In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online with Exchange Online, you have the option for the Outlook client to work over “Server-Side Synchronization” or “CRM for Outlook.”
Which one should you choose?
Server-side sync uses server-to-server communication and the Outlook client basically runs everything through the user’s desktop computer. Things to keep in mind:
- If you use the Outlook version, and a tracked event occurs such as sending an email from the web client, it won’t be processed unless, or until, Outlook is open and connected on the user’s desktop.
- If you user Server-Side Sync, tracking activities in Outlook can take some time. You can adjust the sync interval in Settings -> Administration -> System Settings -> Outlook to as little as one minute. This may not be a problem, but if you are planning to use the “Convert To” or “Add Connection” functions in any meaningful fashion, you’re going to have to wait for the sync to occur before you can use those buttons. They even take away the Synchronize button! Your pilot users will undoubtedly yell “why is Convert To greyed out?!?” or “why is Add Connection greyed out??”
- Server-Side Sync, with CRM Online 2015 Update 1, can synchronize with Exchange based on e-mail folders.
Microsoft also says Server-Side Sync can improve Outlook performance, which makes sense, but I haven’t seen such a huge difference.
Fret Not: You can have the best of both worlds.
I’ve found that if I set outbound e-mail to process by Server-Side Sync, and inbound emails and other activities via the Outlook client, when you track items in Outlook they go up to the server instantaneously, enabling the Convert To and Add Connection buttons. But you can also send email from the mobile or web apps even if your laptop is closed in your bag.
You can set this globally in Settings -> Email Configuration -> Email Configuration Settings.