One of the things I am frequently asked for help with is the Microsoft Dynamics CRM email router. Whether it’s installing, configuring or troubleshooting, there seems to be a lot of uncertainty around this simple little tool. The email router is extremely simple to setup. To put it in perspective, if you can connect to an Outlook Web Access site or Outlook on Office 365, and if you can log in to a Dynamics CRM instance, you are two-thirds of the way to configuring the email router.
So what exactly is the email router, and what does it do? To compare it to something you may be more familiar with, let’s first look at what the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook client can do.
- Outlook as you all know, allows us to connect to one (or more) mailboxes and to send and receive email, (among other things such as create tasks, and calendar appointments, etc.).
- With the Dynamics CRM client installed, we are able to connect to an instance of Dynamics CRM to view, update and create new records within the Dynamics CRM System.
- The Dynamics CRM client also enables us to track emails, appointments and tasks in Dynamics CRM. The Outlook client pushes (or routes) a copy of the items we choose to track to Dynamics CRM, and the records are synchronized.
You guessed it yes, the Dynamics CRM Client for Outlook is an email router! The email router does the same thing with emails as the Outlook Client, but instead, it is an automated process.
We configure the email router to connect to a mailbox (one or more), much like the Outlook Client. Likewise, it needs to be configured to connect to an instance of Dynamics CRM, just like Outlook. The main difference is, since this is an automated tool for sending and receiving emails into Dynamics CRM, there is no user interface to browse the Dynamics CRM site and there is no user interface to read or compose email messages. The email router can be also be configured to handle email for a queue, or a forward mailbox.
There are some other differences between the two of course, such as the email router cannot synchronize tasks and calendar appointments. I think for that reason alone, most users are configured to use the Outlook client as their synchronization method. However, the email router comes in handy for firing off automated messages for different types of events in the system, and is often used when you want some sort of a notification email to be sent upon the occurrence of that event, or as part of a workflow.
The last piece to understand about the email router, is that you are able to map mailbox profiles for incoming and outgoing email, to the users, queues and forward mailboxes that are configured to use it. Once this is done, you can test the configuration and ensure it is working.
Now that you understand what a simple tool the email router really is, check back for my next post on how to configure the email router for incoming and outgoing mail, connect to your instance of Dynamics CRM and assign user to an incoming and outgoing profile.
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By: LaTonia Watne – Minnesota Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner