Error 0x80040201 Sending e-Mail From Outlook

When attempting to send an e-mail from Outlook, I received the following error message:

u_outlookprogress

I use several accounts in my Outlook profile, and have previously read that a support article on the microsoft support site recommended to delete and re-create my outlook profile. A number of different sites when I googled “outlook error 0x80040201” seemed to indicate the same thing; delete and re-create my Outlook profile. One of these days I’ll get around to deleting and re-creating all four of my profiles some day…

I could have tried what everyone else did – delete and re-create the Outlook Profile:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/829918/en-us

…but my issue seemed limited to outbound e-mails that either had an attachment (but only to certain people for some reason) or e-mails with embedded graphics and more than 500k, so I had a difficult time believing it was a corrupt profile.
So, when today I tried to send an e-mail, a very important one, and when the issue persisted, I thought I would dig a little deeper as it was a non-work day, and came up with the following:

On outbound e-mails for addresses that I have typed before (and according to the microsoft articles that suggested I re-create my profile – to addresses that weren’t contacts) I would have an alias instead of the actual e-mail address, even though they may not have existed as contacts in my default outlook contact profile. What I started thinking was that if the address was indeed an exchange ‘in-memory’ address as according to this article:

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/thread-1872774.php
I tried all suggestions, but it didn’t work for me. What I found was that Outlook still had some Exchange adresses in ‘ it’s memory’ and the message to be sent included an exchange adress, whereas exchange was not being used anymore.
This could happen on systems which have used Exchange but have changed back to POP3 E-mail delivery.
Checking the to-be-sent messages is the key, remove the adresses that are exchange adresses and substitute them with the real POP E-mail adresses.
Kind regards,
Martijn Arns
Brainquiry / Brain Resource Company
Netherlands
www.eegbiofeedback.nl / www.brainquiry.nl

…then why not use the ‘Delete a Name From Auto-Complete’ feature of outlook, in which you:
1. Select the unwanted name or e-mail address by using the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW key.
2. Press DELETE.

u_outlookhelp

…and viola – PROBLEM FIXED. I didn’t even need to take the rest of my Sunday away from my family to uninstall outlook, re-install my entire OS because I was dumb enough to download some ‘free registry cleaner…’ or re-create my profile(s).
I certainly hope I can save someone time so they can spend it with their family, like I did with mine today!

MM
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

Microsoft CRM 4.0: Mail Merge Improvements – Part I

Unitek’s Microsoft CRM Practice not only specializes in CRM Certifications, but also has a large force related to CRM 3.0 & 4.0 Consulting Services. With that in mind, I’d like to talk a little bit about some of the issues that we have seen with other clients and the following topics will specifically address the Mail Merge Wizard within Microsoft CRM 4.0.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Mail Merge was created to work only with Accounts, Contacts, and Quotes. The overall functionality was there, but the tool had some limitations and complications that Microsoft obviously felt needed to be changed.

  • It did not allowing the user to easily create email templates or other letters, faxes, documents.
  • It did not support Mail Merge for the Web Client.
  • It did not support Quick Campaigns.

Just a few of the improvements made to the Microsoft CRM 4.0 Mail Merge tool includes:

  • Automatic upload of templates from MS WORD. (all versions) MS WORD 2007 even includes a section dedicated to CRM Mail Merge E-mail templates!
  • The ability to run with both the Outlook and Web Clients.
  • The creation of Activities associated with the Mail Merge and upon completion, the listing of those completed activities in the History view.
  • The ability to run Mail Merges for Quick Campaigns, which is very helpful for those quick email blasts and newsletter distributions.

Read more

Daylight Saving Time – Is Your Microsoft CRM Ready??

In 2007, Microsoft published their “CRM 3.0 Time Zone Data Update and Time Zone Wizard,” and since we’re coming up on the next DST (Daylight Saving Time) change, it is our recommendation that you review and download the information to ensure that your organization is prepared for Sunday March 9, 2008. For those of you in Arizona, feel free to take a break and grab a cup of coffee…
The DST Update & Wizard is approximately 27 pages detailing how to apply the changes to CRM, so be prepared! Click here to download.

If you want even more information regarding the DST updates, including Microsoft’s DST Help & Support Center, Click here This is not only a great resource for CRM, but for all of Microsoft’s products.

Read more

Changing The Default Views In CRM 3.0 & CRM 4.0

One of the unusual quirks with Microsoft CRM 3.0 is the hard-coded default Views. For example, while in a Contact form and you click History, the default view is for “Last 30 Days”. This has been one of the most disliked features of CRM 3.0 and we are sad to report the same condition exists in the new CRM 4.0 version. The good news is we’re going to show you how to change these Views.

Let’s start with the CRM 3.0 method . The code we’re going to use was borrowed from Michael over at stunnware. He has a great explanation of how we build the code, but we’ll just get straight to the code and enhance it a little. Our adjustment will modify 3 related entities, Activities, History and Opportunities. For each one we will make the default View “All”.

