I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor...
Back in May, I wrote that our sustained engineering (SE) team would be testing the Outlook client with Windows Vista & Office 2007, fixing any issues that were identified and releasing a refresh of the Outlook client (you can find the posting here). Although no resources were available to support a public beta program, I have been testing a beta version of the new client internally against my team CRM server, and I thought I would share some of my findings.
The first change is the move from MSDE 2000 SP4 to SQL 2005 Express Edition SP1 as the offline data store. This change was made simply because Windows Vista does not support MSDE, but it also provides some real benefits such as increasing the maximum database size from 2GB to 4GB and allowing you to take much more data offline. You can read all about SQL 2005 Express Edition here.
The second change is the move away from using an Outlook .pst file (mscrm.pst) to store sitemap and other CRM information, to using a custom MAPI store. Although this might not be important to most customers, I have met at least one whos security policy precludes the use of .pst files. In addition, this is one less thing that needs to be deployed when using Terminal Services/Citrix. See the recent posting by the CRM product team entitled Dynamics CRM 3.0 Clients on Windows 2003 Terminal Services or Citrix Presentation Server 4.0
Finaly, the main change for CRM users is integration into the Outlook 2007 "Ribbon", and to get your juices flowing, I have taken a screenshot of a new e-mail directly from my PC below:
The plan is to release the client refresh to the web shortly after the release of Windows Vista and Office 2007, which could be pretty soon if you believe the current rumours - Magical green lights peg 25 Oct RTM for Vista.
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.