Did you know that it’s easier than you think to track emails from your phone into D365?

I’ve been working Dynamics CRM (or D365) for 10 years and had never found an elegant (or simple) way to track emails from a mobile into Microsoft Dynamics 365 – until this year (2018).

What I am about to share is not hot off the press nor is it revolutionary, however, when I discovered this I found myself jumping around the room for quite a while with a lot of excitement. I knew I had to share it and I’m hoping there is a small percentage of you who will also do the same (jump around a room) and hope you’d let me know when you do so I know I’m not alone!

My point though is this, there will be a large percentage of people who use and/or implement D365 that do not know about this feature Microsoft has provided and here it is:

I was recently working on a project and was asked by the client what is the best way to track emails from our mobile devices into D365. At first, in my head, I thought of the “Dynamics 365 for Phones” app – but quickly remembered how limiting e-mail capabilities are in this app. I did some investigating and nothing I found, in my opinion, was a good enough solution for my customer – but a very random thought entered my mind.

By this point, I had already configured the D365 users mailboxes, I had pushed the “App for Outlook” to each of them, installed the “Dynamics 365 for Phones” on each of their mobile phones (most were iPhones) and their security roles had the “Use the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook” permission set.

To cut a long story short, the solution was to simply install and use the “Microsoft Outlook” app.

This app works and behaves just like the Outlook desktop client when it comes to tracking emails in D365. It gives you the ability to:

  • Track without regarding
  • Track and set regarding
  • Change the regarding
  • Untrack
  • View D365 records

I’ve been using the Microsoft Outlook app on my phone (Android) for personal emails for quite a few years and it has progressively improved, but what I never expected it to do (which in hindsight I should have) was connect seamlessly with the “Dynamics 365 for Phones” app.

With that said, I will now go through the steps I took (almost from the beginning) to get you set up in the same way

At high level, you’ll need to:

  • Configure the D365 mailbox for each D365 User
  • Ensure each User is granted access to App for Outlook in at least one of the security roles assigned to them
  • Push the App for Outlook to each User
  • Install “Dynamics 365 for Phones” and “Microsoft Outlook” apps (both available on Android and iOS)

And here are the lower-level steps:

Dynamics 365 Setup

1 – Setting up a D365 User Mailbox (assuming D365 and Exchange are both online)

  • a. Log in to D365 as an ‘OFFICE’ 365 administrator
    • i. Note: This is key – performing this as a ‘D635’ Administrator will prevent you from being able to complete step d below
  • b. Navigate to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Email Configurations’ -> ‘Mailboxes’
  • c. Open the user Mailbox
  • d. Ensure the details are filled out as below
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
  • e. AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
    • i. Note: A test email will be sent from Exchange to the email address shown on in that mailbox -> wait for the test email to arrive in that mailbox before continuing to next step (for me, this took less than 1 minute but can vary)
  • f. Press the ‘Test & Enable Mailbox’
    • i. You can only synchronise Outlook to one instance of D365, so if your organisation has more than one instance of D365 (e.g. dev, test, production) tick this box
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
    • ii. The mailbox is correctly configured when the ‘Test Run Status’ shows “Success”
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App

2 – Ensuring the D365 User has the correct permissions

  • a. As a D365 Administrator
  • b. Navigate to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Security’
  • c. Select ‘Security Roles’
  • d. Open the role linked to your User
  • e. Select the ‘Business Management’ tab
  • f. Ensure the ‘Use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook’ permission is set to Organization level (green)
    • i. Note: Updating a security impact all other Users also assigned/linked to that security role
  • g. Save and Close
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App

3 – Push the App for Outlook to that User (no access is required need to have access

  • a. As a D365 Administrator
  • b. Navigate to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Dynamics 365 App for Outlook’
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
  • c. Only correctly configured mailboxes will appear in the ‘All Eligible Users’ view
  • d. Highlight the User
  • e. Press the ‘Add App to Outlook’ button and wait 15 mins for D365 to be pushed to Outlook
    • i. Refresh the view/grid every few minutes as it may take less than 15 minutes -> the status will be updated to ‘Added to Outlook’ (in green writing) at which point the User can then test
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
  • f. Open Outlook (Desktop version or via Office 365 on the web)
    • i. Outlook – Desktop
      • 1. Open Outlook
        • a. Note: restart Outlook if it was open whilst the above steps were being completed
      • 2. In the ‘Home’ ribbon, a button with a blue ‘D’ labeled “Dynamics 365” will now be visible
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
      • 3. Press the button to check the connection to D365 works (a pane will appear to the right-hand side of Outlook)
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
    • ii. Outlook – Office 365 (online)
      • 1. Open (double-click) an existing email
      • 2. A blue ‘D’ will appear in the top right hand corner of the email message (next to the thumbs up icon)
        • a. Note: When creating a new email, the blue ‘D’ appears in the bottom right hand corner of the message
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
      • 3. Press the blue ‘D’ to check the connection to D365 works

The D365 setup is complete, now let’s get mobile.

Mobile Setup (Android/iOS)

1 – Install the “Dynamics 365 for Phones” app from the Play Store/App Store

  • a. Open the app once installed
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
  • b. Sign in using the D365 URL (e.g. https://.crm4.dynamics.com) and username/password (e.g. @.com)
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
  • c. Once it has configured and the D365 home screen is visible, exit the app

2 – Install the “Microsoft Outlook” app from the Play Store/App Store

  • a. Open the app once installed
  • b. Sign in using the same username/password used for the Dynamics 365 for Phones app
  • c. Once it has configured and you can see emails, exit the app

Now you’re ready to go – test you can track an email into D365:

  • d. Open the Microsoft Outlook app
  • e. Open an existing email
  • f. Press the 3 dots (in the top-right hand corner under the email date)

Magic starts to happen around this point!

  • g. A sub-screen with a blue ‘D’ (labelled “Dynamics 365”) will appear from the bottom of the screen
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
  • h. Select it
  • i. This add-in will then take you to a Dynamics 365 page
    • i. Note: This will not happen if you have not installed the Dynamics 365 for Phones app and logged in (refer back to step 1b in the Mobile section above)
  • j. If you’ve opened an email has never been tracked, you’ll see the option to ‘Track’
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
  • k. If you’ve opened an email that has already been tracked, you’ll see the option to ‘Change’
AlfaHacks: Leon Explains How to Link Dynamics 365 to your Outlook App
  • l. Note: the records on these pages e.g. “Leon ABC Ltd” can be pressed – in turn you will re-directed to the “Dynamics 365 for Phones” app where you can review that record in more detail – so cool!

In summary

That’s it, you can now (easily) track emails from your phone into D365!

I love this simple yet elegant solution (and so do my customers) – couldn’t believe the native Microsoft Outlook app would work so perfectly (although looking back, I shouldn’t have been so surprised).

Note: Those on iOS did move away from the native iOS mail app and switched to the Microsoft Outlook app – enjoy!