Microsoft Dynamics CRM Email Router Explained

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Email Router can handle both outgoing and incoming email requests of CRM (CRM refers to Microsoft Dynamics CRM throughout this write up). The main aim of email routing is to get emails delivered from/ created into CRM. CRM helps track emails, including the relevant replies.

Because CRM lacks the capability to act as an e-mail service, we will rely on Microsoft Exchange to effectively handle the e-mail services. The communication between CRM and the e-mail service needs to be handled properly – giving birth to the concept of the e-mail router. As an extra component that requires installation and configuration on a supported environment, Email Router has a number of advantages and disadvantages.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Email Router Explained

Advantages

  •  Can be depended upon to Exchange and POP3 mailboxes in order to track incoming e-mail into CRM
  •  Where the CRM Client for Outlook installation is missing, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Email Router can used is deployments
  •  Can be used in monitoring individual mailboxes
  •  May be used for Queues
  •  It will send outgoing electronic mails out as long as the Router service if fully functional and running

Disadvantages

  • A dedicated and constantly running computer is required
  • Can be a bit more complex to set up and maintain particularly when used in monitoring a large number of user mailboxes
  • It requires a central administrator just within the email service with full mailbox rights and privileges for users within the deployment or users to enter their credentials manually within their CRM’s Personal Options.

Therefore, the main functionality of the E-mail Router is that it is designed to connect an email service to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It can be used for sending out emails from CRM and handle the creation of email activities into CRM, depending on replies to CRM email activities.

How the Email Router Connects Microsoft Dynamics CRM to an Email Service in Order to Send Outgoing Emails

E-Mail Router – Outgoing E-mails

How the E-mail Router sends emails out of CRM

1. The user creates and saves an E-mail activity within CRM. With E-mail in a Draft state, the E-mail activity in set to Open and can be modified.

2. The user clicks Send after ensuring the email is to their liking. This changes the email activity status to Pending Send, setting the email activity to a read-only state.

3. Then, the E-mail Router queries CRM to determine if any emails are to be sent. This query is based on a number of conditions; including the fact that CRM activity should have the status “Pending Send.” The E-mail Router then processes all outgoing emails depending on per user basis.

What this means is that CRM is seeking to find the user’s GUID for the field labeled Sender. By default, only 6 emails can be retrieved by the E-mail Router and sent to the email service at any given time.

4. The E-mail Router attempts to establish a connection with the email server. If successful, it takes a list of all emails retrieved in the first step and sends them to the email server to await delivery. In some situations, such as later versions of Exchange, a configuration is necessary so that the email server can allow email to be sent even from an “external” source. The term “external” is used to mean that the email send request was done by another service other than the email service.

5. The server neither accepts nor rejects the request made from the E-mail Router. If emails from the E-mail Router are accepted by the email server, the E-mail Router receives a reply sent by the email service regarding the acceptance. After receiving this notification, the E-mail Router changes the status of the email activity from Pending Send to Sent.

On the other hand, if the emails are rejected by the email server, the email activity will return into a Pending Send Status, only to retry at a later time.

6. After accepting the email, it is the work of the email service to retrieve it from the server to the recipient.

The process and concept involved here is fairly simple. The E-mail Router will query CRM form emails Pending Send, package them up, and send the bulk off to the email server.

How Microsoft Dynamics CRM Email Router Handles Incoming Emails

While the process is a bit more complex, it is a simple process (at least theoretically).

1. Assuming that a user sent an email to a CRM Contact Record (out of CRM), the user receives a response from that Contact and that email can now be found inside the email box of the CRM user.

2. Now our objective is to get the email response from this CRM Contact right into CRM. But, we need to configure user settings and the E-mail Router first in order to connect to the CRM mailbox of the user. For the E-mail Router to be able to establish a connection to the email server, credentials of the user with full mailbox access permission has to be passed to the email server by the E-mail Router. Then the E-mail Router crawls through that user’s Inbox for their mailbox.

3. For every email in the Inbox of the user, the E-mail Router queries the CRM server just to determine whether the email message needs to be created as an email activity. This is normally based on some few different configuration options found within the CRM.

Once the CRM is convinced that that the email activity meets the set criteria for creation into the CRM, it will then create an email activity within CRM denoting the status of Received. However, if CRM is not convinced or fails to find a good reason to create an email activity within CRM, the request will be denied and a reason for denial issued. Then, a message with the E-mail Router is logged and the email message disregarded.

Conclusion

The E-mail router is capable of handling CRM’s outgoing as well as incoming messages. Once installed and configured in a supported environment, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Email Router can be used to perform a variety of tasks, including connection to Exchange and POP3 mailboxes in order to track all incoming emails into the CRM, monitor individual user mailboxes, and help in deployments where CRM Client for Outlook installation is missing.

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Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of DynaMe. DynaMe is a blog focused on cloud based Microsoft Dynamics.
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