Oracle® Fusion Applications Sales Guide
11g Release 7 (11.1.7)
Part Number E22596-07
This chapter contains the following:
Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook: Overview
Supported Software for Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook: Explained
Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook Installation: Overview
Installing the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook Security Certificate: Worked Example
Installing the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook Application: Worked Example
Setting Up Synchronization for Oracle Fusion CRM for Outlook: Worked Example
Manage Outlook Client Configuration Files
Manage Outlook Client Deployment Packages
Manage Outlook Client Configuration Validation Files
Manage Outlook Server Configuration Files
FAQs for Administer CRM for Microsoft Outlook
The Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook (CRM for Microsoft Outlook) application helps maximize sales productivity by providing Oracle Fusion CRM capabilities directly within Microsoft Outlook, thereby allowing sales professionals access to essential CRM data.
The key features of Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook include the following:
CRM capabilities within Microsoft Outlook: Using CRM for Microsoft Outlook all e-mails, calendar events, and tasks can be linked to the respective contact, customer, lead, or opportunity within Oracle Fusion CRM. Sales professionals can access and update customer and sales information within Microsoft Outlook.
Single-click sharing between Microsoft Outlook and Oracle Fusion CRM: When sending a meeting invite or an e-mail, or when setting up a task, a single click on the Share with Fusion button captures the action and updates Oracle Fusion CRM in the background.
Synchronization of data between Oracle Fusion CRM and Microsoft Outlook: Two-way data synchronization allows sales professionals to have a continuously updated and accurate 360-degree view of CRM data changes.
Synchronization Control Panel: CRM for Microsoft Outlook provides synchronization filtering capabilities, enabling the sales professional to synchronize only the most critical data from Oracle Fusion CRM, such as high-priority accounts, or opportunities closing this quarter, instead of synchronizing the entire data set from Oracle Fusion CRM.
Offline access: The transition between online and offline modes of operation allows the sales professional in the field to use the full functionality of the product in an offline mode, and then synchronize the sales data in the next synchronization cycle.
Customize CRM for Microsoft Outlook: Add to the standard Microsoft Outlook view, or rearrange how the page looks, using CRM for Microsoft Outlook's customizable objects, fields, and UI layout options. For example, Custom objects, competitors or other objects that you rely on can be added to the application to cater for specific organizational or user requirements.
Before using the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook application, several setup tasks must be performed. One of these tasks is to verify each user's computer has the necessary supported software prior to installing CRM for Microsoft Outlook.
The following are the supported client computer operating systems:
Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (32 bit) and higher
Microsoft Vista SP1 (32 and 64 bit) and higher
Microsoft Windows 7 and higher
The following are the supported Microsoft Office versions:
2007 SP2 and higher
2010 and higher
The following are the supported Outlook profiles:
Profile with a Microsoft Exchange e-mail account configured in cached mode with single mailbox. Outlook needs to be run with this profile at least once.
Profile with an Internet e-mail account. Outlook needs to be run with this profile at least once.
CRM for Outlook can only be installed into one of the Outlook profiles.
Depending on what data file is set as the default mail delivery location in the Outlook profile selected for CRM for Outlook installation, it can be either:
Only POP protocol is supported. IMAP is not supported for the following reasons:
The IMAP protocol has a unique structure. Whether or not a custom folder can be created in this protocol depends on the mail server. The CRM for Outlook platform requires the ability to add custom folders, and needs to be able to syncronize custom CRM objects (for example, accounts or opportunities) with Outlook.
The IMAP protocol cannot be made the default mail delivery location in Outlook, and the CRM for Outlook platform installs to the default mail delivery location in the profile. Either Exchange mailbox or POP .pest can be made the default mail delivery location. A default mail delivery location is required for the platform, as all Outlook activity processing happens there (for example, meeting participants receive notification from the organizer only in this location).
Changing the default mail delivery location in the Outlook profile where CRM for Outlook is installed is not supported because doing so will cause the CRM for Outlook add-in to fail.
The following are the supported versions of Microsoft Exchange Server:
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 or higher is required to support the client application.
This topic describes how to install Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook.
It is recommended that System Integrators install Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook on laptops and PCs.
