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Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Managing Outlook Client for CRM Settings in Large Organizations

The Outlook Client for CRM has many nuances that we will discuss in this blog.  One nuance is that the majority of the user specific CRM settings are stored in the CRM SQL Server database.  This is a necessity so that a consistent user experience is presented with both the web interface and the Outlook Client interface.

While storing these settings in the database has many benefits which we will not go into here, this model can also present challenges when you want to control user settings that have a bearing on data quality and the user experience.

Large organizations can also be faced with fuzzy record ‘ownership’, strong data security requirements and data integrity concerns.  A smaller organization may have greater tolerance for allowing things like multiple instances of the same contact.  However a large company may want to link a single contact to multiple business lines and use that same record to leverage Client communications.  Event modules of the application need to have a way to manage Synchronization at a System Administration level.  From a communication standpoint, sending multiple e-mails or invitations to the same individual doesn’t reflect positively on the organization and may even result in an unsubscribe.

What is needed for every Dynamics CRM implementation is a CRM Enterprise Management console for administrators.  This would include features such as:

    • Set CRM client value for entire organization and disable change by user.
    • Set CRM client value for entire organization and allow change by user.
    • Set CRM client value on an individual user basis and disable change by user.
    • Set CRM client value on an individual user basis and allow change by user.
    • More things could be listed, but having the above would be very powerful……..

Some solutions have been developed to meet the need of controlling certain settings such as:

http://crm40admin.codeplex.com/

http://mscrmlocaldatagroup.codeplex.com/

Microsoft and some ISVs have provided soutions that solve specific needs.  It would be best if Microsoft would build this functionality directly into Dynamics CRM.

Dynamics CRM 2011:  The system administration functions in CRM 2011 do not include this feature.  This feature request has been submitted through Microsoft Connect and you can vote for it.  Microsoft takes future features from their Connect forums.  https://connect.microsoft.com/

Microsoft Connect Feedback Title:  Add User Settings Management Features to CRM System Administration

Credits:  Thanks to Leslie Guffey for providing input to this blog entry.  Joel Lindstrom is a Microsoft MVP with Customer Effective and he has always been a great resource to discuss topics like this.    Find out more about Joel: http://www.customereffective.com/About_Us/Our_Team/author/Joel

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About Tim Thorpe

Tim has worked with business application implementations at large, multinational corporations since 1992. His experience includes using software like Dynamics CRM to implement enterprise business solutions. Learn more about Tim at http://TimThorpe.org

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