Microsoft Business Solutions is promoting its own CRM – Microsoft CRM. Microsoft CRM is gaining market share in small, mid-size and even large companies CRM market. As our experience indicates it has natural success in transportation & freight forwarding industry. Plus Microsoft CRM is welcomed by Microsoft oriented IT people, due to all recent Microsoft technologies incorporation: Microsoft Exchange Server, Active Directory, Microsoft SQL Server, C# and VB.Net based MS CRM Software Development Kit (SDK).
Microsoft CRM is using Exchange Server to enable email messaging and as usual Microsoft provides the connector between MS CRM and Exchange. We are describing Microsoft CRM Version 1.2
• How does it work. When you send email from CRM object (Lead, Contact or Account) – the connector takes over, appends GUID to the message header and forwards to Microsoft Exchange for delivery. The reason for such a primitive solution is simple – Microsoft wants to be sure that all email systems, deployed from mail recipient side (Lotus, Unix or Exchange) will keep GUID in the response header (usually appending re prefix, like re:…..GUID) and on the way back to MS CRM, connector will take all the messages with GUID in the header and will try to match their GUID with objects GUID and append these messages to their originating objects. Restating in direct words – if you send email from specific contact – when recipient responds – RE message will be attached to the contact.
• Loopholes. Now – when you see this primitive bullet-proof mechanism – you should expect loopholes. Imagine situation when you have your customer writing you new email, not a response. In this case customer doesn’t obviously include GUID into the header and this message is ignored by MS CRM-Exchange connector and doesn’t go to the CRM. Another scenario – you user sends message from pure MS Outlook (not from CRM or CRM client for Outlook). In this case, even if CRM has customer email, registered in CRM – it is bypassing connector and again is not logged in CRM. We may give you more and more scenarios when you would expect logging to CRM and it doesn’t happen.
• Solution. Well, you should consider fixing these problems through MS Exchange event handler programming. These handlers are available on Exchange database and transport level. You typically deploy MS CRM SDK and call its classes and methods from COM+ application, serving as MS Exchange event sink. In this case you are not limited to GUID and free to check if SENTFROM address is the one of the Lead, Contact or Account email.
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Andrew Karasev is consultant and CTO in Alba Spectrum Technologies ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ) – Microsoft Business Solutions partner, serving clients in USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, Asia, Russia, Oceania. He is Microsoft Great Plains certified master, Great Plains Dexterity, Microsoft CRM SDK C#.Net, Crystal Repots developer. You can reach Andrew: firstname.lastname@example.org