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Office 2007 SP2 – CRM 4 Integration

As my previous post documents, I’ve updated my Outlook 2007 installation with the just released SP2.
 
It’s early days but I’ve noticed that performance appears to have been improved in Outlook (as promised by MS) however, until now I’d not had a chance to test the MS CRM 4.0 integration.
 
MS CRM installation means that CRM users can work their CRM data without leaving Outlook – it does this in a  number of ways :
  1. a new CRM menu is added to Outlook 

  1. a new CRM toolbar is added to Outlook

  1. a set of CRM folders are displayed in your mailbox

There is a further visible installation point which appears in the task bar

It’s the three coloured triangles that I’ve left un graffitied(?).  This icon controls the connection to CRM and prior to SP2 it was forever complaining that it could not connect – post SP2 it’s as good as gold.

I’ve set out to check that Outlook/CRM integration still works after SP2.  Here’s how I’m going about it:

Simple Outlook/CRM tests

Can I use the menu/toolbar/folder to create new CRM contacts, activitiy records etc.?

Are there any performance changes?

More Taxing Outlook/CRM Tests

Can I carry out mailmerge with Outlook and Word as the client and have CRM send out maileerged emails and track this in CRM?

Are there any performance changes?

Testing Progress

Due to work commitments that do not require Outlook 2007 SP2 & CRM integration, I’ve not been able to get very far with this but so far:

Simple Outlook/CRM tests

Integration seems to work – I’ve created the main record types – Contact/Account/Activity from the menu, toolbar and folder display – I’ll continue to investigate these as I get time.  Performance seems comparable – as comparable as it can be when network latency is involved.

Promoting emails to CRM seems fine – performance improved? can’t tell

More Taxing Outlook/CRM Tests

I completed a mailmerge using a Word template and a handful of contacts, the contact records had the activity recorded in their history within a few moments and the and emails were created in my Outlook outbox.  The only problem is that they were stuck in the Outbox.

Other emails that I’d sent earlier in the morning where also stuck – where these due to the SP2 upgrade or a network/infrastructure thing?

I closed Outlook (very quick) and reloaded it (very quick).  All of the mailmerge emails were sent within a second or two but an earlier email remained.  This rendered the test inconclusive so I went again.

The mailmerge completed as expected but I had to wait a long long time before the activity records were created and the emails generated and placed in my outbox.  Again, I’ll have to continue with this as and when I have the time.

Conclusions

The integration with Outlook 2007 and CRM 4 appears to work as before.  Are there any performance improvements – don;t know yet Ill need to work with it longer before giving any definitive answers.

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