Since our last update, we have been busy working on several enhancements to the CRM for Outlook diagnostic scenario.  We are happy to introduce the following new improvements: 

Overview

  • Verifying CRM for Outlook is the same major version as your CRM Online instance
  • Running the CRM Configuration Wizard with a custom configuration file
  • Additional connectivity checks
  • Uninstall/reinstall action
  • CRM registry info collected
  • Diagnostics surfaced in case submission process

Details

  • Verifying CRM for Outlook is the same major version as your CRM Online instance

A common solution to many issues is updating CRM for Outlook to be on the same major version as your CRM Online instance.  Here are a few common scenarios we now detect related to a version mismatch:

    • CRM for Outlook is 1 major version older than CRM Online instance

Although it is supported to use CRM 2015 for Outlook with a CRM 2016 instance, we recommend updating CRM for Outlook to the same major version if you are encountering issues.  This backward compatibility is mostly intended to allow more time to upgrade CRM for Outlook after your CRM Online instance is updated to a new major version. 

    • CRM for Outlook is more than 1 major version older than CRM Online instance

We have also seen many customers who were using CRM 2013 for Outlook with a CRM 2015 instance.  After their CRM Online instance is updated to CRM 2016, they are now in an unsupported state having CRM for Outlook more than 1 major version behind their CRM instance version.    

    • CRM for Outlook is a newer major version than CRM Online instance

Users might download the latest version of CRM for Outlook (2016) but their CRM Online instance was not CRM 2016 yet.  CRM for Outlook either needs to be the same major version or it can be 1 major version lower than the CRM instance.      

 

To compare the versions, we now make a remote call to retrieve your list of CRM Online instances.  If you have multiple CRM Online instances, you will see an option to select the one you are trying to use with CRM for Outlook. 

The version of your CRM Online instance is compared to the version of CRM for Outlook you have installed.  If they are not the same major version, it is recommended that you install the same major version.  A direct link to the appropriate install is provided. 

  • Running the CRM Configuration Wizard

If CRM for Outlook is not installed, we can run the Configuration Wizard for you.  We use a configuration file to default the option to CRM Online.  The CRM Online option may not be what you previously had as the default if you downloaded the install files from Microsoft Downloads.  Instead, you may have seen a prompt to type the URL manually.        

The screen shown above will display your CRM Online URL if we could retrieve it successfully.  We also log this configuration attempt to a custom configuration log and will collect that log file (ConfigUsingSaRA.log) if you choose to share your configuration files with Microsoft. 

 

  • Additional Connectivity Checks

Because we now retrieve your CRM Online instance information, we are now able to add your unique CRM Online instance URL to the list of connectivity checks.  Prior to this, we were only able to test the URLs that are used by all customers.  We have also added connectivity checks for the newly introduced data centers in Canada and India.    


 

  • Uninstall/reinstall action

If all other checks and fixes fail to resolve the issue, a final suggestion to try an uninstall/reinstall is suggested.  The uninstall portion is automated and a direct link is provided to the recommended CRM for Outlook install files (based on the version of your CRM Online instance).  Because installing CRM for Outlook requires administrator privileges, this suggestion only appears if you are a local administrator on the computer.   

             

  • CRM registry info collected

Prior releases already included the collection of log and event log files you could send to Microsoft.  The CRM for Outlook registry key info is now included. 

 

  • Diagnostics surfaced in case submission process

Because this diagnostic is also designed to help Microsoft solve your issue if you need to open a support case, we now suggest this diagnostic during the case submission process.  If you submit a CRM Online case and choose "CRM for Outlook (Outlook Client)" for the Feature and any of the following Symptoms, the Support and Recovery Assistant will be suggested:

    • Cannot connect (Configuration Wizard)
    • Installation
    • CRM toolbar is disabled or missing

    

NOTE:  If you already ran the diagnostic prior to submitting a support case, it is not necessary to run it again.  This is surfaced during case submission as a suggestion for those who may not be aware of the diagnostic yet. 

 

We hope these improvements help you detect and resolve any issues you encounter.  As always we are continuing to drive improvements to reduce the chance of an issue occurring in the first place.  The feedback collected by this diagnostic is helping us prioritize such improvements.