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Dynamics CRM Email Router

Lee Savidge
Lee Savidge asked
At the risk of sounding dumb, could someone explain the purpose of the email router in Dynamics? Been dabbling with Dynamics for about a year now and have never looked at this component really. Searching google just give me info on setting it up and configuring it. Almost every page I find on the web that attempts to describe it gives the same regurgitated sentence from Microsoft:

"...The E-mail Router is an interface between the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system and an e-mail system..."

Great. That tells me what it is, not what it's for or what it does. Why is the interface needed? What can't I do without it? If I have the Outlook client installed I can still track emails without the router so I am slightly at a loss as to it's purpose.
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Principal Consultant
The purpose of the E-mail router is to provide a way for e-mails generated in CRM (e.g. using Marketing campaigns) to be sent out and for incoming e-mails to be stored in the CRM database.

If all your users have the CRM client for Outlook then you may configure the user's record to use the CRM client to manage incoming and outgoing e-mails in which case you won't need the router. HOwever, if you need to manage e-mails for a user that doesn't use the CRM client or to use a queue then you will need the router.

Chinmay PatelChief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2019

Hi lsavidge,
Also there are few other advantages of using Email Router
 - Now you don't need to have Exchange to route emails i.e. support for POP3 mailboxes
 - You have better control over how your emails will be handled and how often your mailboxes will be scanned
- You can configure certain aspects of Email Route via XML Configuration files 


Thanks Feridun. That helps.

Chinmay_Patel... Thanks but this doesn't help me to understand what it's purpose is. I found many such statements on the web like this and they tell me about some of the features with no explanation as to what the router is for. I think Feridun has answered the question. I will wait to see if anyone else has any more comments for a  little while longer.

Chinmay PatelChief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2019

@lsavidge : Ya. All these statements to denote the lack of router in CRM 3.0 and how difficult it was to sell it as a product due to the dependencies it had on Exchange Server. :) Previously CRM could not handle emails incoming/outgoing without Exchange so CRM team came up with Email Router.
Hi lsavidge -

Feridun has covered the pertinent reasons you might need the router.

The only other specific scenario I've used it for, is when a user is assigned the responsibility to send large volumes of email (i.e. - a newsletter).  If you use the CRM Client for Outlook, all the messages will sit in the users "Sent Items".  Sometimes, that's not desired.

Having the Email Router in place allows the option to setup that user's outbound CRM email to go through the router (instead of Outlook) so the emails go out, they get linked to the CRM records, but they don't sit in the users "Sent Items" folder.  Meanwhile, the user can still send email from Outlook and link it to CRM whenever they choose.  It's nice flexibility.

Thanks guys.