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Newsletter: Perspectives on Power Platform

Company: Niiranen Advisory Oy

Windows 8, Outlook 2013 and Dynamics CRM – part 2

Back in August I wrote about my initial experiences of using a Windows 8 PC with Office 2013 to connect the Outlook client to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. During that time we only had the preview versions of both the OS and Office, so some quirks were naturally to be expected. Now that Windows 8 is generally available and also the RTM bits of Office 2013 can be downloaded from MSDN (with commercial launch expected by end of January), it’s a good moment to revisit the topic. Upon my latest test I came across a few configuration gotchas that I though might be useful to share for anyone who’s struggling with the same issues.

Connecting to CRM Online with WLID

Our official work setup is still on Windows 7 / Office 2010 level, but being the kind of eager early adopter that I am, my home PC’s have moved to the brave new world of Windows 8 some time ago already. I installed Office Professional Plus 2013 on a Windows 8 64-bit laptop that’s not joined to a domain, so my login credentials to Windows are linked to my Microsoft Account (previously known as Windows Live ID). In my first tests in August this was a blocker for using a CRM Online organization where the user’s WLID / Microsoft Account was different in CRM and on the local machine.

Update Rollup 11 removed the need to manually enable Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) on Windows 8, but out of old habits I checked that it was available before configuring CRM. Launching the CRM client Configuration Wizard and selecting CRM Online on the Server URL field of the Configure Organizations prompt gave a familiar error: “Cannot connect to Microsoft Dynamics CRM server because we cannot authenticate your credentials.” Just like before, it appears that the Configuration Wizard automatically attempts to use the Microsoft Account of the local user for logging in to CRM Online. Logging out of the account in Internet Explorer and then logging in to CRM Online in the browser didn’t seem to resolve the issue with the Outlook client connectivity, as a further error message was presented later in the Initializing the Organization phase:

There is a problem communicating with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server. The server might be unavailable. Try again later. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator.
[Expanded Information]
Unable to load the native components of SQL Server Compact corresponding to the ADO.NET provider of version 8082. Install the correct version of SQL Server Compact. Refer to KB article 974247 for more details.

The KB article referenced in the error message discusses the following issue: “You receive an error message when you run a SQL Server Compact 3.5-based application after you install the 32-bit version of SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 Service Pack 2 on an x64 computer.” However, downloading and installing the x64 version of Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 Service Pack 2 for Windows Desktop didn’t resolve the CRM configuration error, so I opened a support ticket with Microsoft. They instructed me that I also needed to install the Cumulative Update 2 for SQL Server Compact 3.5 Service Pack 2, which is a hotfix that you need to request a download link to be sent to you by email. After my SQL CE 3.5 had been updated to build 3.5.8082.00, I was finally able to connect my Outlook 2013 with our CRM Online demo organization.

Connecting to CRM on-premise with IFD

During the previous test with CRM Online I had also tried to connect the Outlook 2013 CRM client  to our production on-premise CRM server that is IFD configured. I kept receiving the following error: “Cannot connect to Microsoft Dynamics CRM server because we cannot authenticate your credentials. Check your connection or contact your administrator for more help.” Looking at the error details there was a message claiming “no credentials are available in the security package.”

Having struggled with the CRM Online connectivity issue, I naturally assumed that it was the same issue with Windows 8 or Outlook 2013 compatibility that was blocking my access to the on-prem server. Especially the fact that I wasn’t getting prompted for credentials at all before seeing the error lead me to believe this was the case. However, the actual solution was much more straightforward than the SQL CE hotfixes. All I needed to do was enter my credentials as DOMAIN\username instead of the username@domain format. While the ADFS 2.0 login screen in Internet Explorer accepts both formats, the Outlook client Configuration Wizard doesn’t. However, because of the fact that my credentials for the CRM server URL had already been cached on IE’s side, I assume the Outlook client attempts to use the username@domain format the first time the URL is entered in the Configure Organizations prompt, even though it’s not capable of authenticating with them.

Connecting to CRM Online with Office 365

I was going to end this post on a high note and test how easy everything is when connecting to a brand new CRM Online organization running on the OSDP platform, meaning an organization using the Office 365 / Microsoft Online Services user account for authentication instead of the consumer grade Microsoft Account / WLID setup of CRM Organizations created before July 2012. Unfortunately this was not possible, as I’m now encountering the following error message whenever I try to open the CRM Configuration Wizard: “An item with the same key has already been added. at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.Insert(TKey key, TValue value, Boolean add).”

