Recently, I’ve come across a post on Dynamics 365 and SharePoint integration. The story is from one CRM forum, and the writer was looking for a solution for permission structure in SharePoint.
From the number of similar threads, many organizations are concerned with the same issue – missing synchronization of permissions and privileges between the CRM and SP.
The forum member wrote the following:
Currently, I'm investigating possibilities to replicate the needed permissions structure for a centralized SharePoint database with multiple countries (sub-entities located in different countries are using their own SharePoint sites and have their specific needs related to security roles and document structure). A Centralized SharePoint database would represent an interim solution for document storage. Microsoft solution does not allow to integrate multiple SharePoint sites and synchronize security roles, so looks like finding a third-party solution is the only option now.
Have you ever had similar issues? What are the options on the market? Is third-party software the only valid way to solve it?
So let’s see what can be done about it.
Firstly, why Dynamics 365 and SharePoint integration in the first place?
Many organizations prefer working with D365 documents using SharePoint as this provides extra functionality for team and document collaboration:
- Possibility to create, upload, view, and delete documents stored in SharePoint from within Dynamics 365;
- Using the SharePoint document management abilities within Dynamics 365, such as checking the document in and out and changing document properties;
- Enabling customers who want to review a bid, to directly access D365 documents in SharePoint, once they have the appropriate permissions.
The features are great, and Microsoft provides free integration of the two systems. But companies that would like to enable this integration need to be aware of one important thing.
The out-of-the-box Microsoft integration doesn’t take into account document permission rights.
Imagine, you lock some information in Dynamics 365 as confidential and allow a limited number of users to have access to it. The data can be about salaries, contract values, prospect information, personal data, etc.
Then you integrate the CRM with SharePoint. But because the permission rights can’t synchronize, the confidential information turns available to anyone in SharePoint. This endangers the company in many ways, from financial to reputational losses.
What can be done about it?
The longest way. Coding the synchronization of privileges and permissions between Dynamics 365 and SharePoint manually from scratch. To be honest, not the best idea for several reasons. Firstly, it will take quite a lot of time and developing resources. And, secondly, it will not end on launching the synchronization. All the burden of maintenance like debugging, keeping an eye on system updates etc. will be still on your developer’s shoulders. Plus, if the synchronization goes wrong
A shorter but still long way. Coding the synchronization, using ready-made connectors for Dynamics 365 and SharePoint. An example can be Azure Logic Apps which allows us to build our own custom logic to move documents out of CRM and into the SharePoint sites and folders of our choosing. Another example – integration platforms with pre-built connectors like
The advantage compared with the first approach is saving time on learning Dynamics 365 and SharePoint APIs – which is a lot. You only need to build the logic of the synchronization and make sure no sensitive information skips the gate. It may take time and resources, especially during iterations. Therefore, obvious disadvantages: the maintenance is still going to be on you.
The shortest way. At the moment, one ready-to-use product is available for solving the missing synchronization of document access rights between Dynamics 365 and SharePoint. It is called quite straightforward -
Advantages: no expenditures on developing or maintenance. It is a ready-to-use product that can be launched on-premises or as SaaS within minutes. No need to worry about system updates as there is a team of experienced developers behind the product who take care of it and provide support.
Disadvantages: can’t name any. The product is being used at thousands of installations around the world, in multinational companies and the public sector: the Government of Canada,
If you use Dynamics 365 in combination with SharePoint, you really need CB Dynamics 365 to SharePoint Permissions Replicator to protect your data integrity.
About the author:
As a part of Connecting Software’s team, Anastasia Mazur has been investigating ins and outs of business software integration and synchronization. Can participate in a short conversation about it without appearing superficial.