Simplicity, the strength of email logging in NAV 2016

This blog is about the functionality for logging Outlook emails in NAV 2016, and some key aspects of the required setup. The simplicity of this functionality makes it powerful but that could also limit its applicability, depending on what your organization would like to achieve. Also the setup is pretty straight forward but I want to share a few specifics that you may run into (like I did…)

Logging emails in this concept means that any email traffic of Outlook users within the organization (they do NOT have to be NAV users) can be tracked in NAV. Tracking in this case means that in NAV a record is being created with a link to the email, allowing the users to organize and filter in NAV, and to read that email and if needed use it for follow up (e.g. reply or forward).

Before you start digging into the required setups and integration aspects, let me explain this feature’s limitations which is also its strength. Limited flexibility can be convenient, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish and more importantly what your targeted user group will be.

On your Exchange Server you need to have 2 Public Folders dedicated for email logging purposes:

  1. 1st folder is for ‘Queueing’ which allows the Outlook user to copy or move emails to this folder for processing by NAV.

  2. 2nd is for ‘Storage’ which is the destination of the email when NAV processing has picked up the email, creating a link-record, and moving the email from Queue to Storage.

You can NOT have more than one set of folders (per NAV company); everything goes through these 2 public folders.

When NAV picks up the email in the Queue-folder it creates a record in the Interaction Log Entry table, linking the email to the sales person and the contact. The determination which sales person and contact record will be used is based on the email addresses in that particular email. This concept sets the main limitations for this email logging functionality:

  1. It is not possible to log emails that don’t include email addresses for a sales person as well as a contact. The advantage of this is that your NAV logs will not be cluttered with all kinds of unrelated emails.

  2. Emails are linked only directly to sales persons and contacts, not to i.e. sales orders or purchase invoices. This means that your emails are not scattered all over the place, they can always be found in the same areas. Obviously, when a Sales Order has the contact linked to it, you can navigate from the order to the contact, and next to the emails in the Interaction Log Entries.

This picture illustrates the entities involved:

Some more detailed restrictions regarding the email can be found here.

When the email logging service identified the email addresses and tracked the emails it created records as shown in the below example. These ‘Interaction Log Entries’ can be found on the Contact or Sales Person card, using the button for that in the History Group on the Navigate tab. In NAV you can add a comment, evaluate it, or start a new interaction (like a follow up email), or you can use the Show button to open the actual email in Outlook.

The Description field of this log-entry is copied from the email’s Subject. So if the users make sure that the Subject in Outlook contains a reference to for instance the sales order no. you can easily apply a filter for showing the emails related to this sales order:

If you like the above functionality, start setting up the different components involved as described in detail in this link.

There is one aspect of this setup that I’d like to point out which took me quite some time to figure out: the section “Enabling a Job Queue for Email Logging” describes how to create a new server instance called EMAIL in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Server Administration Tool. If you are not too familiar with this tool, the following screenshot will help you identify the place for the adding the codeunit and the company:

The rest of the setup should be pretty straight forward, but don’t hesitate to reply to this blog if you run into any road blocks.

Also I would love to hear if you’re using it and have some additional tips or tricks.

#emaillogging #NAVServerAdministration #Outlook #queuefolder

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