Hosted CRM system and the Outlook Plugin

We offer a solution to host our customers on our data centre. Most of them are Sage 300 customers but some of them use integrated CRM as well and we have a few standalone CRM customers.

I need to allow my customers to file emails from their Outlook to CRM but CRM is not installed on a server within their network. After a lot of faffing about I managed to get the Outlook Lite plugin installed. It took ages due to the some oddities with their internal security set up. They have been sorted and I can install the plugin.  Their CRM system is running over the open internet on port 4443. I altered the custom system parameter to set the OutlookPort to 4443. Not sure if I needed to do this. If they connect to CRM internally they can use HTTP and the standard port. The external port is only set on the firewall and uses port redirection.

Once installed trying to file emails refuses to work. Surely if I configured the settings on installation I set the server name to be the address that the user uses to access CRM (including the port) and then in the port I also set the port, provided the CRM install name and the log in name, so that when I first come into Outlook when I first try and use the plugin I was expecting it to prompt me for the users password but it didn't. I tried logging with support and they said that CRM hosted doesn't allow you to use the Outlook plugin. I feel that is not right. What if the user is out on the road and they have Outlook loaded and use an open WIFI to access email and want to file an email? Do they really have to come into the office to file emails?

  • Vega:  Are they using Office 365 for email?  If so, that gets configured a little differently.

    Are you getting an error message on the screen?  If so, what does it say?

    If not, I would check the logs...there is usually a message in there that helps troubleshoot why emails won't send.

    Hope this helps!

  • They are using Office 365 and we have Exchange integration set up. That all works. I can send emails from within CRM, and I can get escalations to send email reminders. Everything is fine, it is just the plugin won't connect to Outlook.

  • Are you trying to install the plugin into Outlook that runs within a Terminal Services session?  If so, we haven't had any luck getting that to work reliably, and have gone with the Accelerator addon to provide a solution.

  • No. They're accessing CRM over the web directly.

    Doing it in TS is relatively easy. Each person has to log in and you install the plugin for each user. They will need to have write access to the Windows Downloaded Program Files folder if memory serves me.

  • It would appear that you can do this. I really had trouble accepting the answer from Sage support that you couldn't.

    • Once CRM is configured to allow the Outlook plugin to be used and downloaded by the user you can do the following
    • Update custom_sysparams and set the parameter value for the parameter "OutlookPort" to match the external port that you connect to CRM with. If you're using standard http, then it will stay as 80. If you connect using standard HTTPS, then 443 otherwise it is what port is open on the firewall. Then reload the metadata
    • Login to CRM and download and run the MSI installer for the lite plugin and click next until you get the fields you need to fill in
    • The fields are: server name. This is the external URL that you connect to CRM with. If you connect via a non standard port, do not include the port here. For example if you connect using https://crm.mycompany.co.uk:5566/mycrm/eware.dll then in the server name you would just put crm.mycompany.co.uk
    • The install name using my example would me mycrm
    • Here you would set the port number. For HTTP standard port, this would be 80. For standard HTTP use 443 otherwise using my example you'd use 5566
    • If you're connecting via HTTPS tick the box to say you are
    • The user name is your CRM name
    • Leave the domain blank
    • Let it install. Once installed, open IE... yes IE. Log into CRM
    • Go to the tools menu in IE and choose Internet Options -> Security tab, click Trusted Sites, click the Sites button and add the CRM URL to the trusted sites. If you connect using HTTP, then untick the box requiring HTTPS and then close it and press OK
    • You can close IE now
    • Open Outlook and let the plugin install. If it is disabled by default, you need to go to File -> Options -> Add ins and enable it
    • Once done, you will see the plugin in the menu ribbon. Go and file an email. It will prompt you to login to CRM. If the popup requests you accept any plugins, MAKE SURE YOU ALLOW THEM.

    That should work.