New Features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Outlook Client setup

The new version of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Client has some great features which bring a lot of value and more ease to the deployment experience. I’ll try to highlight a few of the key points in this blog post.

Install Once, Configure as Needed

In V3 each user was required to install the full client to use it with their profile; we’ve greatly simplified this process in our new release. The CRM Client need only be installed once per machine; in fact it can only be installed once. Running setup again will go into maintenance mode. Once the client is installed each user can configure the client independently. Using our new Configuration Wizard each user can configure their CRM profile without requiring administrative privileges.

This only applies to the Online Client, since our Offline Client can still only support one user. For our Online Client an administrator can install it once and every user on the machine can configure it themselves.

Online or Offline Client: Just one installer

Do you want to give your users a choice between installing the Offline or Online only client? Now you can do so from a single install point. Instead of separate installers as there were in V3, the 4.0 Client has a single installer that includes both the Online Client and Offline Client. This can simplify various install scenarios such as deploying through Group Policy Objects: a single administrative install point can be used for both the Online and Offline Clients.

Out of the Box Support for Terminal Server and Citrix

If you have had to deploy the CRM 3.0 Client in a Terminal Server environment you know it requires some scripting sleight of hand to get it working for all users. This is no longer the case. Terminal Server and Citrix deployments for the Online Client are now supported out of the box. This is a direct result of separating the Configuration Wizard from the install process.

If you want to go the extra step and add some start up scripts to configure users silently, the whole experience of installation and configuration can be invisible and seamless to the end user.

Download of required components

Like the previous versions of CRM, our rich client has some prerequisites for installation. If you have the installation media for the client then these prerequisites will be included on the disc. If you’re installing from the download package off of the installer will detect which components need to be installed and will automatically download the latest versions. The components that will be downloaded and installed include .NET 3.0, Visual C++ Redistributable, MSXML6, SQL Server 2005 SP2 Express Edition, and the Report Viewer Redistributable (not all of these are needed if you’re installing the Online client).

If you wish to avoid having users download components you can download the components separately and place them on a network share alongside the client installer. Client setup should find them and use them locally rather than downloading them.

The trick is you have to match the folder layout used in our install media. For example if you extracted the downloaded install package to a directory called CrmClient, you can create another directory called Redist at the same level of the CrmClient directory. Under Redist create an i386 directory and then create a subdirectory for each component with the appropriate name: .Net 3.0 (“dotNETFX”), MSXML6 (“MSXML”), ReportViewer (“ReportViewer”), Sql Server Express Edition (“SQLExpr”), and the Visual C++ Redistributable (“VCRedist”).


Figure 1: What the Redist folder should look like

The changes and additions that have been made to our client setup processes will make various deployment scenarios faster and simpler for you. We continue to look forward to your feedback and questions.

Mansoor Riaz

Comments (12)

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  1. This is very useful, particularly the part about installation on TS/Citrix. I have read that roaming profiles are supported on the TS/Citrix environment. What about the standard workstation? They weren’t supported in 3.0, and I haven’t seen anything in writing to say that they are supported in 4.0. An explicit yes or no would be great.


  2. Mansoor Riaz says:

    We do support Roaming Profiles and TS/Citrix out of the box. So yes roaming profiles is supported on workstations in 4.0.



  3. Mike Abrahamson says:

    Has there been any enhancement to deployment via GPO?  V3 only supported publishing the installer to the list of available network applications, yet still required a manual install from the client machine.  Does v4 support assigning the application package via GPO so the separate manual install is eliminated?

  4. ThinkCreateAct says:

    This sounds great!

    But my experience is quite the opposite.

    The installation works fine for new systems. For systems where CRM 3 was installed it gives a lot of problems, cause the version 3 client is still nested somewhere. Upgrading a 3CRM .0 client gives you hell. For me a absolute no go.

    But the real problems appear after installing the client.

    The worst one is this:

    After installing this at a customer site I have this problem on 3 out of 5. They are definitly not happy.

    Another one is this:

    After syncing contact from CRM to Outlook the leading "+" in the telephone number is missing.

    Or this one:

    Sometimes I have 2 CRM toolbars in Outlook.

    Or this:

    Starting the mailmerge from Outlook I get only 45/49(?) out of 247 items in my Word mailmerge.

    And another one:

    Completing a task in Outlook in offlinemode I get a error that this is a CRM task and I have insufficent rights to do that.

    Or this:

    After tracking a eMail in CRM I can’t add a Outlook category

    And this:

    I lose my favorite-links in Outlook regulary

    Seriously: Is this a Beta? Did anyone test this software?

    Do I have to tell you how happy I am?

    Kind regards


  5. Paul says:

    Well oke….."add some start up scripts to configure users silently".

    That sounds very good, are there any example scripts available? or other help information about this ?

    Kind regards, Paul.

  6. pl says:

    I am having similar scenarios like what Gregor described. The worse case is that after installing CRM3.0 client (Outlook version), the Outlook crashes or takes about 15 mins for Outlook to work (send and receive emails). Not to mention doing other thing.

    Does anyone have similar issues where the performance of Outlook degrades or crashes after CRM3.0 installed, even with latest patch?

    Are there any ways to fix this without upgrading to CRM4.0? (though i don’t know if CRM4.0 would fix the issue entirely.)


  7. Shikhar says:

    Is there a way we can change the default personal option configuration? For example, have outlook and crm sync every x minutes for all users without manual intervention for each user?


  8. Gordon Coulter says:

    For CRM 4.0 the folder name for SQL Express now appears to be SQLEXPRESS (rather than the SqlExpr shown in the screen capture).

  9. Terrie says:

    All of our users are using roaming profiles even though they are set up with their own individual laptops. the problem comes in when a user tries to use the "configure CRM" button in outlook, throws an error saying that the network path to the mdb file is not supported… is there any way around this?

  10. Andy says:

    I have the same issue as Terrie.  If the client is using roaming profiles we can not get CRM 4.0 outlook client to install.  I understand that if you are installing the offline option it creates an mdb and that this cannot reside on the network but how about a configuration option to allow us to override the DB location and store it locally?

  11. Rhett Cllinton says:

    A problem I’ve encountered with TS on windows 2008 is that the clint installs fine and the TS user session can also configure successfully. When you start outlook the crm client doesn’t show. There is no toolbar or CRM menu though the navigation pane shows Microsoft CRM without any child node. The CRM addon says enabled though the Microsoft CRM Data File says not available whihc I assume prevents the rest from loading correctly. I can only imagine its a TS issue rather then CRM as I haven’t found any one else with this problem.

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