OK, I give up. I’m not sure whether this is caused by the brand new Update Rollup 12 that I installed for my CRM Outlook client, but I can’t be bothered to start over and uninstall everything. At least I now have two CRM’s connected to my Outlook 2013 and they’re working perfectly by the looks of things.

At some point I will inevitably need to re-configure that old CRM Online organization, though. Microsoft is finally moving on with transitioning old CRM Online organizations from the CTP platform onto the new OSDP one. As all the CTP organizations will be migrated by Q4/2013, based on the information available in the CRM Online Transition Center, there will come a time when Windows Live ID will be history in terms of any Dynamics CRM connections.


  1. hi,

    thanks for some great posts.

    Maybe you can help me, ’cause my consultant cant. I run a small organisation on Office365, Office 2013 and CRM Online without ADSF or AD (sorry I’m not a technician, but just a business owner). Things work fine at work, but peoples’ private home PCs on Win 8 ALL fail to connect to CRM Online via Outlook plugin (authentication / credential issues) despite being able to connect to CRM ONline via the browser … I suspect the LiveID to be behind this.

    Any suggestion to what to do?


    • Klaus, what is the specific error message that your users are receiving on their Outlooks? Have they logged out of their Microsoft Account (Windows Live ID) in Internet Explorer before trying to launch the Configuration Wizard? Since CRM is now cross-browser compliant, perhaps the users are accessing it on Chrome or Firefox, whereas the Outlook client will use IE and share the session cookies with it, which may be logged in to their personal Microsoft Account instead of the CRM Online user credentials.

      Another way to diagnose the issue could be to open a new CRM Online trial organization that uses the Office 365 accounts for user identity management and test if Outlook 2013 can connect to that. I’m assuming that your live CRM Online organization has been created before July 2012 and is still using Windows Live ID based authentication.

  2. Hi Jukka,

    actually, our CRM Online org is very new, created a few months ago, after release of Office2013. It uses our Office365 ID. After making sure to log out of from Explorer, I get the opportunity to enter Organisational ID. However, the result is the same. I am suspecting that my Win8 PC login is tied to my liveID, as other services such as Skype, Mail, and SkyDrive use this login as well.

    Could my server URL be wrong? I enter the URL of my web CRM:

    Funny, if I chose “forgot password” it sends me to ….

  3. This could be simple. Do NOT manually add the url for your crm instance we you run the configuration wizard. Use the drop down box instead and select “CRM Online”. That should be the first step. If that does not work, then try the other steps

  4. I am trying to set up MS Outlook with CRM 2013 (trial version account), but is not showing me to select any organization. I am using MS Office 2010. I wanted to get some print screens for the training but I am stacked with that annoying CRM Wizard. Any idea?

    • Zen, are you selecting the CRM Online option from the dropdown menu instead of typing in the URL of the CRM Online organizations? This used to be one of the gotchas in the configuration process UI, not sure if it’s still there.

  5. I am typing the everything how should be and it is not showing me the Organization, which Microsoft create for you automatically for you. I thought that I am missing something and I need to declare in the Administrator – Settings, but everything is OK there. I am using this set up a lot for my company and never had that problem before. I thought that it might be MS Office 2010 and CRM 2013 that they are not “compatible” or some other trick from MS.

    • Zen, you shouldn’t be typing in the address of the CRM Online organization into the Configure Organization dialog of the Dynamics CRM Outlook client configuration wizard screen. Instead you need to click the down arrow at the end of the address field to reveal the option for “CRM Online”. Select this, then enter your username and password. The wizard should then present you with the CRM Online organizations available for this user account. Outlook 2010 and CRM 2013 are a supported combination.

      Configure CRM Outlook client with CRM Online

  6. Hi Jukka,

    thank you for you blogpost.

    It helped me through my troubleshooting.

    Best Regards


  7. Hi Experts;

    I dont know many of yo have got this problem with CRM 2013 for outlook but this has been a continuous problem in my organization. I installed CRM 2013 for outlook on the users’ computers and now all those users are facing reboot issues. Their laptops are rebooting every 30 minutes after windows update installs the same KB2941390 for CRM 2013 for outlook. Have you guys seen this problem before and is there any solution to this?


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