, close and reopen Outlook.
As I mentioned above, a majority of the issues can be resolved by clearing the cache or updating the security role settings. There are other issues that could arise depending on scenarios such as: Firewalls, Server Side Sync settings, Dynamics 365 Mailbox set-up, Unlicensed Users, etc.
Also, I have noticed, as of writing this article, that the speed of the tacking to Dynamics 365 has improved. However, still keep in mind, that it could take up to 15 minutes for the sync to happen.
Lastly, I wanted to mention an option that you could enable to help with visibility of tracked items. After Microsoft launched the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, there were many complaints that users lost the ability to see when an item was synced (tracked) to Dynamics 365 (CRM). Previously, the Dynamics 365 for Outlook (Client) would display a special icon to indicate a tracked email or appointment.
So, in July 2018, Microsoft created a method whereby tracked items could be flagged. This option uses a special Outlook Category called "Tracked to Dynamics 365". If you would like to enable this option, you can review the "Use Outlook category to track appointments and emails" article.
My 2 Cents
Since I have enabled this option, our users have loved it. They like seeing the tracked items flagged in Outlook. You can sort and filter by this new category. The new category is auto-assigned a dark blue color, but you can always update it to a different one of your choosing.
So, give a try and see if it helps in your environment.