There are a number of rules which determine what appointments and meetings are synchronised by the CRM Outlook Integration plugin. Some of these rules can be defined by the CRM administrator, whereas others are fundamental rules of the plugin and cannot be changed. The majority of users are not expected (nor do they need) to understand these rules, however if you're a CRM administrator and you want to know what's going on behind the scenes every time you sync, this is the blog post for you!

The synchronisation rules can be broken down into the following four categories:

  1. The rules which are defined by CRM administrators.
  2. The rules which are applied the very first time you sync.
  3. The rules which are applied the second and subsequent time you sync.
  4. Exceptions to the rules.

 

The rules which are defined by CRM administrators

These rules are defined by the CRM administrator, and apply to all users. You can access them by logging into CRM and going to Administration -> Users -> User Configuration.

The following rules apply to syncing appointments and meetings:

  • One Way Synchronization.
  • Synchronize Outlook Deletions.
  • Managing CRM and Outlook Updates.
  • Synchronize Outlook Appointments.
  • Auto Sync (In Minutes).

One Way Synchronization determines if items should sync from CRM to Outlook only, from Outlook to CRM only, or from CRM to Outlook and Outlook to CRM, i.e. both ways.

Synchronize Outlook Deletions determines if deleted items in Outlook should also be deleted in CRM.

Managing CRM and Outlook Updates determines what rules to apply whenever there is a conflict. For example, if this is set to "Outlook Updates Win" and you change an appointment in CRM and Outlook and sync, the change you made in Outlook will sync to CRM.

Synchronize Outlook Appointments determines whether or not appointments and meetings should sync between Outlook and CRM.

Auto Sync (In Minutes) is how often an automatic sync will take place.

It is important to remember some rules can override other rules. For example, if you set One Way Synchronization to From CRM to Outlook only, and set Synchronize Outlook Deletions to Yes, appointments and meetings which are deleted in Outlook will not sync to CRM.

Also be aware any changes you make to the above rules will only be applied when users re-login to CRM using the CRM Outlook Integration plugin.

 

The rules which are applied the very first time you sync

These are the rules which are applied the very first time you sync, i.e. immediately after installing the CRM Outlook Integration plugin.

A non-recurring non-private appointment or meeting will sync if its end date (i.e. when the appointment ends) is within the past 14 days or some time in the future.

A recurring non-private appointment or meeting will sync if the end date of the last appointment in the series is within the past 14 days or some time in the future.

 

The rules which are applied the second and subsequent time you sync

These are the rules which are applied every time you sync, apart from your very first sync.

A non-recurring non-private appointment or meeting will sync if its end date is within the past 14 days or some time in the future, and it was created or modified since the last sync time (minus 10 minutes).

A recurring non-private appointment or meeting will sync if the end date of the last appointment in the series is within the past 14 days or some time in the future, and the series was created or modified since the last sync time (minus 10 minutes). 

Note you can find out the last sync time by opening the file Sosf.set on the client machine and looking for the LastAppointmentSyncTime value. Sosf.set is typically found in C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Sage\CRM\OutlookPlugin on Windows XP, and C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Sage\CRM\OutlookPlugin on Windows 7.

 

Exceptions to the rules

There are a number of appointments and meetings which will never sync. The most commons exceptions are as follows:

  • Yearly recurring appointments and meetings.
  • Recurring appointments and meetings with no end date.
  • Recurring meetings where a user is invited to just one of the meetings, i.e. she's not invited to the series. This individual appointment will not sync for the user.
  • Recurring appointments and meetings created in CRM which have an hourly recurrence.
  • Private appointments and meetings.
  • Appointments and meetings with a blank subject and body.
  • Cancelled meetings.

 

And that's it. In part two of this series, I will explain the synchronisation rules for tasks.