Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mail Merge from Web Client

Mail Merge has been revamped and improved greatly in the new release of MSCRM. Custom fields can now be used in Mail Merges, something that users have been wanting for a long time. The other large improvement is the capability to run a Mail Merge from the web client, not just the Outlook client. What this means is now Mail Merge templates can be stored at the server level and users can utilize company templates or make their own for their needs.

In the Settings area there is now a template section that has the three old templates from before (Articles, Contracts, and Emails) but now there is a Mail Merge Template option.






You can create a new Mail Merge template and fill out the following form:




Please note the Associated Entity list. It consists of:
Account
Contact
Lead
Quote

Nothing more as of yet. Maybe future versions, maybe not.

Also, take note of the File Attachment, this is for the Word Document Template that will be utilized to render the template for use. You upload your Word Documents as XML files for your template, attach it and then save the mail merge template form. Once the form is saved you can then choose which data fields to include in the Mail Merge.




When you click on the "Data Fields" button you can select what fields you want to include in the Mail Merge. Here's what the screen looks like:




If you look closely you'll see a couple of new capabilities here in this screen. First notice that the first attribute that is available to be selected is "AAA Test" with a schema name of "new_aaatest". Yep, custom fields. You've now seen it with your own eyes. Secondly, take note of the Record Type. Did you see that it's a picklist? Yep, you guessed it, you can pull any field from any related entity. Now I will put a bit of a caveat on my "any field from any related entity" statement. You can pull data from any related entity that is related through a Lookup field (the fields with the magnifying glass). So, from an Account I can pull the Primary Contact's data. There is only one record to pull from so it's clean and simple. However, I cannot pull a field from all related Contacts to a given Account. Having multiple values for one field in a Mail Merge just wouldn't make sense. Also, just so you can see it with your own eyes, here's a screenshot:




It's actually pretty nice in that it shows the field that is linking the two tables so you know what relationship you are pulling from.

From here on out it's Mail Merge as usual. From a list of Accounts you could then click on the Mail Merge button, choose the template you saved and run the merge.

Needless to say I am very excited about this new functionality and I hope you are too.

I'm so excited for MSCRM 4.0!

David Fronk
Dynamic Methods Inc.

8 comments:

Pierre said...

Fronk Rocks!

Evgeniy said...

Nice review, thanks!

CRM guy said...

Do you know can you easily print multiple related quote products (1 - n) under a single quote using new crm titan mail merge?

Dynamic Methods said...

I don't know of any quick ways to print multiple related quote products yet through out of the box CRM Titan Mail Merge but I can see that as being a HUGE request. I'll poke around and see if I can find a way to do it.

Anonymous said...

Hi

We have been testing the mail merge functionality in CRM 4.0. It's works perfectly expect in the case where we want to merge CRM quote details with Word.

We have found that if multiple products are associated with the Quote, all products are included in the Word document on seperate pages.

We would like to list each product as seperate line items not as different receipents.

I would like to ask if you are aware of why this occurs and what we need to do differently to ensure all products are listed on the same page.

Dynamic Methods said...

Word Mail Merges with line items all on the same page actually requires some programming in Word. Mind you I don't mean "hard core" programming, but more of a simpler but "MS-Word way" of programming. To see the codes that have been entered in Word press "Alt + F9", this is called "Toggling Fields". To add a "Toggled Field" (I have no idea if that's the technical term) press "Ctrl + F9".

I'll definitely have to do a post about this. Stepping through abosoultely everything may be a bit much though. If you ever worked with MSCRM-Addon's Word Mail Merge solution, they had this dialed in beautifully. I know it's possible and I've done one myself, it's just been awhile. I'll brush up and see if I can't make post on this.

Thanks for the comments,

David Fronk
Dynamic Methods Inc.

Anonymous said...

We use custom code to send mails from CRM environment.

TargetSendFromTemplateEmail myTargetSendFromTemplateEmail = new TargetSendFromTemplateEmail();

myTargetSendFromTemplateEmail.Email = myEmail;

SendEmailFromTemplateRequest mySendEmailFromTmpRequest = new SendEmailFromTemplateRequest();

mySendEmailFromTmpRequest.Target = myTargetSendFromTemplateEmail;

mySendEmailFromTmpRequest.RegardingId = guidRegardingObjectid;

mySendEmailFromTmpRequest.RegardingType = "new_course";

-- IMPORTANT -- mySendEmailFromTmpRequest.TemplateId = guidMailMergeid;

-- IMPORTANT --

but mySendEmailFromTmpRequest.TemplateId just accepts mail tamplate and not mail merge template.

any idea how to accomplish it on this or another way ?

Alex

Dynamic Methods said...

Alex,

As far as I am aware the SDK can only send CRM emails. The Word Mail Merge function actually only kicks data out to MSWord and has Word handle the rest. If you want a Mail Merge to be automatically sent out using CRM data you may very well have to do some Office programming (Word and maybe Outlook) on top of your CRM programming to get what you want done.

I hope that at least helps you with a direction.

David Fronk
Dynamic Methods Inc.

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