Nitin Dhawan CRM Discussion

A CRM Monster [MCDP, MCDS, MCTS, MCSD]

Writing Custom Code for MSCRM 4.0 for Outlook

Posted by Nitin Dhawan on June 23, 2009


There are two Outlook clients for Microsoft Dynamics CRM:
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 for Microsoft Office Outlook
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 for Microsoft Office Outlook with Offline Access
MSCRM for Microsoft Office Outlook can only be used when you are connected to the MSCRM server through the network. It enables multiple users to access MSCRM through Outlook on the same computer. A simple way to understand it is that it provides access to the MSCRM Web application through Outlook.
MSCRM 4.0 for Microsoft Office Outlook with Offline Access supports offline use. Users interact with Microsoft Dynamics CRM data in Outlook exactly like they do in MSCRM for Outlook. To support offline use for Outlook with Offline Access uses a local version of the MSCRM Web application hosted on a local Web server. This local Web server can only be used for the local instance of MSCRM for Outlook with Offline Access to access MSCRM. A SQL Server 2005 Express database provides data storage. When MSCRM for Outlook with Offline Access is synchronized, any customizations applied on the MSCRM server are transferred to the local MSCRM application. It also contains the assembly Microsoft.Crm. Outlook.Sdk, which you can use when customizing MSCRM for Outlook. This includes methods to determine which client is being used and whether the user is online or offline. You can use these criteria to disable functionality that requires a connection to the network. Workflow rules are not included in MSCRM for Outlook with Offline Access, but plug-ins can be deployed. Workflow rules and plug-ins are applied when the user synchronizes data.
The following table lists the methods that are available for interacting with MSCRM 4.0 for Outlook:
GoOffline Takes Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook with Offline Access into an offline state and triggers a synchronization of the offline database with the online server.
GoOnline Synchronizes Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook with Offline Access with the online Microsoft Dynamics CRM server
SetOffline Sets Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook with Offline Access into an offline state without triggering a synchronization of the offline database with the online server.
Sync Triggers a synchronization event between Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook with Offline Access in Outlook and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server.
The following table lists the properties available for interacting with MSCRM 4.0 for Outlook:
IsCrmClientLoaded Gets a value that indicates whether MSCRM 4.0 for Outlook is loaded by MS Outlook.
IsCrmClientOffline Gets a value that indicates whether MSCRM 4.0 for Outlook is offline.
IsCrmDesktopClient Gets a value that indicates whether MSCRM 4.0 for Outlook is installed.
ServerUri Gets the server URI to use to connect to the SDK based on the state of MSCRM 4.0 for Outlook.
State Gets the state of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook.
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