Enable and use Activity Logging

Protecting data, preserving privacy, and complying with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation are certainly some of the highest priorities for your business. It's critical that you audit the entirety of data processing actions taking place to be able to analyze for possible security breaches. This information from Activity Logging can be used when you perform a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) addressing the use of Office and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises).

This topic covers how you can set Customer Engagement (on-premises) to audit a broad range of data processing activities and use the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center to review the data in activity reports.


  • An Office 365 Enterprise E3 or E5 subscription is required to do Activity Logging.
  • For version 8.x, version or later is required.
  • Available for Production and not Sandbox instances.

How this differs from past audit logging

Audit logging as described in Audit data and user activity for security and compliance covers enabling and viewing logging for specific entities and attributes which you select. What is logged is largely based on the context of the activity. Open a record and activities such as who created the record, what values were entered and changed, who updated it, etc, are logged for that particular record.

Activity Logging has two significant differences with prior Customer Engagement (on-premises) auditing:

  1. You can log user and admin activities across Office and Customer Engagement (on-premises).

    Activities across apps

  2. Auditing occurs at the SDK layer of Customer Engagement (on-premises) which means much more data is logged than just activities.

What events are audited

Logging takes place at the SDK layer which means a single action can trigger multiple events that are logged. The following are a sample of admin and user events you can audit.

Event Description
Publishing customizations An admin publishes a new customization which overrides a change done by the previous one. The action requires auditing for analysis.
Attribute deletes Admin accidentally deletes an attribute. This action also deletes the data.
Team, user management Who was added, who was deleted, what access rights a user/team had is important for analyzing impact.
Configure instance Adding solutions to an instance.
Backup and restore Backup and restore actions at the tenant.
Manage applications New instance added, existing instance deleted, trials converted to paid, etc.
Event Description
User sign-in authentication Logging all user sign-in to the environment - when the Start Read Auditing option is selected.
Create, read, update, delete (CRUD) Logging all CRUD activities essential for understanding the impact of a problem and being compliant with data protection impact assessments (DPIA).
Multiple record view Users of Dynamics view information in bulk, like grid views, Advanced Find search, etc. Critical customer content information is part of these views.
Export to Excel Exporting data to Excel moves the data outside of the secure environment and is vulnerable to threats.
SDK calls via surround or custom apps Actions taken via the core platform or surround apps calling into the SDK to perform an action needs to be logged.
All support CRUD activities Microsoft support engineer activities on customer environment.
Admin activities Admin activities on customer tenant.
Backend commands Microsoft support engineer activities on customer tenant and environment.
Report Viewed Logging when a report is viewed. Critical customer content information might be displayed on the report.
Report Viewer Export Exporting a report to different formats moves the data outside of the secure environment and is vulnerable to threats.
Report Viewer Render Image Logging multimedia assets that are shown when a report is displayed. They might contain critical customer information.

Microsoft Social Engagement logging

The following Microsoft Social Engagement (MSE) entities and actions are logged.

MSE entity MSE pages/panels/controls logged
Search Topic Category Create, Rename, Delete
Search Topic Create, Update, Delete
Custom Source Create, Update, Delete
Blocked Keyword Add, Delete
Blocked Domain Add, Delete
Stream Create, Update, Delete
Post (acquired) Internal & External Actions
Post (published) Send
Author Add (GDPR), Delete (GDPR), Delete
Activity Map Create, Update, Delete
Alert Create, Update, Delete
Preference Update
Social Profile Create, Update, Reauthenticate, Delete
User Edit Role, E-mail
Azure Event Hubs Create, Update, Delete
Customer Engagement (on-premises) Create, Update, Refresh, Delete
Allowed Domain Add, Delete
Automation Rule Create, Update, Delete
AR Notification Enable, Disable
Tag Add, Update, Delete
Label Add, Update Delete
Search Language Add, Delete
Adaptive Sentiment Enable, Disable, Reset
Other Global Settings Update

Base schema

Schemas define which Customer Engagement (on-premises) fields are sent to the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center. Some fields are common to all applications that send audit data to Office 365, while others are specific to Customer Engagement (on-premises). The Base schema contains the common fields.

