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The latest update to the Outlook Client for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 (Update Rollup 15 and Update Rollup 11 CU) as well as the Outlook Client for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, includes a number of enhancements for the Outlook Client, mostly around performance improvements.

One of the major changes is the separation of some of the core CRM components from the Outlook processes.

While this separation is a great result for the improvement of performance, it also introduces some “hidden” and unexpected behaviour in environments that have proxy servers for internet access and are using either CRM Online or a Partner Hosted CRM.

Historically CRM ran within the Outlook process and the Outlook client is Proxy aware, so adopted the settings configured for your internet access, this meant that you could use CRM without any issues, the separate process, Microsoft.Crm.Application.Outlook.WebFormsHost.exe however, is not proxy aware by default. This results in a behaviour where CRM for Outlook appears to be functioning normally on the surface, until you try and open a form record (or new form). The reason it appears to work before this point is because Dashboard, Record lists and preview pane are all still running within the Outlook process, so these calls to the CRM web services execute as expected, but the moment you try and open a form, nothing happens.

If you enable tracing for the Outlook client, you are likely to find an error in the trace logs of type 407, proxy authentication required.

The fix for this is relatively straight forward, although does need to be applied on each user’s computer.

You need to create a new Config xml file for the Microsoft.Crm.Application.Outlook.WebFormsHost.exe process. This file should be called Microsoft.Crm.Application.Outlook.WebFormsHost.exe.config and should be placed in the \Microsoft Dynamics CRM\Client\res\web\bin in your respective “Program Files” folder (“Program Files” for 64-Bit Clients and “Program Files(x86)” for 32-Bit Clients)

The contents of this file should be a derivative of the following, filling in your own proxy server specific details :

<configuration>
<system.net>
<defaultProxy enabled=”true” useDefaultCredentials=”true” >
<proxy usesystemdefault=”true” bypassonlocal=”True” proxyaddress=”http://<proxy address>:<port #>“/>
</defaultProxy>
</system.net>
</configuration>

Once you have saved this file and restarted the Outlook Client then you should now hake a working Outlook Client.