Before installing Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook you must ensure that you have the following prerequisites:
Microsoft Outlook is installed on the laptop or PC.
An existing Microsoft Outlook profile is available for use with CRM for Microsoft Outlook, or a new Microsoft Outlook profile has been created.
You have an Employee role and a Resource role, and you have either a Sales Representative role, or a Sales Manager role; you must not have both the Sales Representative and Sales Manager roles. You also must not have a Sales Administrator role.
The installation steps are as follows:
Install the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook security certificate: The security certificate ensures the secure exchange of data between Microsoft Outlook and Oracle Fusion CRM during synchronization, and therefore must be installed on every user's laptop or PC. Refer to the following topic for the installation procedure: Installing the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook Security Certificate: Worked Example.
Install the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook application: To install the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook application you must download the CRM for Microsoft Outlook installer file, run the InstallShield Wizard, and enter the Oracle Fusion Server connection information. Refer to the following topic for the installation procedure: Installing the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook Application: Worked Example.
Set up the synchronization of Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook: Synchronization obtains the current Oracle Fusion CRM user data and the current client deployment packages. Refer to the following topic for the synchronization procedure for the first time you open CRM for Microsoft Outlook: Setting Up Synchronization for Oracle Fusion CRM for Outlook: Worked Example.
This example demonstrates how to install the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook security certificate on a laptop or PC, and it is one part of the installation of Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook. The security certificate ensures the secure exchange of data between Microsoft Outlook and Oracle Fusion CRM during synchronization, and therefore must be installed on every user's laptop or PC.
Refer to the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook Installation: Overview topic for an overview of all of the steps required to install Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook on a laptop or PC.
To install the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook security certificate you must download the security certificate, add the Certificates Snap-In to the Microsoft Management Console, add the security certificate to the personal certificate store, and lastly, add the security certificate to the trusted root certification authorities store.
Only one version of the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook security certificate can be installed on a PC or laptop. If you require a different version of the security certificate you must uninstall the original certificate using the Microsoft Management Console.
Download the security certificate from the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook preference page in the Oracle Fusion Sales application.
Add the Certificates snap-in to the Microsoft Management Console, so that you can install the CRM for Microsoft Outlook security certificate in the Personal and Trusted Root Certification Authorities store.
Install the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook security certificate within the Personal store of the Certificates console.
Install the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook security certificate within the Trusted Root Certification Authorities store of the Certificates console.
This example demonstrates how to install the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook application on a laptop or PC, following the installation of the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook security certificate on the laptop or PC.
Refer to the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook Installation: Overview topic for an overview of all of the steps required to install Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook on a laptop or PC.
To install the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook application you need to download the CRM for Microsoft Outlook installer file, run the InstallShield Wizard, and enter the Oracle Fusion Server connection information.
The following prerequisites must be met before installing the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook application:
Download the installer file from the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook preference page in the Oracle Fusion Sales application.
This example shows you how to perform an initial synchronization between Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook (CRM for Microsoft Outlook) and the Oracle Fusion CRM application. CRM for Microsoft Outlook synchronization obtains the current Oracle Fusion CRM user data and the current client deployment packages.
The following prerequisites must be met before synchronizing the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook application:
To access the synchronization control panel, complete the following steps:
Specify the type of data that will be synchronized by entering the filter criteria.
Select a relevant country for your Oracle Fusion CRM data
To synchronize the Fusion CRM data with the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook application, complete the following steps:
In Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook, a client configuration file describes a part of the application configuration that resides on the user computer, and it extends the desktop application. Client configuration files can either describe a portion of the application logic implemented as Java script, or can be a declarative configuration of items, such as UI components or synchronization mappings implemented as XML. Each configuration file has a particular type. There can be more than one version of any file type at one time as long as the names differ, and only one file of any given type can be included in a deployment package.
In Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook, a client deployment package is a collection of metadata files that describe the CRM application extensions deployed to users' computers. Access to a given deployment package is given to CRM application users through a privilege associated with their job role. When a user connects to the CRM application server to synchronize data from a desktop application like Microsoft Outlook, the application determines if any changes to the package have occurred, and if so, downloads any changes.
In Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook, deployment packages contain metadata files that describe the CRM application extensions deployed to users' computers. To provide users access to a new client configuration, you can either create a new deployment package or create a new instance of an existing package, as discussed in the following sections.
When you create a new package, in addition to activating it, you must configure a data security policy that allows users to access the package. This secondary task is done in Oracle Fusion Authorization Policy Manager (APM) and involves the following steps:
In the top left section of the APM
application window, use global search to search for Database Resources
using search criteria equal to
Outlook. This should return the result, Outlook Edition Metadata Package.
Select the Edit button on the Search Results pane to edit the Outlook Edition Metadata Package database resource.
In the Edit Database Resource tab,
select the Condition tab and create a new condition on the database
resource. Specify any unique name/display name, and set the SQL predicate
package_name = '<name_of_deployment_package>' (for example,
package name = 'NewOutlookPackage').
Select the Submit button to commit the change.
Repeat step 2. In the search results pane, select Edit to reopen the Edit Database Resource page to edit the Outlook Edition Metadata Package database resource.
In the Edit Database Resource tab, select the Policy tab, and select the policy that should have access to the new package (for example, ZOE_SALES_MGR_OUTLOOK_DUTY), and then select Edit.
In the lower section of the page, select the Rule tab.
Select the lookup control next to the condition field and select the new condition created in step 3.
Select Submit to commit the changes.
When you use an existing package, you create a new instance of the package with different configuration files. When using this method, you must inactivate the previous instance and activate the new instance. There is no need to configure a data policy when creating a new instance of an existing deployment package.
In Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook, the client configuration validation file (.xsd) describes the structure of a valid client configuration file (.xml). The application uses the client configuration validation file to check that any client configuration file imported to the server is structured correctly and complies with the requirements of the validation file. The validation process happens automatically during the import of any client configuration file, and helps catch misconfigured files.
The Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook application uses a file to identify and map services and view objects that are used when processing synchronization requests, and to correctly query, insert, update, and delete data on the server. There is only ever one of these files used at a given time, and changes made to it are recognized by the application and loaded immediately.
Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook is a composite application that allows users to work with Oracle Fusion CRM data inside Microsoft Outlook. The application is deployed to Outlook using the add-in framework and extends the Outlook data model and UI framework in order to store and render CRM data to the user.
Oracle Fusion CRM data is synchronized to users' computers and maintained in native Microsoft Outlook storage. While working in Outlook, users access CRM data that is stored locally, even when connected to the corporate network. The changes made to the CRM data are periodically synchronized with the Oracle Fusion CRM application. There are two options for storing the CRM data:
A Microsoft Outlook mail profile configured to use a Microsoft Exchange service with the Use Cached Exchange Mode enabled to allow data to be stored in an offline storage file (.ost file format)
A Microsoft Outlook mail profile configured to use the Internet E-Mail service with personal folder storage (.pst file format)
Because CRM data is maintained in Outlook storage, it can be displayed and accessed like any other Outlook item. For instance, CRM data types will appear in the folders for the user's mailbox alongside other native Outlook types, and users can select the CRM folder and view the CRM records there as they would work with other Outlook information. Within a given folder, the user can select and open a single record to view the data. In this case, the user will have access to CRM data that appears within an Outlook form or inspector window.
In addition to accessing CRM data in Outlook explorer views and inspector windows where the CRM data is the primary focus, users will also be able to access CRM context when viewing standard Outlook items like appointments, e-mails, and tasks. For these Outlook types, the user will be able to specify the CRM customer, related sales item, contacts, and resources associated with the Outlook item, and will be able navigate to the related CRM item to review additional details.
Data that is stored in either cached Exchange mode in .ost file format, or in personal folders in .pst format, is accessible to the CRM for Microsoft Outlook user while disconnected. The user interacts with the CRM data that is stored locally on his computer and periodically synchronizes data between Outlook and the Fusion CRM server. Synchronization happens when the user is connected to the corporate network and can access the CRM application server. Because the user always works with the local set of CRM data, he will have access to the data from the server immediately following the synchronization process, but doesn't directly access or update the data on the server. Changes are made to the local data set, and then the synchronization process takes care of making changes to the local or server data sets to align the two.
