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How many times have you checked your email today? As our eyes are constantly on our email, apps like Outlook are an attractive destination to plug in new functionality. Doing it helps with user adoption – users are already on Outlook, and they get used to the new functionality fast.
Microsoft itself offers several options to extend Outlook functionality and integrate it with their other software. For Dynamics, two different ways to get Dynamics 365 used to be common: the Dynamics 365 Client and the Dynamics 365 App.
Dynamics 365 Client vs. Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
The Dynamics 365 Client for Outlook was the first solution available, back in 2003. Many still know it as the Outlook CRM plugin or the Outlook COM add-in. It is a Windows application, and it provides all Dynamics 365 core functionality directly from Outlook.
Right on Outlook’s Home menu, users have a section for tracking the emails. This visual integration of Dynamics and Outlook is very convenient. Unfortunately, Outlook’s performance is affected, and users tend to complain.
It is important to note that the Dynamics 365 Client for Outlook is deprecated since March 2020. Microsoft will stop providing support, security updates, or any other kind of updates to it. Customers should transition to the modern Dynamics 365 App for Outlook before October 1, 2020.
The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is a Microsoft Office add-in that provides a Dynamics 365 assistant for Outlook. It is available since 2015, and you can use it on the desktop, on the web (OWA), or your mobile, while the client was limited to the desktop.
As you can confirm in the official documentation, the latest release of Dynamics 365 App for Outlook works with the on-premises deployments of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement version 9.x, and with Common Data Service. This means it also works with model-driven apps such as Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Customer Service.
What do I need to be able to install the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook?
There are three main prerequisites for installing the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook:
- The first thing to note is that configuring both the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and the Dynamics 365 Client for Outlook for the same Dynamics 365 user is not supported. When you move to the app, you need to do just that: move (and don’t look back)!
- You will need the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook security privilege.
- Server-side synchronization with Exchange is required, so you will not be able to use the app if your environment does not support it. If you are using Dynamics, Active Directory, and Exchange all in Azure, this is easy to setup. For other cases, if you need to set up server-side synchronization, we recommend the use of Connect Bridge. This integration platform has ready-made connectors and can get this integration ready quickly, even in non-trivial scenarios.
How To Install the Dynamics 365 App For Outlook
As mentioned earlier, the app can be pushed by admins with no interaction from the end-user. So, If installing as an end-user, the first thing you should do is check if the app is not already installed. Go to Settings (with the cogwheel icon) and see if the app is under the System section.
Alternatively, you can also check inside Outlook.
If the app is not yet installed, these are the simple steps that you will need installing:
- Open Dynamics 365 and go to Settings (with the cogwheel icon).
- Select Apps for Dynamics 365.
- Under Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, select Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
After installation, if you have any trouble launching the app for the first time, check out the Dynamics 365 App For Outlook User Guide.
What we will miss from the Dynamics 365 Client
The main feature we will miss from the Outlook client is the ability to go offline. This is key for users who travel often or have long commutes with reduced internet access. You can also (programmatically) create offline filters, which can manage the size and content se
nt to the client. This makes using it offline, both useful and practical.
What we like about the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook supports all versions of Outlook, including the full client, OWA (Outlook Web Access), and mobile. The installation is straightforward: it is pushed out directly from within Dynamics 365, so you don’t need to worry about local installation on any of your devices. My first experience with the interface was very pleasing, as it is intuitive to use. With just a few clicks, I could view an email from a prospective client, create a lead, contact, or activity associated with Dynamics 365 records.
Above all, the app performs incredibly fast, utilizing the Dynamics Web API to retrieve data in real-time. As I mentioned earlier, the old Dynamics 365 Client can really make your Outlook sluggish. If you have the feeling that might be your problem, you can check out what is the average delay on your computer by opening Outlook and then going to File > Manage COM Add-ins. The Slow and Disabled Add-ins window will present you with the average delay in seconds.
If you are still using the Dynamics 365 Client in Outlook, now is the time to move to the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. You need to transition before October 2020.
Connect Bridge can help you with one of the prerequisites for this transition, which is getting server-side synchronization going. In fact, it can do that and much more. Customers from across the globe trust this integration platform for their synchronization, migration, and integration challenges.
Would you like to see for yourself what Connect Bridge can do for you?
Why don’t you start by talking to our experts? They will be glad to provide you with a personalized free demo or answer any questions you might have.
You can also call us at +1 (720)-577-3030.
By Ana Neto, Connecting Software
Connecting Software is a 15-year-old company the produces software for integration and synchronization. Currently with 40 employees, Connecting Software spreads through 4 different countries and truly is a global company.
We are also a proud “Top Member 2019” at CRMSoftwareBlog.