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Walkthrough: Synchronizing Information Between Outlook and Microsoft Dynamics NAV

You can set up synchronization between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Outlook, so that information about meetings, to-dos, and contacts can be shared between team members and updated across the two products. For example, a salesperson working in the field can create a new meeting in her company's calendar using Outlook, and then her manager in the corporate office can see that to-do on in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

The synchronization framework provides default mapping between the Microsoft Dynamics NAV contacts, salesperson, and to-dos and Microsoft Outlook contacts, tasks, and meetings. You can synchronize the entities either manually or automatically at regular intervals.

One of the strengths of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Outlook synchronization feature is that it can be customized without adding code. It is fairly simple to add additional fields in order to optimize synchronization.

The default setup contains mapping for five different Microsoft Dynamics NAV entities:

  • To-dos of type Meeting

  • Contacts of the Company type

  • Contacts of the Person type

  • Salespeople

  • To-dos of type blank or Phone

Companies might want to add additional fields to this mapping. For more information, see the section "Customizing Synchronization Fields" in this walkthrough.

This walkthrough illustrates the following tasks:

  • Creating a to-do, and synchronizing it with Outlook.

  • Handling a conflict between different data on the same record.

  • Customizing fields that are being synchronized.

NoteNote

A conflict will only appear if changes have been made in both applications after the last synchronization. Therefore, some steps in this walkthrough force a conflict so you can practice solving it. In this case, you enter two different phone numbers for the same contact, and then handle the conflict.

Roles

You play the following roles during this walkthrough:

  • Michael, the account manager

  • David, the sales representative

NoteNote

So that you can quickly begin performing the following procedures, you will use your own Microsoft Dynamics NAV user settings and Outlook account, rather than setting up Michael and David as new users in the CRONUS database. See the "Prerequisites" section that follows for information about the required Outlook integration setup.

Prerequisites

To complete this walkthrough, you will need:

  • To perform the steps in the walkthrough: Walkthrough: Setting Up Outlook Synchronization

  • To ensure that NAS or Web services are running, depending on whether you will connect using CFRONT or Web services.

  • In Microsoft Dynamics NAV:

    • Outlook Integration is installed.

    • CRONUS International Ltd. demo database is installed.

    • Your name added as a salesperson, with your name and e-mail address defined exactly as they are in your Outlook profile.

    • Your name assigned as a user to synchronization entities.

  • In Outlook:

    • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Synchronization toolbar is displayed.

    • The connection between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Outlook is working. To test the connection, click Settings, and then on the Connection tab, click Test Connection.

Michael is an account manager for CRONUS International Ltd. He works primarily in the CRONUS office, and uses Microsoft Dynamics NAV. His coworker, David, is a sales representative who works mainly in the field and uses Outlook to track contacts, tasks, and appointments. Because Michael and David share information, they synchronize their information regularly throughout the day. This enables Michael to set appointments for David, while also keeping track of David's activities in the field.

In this scenario, Michael creates an appointment for David to meet with an existing customer. When David synchronizes, he sees the meeting that Michael has created. He does not think that he can drive to the location in time, so he moves the meeting to another day in his Outlook calendar. He synchronizes again and the changes are updated in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, so that Michel can track the change.

Michael attempts to call the contact, but the phone number is incorrect because someone else has entered a new number in Outlook and not yet synchronized with Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Michael reviews the conflict details, determines that the problem is related to the phone number, and resolves the conflict.

Michael also realizes that he needs to add some additional fields to the entities that are synchronized. He adds the territory code fields as user-defined fields to the company contact information so that they will be displayed in both Outlook and Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

First, Michael sets an appointment for David to meet with a customer by creating a to-do in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and then synchronizing with Outlook, so that the appointment is displayed on the team calendar.

To create a to-do and synchronize it with Outlook

  1. In Microsoft Dynamics NAV, click Departments, click Sales & Marketing, click Sales, and under Lists, click Contacts.

  2. In the Contacts list, open the contact card for A. Gibson's Law Firm, CT100006.

  3. Change the Salesperson code to your initials.

  4. On the Related Information menu, point to Contact, and then click To-dos.

  5. On the To-do list, click Create To-do.

  6. In the Create To-do wizard, add the following information:

    • Set the to-do as type Meeting.

    • Add a short description, such as "talk proposal."

    • Set the meeting for today and add a start time.

  7. Click Next, and the Step 2 pane is displayed with your name as the To-do organizer, and A. Gibson's Law Firm as a required attendee.