Assuming it’s the Contact’s View that you want to alter, in the Customization area, open the Contact form. Go into the Form Properties and then the OnLoad event. Copy this text and paste it into the OnLoad window:

Read more

Grouping of Duplicate Detection Rules in Microsoft CRM 4.0

One of the most desired and long awaited features for Microsoft CRM is duplicate record detection. In Microsoft CRM 4.0 (formerly Titan), Microsoft has added duplicate detection capabilities at multiple levels. One of which is Duplicate Detection Rules which can run automatically to safeguard the system from users entering duplicate records. Duplicate detection can take place only if duplicate detection is enabled in Duplicate Detection Settings and if at least one duplicate-detection rule (A rule that specifies criteria for identifying a record as a duplicate.) exists for the record type. Rules interact differently depending on if they are grouped together or separately.

We can take a look at how this works by using an example that I’ve found many clients have desired which is duplicate detection of Leads to existing Contacts. The criteria I use in this example are to check for identical email addresses, first name and last name. In the Duplicate Detection Rules area (located in the Data Management area in Settings) we start a new rule and choose Lead as the Base Record Type and Contact as the Matching Record Type. Then we select the email, first name and last name attributes in both of the records and set the criteria to “exact match”. We have created one rule for all of these criteria which will cause duplicate detection to detect a possible duplicate Contact record when a new Lead is entered if ALL criteria are met. So if a Lead is entered with a different first name but the same email address and last name are correct, duplicate detection will NOT detect the possibility of a duplicate Contact record.

Let’s try two rules that involve both entities. Again the Base Record Type will be Lead and the Matching Record Type will be Contact. In this case we will create two separate rules. One with criteria matching exact email addresses and one rule that matches exact first and last names. When we run both of these rules together, duplicate detection will detect if a newly entered Lead has an email address that matches an existing Contact OR if BOTH the first AND last name of the newly entered Lead matches a Contact.

The way I think of this is similar to groupings in the Advanced Find. When using one rule with multiple criteria it’s like grouping your criteria with an “AND” grouping in the Advanced Find. When using multiple rules on the same entity(s), it’s like using an “OR” grouping in the Advanced Find. One last thing to consider is that there is a maximum of up to 5 rules per entity in Microsoft CRM 4.0

KE
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

Customizing Microsoft CRM 3.0 System Entity Names

While it is best to keep the name of the Microsoft CRM system entities such as Account, Contact, Lead, etc the same, sometimes the benefit of doing so out ways the negatives. One of the benefits of changing the entity name is that it helps users understand its function/use better and cuts down on confusion. Also it would be useful to adopt Microsoft CRM to fit the terminology used by the organization. Most of the time the name change is required for the following two entities:

  • Account
  • Contact

In Microsoft CRM Account is used to store information about companies an organization interacts with. These could be customers, partners, resellers, distributors, etc. Contact is used to store information about people. They too could be customers, partners, resellers, distributors, etc.

A common name change for the Account entity is “Company”. A possible name change for Contact is “Individual”. Renaming a Microsoft CRM entity requires a number of manual steps to ensure that all references to the entity are consistent. Following are the areas that need to be changed:

  • Entity Name
  • Entity Form Labels
  • Entity View Names
  • Entity Attribute Display Names
  • System Messages
  • Online Help Content
  • Reports

Some areas where the entity name cannot be changed are:

  • Platform error messages and messages that are displayed in Trace or the Event log.
  • Strings in “Add Users Wizard” for adding multiple users at one time.
  • Strings in “Environment Diagnostics Wizard”

Tip #1: Sub-Account and Sub-Contact

The steps that one would have to go through to make the Microsoft CRM entity name changes have been outlined by number of sites and I will not go through them here. However, I want to make sure to point out that if you decide not to make the name changes in System Messages and Online Help Content in the interest of saving development time and cost, do make sure to change Sub-Account and Sub-Contact strings. These strings show up in the left pane of An Account or Contact record. These strings are in the System Messages section. So if you don’t change any of the systems message do this one

RM
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

Opportunities: What To Do With New Sales From Existing Customers

One of the biggest questions a company can have when implementing CRM, concerns the use of the various entities; Account, Contact, Lead and Opportunity.

Every company and industry will have its own special sales process with specific needs to track industry or company specific information. Microsoft CRM can be customized to many of those needs.

Questions arise, particularly about the Lead and Opportunity entities, about existing customers, marketing and CRM procedure. How does the sales process work when an existing customer places a new order? Much of what procedure is followed is based on the goals intended for the company’s sales process and the CRM system; what data is being tracked and reported. Is the company closely tracking sales data such as sales pipeline or campaign sources?

