The activity and appointment sync from Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Outlook is a very powerful feature. Getting creative with this feature can help extend your CRM implementation to help the users keep track of important milestones in their sale or project.
In order to accomplish this, when a key date is entered on the project, we’ll use workflow to create an outlook appointment that is synchronized to the users Outlook calendar. If the date changes in CRM, the date will reflect on the calendar.
In order to demonstrate how this solution, we’ll use the example of a custom Project entity. However, this same concept could apply to Leads, Opportunities or anywhere else you could take advantage. The synchronization to Outlook requires users to have Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook installed or Server Side Synchronization setup. Resources for both are below:
The steps to build the functionality are as follows:
Part 1 – Add date field and lookup to Appointment
In our scenario, the most important date on the project is the Expected Completion Date and may change over the course of the project. A lookup field to the Appointment will also be used by the workflow to reference if the date changes. To do this, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Settings > Customizations area.
- On the Project entity form, add a new date field for the Expected Completion Date field.
- Add a new lookup field and select the entity Appointment.
- Publish your customizations.
Part 2 – Build a workflow to create or update the Appointment
Now that we have our two fields, we can build our workflow.
- Navigation to the Settings > Processes area.
- Create a new workflow using the Project entity.
Make sure the workflow triggers when a Project record is created, or when Expected Complete Date changes.
Add a new condition that the Completed Date contains data.
Add a second condition is to check if an Appointment record already exists (checking our new custom lookup field ‘Expected Install Complete Appt’). If so, add a step to simply update the Appointment ‘Start Date’ with the new date.
Conversely, if this is a new Project – we will create an appointment.
- Add a new condition to check if the expected Complete date does not contain data
Add a step to create the Appointment. Make sure to click set Properties to fill out the necessary Appointment fields.
- Add an additional step to update the Project with a link to the Appointment.
Your last steps will look like this.
- Lastly publish your workflow. Here is full view of the entire workflow.
And here is what the appointment looks like once it syncs to Outlook.
In some scenarios using this quick configuration can help your teams keep track of important upcoming dates.