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Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is proving to be a valuable tool to marketers who are looking to leverage the power of the platform by using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Dynamics Marketing and Office365 to collaborate more easily and effectively across business functions.

One of our most common requests from our MDM customers at eLogic is the desire to connect their Dynamics Marketing instance to their Dynamics CRM instance. Outlined below is a guide to do just that, with step by step instructions and screenshots that should guide you clearly through the process.

To build this guide, we used Dynamics CRM 2013 and Dynamics Marketing Version 16. If you have Dynamics CRM 2015 or a more recent version of Dynamics Marketing, the setup will look largely the same, but there may be small differences.

Prerequisites

The following items will be needed to connect Dynamics Marketing to Dynamics CRM:

• An instance of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

• An online instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

• An Azure account

Installing the Dynamics Marketing side of the connector

The first component that will be installed is the Dynamics Marketing end of the connector. This is not something that can be accomplished as a system user or administrator, so a support ticket must be filed and a Microsoft support technician will complete the installation.

To file this support ticket: log in to your Office 365 administration portal as an administrator, click the Admin drop-down and click on Office 365. From there, navigate to the Service Requests area and click the plus sign sign to create a new ticket.

Choose the options on the Identify the issue screen as shown below:

Identify the Issue

Click the next button, then fill out the Add a detailed description form as shown below but with relevant values in the Contact name and Contact phone number fields:

 fill out the Add a detailed description form

Continue to the Add supporting information screen and fill in all required fields, click next, click next to skip file attachment, then confirm the request.

After some time (about 24 hours when we set up our integration), the MDM connector will be set up. To check the status of the setup: navigate to your MDM site, click the Home dropdown in the top bar, click the large green SETTINGS button, then click Integration Options. If the MDM connector has been set up, the following should be visible at the top of the page:

Operation Completed Successfully

Installing the Dynamics CRM side of the connector

Next, the connector should be installed on the Dynamics CRM system to be integrated. The process below describes the steps needed to install the connector in an online instance of CRM. If your CRM system resides on-premises, you will need to follow a different procedure.

Download the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Spring ’14 Resources package from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43108. When prompted, choose the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 16.1 – CRM Connector.msi package to download. After the download completes, install this package with the default options selected.

Once the CRM Connector installation completes, the solution file must be imported into the CRM instance. To do this: navigate to the CRM site, from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM dropdown choose SETTINGS, from the SETTINGS dropdown choose CUSTOMIZATIONS, click Solutions and click Import. When prompted to choose a file, navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics Marketing\Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and choose DynamicsMarketingConnectorSolution_managed.zip then complete the rest of the wizard. After uploading the solution, click Publish All Customizations to apply any pending changes.

Creating a Dynamics CRM service account for the connector

The integration will need a CRM service account to use for reading and writing data. Because of this, the service account must be configured with the proper permissions.

To create the service account: navigate to the Office 365 admin center, expand the USERS & GROUPS heading in the pane on the left side of the screen, and click Active Users. Click the plus sign sign here to create a new account. Fill out the new account’s information and give it a MicrosoftDynamics CRM Online license as shown below:

Fill out the new account’s information

In the CRM system: go to the SETTINGS screen, click Users, then click the  button in the list view to refresh the list of users. The newly created service account should now be visible. Next: edit the account, click the MANAGE ROLES command bar button, check the Dynamics Marketing Connector role checkbox and click OK. The CRM service account is now set up.

Configuring MDM to connect to CRM

Now that Dynamics CRM is configured to interface with the connector, Dynamics Marketing must be configured to connect to the CRM instance.

Navigate back to the Integration Settings page within Dynamics Marketing and click the  icon in the CRM Endpoint section. In the window that pops up, fill in the fields with the CRM system’s information. For the CRM Service Url field, use the URL for your CRM Online instance. For the Service Account and Password fields, use the credentials from the CRM service account that was previously created. Click the Verify button to check the connection and if the test succeeds, click Submit to save the changes.

Creating the Service Bus and Queues

In order to provide reliable integration service, the Dynamics Marketing connector uses the Azure Service Bus as the communications medium between our two systems. Now that the Marketing and CRM systems are configured to send and receive data, we can connect them together via this bus.

Navigate to your Microsoft Azure Management portal, click the SERVICE BUS entry in the pane on the left side of the screen, click the plus sign Create icon in the lower tray and fill in the fields to create a new Service Bus Namespace. When that’s completed, copy the Namespace value, paste it into a text editor, then click the Check box button to save the changes.

Click on the new Namespace’s name to enter its settings and click the plus sign New icon. Under APP SERVICES > SERVICE BUS > QUEUE, choose QUICK CREATE. Name the queue “crm2mp” (without the quotation marks) and click the check box button to save the changes. Repeat this process once more, but name the Queue “mp2crm.”

Connecting MDM and CRM to the Service Bus

In the SETTINGS area of the CRM site: go to the CUSTOMIZATIONS page and click Developer Resources. From there, copy the text under Windows Azure Service Bus Issuer Certificate after the Issuer Name: portion excluding any spaces and paste it into a text editor. After that, click the Download Certificate link and save the certificate file.

In the Azure Management Portal: enter the SERVICE BUS area, highlight the service bus that was previously created, click on CONNECTION INFORMATION, copy the text in the DEFAULT KEY field and paste it into a text editor.

Back in Dynamics Marketing under the SETTINGS menu: click Integration Options, click the  icon next to the Service Bus section, paste the name of the Azure Service Bus Namespace created previously in the Azure Namespace field. Now enter “crm2mp” in the Queue from Dynamics CRM field (without quotation marks) and “mp2crm” in the Queue from Microsoft Dynamics Marketing field. Click the -> Configure Azure ACS button, paste the Azure Management key from the text editor into the Management Key field, paste the CRM certificate issuer name from the text editor into the Dynamics CRM certificate issuer name field, upload the CRM service certificate downloaded previously by clicking on the Up arrow button next to the Dynamics CRM service certificate field and click the OK button then the Submit button to save the changes.

Click the  icon next to the CRM Endpoint section, paste the URL of the CRM instance into the CRM Service Url field, enter the CRM service account credentials in the Service Account and Password fields and click the Submit button.

Final Touches

In the Integration Options page under Dynamics Marketing’s SETTINGS menu: click the right arrow button button next to the Health check section to perform a check on the integration settings. If the check succeeded, the Health check section should look like this:

Health check section

Finally: click the button next to the Initial Synchronization section to start the synchronization process manually. After a period of time, depending on how many items need to be synchronized, the task should complete and look like this:

Initial Synchronization

Congratulations! You now have a functioning integration process set up between your Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Dynamics CRM systems!


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