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Did you know that you can use Dynamics CRM offline?  You can! To be more specific, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Outlook Client offers the ability to take Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook offline.


Get the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Outlook Client directly from Microsoft.

What does going offline mean? When you go offline, Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook copies a subset of the Microsoft CRM database to your machine.  While offline, you can perform almost all of the same functionality as you can online.

Before you go offline, we recommend these steps to prepare:

1. Check to make sure your entities are enabled to go offline

2.  Set the appropriate filters to take only the information you need

Going offline the first time could take a long time depending on the amount of data in your CRM system, which is why we recommend you prepare before going offline. While Microsoft Dynamics CRM is syncing with your local data, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not available.

1.  Make sure the entities you want to access are available Offline.  To check or to enable an entity for offline access, go to Settings > Customization > Customize the Solution > Entities > in the information section for the entity, towards the bottom of the screen will be a checkbox for offline access.  By default, custom entities are not ‘enabled’ for offline access.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook Client

2. Set filters to bring only the information you need Offline. (Note: Filters are a personal setting.)

To set filters in Outlook 2007, in the CRM menu select Offline Filters

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Offline

In Outlook 2010

Go to File > CRM > Go Offline > Offline Filters

Outlook for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Filters can be reset every time that you go offline to give you flexibility to download only the data that you need.

To create a new filter:

  • File > CRM > Go Offline > Click on Offline Filters
  • Click New.  This allows you to define what records you want to bring offline.  By default CRM has out of the box filters, you can use or deactivate if they do not apply

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Note: You can update Filters for all users using Script – Click here for more information Update users Outlook Filters via Script

Once filters are set, you are now ready to Go Offline.

There are 2 ways to get Microsoft CRM 2011 Outlook with Offline access:

  1. During installation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook.
  2. After installation has completed, a user can add offline capability by clicking Go Offline in Microsoft Outlook.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook 2007

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook 2010

Clicking on Go Offline for the first time will install any additional required components and stores a copy of the user’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online data locally. Subsequent offline sessions require no additional installations, but may require updating the local copy of the user’s data.

A few points to remember while offline:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM applies all your additions and changes to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server in the same order that you entered or updated it. If you made a change to a record while you are offline, and another user changes the same record during that time, when you go back online, your change will overwrite change made while you were offline.

Workflows- When you are working offline, workflow notifications are not generated until you go back online

Duplicate Detection- There is no duplicate detection while you are working offline. Duplicate detection is triggered automatically when you go back online or synchronize

Offline Security Permissions- You have the same security permissions and rights offline as when you are online

How has your experience been with the Outlook client for CRM? Please comment with the pro’s and con’s.

Happy CRM’ing!

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