- Introduction to Workbooks Outlook Connector

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Introduction to Workbooks Outlook Connector

Most Workbooks Users have a wealth of valuable information about their business contacts and communication with those contacts stored in Outlook and visibility of this information within Workbooks is vital. Additionally, Users want to continue using Outlook alongside Workbooks and to feel confident that the two systems are in synch.

The Workbooks Outlook Connector is a plug-in application for Outlook which automatically synchronises data in Outlook with your Workbooks database, enabling you to work in either product or a combination of both and giving you all the information you want, where you want it, when you want it.

If you are installing the Outlook Connector, please ensure it meets the

System Requirements.

What can be synchronised?

People, Activity and Email records in Workbooks can be synchronised (Workbooks People records become Outlook Contacts, Activities become Tasks or Meetings) and by further synchronising Outlook with your mobile device, you can walk into any meeting with all your Workbooks information at hand.

You can also synchronise Organisations, Cases, Opportunities and Sales Leads, which allows you to link emails sent from Outlook to the relevant Workbooks record(s) so your database is always up-to-date.  Similarly, the synchronisation will bring down from Workbooks any related items. For example, if you've related in Workbooks an Opportunity to a Person record, this Opportunity will appear in Outlook as a related item within the Contact record as shown in the screenshot below (click to enlarge).

By default the Connector synchronises all of the records in your My People view (ie, records that are either Assigned To you or that you're watching) and creates them as Outlook contacts.  You can amend the filter settings (on a per User basis) to control exactly which records are synchronised. When you're installing the Connector you can control whether or not existing Outlook Contacts are made available for sharing as well as the behaviour of any new Outlook Contacts.  

How does the synchronisation work?

When synchronising emails sent from Outlook, the Connector searches your Workbooks database for People or Sales Leads that have the same email address as the recipient and when it finds a match, links the email to the appropriate record. If there isn't a matching record at the time you send the email but you later add the email address to a Workbooks record, all the previous emails will be linked to that record. This applies to email addresses held in the Main tab on a Person record as well as to any held in the Contact Details tab.

In order for items in Outlook to be synchronised, they must first have been shared with Workbooks. 

Sharing items between Workbooks and Outlook

Once the Connector is installed, items in Outlook have one of the following 'sharing states':

  • Native - these are items which have been created in Outlook, but have not been converted for or shared with Workbooks;
  • Unshared - these are items which have been converted into the format which allows them to be shared with Workbooks, but have not yet been shared;
  • Shared - these are items which have been converted and shared with Workbooks, and will therefore appear both in your Outlook and your Workbooks account.

In the screenshot above you can see the blue bar across the top of the email that says 'Synchronised from Workbooks', which shows that this record has come from Workbooks. Conversely, if a record is a 'native Outlook record' (ie, was originally created in Outlook) and then shared with Workbooks, the blue bar will read 'Shared with Workbooks'.

See the Using the Outlook Connector page for more information on Sharing items.

When does the synchronisation happen?

You can control how frequently the synchronisation takes place. You can schedule automatic synchronisations and can 'force' a synchronisation at any time. The synchronisation runs as a background task so you can carry on working whilst your records are being updated.

How do I get started?

Before downloading and installing the Outlook Connector, your database needs to have been configured correctly by your System Administrator. Please speak to them and ask them to check that they have:

  • Ticked the checkbox next to Workbooks Outlook Connector (within Start > Configuration > Users & Security > Licences & Modules > Modules);
  • Enabled the Outlook Connector extension on your User record;
  • Granted you the following Capabilities: View CRM Sales Leads; View CRM Sales Opportunities; View CRM Cases (in addition to any other Capabilities you have). 

Please note that the Outlook Connector can only be installed on one machine accessing any particular mailbox. If you get a second PC you should uninstall it from the first PC before installing it on the second one.

Before you can use the Connector you need to:

  • Download and install the plug in;
  • Apply the First Run Assistant (which guides you through setting up your login details, the filter settings that control which records from Workbooks are brought down into Outlook and running your first synchronisation);
  • Define which records from Outlook you want to 'share' with Workbooks.

Remember to check that your environment meets the system requirements before going ahead.  Details of these requirements can be found here.

NOTE:  As an alternative to using the Outlook Connector, you might want to use the Workbooks Dropbox to get your emails into Workbooks. Click here to find out more about how the two compare.