T#3: Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Filters

Is it true that we can personalize the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook with a Custom Sitemap?

What is the main point that could "Break" the link that gives the possibility to track Appointments, Tasks and Contacts between CRM and Outlook?

Can we filter the Contacts synchronized between CRM and Outlook based on default criterias for all users? Is it possible for a user to add his own filters as a layer on the top of the system filters?

All the answers to these questions and more in the below post!


1. Dynamics 365 App for Outlook - Unified Interface Sitemap:

The Unified Interface of the dynamics 365 app for outlook can be added to your unmanaged solution and is customizable as you wish!

To do so, go to your solution and click on "Model-driven Apps".

Then click on "Add Existing".

Choose "Dynamics 365 App for Outlook" then click on OK.

Now you can access the App in order to be able to customize it on your solution.

2. Pay attention to the link in order not to break it:

One important question is:

Can I add all components that I wish to these UI customizations?

Answer: Yes, but you cannot touch the Dashboards section because this will corrupt the link that is present between Outlook and Dynamics.

In addition to that, the first subarea component that must be used on the sitemap is the default dashboard that you can see "App for Outlook Dashboard".

You can add components under the concerned dashboard or at its right under other areas without problem. Check fig. below:

What happens if the above rules are not respected?

Opening the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook will turn out to be similar to opening the CRM UI, on a mobile or a reduced screen. Tracking Outlook records will not be possible anymore.

NB: You can rename the "Dashboards" subarea to "Follow up" or "Tracking". It will sound more user friendly clicking on that button label on the App to access the records tracking functionality. This Dashboard represents the connexion established with the CRM from which you will be able to connect the Appointment, Task, … to the concerned parties.

You can rename the default Area and Group as well without any problem.

View of the App for Outlook Dashboard via the D365 App for Outlook:

For more infos about customizing the Dynamics 365 App contact's quick view form, check out this link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/outlook-app/customize-the-track-regarding-card

3. Synchronization filters:

There are 2 types of synchronization filters that are available between dynamics 365 and Outlook.

a. User Synchronization Filters

b. System Synchronization Filters

To access them, go to Settings - Administration - System Settings

Click on the Synchronization Tab then on "system filters".

The 2 types of filters are shown there, but only User filters can be accessible and modified.

We will see later in the post, how to add a System filter.

Important Note:

For a certain entity, the combination of both System and User Filters through an OR logic will take effect.

So for example, if the system filter synchronizes "Contacts" owned by the current user.

Adding a User filter that synchronizes "Contacts" owned by the current user and whose score is greater than 10 will not take effect.

But adding a User filter for synchronizing All Contacts would bring a plus since it concerns a wider filter than the System User one.

a. Customizing User Filters:

By default, many User Filters are already available and only customizable by each user himself.

Let's take Contacts synchronization for example: Click on "My Outlook Contacts".

Update the filters as wanted then click on Save.

This action is optional to be done by each User by himself.

What if the system admin wants to configure the views for only one user and then replicate the changes to the rest of all users? (Typically to restrict by defaults the synchronization for all the users)

In this case, XrmToolBox is our saviour!

Applying a user's filters to all Dynamics Users:

Modify the user sync filters for one main User and save.

Open XrmToolBox and search for "Sync Filter Manager" plugin and choose it.

Click on the "Users" TAB, and choose the main User.

Then click on the button: "Apply selected user synchronization filters to user(s)" and confirm the dialog box that appears.

Time to choose all the users by clicking on "Enter" and then select all of them except the main user then click on OK. The plugin will automatically remove filters from each user you choose and add back the chosen proper filters.

b. Customizing System Filters:

System filters can only be customized via XrmToolbox or through coding (which you will not choose when having the amazing toolbox!)

System Filters will apply to all of the Users and can only be modifiable by the system Admin.

By default, there are no system filters present on your environment.

Let's take the example of contacts filters.

First step is to create a system view for Contacts, save and publish.

Second step is to open XrmToolbox and the same "Sync Filter Manager" plugin.

Choose the tab: "System Views" and then click on "Load System Views".

Scroll down to your entity and click on the concerned View. ("My Active Contacts" for example)

Click on Create and pick "System synchronization filter from selected view(s).

Choose Outlook Template and click on OK.

Go back to the TAB: "System Synchronization Filters" and click on "Load System Synchronization Filters". You can see now your view inside the "Outlook filter" section.

Your system filters through Dynamics will show the added filter as well.

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