One of the main advantages in using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Microsoft Office Outlook client is the ability to track items in Microsoft Dynamics CRM directly from within Outlook. What is tracking you ask? When an Outlook item is “tracked” using the client, an exact copy is created inside of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM database as a record. To make things even easier, the client updates tracked data bilaterally so that users can modify records in either Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Outlook and the changes will be reflected in both applications. E-mails, Contacts, and Appointments can all be tracked.
Follow along below and we will show you how to track a Contact using the client. The method of tracking remains the same regardless of the type of item you are tracking thanks to the ribbon present at the top of every window in the latest version of Microsoft Office Are you not using Microsoft CRM Online yet? A Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online implementation and integration is all you need to get started.
First, you will need to open the Microsoft Exchange Server item in Outlook that you plan on tracking. In this example, we have opened up the contact for “John Smith” in Outlook. Click Track in the CRM group of the ribbon adorning the top of the Contact in Outlook.
You will notice that once the item is being tracked, the Track button transforms into an Untrack button (see below). Clicking the Untrack button would delete the record from the CRM Online 2011 database (leaving it only in Outlook) and stop tracking future changes.
Now that we are tracking “John Smith” in Outlook, let’s verify that the record also exists in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You can do that in Outlook by clicking the name of your CRM Online 2011 organization (in our case, “xRM”), and navigating to Workplace > Customers > Contacts (see below).
As you can see above, “John Smith” is now listed in our Microsoft Dynamics CRM Contacts. Let’s open his Contact record in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and see what’s inside (see below).
You’ll notice right away that the client properly formatted his first and last name, and also inserted his e-mail address and business phone number into the proper fields, keeping the Outlook Contact and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Contact synchronized.