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Offline and Outlook filters and templates

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Data filters for Microsoft Office Outlook determine what data should be synchronized between the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server and CRM for Outlook. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online support the ability to change the default filter using the SDK and push these changes to any or all users.

As part of the new support for filter customization, you can write code that allows administrators to create and publish filter templates. This allows a Microsoft Dynamics CRM administrator to create common or desirable filters that can be published to users for synchronizing with the Microsoft Outlook Store and offline database. This also provides a way to customize the default filter template that will be applied for users who are added to the system after the templates are originally published. The administrator also has the ability to update or delete user filters after they are published.

To support these customizations, there are four new query types for saved query (view). When you create a saved query (view) record, specify one of these types in the SavedQuery.QueryType attribute, using the SavedQueryQueryType enumeration. These are only accessible by using the methods described here; there is no UI available to change them. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 offline and Microsoft Outlook filters were the same, whereas in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 you can specify different filters so that you can avoid synchronizing everything to Microsoft Outlook for your mobile phone. Filter templates are solution aware so they can be exported along with a solution.

The following table lists the new query types used for filters and filter templates.

 

Query type Description

OutlookFilters

Defines the subset of an entity to be synchronized with CRM for Outlook. The subset of data defined by these filters will synchronize to Microsoft Outlook folders such as Contacts, Calendar, and so on.

OfflineFilters

Defines the subset of an entity to be synchronized with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook with Offline Access. The subset of data defined by these filters will synchronize to the offline database.

OutlookTemplate

Defines a filter template applied to new users for synchronization with CRM for Outlook.

OfflineTemplate

Defines a filter template applied to new users for synchronization with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook with Offline Access.

Default filter templates are automatically instantiated to the UserQuery entity for each user when the synchronization subscription is created. When synchronization to Microsoft Outlook or to the offline database is initiated, the filters for that user are collected and used to filter the collections of entries and attributes that are being synchronized. If multiple filters are specified for a particular entity, the resulting set of entries will be a union of results of individual filters.

There is a new privilege allowing the administrator to access other user's filters: prvAdminFilter. This is called Manage User Synchronization Filters in the Web application. The system administrator role includes this privilege because without it, only the user can see his or her filters. Calling the IOrganizationService.RetrieveMultiple method on the user query will retrieve records only for the owning user, unless the caller has the prvAdminFilter privilege The query must contain conditions where QueryType equals OutlookFilters or OfflineFilters AND OwnerId equals UserId, where the UserId is not equal to caller. If any other conditions are added to the query, this will not work.

New users automatically are given the filters from the filter templates that are marked as default in the SavedQuery.IsDefault attribute. Administrators need to know that they can change this value to affect this. Each entity can have only one filter template that is marked as default. There can be no default filters, only filter templates. If you create a custom entity, and set the IsAvailableOffline property, a default filter template is created automatically.

There is a new type of filter that administrators can define, called system filters. These filters are defined as SavedQuery records with the query type of OutlookFilters or OfflineFilters. System filters automatically apply to all users, without creating user query records, and cannot be modified by the users.

There is a limit on the number of filters you can add. This setting is controlled by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment administrator to prevent users or administrators from creating too many filters, which affects server performance. The same limit setting is applied to all entities.

By default, there are unlimited settings for both system filters and user filters.

You can instantiate one or more filters per user. To do this manually, use the InstantiateFiltersRequest to instantiate a filter, creating a user query record. Each user query record contains a reference back to the filter. If you update the filter, you can call instantiate again to refresh or override the user’s changes to the filter (user query record).

You can reset the filters for a user to the default by using the ResetUserFiltersRequest.

See Also

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
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