Here are some good setup notes when preparing a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Outlook Client for Offline usage:
Fast PC, RAM and Hard Drive
When Microsoft CRM Outlook Client is operating in Offline mode – all the processing is happening locally including accessing the CRM Services and the local SQL 2008 Express database. To ensure good performance – check the PC’s CPU, RAM and Hard Drive to ensure these hardware components are geared for high performance. I highly recommend solid-state drive (SSD) – the cost is reasonable these days. For every seconds saved while accessing CRM, the investment will pay for the enhanced PC hardware and also for supporting happy CRM users experience.
Apply the latest SQL 2008 Express SP3 update
This is pretty obvious. The SQL 2008 Express SP3 is an optional update component under the Microsoft Update list, so be sure to apply this after the CRM Outlook Offline component (SQL 2008 Express) is installed.
Cycle Offline/Online Two Times
IT staffs usually setup the Microsoft CRM Outlook for Offline for the CRM users. Once a PC is setup and handed back the the CRM user, the CRM user can begin enjoying the benefits of CRM while on the road even with no internet connection. One good practice prior to returning the PC back to CRM user is to cycle the CRM Outlook Client Offline/Online two times.
The first time going offline involves extra time needed to prepare the local CRM database instance. The second time going offline and online is mainly for performance benchmarking. If a poor performance is observed at this point, IT should investigate and resolve prior to returning back to the CRM user.
Enable intranet settings
When you see the alert prompt in the Microsoft CRM Outlook Client for “Enable intranet settings” – you should enable it. This is to support CRM Offline operations – CRM Service is powered by your PC locally.
Alternatively, you can go to Internet Explorer >> Tools menu >> Internet options >> Security tab >> select “Local intranet” >> click on Sites >> uncheck “Automatically detect intranet network”:
Only local CRM data is available
This is pretty obvious. It is a good practice to ensure that CRM users understand when they are in CRM Offline mode – the CRM data that they have access to is what they have defined to be available locally (Offline Filters) including reports.
An error occurred during installing database
One of the errors that could show up during the initial going offline for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Outlook is “An error occurred during installing database”
Resolution: Uninstall Microsoft CRM 2011 Outlook Client and then the SQL 2008 (Express) – CRM Instance. Reinstall the Microsoft CRM 2011 Outlook Client again. Review this KB article for more details.
Here is how to uninstall SQL 2008 (Express) – CRM Instance:
- Select Uninstall “Microsoft SQL Server 2008” from Control Panel >> Programs and Features
- Select the “CRM” SQL 2008 Express instance only and complete the uninstall wizard
Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP since 2006