In this scenario, a customer calls up and says he wants to place an order. Most of the time the standard course of action is to create a new Opportunity from the customer record. The customer tells you what he wants and when he intends to buy. Is the company tracking campaign sources? A company’s marketing department usually likes to track why someone makes a purchasing decision. If the order is the customer’s standard order, there’s really no need to track this particular order’s marketing history. In fact if the customer is ready to order and pay for the product or services immediately then there’s little reason to even to create a new Opportunity, just create a new Order because there’s no need to track the sales pipeline for sale forecasting because this sale has already closed.

Read more

Tips For Making Microsoft CRM 3.0’s Advance Find User Friendly

The recommendations that follow are among some of the first suggestions I make to my customers in order to make using Microsoft CRM 3.0 easier for their users. While the recommended customizations are simple and easy to implement, they contribute greatly toward making the Microsoft CRM easier to use and can potentially have big payoffs in terms of user acceptance. So be a friend to your users and implement these recommendations.

Tip #1: Stop confusing your users.

Microsoft CRM’s Advance Find uses attribute’s Display Name to list each entity’s searchable fields. Having a label on a form that is different from the Display Name of the field can become very confusing and can create unnecessary frustration for your users.

  1. This mismatch between Form Labels and attribute Display Names exists in the standard installation of Microsoft CRM 3.0. So my recommendation to you is that the first chance you get, go through your Microsoft CRM installation and change either the Display Name of the attributes or the Label on the Entity Forms so that they match. In most cases you will be changing the Display Name of the attributes to match the Labels on the Entity Forms than the other way around.
  2. When creating new customized attributes to be used on the Forms, keep this tip in mind and make sure the Labels and the Display Names for fields, used on the Forms, match.

Read more

Rescheduling Service Activities in Microsoft CRM

In today’s “Fast Food World,” your customers expect flexibility to meet their needs. As a result, most employees spend a lot of time in Microsoft CRM rescheduling activities for customer’s services. Being able to quickly change service activities means, for example, a receptionist who schedules and reschedules service activities every day, can spend time doing other tasks and your customers can be off the phone and on their merry way. The following scenario takes you through the quick and easy steps to reschedule a service activity.

Barbara, a receptionist at a local Tune-Up Station, answers a call from Mr. Mercedes. He is requesting to reschedule his service activity for his vehicle tune-up and oil change. He doesn’t care when; it just can’t be now because he has another appointment that he must attend. (Golf Tee Time) In Microsoft CRM, Barbara can open Mr. Mercedes’ service activity in the Service Calendar, and then reschedule him for another day and time.

  1. In your Navigation Pane, click Service, and then click Service Calendar.

  2. To find your customer’s service activity, verify that the Look For box is empty, and in the Type list, select Appointment and Service Activity. In the View list, select All Activities.

  3. On the calendar, select your customer’s service activity, and then on the Actions toolbar, click Reschedule.

  4. On the Schedule Service Activity form, locate the Available Times list to select a new date and time for the customer.

  5. Click the Scheduled Start time and then click Schedule. Remember: Do not select any underlined text, like the Service, Resources, or Site, or the record will open.

  6. On the customer’s updated Service Activity form, verify the new date and time, and then click Save and Close.

In just these few steps, you can quickly reschedule service activities to get your customer what they need; flexible service solutions. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to keep coming back; because in today’s world, customers appreciate companies that appreciate them.

Using Hidden Fields In Workflow

There are times that we need to access and use data in CRM that we don’t want the users to see. For example we might want to make sure a Contact entity item enters a particular Workflow only once. This can be a tricky proposition when you have Contacts that need to be in Workflow both from the Create action and the Assign action. Utilizing a hidden field in CRM will be our method.

First off, let’s understand the concept of hidden fields. We can add an attribute to an entity and never add that attribute to the form. That in essence is a hidden field. Depending on our usage, we might also make the field Unsearchable. If we don’t then the field appears in the Advanced Find view and we may not want our users to see the data in this hidden field.

Let’s assume our custom, hidden attribute is named “InWorkflow”.

We now have a field that will hold the info we require. In this example we’re discussing how to utilize this field for Workflow. Since our Contact entity has the same rule set for Contacts that are created and assigned, we’ll set up 3 Workflow rules:

  1. On Create – Call the Manual Rule
  2. On Assign – Call the Manual Rule
  3. The Manual Rule – The rule that holds all our logic

It’s possible that a Contact might enter this Workflow more than once and that’s what we’re trying to avoid. In the Manual Rule we’ll use the Check Entity Condition & we’ll check the status of “InWorkflow”.

  • If the status is Yes, then we choose the action Stop. We do this because we know the Contact is already in this Workflow rule.
  • If the status is No or Null, then we Update the Entity to set “InWorkflow” to Yes.

Now we continue about the Workflow, adding our conditions and actions. If at any point we need the Contact to leave Workflow, make sure you Update the Entity to mark the “InWorkflow” to No.

As Microsoft CRM consultants, we are usually called upon to come up with a solution to a tricky problem. Our customers love it when we come up with creative solutions to what first seemed an impossible task.