Automated meeting notices – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 server side sync

Our project team recently worked through a Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation  and configured server side sync for appointments, contacts and tasks as part of the plan. We received intermittent reports from end users stating that some of their customer’s were asking about meeting notices that they were not expecting. Our customer’s process was to have the user create an appointment activity in CRM and regard the record to an Account in CRM. This is a customer-customized process to create appointments in CRM and have them sync to Exchange as “reminders”. In CRM 2011, this worked without a problem.

However, with the implementation of server-side-sync for appointments, contacts and tasks, the “reminder appointments” are now synced to user’s Exchange calendar AND THEN converted to a meeting.  An invitation to the meeting is automatically sent out to the primary email address saved on the regarded CRM Account.  This meeting notice will NOT be saved in CRM, only in Exchange.

We contacted Microsoft for help on stopping the unwanted meeting invitations and were told that there is not a way to change the server side sync behavior to stop the process before it sends the meeting invitation through Exchange.

The customer did not want to change their long-standing process of creating reminder appointments in CRM and syncing to Exchange. So, server-side-sync for appointments, contacts and tasks will remain disabled for this customer.

Our team is looking the possibility of filtering the meeting notices from the Exchange server, but as yet there is no solution other than having users manually manage the sync of appointments, contacts and tasks through the CRM client for Outlook.