Integrate (synchronize) your email system with Microsoft Dynamics 365


Updated: August 31, 2017

Applies To: Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2013, Dynamics CRM 2015, Dynamics CRM 2016, Dynamics CRM Online

One of the main reasons people use Microsoft Dynamics 365 is to store all customer communications in one place, so anyone with the appropriate permissions can see all relevant customer records. For example, view all email associated with a particular contact, account, opportunity, or case.

To store email and other messaging records in Dynamics 365, you need to synchronize your email system with Dynamics 365. There are two ways to do this:

  • Server-side synchronization

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook (includes a synchronization agent). However, see the deprecation notice below.

  • In previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you could also use the Email Router to synchronize records. The Email Router has been deprecated as of the December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online and on-premises). We strongly recommend that you migrate all email routing functionality to use server-side synchronization. More information: Migrate settings from the Email Router to server-side synchronization

  • Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) email servers are not currently supported by server-side synchronization or the Email Router.

Server-side synchronization is the preferred synchronization method for the following reasons:

  • Enables Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. With Dynamics 365 App for Outlook (not the same thing as Dynamics 365 for Outlook), Dynamics 365 information appears next to a user’s Outlook email messages or appointments. They can view information about contacts and leads stored in Dynamics 365 and add Dynamics 365 contacts directly from an email message. They can also link email, appointment, and contact records to new or existing Dynamics 365 records, such as opportunity, account, or case records. Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is very simple to deploy and it works with Outlook on the web (included in Microsoft Office 365) the Outlook desktop client, and Outlook mobile. Help & Training: Learn more about Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.

  • Enables Exchange  folder tracking. With folder tracking, users can simply drag email to an Exchange folder to track it automatically in Dynamics 365. Folder tracking works on any mobile device that supports Microsoft Exchange, which means users can track email from just about any device. Help & Training: Learn more about folder tracking.

  • Automatic synchronization. When you synchronize records with server-side synchronization, the synchronization happens automatically at the server level. This isn’t true if you synchronize records with Dynamics 365 for Outlook. In this case, the user has to have Dynamics 365 for Outlook open to synchronize records.

  • Enables multiple scenarios, including hybrid scenarios. You can use server-side synchronization to connect:

    • Dynamics 365 (online) to Exchange Online

    • Dynamics 365 (online) to Exchange Server (on-premises)

    • Dynamics 365 Server (on-premises) to Exchange Server (on-premises)

    • Dynamics 365 Server (on-premises) to Exchange Online

  • Synchronize appointments, contacts, and tasks. In addition to email, you can synchronize Outlook appointments, contacts, and tasks.

  • Synchronize with POP3 email servers. You can use server-side synchronization to synchronize Dynamics 365 with Gmail,, Yahoo, and other POP3 email servers. Note, however, that you can’t synchronize appointments, contacts, and tasks with POP3 email servers.

  • Integrated mailbox management and resource utilization. You can use the server-side synchronization performance dashboard to quickly monitor mailbox performance across the organization. You can also troubleshoot errors through error logging and reporting.

More information: Set up server-side synchronization of email, appointments, contacts, and tasks

Dynamics 365 for Outlook, the legacy add-in for Outlook, is a full  Dynamics 365 client that includes offline capabilities. However, as of the December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online and on-premises), the preferred way to use Dynamics 365 and Outlook together is to use Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook paired with server-side synchronization.


Dynamics 365 for Outlook is deprecated with Dynamics 365 (online), version 9.0 and will be removed in a future major release. This deprecation includes Offline mode and synchronization in Dynamics 365 for Outlook. For more information, see Deprecation of Dynamics 365 for Outlook


If you do use Dynamics 365 for Outlook, server-side synchronization isn't required since Dynamics 365 for Outlook has its own synchronization agent that runs on the user’s computer, but it’s best to do the synchronization through server-side synchronization for the reasons mentioned in the previous section. Help and Training: Learn more about Dynamics 365 for Outlook

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