Using the XRMToolBox to Manage Outlook Synchronization Filters

One of the biggest value propositions for working with a Microsoft platform is the seamless integration with Office applications. One the most valuable out of the box integrations is the Dynamics 365 and Outlook integration. This integration improves with every release of Dynamics CRM 365.

One piece of the configuration for the Dynamics 365/Outlook integration is managing synchronization filters which determine which D365 records sync with Outlook. When mishandled, users could very well end up with calendar reminders from now until the end of time for every appointment in D365 (this really happened!)

To manage synchronization filters, Admins will want to use the Sync Filter Manager from the XRMToolBox.

Admins can deactivate the out of the box synchronization filter templates in bulk and/or Admins can create an apply new synchronization filter templates in bulk.

Manage Synchronization Filters on Users in Bulk

Navigate to the Users Synchronization Filters and select Load Users Synchronization Filters. This can be executed for individual users or all users.

To speed up the process, be sure to select the box for Display Outlook Filters. Offline filters can be managed using the same steps in this blog.

Load User Sync Filters

If you need to disable a specific rule for all users, use the Group By Rule option to group your synchronization filters by rule instead of user.

Group Sync Filters By Option

Create New Synchronization Filter Templates

Navigate to the System View tab in the Sync Filter Manager, select the system view and Create. All entity system views will load which is a little confusing but templates can only be created for entities that can be synced with Outlook.

Create New Sync Filter Template

Select rule template type of Outlook Template and apply to users.

Make the new template the default for the entity so that it will be applied to all new users created going forward.

Set Tempalte as Default for the entity



Capturing Customer Feedback with Voice of the Customer

For anyone who has gone through the pain of moving survey data in and out of CRM from a third party tool in an attempt to build a 360° customer view, Voice of the Customer is a really exciting feature within Dynamics 365.

Voice of the Customer is a separate solution that can be installed from the CRM Admin Center by an O365 Global Admin. There’s great documentation on the installation and related caveats here.

Here are a few tips to help you get up and running with the robust survey function after you have successfully installed the solution.

Track survey responses back to specific CRM Contacts

On the Survey form (Voice of the Customer>Surveys>[Select Template]), under the invitations section of the form is a field for Email Snippet. You can use this email snippet to embed the link for your survey in a CRM generated email. Once you send this link in an email from CRM to CRM Contacts, survey results will be tracked back to the Survey Response with an association to the appropriate CRM Contact.

You may have a need to use the anonymous link in which case responses will be tracked back to CRM but the respondent will be displayed as anonymous.



Enable Feedback in Survey

Keep in mind capturing Feedback and capturing survey responses are two different things. Enabling VOC for Feedback lets your users provide feedback on the survey itself; this is a separate configuration from Survey Responses.

Survey Response is an entity that will populate with records automatically on regular intervals as surveys are submitted (every 15 to 20 min.) Once you have sent the survey links via email, there is nothing additional you need to configure to receive responses. If you have not received any email responses, you can manually re-trigger responses from the Voice of the Customer managed solutions (Settings>Solutions>Voice of the Customer>Trigger Response Processing).

VOC_RetriggerResponesEnable Scoring in the Survey

There are three types of questions that allow users to submit a score as the answer to a survey question:

  • Net Promoter Score
  • Customer Effort Score
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Scores from these question types are rolled up into an overall calculation on the Survey Response record out of the box. See the section on this MS blog for ‘How are Scores and Score Percentage Calculated on Survey Response’.

If you are looking for a scoring mechanism where scores are tied to specific survey question answers like a multiple choice question test, VOC does not have an out of the box option to satisfy this requirement. You would need to build something custom to assign scores to individual Question Response records (the record holding each question/answer related to a single Survey Response.) You could use workflow to generate a score in a custom field on the Question Response based on the answer and add a roll up field on the Survey Response to roll up scores from all related Question Response records.  VOC_CustomScoringWorkflow

Export the survey responses by individual contacts and roll-up summaries

You can use the out of the box export to Excel function to export a Survey Response data (top level parent record) from the Survey Response view (Voice of the Customer>Survey Responses>Export to Excel.) The same can be done from the Question Response entity (Advanced Find>Question Response>Export to Excel) to export each individual question/answer/associated Contact in a column.

You can include data from the related parent record Survey Responses in your column display output on the Question Response entity view. You would likely be able to use Excel to further manipulate the data.

Otherwise, a custom SSRS report will give the most flexibility to display Survey Response and Question Response data. The reporting tool depends on what your end goal is for viewing the data.

Learning Paths

Anyone who has worked with a new CRM implementation knows the significance of the investment in both time and dollars. Reaching go live is like crossing the finish line of a long race. It’s understandable then that most organizations take go live as an opportunity to say ‘We’re done! We’ve made it!” But to get the most out of your investment, the race shouldn’t stop there.

User adoption is an important piece of any successful implementation and it should be included in your ongoing improvement plans. With release of Learning Paths in Dynamics 365 Microsoft has delivered a really exiting tool to make the process of user adoption easier for organizations.

Learning Paths is a new feature available with Dynamics 365 online that provides users with contextual help relevant to their job functions. Help content can correspond to specific user roles or even to a specific process stage. Learning Paths are fully configurable and support different delivery formats like video and links to external help resources.

Learning Paths consist of two content types that can be used separately or in conjunction to support your users:

Guided Tasks

Guided tasks provide users with help bubbles containing instructions for executing a specific task within Dynamics 365. Guided tasks can be used to deliver video content or to provide a click by click simulation of a task.

Guided tasks are a great way to orient users to new features that are rolled out over time. For example, Guided Tasks can be used to walk users through the new Editable Grid feature on entity views and subgrids.



Sidebars offer users a side panel consolidation of different content types to provide users with more comprehensive help on one or many areas within Dynamics 365. Sidebars can be configured to house multiple guided tasks as well as lists of links to external resources. Users can hide and display Sidebars by clicking on the question mark help icon.

A sidebar can be created for helping users with Account Management for example and may include a Guided Task for creating new accounts, a list of hyperlinks to process documentation, and even button that launches a request for additional help from the System Administrator.

Learning Path content is managed at the O365 level of your subscription and, as a result, getting started with Learning Paths has several requisites:

  • First, enable learning paths for your organization in the General tab of your System Settings.
  • Once learning Paths has been enabled at the organization level, a new Security Group will be visible for Learning Paths in your O365 Admin Center. Authors of Learning Paths must be added as members of this Security Group.
  • All Learning Path Authors must also have a Dynamics 365 security role with privileges for Learning Path Authoring.


The options for customizing help content within Learning Paths provide admins with a lot of potential for improving the user experience in Dynamics 365. In the next post on Learning Paths, we’ll walk through the nuances of creating and publishing content in Guided Tasks and Side Bars.