About the series

This series will introduce you to two major areas related to Outlook Synchronization in Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook:

Concepts & Rules




In order to further understand the Outlook Synchronization, let’s look at the scenarios and synchronization rules of the Outlook Synchronization. 

There are several ways that individual items, such as contacts, tasks, appointments, and emails, are marked for synchronization.

  • Synchronization: background sync operation or manually (Synchronize now), both uses system and data filters.

  • Tracking: an item is marked for synchronization (Track in CRM or Set Regarding) or it’s auto-tracked/correlated.



Keep below concepts in mind, while using Dynamics CRM for Outlook as the synchronizing agent:

  • Synchronizing organization

    Only one organization can be designated as the synchronizing organization.

    Notice that you can still connect to additional organizations by using Dynamics CRM for Outlook. However, when an organization is not defined as the synchronizing organization, messaging data in Outlook does not synchronize with that organization.

  • Synchronizing mailbox

    Only one Exchange or POP3 mailbox can be designated for a single Microsoft Dynamics CRM user.

    This mailbox is referred to as the primary mailbox.

  • Synchronizing CRM for Outlook instance

    Only one Dynamics CRM for Outlook instance can be designated as the Synchronizing instance.

    When you sign-in to the same organization from another PC, you will receive a dialog message asking whether you want to designate the current Dynamics CRM for Outlook instance as the synchronizing instance.

  • Go Offline data sync

    Go offline capability uses Microsoft SQL Server Express as the local data store.

  • Tracking individual items

    You can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook to track email messages, contacts, tasks, and appointments.

    Contact is saved on ContactBase table.

  • Copy of that record is saved as an activity

    When you track an email message, task, or appointment record, a copy of that record is saved as an activity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and synchronized with the Outlook record.

  • Two-way versus one-directional synchronization

    While synchronization is generally two-way between Outlook and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, e-mail tracking is one-directional from Outlook to CRM.


Client types

The synchronization process differs based on the client types.

  • Primary/designated

    First computer running CRM for Outlook (same mailbox) or designated computer by Configuration Wizard.

  • Secondary

    Any other clients running CRM for Outlook (same mailbox) are considered secondary.

  • Delegated

    For mailboxes that are delegated among multiple users.

    Delegated users can track on behalf of a user but they can’t sync on behalf of the user, so the items are synced only when the primary user has Outlook open.


Summary of immediate sync rules

The synchronization process differs if the item being tracked or changed is an email or is another item, such as an appointment, a contact, or a task.

Below is the summary of immediate sync rules, considering different items and scenarios.















(*) – There are specifics rules for deletion.


For your reference, an “Inspector” is any form inside of Outlook.

The “Explorer” is the normal Outlook view of all items of a particular type in a grid layout.

By default, most of these operations happen in the background so the users aren’t blocked, and they can continue to interact with the UI.

However, the only asynchronous track job is related to outgoing email.

Deletions that occur in Outlook

The following table describes whether a deletion that occurred in Outlook will propagate to CRM during the next Outlook synchronization process.


Deletions that occur in CRM

The following table describes whether a deletion that occurred in CRM will propagate to Outlook during the next Outlook synchronization process.


After tracking

After you track a record, you can use the buttons on the Dynamics CRM for Outlook ribbon to do additional tasks.