After CRM for Microsoft Outlook is installed, the user must perform an initial synchronization to retrieve his accessible CRM data. Several synchronization settings are configured as part of the First Run Assistant process that influence the initial synchronization. These include the frequency of automatic synchronization, the synchronization filters to use, and which objects are enabled or disabled from synchronization. These settings can be changed by the user after the initial synchronization. Once the user completes the First Run Assistant process, the initial synchronization will begin. The duration of the synchronization process will depend on the number of records that will be synchronized, network bandwidth, load on the server, as well as processing speed and memory available on the user's computer. A rule of thumb is to try to configure synchronization filters so that no more than five to ten thousand records are synchronized.
During the synchronization process, the application performs the following steps:
Connects to the Fusion CRM server CRM for Microsoft Outlook synchronization services using SOAP over HTTP and authenticates the user.
Performs a check to determine the configuration for which the user possesses access. Access to an Outlook configuration is established based on a privilege associated with a user's job role that allows access to an Outlook client deployment package.
If a user has access to a deployment package, it is downloaded, and the configuration is applied to the Outlook mailbox.
The final step is to synchronize data. The records that are retrieved depend on the internal filters configured on the server, data security applied to the objects that are synchronized, and the user filters.
Subsequent synchronization cycles follow a process that includes these steps:
CRM for Microsoft Outlook sends a request to the Fusion CRM server with a list of objects and the current user filters and requests a snapshot of IDs and timestamps for all records that are within the scope of the object list and specified filters.
The server sends a response with the requested information.
CRM for Microsoft Outlook makes a local snapshot of IDs and timestamps and compares that to the server snapshot.
The differences between the local snapshot of IDs and timestamps and the server snapshot result in a few possible actions:
Inserts, updates, or deletes data on the Fusion server based on changes that occurred in CRM for Microsoft Outlook since the prior synchronization.
Inserts, updates, or deletes data in CRM for Microsoft Outlook based on changes that occurred on the Fusion server since the prior synchronization.
In all cases, changes that are made to data locally in the CRM for Microsoft Outlook client are only sent to the Fusion server during the subsequent synchronization session; however, users who want to synchronize a change or set of changes immediately can start the synchronization cycle manually to avoid waiting for the next scheduled synchronization.
The synchronization process on the Fusion server is supported by CRM for Microsoft Outlook accessing Web services. CRM for Microsoft Outlook accesses two Web services directly -- one that provides access to data during synchronization processing, and one that provides access to metadata. The synchronization process is initiated by CRM for Microsoft Outlook within the Outlook application, and the Fusion server accepts synchronization requests, routes them to the appropriate services within the service, and returns the appropriate responses. The work that each part of the synchronization architecture performs is summarized as:
CRM for Microsoft Outlook synchronization engine and connector that are deployed to Microsoft Outlook perform the following:
Initiates a new synchronization request based on a preconfigured automatic synchronization interval or by an ad hoc user request to start a new synchronization cycle.
Uses the stored details about username, password, server connection information, and CRM public security certificate stored on the user's computer to format and send requests to the CRM application server.
Based on the configuration deployed to a user's computer (including object types deployed), fields defined as part of those objects, synchronization filters and the like, the application generates the appropriate SOAP message content and expects the corresponding response when using the HTTP or HTTPS transport to communicate with the CRM applicaiton server.
The Fusion server hosts an application that listens for CRM for Microsoft Outlook synchronization requests, and the synchronization services perform the following:
The OutlookRequestHandlerService Web service processes all incoming requests for data synchronization, and the OutlookMetadataService Web service handles requests to retrieve metadata.
Incoming SOAP messages are routed to the appropriate service. These messages include one or more requests to invoke a method on the target service.
Requests sent to the OutlookRequestHandlerService in particular are routed to other services to perform the action expected from the synchronization process. For instance, a request to get appointment data sent to the OutlookRequestHandlerService will be routed to the appointment Web service that will process the request and return the requested data, and the OutlookRequestHandlerService will send this back to the CRM for Microsoft Outlook client that sent the request.
A synchronization cycle will include requests to get a server snapshot, and can then include many additional requests to query, insert, update, and delete data based on the changes detected when CRM for Microsoft Outlook compares the local and server snapshots.
