Updated 4/13/2020

Finally, we are going to take a closer look at working with Contacts through the App for Outlook.

Where do I find the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook for Contacts?

The contact view shows up differently than the App appears on Emails or Appointments. It must be accessed through the Add-in, accessible at the bottom of the Navigation

 

Note: You cannot create a new Contact from this view.

 

Can I add custom columns to the Contacts view?

You can select new columns to add to the view, however, you cannot yet modify the columns that are available in this list:

 

If you select Dynamics 365 Contacts, you will be able to access all of your Contact views that you have visibility to within Dynamics. However, if one of these views includes a column from a related entity, it will not be displayed in the App for Outlook. For example, if you have a custom field on the Accounts entity, which exists on the Contacts view to show users that field value for the parent Account, this will not appear. 

 

Tracking and linking Contacts

The options in the screenshot below are useful when you have a Contact record selected within the view:

 

 

 - This will allow you to track or promote the Contact into Dynamics. You can do this for one or multiple contacts at one time.

 

 

- This will allow you to untrack a Contact. You can do this for one or multiple contacts at one time.

 

- This allows you to track and link the Contact to a Parent Account. You can also link a Tracked contact by selecting the record and clicking the link icon. Yes, you can also link multiple contacts to the same account at one time, but this must be to the same account.

 

 

 

 - This will open a new Outlook email and will populate the recipient with the email address of the Contact automatically. You can select multiple contacts at once to do this as well and all selected contact email addresses will be added to the recipients of the email. If there is no email for the contact, it will show up as undefined.

 

 - This will open a new Outlook appointment and will populate the recipient with the email address of the Contact automatically. You can select multiple contacts at once to do this as well and all selected contact email addresses will be added to the recipients of the appointment. If there is no email for the contact, it will show up as undefined.

 

When I search in the view, why does it only return 5,000 records, although in Dynamics, we can see there are more records?

 

There is currently a 5,000 record count limit

 

Also in regards to searching contacts, you cannot search for data within the Tracking Status, Business Phone, or Email fields.

 

 

Why don’t I see the add-in available in OWA to track contacts?

Tracking Contacts only works in Outlook 2016 desktop and up only. Contact tracking does not work in OWA. Refer to the this link.

 

 

Let's not forget that unresolved recipient or sender email addresses can be created as Contacts from the App within an email or appointment as well

This can be done manually or using the Automatically create records in Microsoft Dynamics 365 setting in your Personal Options. To recap this setting:

 

This will automatically create a Contact or Lead in Dynamics 365 using the Sender or Organizer email address of tracked e-mails if the Contact or Lead does not already exist. There is also an OrgDbOrgSetting to control the organization's ability to create contacts automatically. If you set, AutoCreateContactOnPromote to False, it will prevent automatic contact creation regardless if the personal option is marked to do so or not.

 

If you choose to do this manually, you will see this option:

 

 

 

 

Make sure you proactively work to minimize duplicate contacts

A very important part of tracking contacts from Outlook into Dynamics is preventing duplicates with duplicate detection rules and ensuring that synchronization filters are configured properly. You can also create system level sync filters using the SDK or the Sync Filter Manager. There are a ton of great articles out there on creating duplicate detection rules using the out of box functionality as well as custom add-ons. Be sure to evaluate these in great detail and ensure that you have them enabled prior to importing or, in this case, tracking contacts in from Outlook. There is a great chance that the same contact exists within multiple user address books.

 

Let's look at this scenario: Two Dynamics users have the same contact in their Outlook address book. In Dynamics, Contacts are owned by Teams and not Users.

 

This is the default Contact synchronization filter criteria:

 

If your contacts are owned by Teams, this filter would not work for you. You would need something similar to the following:

User B has the contacts highlighted in their Outlook address book. They do not exist in Dynamics.

 

User A also has these users in their Outlook address book and tracks these into Dynamics. There are no duplicate in Dynamics, as User A is the only user to track these to Dynamics.

They are assigned to the team for which both users are a member of within Dynamics.

 

Due to the sync filters, these sync down to the other user's Outlook as tracked. This is a common scenario where someone may see duplicates in Outlook if they have team ownership. In this case, you would see one set of tracked and the other not tracked.

 

Although with the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, these only appear under the add-in section and not the default store for Contacts within Outlook. You can see the default Contacts location in Outlook below still shows only the three original contacts and not the duplicates brought down from Dynamics.

 

 

 

How are tracked Contact deletions handled?

 

Contact Deletions in Dynamics 365

  • If you are not the owner of the contact record, deleting a contact from Microsoft Dynamics 365 deletes the tracked contact from Outlook.
  • If you are the owner of the contact record, deleting a contact from Microsoft Dynamics 365 does not delete the contact from Outlook.

 

Contact Deletions in Outlook

  • Deleting a tracked contact in Outlook does not delete the contact record from Microsoft Dynamics 365.
  • Regardless or ownership of the contact record, if you have delete permissions on that contact and you stop tracking the contact, 365 for Outlook asks whether you want to delete the contact record from Microsoft Dynamics 365.

 

Check out the rest of the series below:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 7Part 8 | Part 9 Part 10

 

Thank you for reading!

Aaron Richards