Field name Type Mandatory Description
Date Edm.Date No Date and time of when the log was generated in UTC
IP address Edm.String No IP address of the user or corporate gateway
Id Edm.Guid No Unique GUID for every row logged
Result Status Edm.String No Status of the row logged. Success in most cases
Organization Id Edm.Guid Yes Unique identifier of the organization from which the log was generated. You can find this ID under Dynamics Developer Resources.
ClientIP Edm.String No IP Address of the user or corporate gateway
CorrelationId Edm.Guid No A unique value used to associate related rows (e.g., when a large row is split)
CreationTime Edm.Date No Date and time of when the log was generated in UTC
Operation Edm.Date No Name of the message called in Customer Engagement (on-premises) SDK
UserKey Edm.String No Unique Identifier of the User in Azure AD. AKA User PUID
UserType Self.UserType No The Office 365 audit type (Admin, Regular, System)
User Edm.String No UPN of the user

Customer Engagement (on-premises) schema

The Customer Engagement (on-premises) schema contains fields specific to Customer Engagement (on-premises) and partner teams.

Field name Type Mandatory Description
User Id Edm.String No Unique identifier of the user GUID in the Customer Engagement (on-premises) organization
Crm Organization Unique Name Edm.String No Unique name of the Customer Engagement (on-premises) organization
Instance Url Edm.String No URL to the instance
Item Url Edm.String No URL to the record emitting the log
Item Type Edm.String No Name of the entity
Message Edm.String No Name of the message called in Customer Engagement (on-premises) SDK
User Agent Edm.String No Unique identifier of the user GUID in the Customer Engagement (on-premises) organization
EntityId Edm.Guid No Unique identifier of the entity
EntityName Edm.String No Name of the entity in the Customer Engagement (on-premises) organization
Fields Edm.String No JSON of Key Value pair reflecting the values that were created or updated
Id Edm.String No Entity name in Customer Engagement (on-premises)
Query Edm.String No The Filter query parameters used while executing the FetchXML
QueryResults Edm.String No One or multiple unique records returned by the Retrieve and Retrieve Multiple SDK message call
ServiceContextId Edm.Guid No The unique id associated with service context
ServiceContextIdType Edm.String No Application defined token to define context use
ServiceName Edm.String No Name of the Service generating the log
SystemUserId Edm.Guid No Unique identifier of the user GUID in the Customer Engagement (on-premises) organization
UserAgent Edm.Guid No Browser used to execute the request
UserId Edm.Guid No The unique id of the Dynamics system user associated with this activity
UserUpn Edm.String No User principal name of the user associated with this activity

Enable auditing in Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement

  1. In Customer Engagement (on-premises) (online), choose Settings > Administration > System Settings > Auditing tab.

  2. Under Audit Settings, enable the following check boxes:

    • Start Auditing
    • Audit user access
    • Start Read Auditing (Note: this only appears if you enable Start Auditing.)
  3. Under Enable Auditing in the following areas, enable the check boxes for the areas you want to audit and then choose OK.

    System Settings Auditing

  4. Go to Settings > Customizations > Customize the System

  5. Under Components, expand Entities and select an entity to audit, such as Account.

  6. Scroll down and under Data Services enable Auditing.

  7. Under Auditing, enable the following check boxes:

    • Single record auditing. Log a record when opened.
    • Multiple record auditing. Log all records displayed on an opened page.

    Retrieve Auditing

  8. Choose Save.

  9. Choose Publish to publish the customization.

  10. Repeat steps 5 - 9 for other entities you want to audit.

  11. Turn on audit logging in Office 365. See Turn Office 365 audit log search on or off.

Review your audit data using reports in Office 365 Security and Compliance Center

You can review your audit data in the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center. See Search the audit log for user and admin activity in Office 365.

To use the preconfigured Customer Engagement (on-premises) reports, go to https://protection.office.com > Search & investigation > Audit log search and select the Dynamics 365 activities tab.

Customer Engagement (on-premises) audit log reports

Audit log search results

The following are the preconfigured Customer Engagement (on-premises) reports:

Accessed out-of-box entity Accessed custom entity Accessed admin entity
Performed bulk actions (such as delete and import) Accessed other entity type Accessed Dynamics 365 admin center
Accessed internal management tool Signed in or out Activated process or plug-in

Create reports

You can create your own reports to review your audit data. See Search the audit log in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center.

What's logged

For a list of what's logged with Activity Logging, see Microsoft.Crm.Sdk.Messages Namespace.

We log all SDK messages except the following:

  • WhoAmI
  • RetrieveFilteredForms
  • TriggerServiceEndpointCheck
  • QueryExpressionToFetchXml
  • FetchXmlToQueryExpression
  • FireNotificationEvent
  • RetrieveMetadataChanges
  • RetrieveEntityChanges
  • RetrieveProvisionedLanguagePackVersion
  • RetrieveInstalledLanguagePackVersion
  • RetrieveProvisionedLanguages
  • RetrieveAvailableLanguages
  • RetrieveDeprovisionedLanguages
  • RetrieveInstalledLanguagePacks
  • GetAllTimeZonesWithDisplayName
  • GetTimeZoneCodeByLocalizedName
  • IsReportingDataConnectorInstalled
  • LocalTimeFromUtcTime
  • IsBackOfficeInstalled
  • FormatAddress
  • IsSupportUserRole
  • IsComponentCustomizable
  • ConfigureReportingDataConnector
  • CheckClientCompatibility
  • RetrieveAttribute

How we categorize read and readmultiple

We use the prefix to categorize.

