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  • As some of you know, I've been working with Microsoft dynamics software for a while.  One area of constant change.    But the Dynamics /Exchange arena of change has been confusing.  Especially since the introduction of "Dare I Say the word" cloud apps.  Believe me when I tell you, I have had my trials in the trenches with both on premise CRM and CRM on line regarding email and messaging. Supporting people who want their business software on their mobile devices to work and also download games can be a real "Stone in the shoe on a 10 mile hike".   So Microsoft started giving we CRM Pros another option.   It's called Server-side synchronization.
    Instead of using the CRM Email Router or the Outlook client for a full Outlook client with a local SQL instance on the device, Server-Side Sync is a server-based or Cloud Instance email processing utility within you CRM instance.

    If you are running a CRM On-Premises Instance or an CRM Online instance,   Server-side synchronization gives you the features of the Email Router but adds many new options.  

    Too begin with, server-side synchronization runs in conjunction with the CRM asynchronous service.   The Email Router is a separate install and although you can run it on a desktop OS or perhaps a laptop,  I'm pretty sure you would not risk your job by having your business email go done because someone wanted to check their Face book page.   Oh wait!!!  They do that I the Exchange server now, don't they?
      All that aside, server-side synchronization is great for CRM Online. Why? You don't install anything.  Same deal with On premise CRM.  
    We are not just talking about syncing emails. Server-side sync also syncs your  appointments, contacts, and tasks with your Exchange server on premise or Exchange online .  The Email Router?  No can do.  

        Server Side Sync is an CRM web application It logs the errors and provides heath reporting down to the mailbox level. You also have integration with O365.

     You even have settings to external email systems. Within the app you have great preset "views" of mailboxes in different "States" to quickly see what's going on in the system.
    These views include inactive mailboxes, active mailboxes, failures with error codes for troubleshooting, etc.
    So what scenarios does this work in?

         Between CRM Online and Exchange Online.
         Between CRM On-Prem  and Exchange On-Prem.  
  •      Between CRM Online with Exchange Online but multi tenants are not supported.  On premise CRM allows for multiple tenants, which is another conversation.
  • There is one hybrid scenario that I know of from the CRM Online 2016 release where an Online instance of CRM will sync with Exchange On-Prem.
  •  Versions? Exchange 2010 with SP3
  • Exchange 2013 with SP1.
  • Exchange 2016.  
  • Note: Server side sync can be used with POP/SMTP mail and mail. Not bad for shops that don't run Exchange.

Considering the release of the Outlook Web App (not OWA) and it's features as well as it's ability to run in multiple mobile IOS, Server Side Sync may be something you will have to deal with. 

Dynamics 365 is now just part of the o365 suite.  So you know its a possibility.

Curt Spanburgh
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