Microsoft Dynamics CRM And Microsoft Outlook – What’s under the covers?

By - August 13, 2013

A few months ago, we were tasked to re-deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for one of our clients.  The servers were being hosted in one of their data centers overseas.   The re-deployment involved installing Microsoft Dynamics CRM front-end and back-end servers as well as configuring them to use a clustered SQL environment, while remaining within the same domain.

We had our server cut-over plan for an initial test run that outlined the tasks, due dates and the respective resources assigned to the tasks.  Any unexpected errors or bugs were identified and the resolution for the errors were documented.  However one of our concerns was again related to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook portion of the re-deployment.  We knew we had to reconfigure the organization that Microsoft Outlook was connecting to since the server name, URL, ports, etc. have now changed.  The concern was mainly for the Dynamics CRM contacts that were being stored in Outlook.

Some questions and concerns at hand:

  • Once Microsoft Outlook is configured to sync with the new server, will it lose its linkage to the existing contacts and bring duplicate records from Microsoft Dynamics CRM down to Outlook?
  • Will we need to have a clean-up strategy to handle the duplicates created by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Microsoft Outlook synchronization?

Well after doing some research, we were delighted to find out that there was no need for us to be concerned. Upon configuring Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook and synchronizing the appropriate data, a relationship is built between the Dynamics CRM contact that now resides in Outlook and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM contact.  As a result, a redeployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM will keep the linkage intact. The images below shows how to view the information on how to view the ids within Microsoft Outlook.

Let’s take a look under the covers:

Within Outlook, navigate to Contacts.  You will see a list of all your Outlook contacts in addition to the CRM contacts. Open any Microsoft Dynamics CRM contact.


Once the contact form loads, select the “Developer” tab on the form and Click on the “Design this Form” in the ribbon.


While the form is in design mode, select the “All Fields” Tab


You will then see the ids the contact is associated to.


Each user-defined fields is described below:

crmEntryID –  Unique identifier for the contact within Microsoft Outlook

  • Crmid – The corresponding CRM GUID for the Microsoft Outlook Contact
  • crmLinkState – This different values below indicates the synchronization status  of the Microsoft Outlook
    • 2 – currently being synchronized with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
    • 0 – was synchronizing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM before but is no longer being tracked.
    • 1 – means that the contact is pending synchronization
    • Blank  – means the contact has never synchronized with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • crmObjectTypeCode – The code in Microsoft Dynamics CRM related to the entity being synchronized. 0 is the Contact Entity.
  • Crmorgid – The Microsoft Dynamics CRM org that the contact is being synchronized to
  • crmParentAccountId – The GUID for the Parent Account (company) in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that is associated with the contact.
  • crmParentObjectType – The code in Microsoft Dynamics CRM associated to the Parent Account entity. 1 is the Account Entity.
  • Crmxml – This contains the prior field values of the record since its last synchronization.

The thing to note however is changing the values in the user-defined fields does not update the contact in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  It affects the behavior of the contact in Outlook. For example, changing the crmLinkState to 0 does not prevent the contact from being synchronized with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Instead, in Microsoft Outlook, the contact will show as a regular contact rather than a Microsoft Dynamics CRM tracked contact, but it will still be part of the synchronization.

For additional information or questions, please contact one of our professionals at

A la prochaine !!!!

By:  Jennyfer Mangaroo – Pennsylvania Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner

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