If you have been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM for any amount of time, you are undoubtedly familiar with the Email Router. The Email Router is a software application that creates an interface between CRM and an email system to allow for the sending of email messages to and from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Use of the Email Router required that it be setup on a supported system, either on a hosted virtual machine or a computer with network access to CRM.
Let’s take a quick (simplified) look at how the Email Router works
Sending email from CRM
- The Email Router queries CRM and determines if there are any messages to send.
- If there are messages to send, the Email Router then establishes a connection with the Email server.
- Once a connection is made, the Email router then passes the message to the Email server for delivery.
- If the Email server accepts the message, it will send the Email to the recipients.
Receiving email to CRM
- The Email Router logs into the Email Server using credentials of an account with full mailbox access permissions to the recipients mailbox.
- Once connected, the Email Router crawls the mailbox (inbox and sub-folders) and for each email it finds it queries CRM to determine if the email should be created as a CRM email activity.
- If CRM indicates that an email meets the criteria to create an email activity, one is created in CRM.
While the Email Router did a good job of integrating incoming and outgoing email with CRM, it did not provide the ability to sync appointments, tasks and contacts. For that, the Microsoft CRM for Outlook add in was required.
With the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 came a new way of integrating CRM with email called Server Side Sync.
Server Side Sync is built in functionality that allows CRM to communicate directly with an email system without the need for a separate component like the Email Router. In addition, if the email system is an Exchange server, Server Side Sync can also be used to sync appointments, tasks and contacts without relying on the Microsoft CRM for Outlook add in.
As of the December 2016 updated for Dynamics 365 online and on-premises, the Email Router has been deprecated and Microsoft is strongly recommending that Dynamics CRM/365 administrators migrate from the Email Router to the Server Side Sync.
Also as of the December 2016 update for Dynamics 365, Server Side Sync is now supported in hybrid environments such as Dynamics 365 Online and Exchange On-premise and Dynamics 365 On-premise and Exchange Online.
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