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Dynamics 365 App for Outlook - Tracking status in Outlook hack / workaround

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forum

George Rizk asked a question on 3 Nov 2017 4:14 PM
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Hi Everyone,

We are slowly moving away from the Dynamics 365 Outlook client to the new Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.

One of the things we find that really irritates our users with the new app is that there is no immediate onscreen way of seeing what you have tracked and what you have not. This is especially so for the users that send and receive hundreds of emails are day.

It's very annoying to have to check each email and click the Dynamics 365 App button to see it's tracking status.

I have found a supported way which uses Conditional Formatting in Outlook to change the color of an email once it's been tracked in CRM to allow users to quickly see when it's been tracked in CRM without having to go through a whole circus of processes.

Remember this is a workaround (By work around I mean it's better than the nothing we are given at the moment)

In Outlook you can add a column named "crmLinkState" (without quotes). To do this, go to the View tab, click View Settings button, click Columns , then click New Column. Type crmLinkState as the name. The column Type should be Number. Please also note that "crmLinkState" is case sensitive. The values which now appear in your new column mean the following:

blank - never tracked
0 - means untracked, i.e. it was tracked at some point but not currently
1 - track pending
2 - currently tracked

Now you have the new column in Outlook you can use Conditional Formatting in your View to altar the way a tracked email looks. What I have done is for any email which contains a crmLinkState = 2 than change the font colour to "Teal". This way my regular untracked emails are black and my tracked emails are coloured Teal.

Hopefully this helps anyone else out there who is scratching their head as much as I am.

Moving forward ideally I would like to see all the functionality of the Dynamics 365 Outook Client rolled into the App like multi selecting items to Track and also having it so the app automatically tracks my outgoing replies if they where tracked to begin with. For us automatically tracking the outbound reply is equally as important as tracking the inbound reply as sometimes its the sender who has the last words!

For more details on the "crmLinkState" field in Outlook see the following great read:
https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/dynamicscrmsupportblog/archive/2013/01/22/crm-for-outlook-client-synchronization-blog-series-part-2-what-happens-when-you-track-an-item-in-outlook

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Marianne Christensen responded on 3 May 2018 8:23 AM
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I turned this into a video. https://vimeo.com/267765191

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Jkruse responded on 3 May 2018 9:40 AM

You might want to check out what the D365 team just announced yesterday as another alternative to what you're trying to accomplish by using "categories" in Outlook:  blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/.../introducing-outlook-category-based-tracking-in-server-side-synchronization

Might be a little easier/streamlined to implement.

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Marianne Christensen responded on 4 May 2018 3:23 AM
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Yep. My video will be relevant just until the categories approach is ready for version 9.0 - and then maybe for people in organisations where this category feature is not turned on.

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George Rizk responded on 4 May 2018 4:37 AM
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Thanks Marianne,

Great video. :)

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spc33713 responded on 9 Jul 2018 11:59 AM

Thanks, Marianne!  That worked!

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spc33713 responded on 9 Jul 2018 11:59 AM

Thank you, George!  That worked!  

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Pierre-Olivier Pujol responded on 24 Jul 2018 6:33 AM
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This is nice and working in the main inbox. Thank you for sharing !

Would you know if it is possible in the sent message (track a previously sent email and apply a color?)

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George Rizk responded on 24 Jul 2018 7:27 AM
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Certainly. You can apply the same view to the "Sent Items" folder using the same technique. :)

One issue you will find is for emails you file away. Example. You track an email in the Inbox. It's colour than changes. Than when you move that email to a folder, that email will lose it's colour as the folder itself doesn't have the modified view to enhance tracked emails. I guess you can probably change the default view for all folders in the mailbox and this should be a workaround. Outlook allows you to apply the current view to all folders.

We didn't need to file our emails away in sub folders so inbox & sent items was enough for us.

Hope this helps.

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Marianne Christensen responded on 3 May 2018 8:23 AM
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I turned this into a video. https://vimeo.com/267765191

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