In order to facilitate the synchronization of entity records and other data between a Dynamics Marketing and Dynamics CRM (Online or On-Premise 2011/2013/2015) instance, Microsoft has provided a connector solution that customers can leverage to share this data. This blog article series is meant to serve as a one-stop guide to covering the connector's features and scope, how it can be configured from start to finish, and how to address some of the more common problems that can occur during its setup and utilization.

Before we move on to the nuts and bolts of the connector and its configuration, I want to first break down the scope of the entities that are enabled for synchronization by default and the directions in which they flow between the two applications:

MDM Marketing Companies <---> CRM Accounts (both ways)
MDM Marketing Contacts <---> CRM Contacts (both ways)
MDM Marketing Lists <---> CRM Marketing Lists (both ways) *
MDM "Sales Ready" Leads ---> CRM Leads (one way)
CRM Opportunities ---> MDM Opportunities (one way)
MDM Campaigns <---> CRM Campaigns (both ways) ***
MDM Email Marketing Messages ---> CRM Campaigns (one way)
MDM Online Visitors ---> CRM Web Behavioral Data (one way) **
MDM Notes <---> CRM Notes (both ways)
MDM Tasks <---> CRM Task Activities (both ways) ***

* To synchronize lists from CRM, the "Sync Enabled" field must be published to the Marketing List form and set to "Yes". Both static and dynamic marketing lists in CRM will synchronize as static lists in MDM, and static lists in MDM will synchronize as static lists in CRM. Dynamic lists in MDM (queries) cannot be synchronized to CRM.

** The web behavioral data entity is created as part of the CRM solution that is imported for the connector. Online visitor data is integrated to CRM as a Web Behavioral Data record and related to CRM contacts that integrate from MDM.

*** Prior to the MDM 2015 release (version 17.0), campaigns and tasks synchronized one way, from MDM to CRM only.

I also want to point out that these are the only entities supported for synchronization with the connector and no other entities outside of this scope can be added to the synchronization process in the current version. However, you do have the ability to disable the synchronization of any of these entities if you choose to, which I will cover in greater detail later in this blog series. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that setting up the connector is a requirement in order to install the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Seller Portal solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Prior to beginning the configuration process, please also note that there are some prerequisites that you will need to have in place for the setup to be successful and for the connector to operate properly.  These prerequisites are dependent upon which type of Dynamics CRM environment you are connecting with, so I have listed both sets below.

For CRM Online configurations:

  • A licensed user account with administrative access to a production or trial Dynamics Marketing instance. Administrative access can be granted to the user by navigating to Settings -> Users -> Your User Record, checking the "Administrator" checkbox, and saving the user record.
  • A licensed user account with the System Administrator or System Customizer security role assigned to it within a production or trial Dynamics CRM instance. More information about CRM's security role and privilege structure can be found here.
  • (Optional) Access to a production or trial Microsoft Azure subscription is only required if you prefer to administer the Service Bus Namespace and respective queues yourself by using the "Custom Queues" option. Otherwise, you can choose to circumvent the Microsoft Azure subscription requirement entirely by choosing the "Managed Queues" option during the connector configuration. If you do not already have an Azure subscription and would like to set up a trial, you can do so here.
  • Access to the Office 365 tenant that houses the Dynamics CRM instance with sufficient enough rights to create a new service account user and temporarily assign a CRM license to it. A single Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online license must be available for allocation in the tenant to perform this step.


For CRM On-Premises configurations:

  • A licensed user account with administrative access to a production or trial Dynamics Marketing instance. Administrative access can be granted to the user by navigating to Settings -> Users -> Your User Record, checking the "Administrator" checkbox, and saving the user record.
  • A licensed user account with the System Administrator or System Customizer security role assigned to it within a production or trial Dynamics CRM instance. More information about CRM's security role and privilege structure can be found here.
  • Access to a production or trial Microsoft Azure subscription.  As the server roles for the connector will reside on the local CRM server and will not be administered by Microsoft, the "Managed Queues" option is not available in a CRM On-Premises configuration and therefore a Microsoft Azure subscription is required.  If you do not already have an Azure subscription and would like to set up a trial, you can do so here.
  • Access to Active Directory within the domain where CRM is installed with sufficient enough rights to create a new service account user that is a member of the Domain Users group and grant read access to the private key of the Microsoft Azure Service Bus Issuer Certificate.
  • Local administrative access to the CRM server that maintains the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Asynchronous Processing Service (installed with either a Full Server role or Back End Server role) in order to create and start the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Data Integration Service on the local machine. While not required, it is recommended that the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Data Integration Service be installed on the same server as the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Asynchronous Processing Service.
  • Outbound access to the Internet via ports 80, 443, and 9354 (per Microsoft Azure requirements) for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Asynchronous Processing Service executable.  Inbound access is not required.
  • A valid certificate with a private key must be available to be used as the Microsoft Azure Service Bus Issuer Certificate in CRM. This can be obtained from a server with the Active Directory Certificate Services role via the Create Domain Certificate wizard in Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager or from a trusted certificate issuing authority.  Additionally, the user setting the Microsoft Azure Service Bus Issuer Certificate through PowerShell must be a Deployment Administrator in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Deployment Manager.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1 must be installed on the CRM server where the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Data Integration Service will be running.  Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 is already a part of the operating system when running Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 (and can be updated as needed), but earlier Windows Server editions will require .NET 4.5.1 to be downloaded and installed manually from here.


Once you've confirmed that the entity synchronization scope meets your requirements and all of the above requirements are in place, you are ready to begin. If you are setting up the connector with a CRM Online environment, then please proceed on to part two of the blog series. If you are setting up the connector with a CRM On-Premise environment, then please proceed on to part three of the blog series.

For additional information on configuring the connector or its mappings, please refer to our TechNet article - "Connect Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and 2015 with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing".