Frequently asked questions about synchronizing records between Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Outlook

Applies to Dynamics 365 (online), version 9.x
Applies to Dynamics 365 (online), version 8.x

What's the best way to use Outlook and Microsoft Dynamics 365 together?

There are three ways to use Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Outlook together:

  • Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

  • Dynamics 365 for Outlook

  • Microsoft Exchange folder tracking

    Use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook paired with server-side synchronization to view Microsoft Dynamics 365 data in Outlook and track Outlook records in Microsoft Dynamics 365. You can use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook together with Microsoft Outlook on the web, the Outlook desktop application, or with Outlook mobile. With Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, Dynamics 365 information appears next to a user’s Outlook email messages or appointments. For example, people can preview information about contacts and leads stored in Dynamics 365 and add Dynamics 365 contacts directly from an email message. They can also link email, appointment, and contact records to new or existing Dynamics 365 records, such as opportunity, account, or case records. To use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, you must synchronize email with server-side synchronization. More information: Integrate your email system with Dynamics 365

Important

As of 1/29/2018, based on overwhelming customer feedback and our desire to continue supporting our customers, we have decided not to deprecate Dynamics 365 for Outlook (Outlook add-in). Please read this blog post for more details.

How often are records synchronized through server-side sync?

If you synchronize records with server-side synchronization, the process is dynamic and unique for each user’s mailbox. The synchronization algorithm ensures that mailboxes are synced according to dynamic parameters such as the number of email messages and the activity within the mailbox. Normally, email synchronization occurs every 5 minutes. When a mailbox has many email messages, the interval can be reduced dynamically to 2 minutes. If the mailbox is less active, the interval can be increased up to 12 minutes. Generally speaking, you can assume that a mailbox will be synced at least once every 12 minutes.

However, when you use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook to track or set the regarding record for an email or appointment, synchronization happens immediately in most scenarios for received emails and sent appointments. If the immediate synchronization in Dynamics 365 App for Outlook fails, we leverage server-side synchronization to create or update the activity record in Dynamics 365.

Where can I find information on troubleshooting server-side synchronization issues?

You can find information on troubleshooting and known issues here: Troubleshooting and things to know about server-side synchronization.

Do security permissions affect synchronization?

Yes. If a system administrator has implemented security for particular fields or records, it can affect the data that’s synchronized.

Privacy notices

If you use Dynamics 365, when you use server-side sync, Dynamics 365 contacts and activities (including emails, appointments, contacts, and tasks) are synchronized to your specified email system (such as Exchange).

An administrator can configure server-side sync functionality to specify which users have the ability to send emails or appointments from Dynamics 365 or synchronize activities and contacts between Dynamics 365 and the user’s mailbox. Both the administrator and end users can further customize filter criteria, and administrators can even define which entity fields synchronize.

If you use Dynamics 365 (online), when you use the Sync to Outlook feature, the Dynamics 365 data you are syncing is “exported” to Outlook. A link is maintained between the information in Outlook and the information in Dynamics 365 (online) to ensure that the information remains current between the two. Outlook Sync downloads only the relevant Dynamics 365 record IDs to use when a user attempts to track and set regarding an Outlook item. The company data is not stored on the device.

An administrator determines whether your organization’s users are permitted to sync Dynamics 365 data to Outlook by using security roles.

To use Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook, you are required to sign in by using your credentials (an email address and password). You may choose to save this information locally so that you are not prompted for your credentials each time you open Outlook. If you do choose to save this information locally, Dynamics 365 for Outlook will automatically connect to Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) every time you open Outlook.

After the first time you sign in and use Dynamics 365 for Outlook, the connection between your computer and Dynamics 365 (online) will always be open when you have access to the Internet. You may choose to turn off the connection between your computer and Dynamics 365 only by using a configuration setting, but if you do turn off the connection, Dynamics 365 for Outlook may exhibit decreased performance.

If you use Dynamics 365 for Outlook to track email, the email thread will be visible to users in your organization who have permission to view it.

For every email you receive, Dynamics 365 for Outlook will send Dynamics 365 (online) the sender’s email address, the recipient’s email address, and the subject line of the message. This allows Dynamics 365 (online) to validate whether or not a particular mail should be stored by the Dynamics 365 (online) service. When you track an item, a copy of that item will be maintained by the Dynamics 365 service and will be visible to other users in your organization who have the appropriate permissions. When you untrack an item, that copy is automatically deleted from Dynamics 365 (online) only if you own the item.

See also

Integrate your email system with Dynamics 365
Dynamics 365 App for Outlook User's Guide
Track Outlook email by moving it to a tracked Exchange folder
Set personal options that affect tracking and synchronization between Dynamics 365 and Outlook or Exchange