Each of these requests is processed based on the type of request, and is either managed within the OutlookRequestHandlerService processing directly or is routed to the appropriate target service to be fulfilled.
In addition to standard Outlook data storage mechanisms and the synchronization engine, several extensions to the standard Outlook user interface provide a way to access and manage CRM data inside of Outlook. Examples of extensions to the standard Outlook user interface include custom toolbar buttons, menu items, inspectors that display Fusion CRM data, controls that are embedded on standard Outlook item inspectors, the personalization options dialog box, and so forth. The CRM for Microsoft Outlook client can use these extensions to perform a variety of tasks.
The following are some examples of tasks that the user can perform:
Create, view, and edit CRM data in Outlook.
Mark an Outlook item to be shared with CRM Desktop and associated sales data.
Initiate a standard Outlook action, such as sending an e-mail or scheduling a meeting in the context of a sales item.
The behavior of the extended Outlook user interface is influenced by custom CRM business logic that performs a variety of validations during data entry. The following are some examples of validation that are performed:
Confirm that the data type is valid for a given field.
Make sure fields that are required are populated.
Prevent changes to fields or records that are configured to be read-only.
Validate field values based on comparisons with other fields or static values.
Apply conditional validation so that a field may be required or read-only based on other criteria.
Following are the major physical components that CRM for Microsoft Outlook uses:
This is the database accessed by the CRM application that stores data about customers, contacts, business opportunities, and so on.
CRM Application Server
This is the server that hosts the CRM for Microsoft Outlook application and the related Outlook Web services, and therefore is the main entry point for synchronization requests coming from the CRM for Microsoft Outlook add-in running on users' computers.
Laptop or Desktop
This is the computer where the CRM for Microsoft Outlook add-in is installed, and where users are working with CRM data in Outlook. The Outlook add-in will install binary files that support synchronization of CRM data and integration with Outlook, including support to extend the Outlook data model and user interface, and resource files containing images and strings to initialize the application. The CRM for Microsoft Outlook add-in will connect to the CRM application server and download the appropriate configuration and CRM data for the user which are also stored on this computer.
Corporate Messaging Infrastructure
The corporate messaging infrastructure encompasses all of the server computers and other network topology that support the transmission of e-mail messages, and other personal information management capabilities such as the corporate calendar, contact and task lists.
Following are the CRM for Microsoft Outlook functional components:
CRM Extensions in Outlook
Extensions integrate with Outlook data storage and deliver additional business logic and extensions to the Outlook user interface to allow users to access and modify CRM data. CRM data is viewed with extensions to the Outlook user interface. Changes to CRM data are controlled by business logic and custom controls and then finally stored in Outlook data storage (for example, in a user's mailbox storage file). The user works with a version of the CRM application, as defined in the configuration deployed to the user's computer. Changes to CRM data since the last synchronization cycle are calculated by the synchronization engine during data synchronization with the CRM application server.
The synchronization engine handles requests to initiate a synchronization cycle and is responsible for structuring the requests that are sent to the server. For the initial and incremental synchronization cycles, the synchronization engine manages requests to count records available to the user; sends a request to generate a server snapshot; initiates the process to generate a local snapshot; compares the results; and calculates the necessary requests to be sent to the CRM application server to complete the synchronization of local and server data sets. The synchronization engine works in tandem with the connector to correctly format and transmit messages with the CRM application server.
This part of the CRM for Microsoft Outlook add-in is responsible for knowing how to connect and communicate with the CRM application server. The connector uses details such as the username, password, connect string, public security certificate, and client metadata to interpret requests from the synchronization engine to correctly format and send requests to the CRM application server. All details of the requests to send to the server are orchestrated by the synchronization engine, but the transmission of the requests and retrieval of the responses is done by the connector. The connector uses the details in the connect string to know where to send requests to the CRM application Web services.
CRM Application Web Service
CRM Web Service provides functionality to handle the user session, and to add, delete, modify, count, and list data objects that are required by the Web service connector.
Right-click on the Oracle Fusion CRM for Microsoft Outlook system tray icon and then select Options. Within the Options window, click Advanced, and then deselect Always share with Oracle Fusion new: Appointments, Contacts, Tasks.