  8. Click Finish.

  9. In Microsoft Outlook, click Calendar to open the calendar view, and then in the My Calendars list, open your Microsoft Dynamics NAV calendar.

  10. On the Microsoft Dynamics NAV toolbar, click the Synchronize button to activate synchronization.

    The synchronization runs, and you can see the appointment that you created on the shared calendar.

David checks the synchronized calendar for Microsoft Dynamics NAV updates. He sees the appointment and adjusts the time to fix the conflict.

To change a meeting request in Microsoft Dynamics NAV and synchronize with Outlook

  1. In your Outlook calendar, move the appointment created in Microsoft Dynamics NAV to another day, and then click the Synchronize button to active synchronization again.

  2. Now, open Microsoft Dynamics NAV and navigate to the contact card for CT100006.

    The Next To-do Date field lists the new date of the meeting. You can click the date to open the to-do list, and see the changes that you made to the appointment.

Michael decides to call the customer to let them know that David has made changes to the appointment. He finds that there is a conflict in the contact information, and troubleshoots the conflict. Though this scenario demonstrates how to solve the conflict manually, he could also set up synchronization to handle conflicts automatically. For more information, see Setting Up Synchronization Conflict Resolution Options in the RoleTailored Client Help.

To handle a conflict

  1. Click Settings to open the Settings dialog box.

    The Settings dialog box presents several options for solving conflicts, including options to automatically replace Outlook items with Microsoft Dynamics NAV records, or to automatically replace Microsoft Dynamics NAV records with Outlook items.

  2. Be sure the Resolve conflicts manually option is selected, and close the Settings dialog box.

  3. In Microsoft Dynamics NAV, open the contact card for A. Gibson's Law Firm, CT100006, and add the phone number 1234567.

  4. Open Outlook and find the contact for A. Gibson's Law Firm.

  5. Change the phone number to 1224567, so that it is different from the number that you entered in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

  6. Click the Synchronize button to activate the synchronization.

  7. Then, click the Troubleshooting button, and click the Conflicts tab.

    The conflict is listed here. You can either click Show Outlook Item or Details to see more details about the conflict.

  8. Click Details.

    The Conflict Details dialog box displays a list of the fields that are mapped between the two entities. The conflict is listed in red, which enables you to see that the phone number is creating the conflict.

    Click Replace Outlook Item, select the item from the list, and then click OK.

Because CRONUS has a lot of foreign contacts and actively uses the territory code, Michael decides to add this field to the synchronization mapping.

To add fields to the existing setup

  1. In Microsoft Dynamics NAV, click Departments, and under Administration, click Application Setup. Click Microsoft Office Outlook Integration, and then click Outlook Synch Entities.

    The Outlook Synch. Entity window contains the definition of the mapping between contacts in Microsoft Dynamics NAV and contacts in Microsoft Outlook.

  2. In the Code field, double-click CONT_COMP.

    All the fields that are mapped between the two programs are listed in this form. To add the requested field, add a line in this form and choose the fields you want to include in the synchronization.

  3. On the Related Information menu, point to Synch Entity, and then click Fields.

  4. Click New, and then select Field No. 15, Territory Code.

  5. Because there are no comparable Outlook properties to map this to, select the User Defined check box for the Territory Code field.

    Because entries in the Change Log are used to identify changes in Microsoft Dynamics NAV you must add this field to the change log as well.

  6. On the Related Information menu, point to Sync. Entity, and then click Register in Change Log Setup. Click OK.

  7. Click OK again in the dialog box that appears.

    To ensure that the added territory code appears in Microsoft Outlook, you must create and synchronize a new contact. Changes in the synchronization setup are only shown for newly synchronized items.

  8. In Sales & Marketing, click Order Processing, and then click Contacts.

  9. Click New, and create a new contact of the type Company.

  10. Add a new customer name.

  11. Click the Foreign Trade tab, and then in the Territory Code field, select a territory code.

  12. Click OK.

  13. Open Microsoft Outlook, and start synchronization.

  14. When the synchronization is finished, in Microsoft Outlook, open the new contact you created in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

  15. On the Contact tab, in the Show group, click All fields and then select the User-defined fields in this item option.

    Here, you can see both the salesperson code and the territory code are included in the Outlook contact information.

    Now that you have completed this walkthrough, you can establish synchronization entities and begin synchronizing between Outlook and your company's Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation.

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