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Linking Microsoft Outlook contacts to Dynamics CRM

How do I link my contacts in Microsoft Outlook to my Microsoft CRM contacts?

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If you are using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook client, you can link your contacts in Outlook to Dynamics CRM fairly simply.

  • Open your contacts folder in Outlook.
  • Select one or more contacts that you want to copy to CRM.
  • Click the "Track in CRM" icon on the toolbar.

    This will create a copy of your Outlook contact in CRM, and will set up automatic synchronization between Outlook and CRM for any changes. If you are using a Windows Mobile device or another personal digital assistant (PDA), changes that you make on your PDA that synchronize with Outlook will also synchronize with Dynamics CRM, providing even greater access to your contact information when you are on the road.

    If you are not using the Outlook client, you can always import your contacts into CRM. There are just a few steps required:

  • First, save the specific contacts out of Outlook to a CSV file.
  • In Dynamics CRM, you will need to set up a data map. In CRM 4.0, you will do this under Settings/Data Management/Data Maps. This will let you specify the file you wish to import and create a mapping between the fields in your CSV file and fields in Dynamics CRM Contacts (or leads, for example).
  • Then, you can use the standard import functionality available in CRM under Tools/Import Data. The wizard will guide you through the selection of your source file, the appropriate data map that you just created, and the type of record that you are importing into (e.g. contact, lead). The import tool will even notify you via email once the import is complete.

    The simplest solution to managing your contacts, however, is simply leveraging the Outlook client. Dynamics CRM's tight integration with Outlook can be a real time-saver for managing contacts, tasks, emails and other activities with your prospects and customers.

  • This was first published in August 2008

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