The Challenges of Dynamics 365 Document Management and SharePoint Security

The Challenges of Dynamics 365 Document Management and SharePoint SecurityAfter 17 years on the market, our favorite story at Connecting Software is still the story behind our market-leader product CB Dynamics 365 to SharePoint Permissions Replicator. We even have a video on it, but let me get to the point: this story shows what happens when a customer’s need finally reaches the ears of someone who can address that need. It really goes to show the customer-centric approach we have at Connecting Software!

CB Dynamics 365 to SharePoint Permissions Replicator is a Preferred App on Microsoft AppSource. Along with it, we have CB Dynamics 365 Seamless Attachment Extractor. If Dynamics 365 documents and attachments are your concern, you probably need both solutions. Here is the decision diagram so you can choose based on your needs:

I want to store my Dynamics documents in SharePoint, but I am concerned with SharePoint Security VS. I want to track email and have its attachments readily available from Dynamics without taking up Dynamics space

In short, if you want to store your Dynamics documents in SharePoint, but are concerned with SharePoint Security, CB Dynamics 365 to SharePoint Permissions Replicator is the solution for you. If you want to track email and have its attachments readily available from Dynamics without taking up Dynamics space, then you need CB Dynamics 365 Seamless Attachment Extractor.

From Dynamics 365 Document Management to the Concern with SharePoint Security

Microsoft offers an integration between Dynamics 365 and SharePoint that you can configure at no extra cost. This integration enables organizations to have their Dynamics documents stored in SharePoint automatically and organized either by Accounts or Contacts. A link is left in Dynamics, which makes it very convenient and transparent for the end-user. Moreover, it enables users to collaborate on SharePoint documents and use many of the document management features of SharePoint.

But the security models of Dynamics 365 and SharePoint differ significantly. The out-of-the-box integration from Microsoft does not transfer the limitations you have set up on CRM over to SharePoint. This results in documents in SharePoint being accessible to users without the required Dynamics CRM privileges. So, for example, a contract stored in Dynamics and only accessible to senior managers can suddenly become accessible to everyone in SharePoint when you set up the SharePoint integration.

The question was how to combine the benefits of both solutions and enforce the correct access rights at the same time. The answer is CB Dynamics 365 to SharePoint Permissions Replicator, and that is why this is such a popular solution.

It is important to point out that this is an install-and-forget type of solution. Everything is automatic and requires no user interaction after the initial configuration. In addition, every change made to the security role of a user in Dynamics 365 CE is automatically replicated to SharePoint. This includes when you add or remove a user to specific groups. It is also a future-proof solution in terms of both Dynamics document management and SharePoint security. Why? Because you can upgrade to any other version of both Dynamics and SharePoint and it will keep working.

Benefits of CB Dynamics 365 to SharePoint Permissions Replicator

When facing the challenges of Dynamics 365 document management, you often turn to the SharePoint integration. This is a great step but don’t forget about SharePoint security!

With the simple addition of CB Dynamics 365 to SharePoint Permissions Replicator you can:

  1. Protect confidential data of your customers and employees
  2. Support your GDPR compliance – the documents never leave your safe environment
  3. Secure your documents in SharePoint - automatically and in real-time
  4. Have it up and running in 15 minutes, thanks to the automatic user and permission mapping
  5. Have a technically advanced solution with multitenancy and load balancing that guarantees no single point of failure

Taking It One Step Further - SharePoint Structure Creator

SharePoint Structure Creator is an add-on to CB Dynamics 365 SharePoint Permissions Replicator to keep your document folders in SharePoint neatly organized. This unique ready-to-use solution also solves the issue of the limited document library permissions in SharePoint.

It automatically creates or selects document libraries in SharePoint based on defined rules to avoid reaching the unique permission scope threshold. This threshold is 5K unique permissions per SharePoint Online and 50K for SharePoint 2013, 2016 and 2019. These limits are usually reached within 1-2 years for large organizations. Dynamics document management with neat folder structure

Its benefits are:

  • Allowing to arrange SharePoint the way you like – storing records in the alphabetic, calendar order, and many more
  • Saving time your users need to find documents
  • Maintaining GDPR compliance

 

How about Attachments in Dynamics? Let’s Move Them to Another Cloud Storage!

If your concern is with all those attachments that come in via email and are then tracked into Dynamics, the solution for you is CB Dynamics 365 Seamless Attachment Extractor.

With it, you can move the attachments automatically to an external cloud file storage of your choice: SharePoint, Azure File Storage, Azure Blob Storage. This way, when you send or receive email attachments, they will go first to Dynamics because of the tracking mechanism. As soon as they are in Dynamics, this solution moves the attachments automatically to the respective folders in the configured cloud storage. A link to the location will be left in its place in Dynamics for easy access. For users, it is seamless – it feels like the attachment is still in Dynamics.

Another key point is that you can create multiple configurations, which means you can have two or more cloud storage connectors. You can, by all means, use two connectors of the same kind (e.g., two SharePoint instances) or a combination of different connectors.

Bulk Migration of Historical Data

With the help of the “First Pass” service, you can move all your attachments, even those historical ones that existed before deploying CB Dynamics 365 Seamless Attachment Extractor. This Windows Service triggers moves the files to the configured external file storage. This bulk migration of Dynamics attachments can save a lot of work. Equally important, it does not interrupt the end-user day-to-day activities.

To Make a Long Story Short - Dynamics document management and SharePoint security can coexist

Dynamics 365 is not the best location for your documents and attachments. You gain in terms of storage cost, performance, and regulation compliance (GDPR and the like) by getting documents and attachments in alternative storage.

As Microsoft Gold Partner, Connecting Software recommends SharePoint for documents your team will be working on. This is because of the team collaboration and version control capabilities of SharePoint. Once you have the documents there, make sure correct permissions are enforced by using CB Dynamics 365 to SharePoint Permissions Replicator. To organize documents neatly on SharePoint, consider adding SharePoint Structure Creator, and you will also ensure you will never reach the SharePoint list limit.

For attachments, we recommend either SharePoint, Azure File Storage, or Azure Blob Storage. The choice will depend on what your company might already be using and its cost structure. To get the existing attachments to this external storage and also make sure any incoming or outgoing attachment follow automatically, the best solution is CB Dynamics 365 Seamless Attachment Extractor.

Now it is time for you to decide! If you need extra information or have any questions, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected].

 

Ana Neto - Connecting Software

 

By Ana Neto

Software engineer since 1997, she is now a technical advisor for Connecting Software.

Connecting Software is a producer of integration and synchronization software solutions since 2004.

We operate globally, and we are also a proud “Top Member” and “Top Blogger” at CRMSoftwareBlog.

 

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