Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Problems with converting email to case

I was recently working with a customer when I noticed an interesting bug in CRM 2011, in the Outlook Client. When trying to convert an email to either a lead, case or opportunity directly from the Outlook ribbon, it does not set the "regarding" lookup field of the email that was tracked. However, if the email is first tracked, then "viewed in CRM" and then from the CRM email form converted to lead, case or opportunity, the regarding field is set correctly.

To make this a bit more clear I will describe this with a few screenshot below:

We'll start off with opening a received email and pressing the Track button in CRM

This will then allow us to press the convert to Opportunity, Case or Lead, directly from Outlook. A very neat, and new function. It came with CRM 2011. In this example, I am selecting Case.
 This will show a smaller dialog allowing you to select case (not shown here) and also prompting you if you want to open the case or not. I selected to open the case.
After opening the case, I checked the closed activities to see if the attached email that was I just converted to a case, but as you can see below there were none. I was a bit perplexed as I was showing this new functionality to the customer as was expecting to see the email here.
I went back to the email from Outlook and opened it in CRM and found that it had not been correctly connected to the case using the lookup "Regarding" field.

So, I tried it the old way. I sent myself another email, pressed the track in CRM button, and then instead of converting it directly from Outlook, i pressed the "View in CRM" button to open it in CRM.

I then converted it to a case from the ribbon menu from the CRM Email from by pressing the "To Case" button.
I was shown a similar small dialog letting me select subject for the case and similar and then the case form was shown. It was identical to when created from Outlook, but when checking the closed activities there was one important difference;

And by opening the CRM email form from the list shows it clearly:

The regarding field has been set properly.

This is a very unfortunate bug in CRM and I do hope Microsoft solve it quickly as the feature that CRM 2011 adds in Outlook by being able to convert emails to cases, opportunities and leads directly from the email form is very good but as all of you know who work close to sales or customer service people, their time is very precious and every click counts and new features that do not deliver as expected are always annoying to the user. So, until the bug has been fixed, make sure the users open the CRM form to convert the emails.

Update: Jukka Niiranen left a very informative comment to this posting below informing us that Microsoft probably will fix this bug in UR6 planned to be released in Jan 2012.
Gustaf Westerlund
CEO, Chief Architect and co-Founder at CRM-konsulterna AB


  1. I opened a support ticket with Microsoft regarding this case a while ago. Someone had already posted a request for this on Microsoft Connect, but they classified it as a bug and requested for a support ticket to be opened. MS Support on the other hand claimed it was a "by design" feature and wanted to direct me back to MS Connect... Finally I received information from them that this bug has actually been already identified previously and that Update Rollup 6 for CRM 2011 should fix it once it's released in January 2012.

  2. Thanks Jukka for a very informative comment. Let's hope it get's fixed in UR6.

  3. I added an update to the post with this information. Thanks again.

  4. Great news! I was too quite shocked when I first saw this bug while showing off the functionality to a customer. Glad to hear it's recognised as a bug and that it will be addressed in UR6.