If the request starts with: We characterize as:
RetrieveMultiple ReadMultiple
ExportToExcel ReadMultiple
RollUp ReadMultiple
RetrieveEntitiesForAggregateQuery ReadMultiple
RetrieveRecordWall ReadMultiple
RetrievePersonalWall ReadMultiple
ExecuteFetch ReadMultiple
Retrieve Read
Search Read
Get Read
Export Read

Example generated logs

The following are some examples of logs created with Activity Logging.

Example 1 – Logs generated when user reads an Account record

Schema Name Value
ID 50e01c88-2e43-4005-8be8-9ceb172e2e90
UserKey 10033XXXA49AXXXX
ClientIP 131.107.XXX.XX
Operation Retrieve
Date 3/2/2018 11:25:56 PM
EntityId 0a0d8709-711e-e811-a952-000d3a732d76
EntityName Account
Query N/A
QueryResults N/A
ItemURL https://orgname.onmicrosoft.com/main.aspx?etn=account&pagetype=entityrecord&id=0a0d8709-711e-e811-a952-000d3a732d76

Example 2 – Logs generated when user sees Account records in a Grid (Export to Microsoft Excel logs are like this)

Schema Name Value
ID ef83f463-b92f-455e-97a6-2060a47efe33
UserKey 10033XXXA49AXXXX
ClientIP 131.107.XXX.XX
Operation RetrieveMultiple
Date 3/2/2018 11:25:56 PM
EntityId N/A
EntityName Account
Query <filter type="and"><condition column="ownerid" operator="eq-userid" /><condition column="statecode" operator="eq" value="0" /></filter>
QueryResults 0a0d8709-711e-e811-a952-000d3a732d76, dc136b61-6c1e-e811-a952-000d3a732d76

Example 3 – List of messages logged when user converts a lead to opportunity

ID EntityID EntityName Operation
53c98033-cca4-4420-97e4-4c1b4f81e062 23ad069e-4d22-e811-a953-000d3a732d76 Contact Create
5aca837c-a1f5-4801-b770-5c66183a58aa 25ad069e-4d22-e811-a953-000d3a732d76 Opportunity Create
c9585748-fdbf-4ff7-970c-bb37f6aa2c36 25ad069e-4d22-e811-a953-000d3a732d76 Opportunity Update
a0469f30-078b-419d-be61-b04c9a34121f 1cad069e-4d22-e811-a953-000d3a732d76 Lead Update
0975bceb-07c7-4dc2-b621-5a7b245c36a4 1cad069e-4d22-e811-a953-000d3a732d76 Lead Update

Additional considerations

When audit log search in the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center is turned on, user and admin activity from your organization is recorded in the audit log and retained for 90 days. However, your organization might not want to record and retain audit log data. Or you might be using a third-party security information and event management (SIEM) application to access your auditing data. In those cases, a global admin can turn off audit log search in Office 365.

Known issues

  • Office has a 3KB limit for each audit record. Therefore, in some cases a single record from Customer Engagement (on-premises) needs to be split into multiple records in Office. The CorrelationId field can be used to retrieve the set of split records for a given source record. Operations that are likely to require splitting include RetrieveMultiple and ExportToExcel.
  • Some operations need additional processing to retrieve all relevant data. For example, RetrieveMultiple and ExportToExcel are processed to extract the list of records that are retrieved or exported. However, not all relevant operations are yet processed. For example, ExportToWord is currently logged as single operation with no additional details about what was exported.
  • In the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center (protection.office.com), the Activities drop-down has a section called Customer Engagement (on-premises) activities, with nine activities listed. However, the audit logs currently only use the Accessed other entity type activity. Selecting any of the others alone will filter out all results. The simplest option for now is to click on the Customer Engagement (on-premises) activities header, which will select all activities.
  • In future releases, logging will disabled for operations that are determined to not be useful based on a review of the logs. For example, some operations result from automated system activity, not user activity.
  • The new flags for enabling Read Auditing in the Organization settings and Entity Settings are not solution aware in version 8.2. Exporting a solution from an 8.2 instance to any other instance will not export these flags.

See also

Audit data and user activity for security and compliance
Search the audit log for user and admin activity in Office 365 Office 365 Management APIs overview