In this blog I’ll be talking about synchronizing contacts with the outlook crm client. We all know that one of the biggest selling points of Dynamics CRM 4 is its robust integration with Outlook. However, an often underutilized set of features is the ability to highly tune the contact synchronization on a per user basis. What do I mean by this? Lets jump right into 3 examples of commonly used scenarios by many of our clients.
Synchronize contacts I’m the owner. This is the default rule.
Synchronize contacts based on a marketing list. Yep – very simple to then say synchronize all contacts from accounts a, b, and c by simply adding to a marketing list.
Synchronize contacts based on a complex rule. In my case I synchronize all contacts for any accounts that have an active project and I’m the project owner.
A. Synchronize contacts I’m the owner. This is the default rule.
Out of the box the outlook crm client will synchronize contacts ‘that I am the owner’ and that ‘are active’.
Verify this by going to CRM Menu, Modify Local data groups, then double click on the ‘my contact rule’. If you have the offline enabled outlook crm client you will see many more rules.
List of rules – the non-offline enabled client only has a single rule:
The out of the box contact synchronization rule:
B. Synchronize contacts based on a marketing list.
We often see clients that like the default rule, but there are key accounts whose contact they also want synchronized. We can do this on an ad hock basis by utilizing a marketing list. For this example, I created a new marketing list called ‘Alex Synchronized Contacts’ of type account and added a couple key accounts.
Then we create a new synchronization rule. Yes we can more than 1 contact synchronization rule.
The new rule simply selects contacts, that have a parent customer (account) and this account belongs to a marketing list ‘Alex Synchronized Contacts’.
We now have two rules and both are active. Contacts matching either rule will be synchronized to crm.
C. Synchronize contacts based on a complex rule.
This is where the ability to have individual rules really helps out. Think of your job role and which contacts you want to be made readily available in your outlook and more importantly in your mobile device. In my case, I want all the contacts for any account that has an active project and I’m the project manager. Projects are a custom entity that is related to accounts which we use to keep track of projects and projects tasks.
So what would this rule look like?
And once again we can have this new rule along with other rules active.