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Exchange Connector Integration with Vtiger

This article will provide you with in-detail information about the Exchange Connector integration with Vtiger CRM.
R
Rashmi Kashyap
12 Jan, 2021 - Updated 3 months ago

Introduction

Exchange Connector enables you to automatically sync Leads, Contacts, Organizations, Tasks, and calendar Events between Exchange client (like Outlook web app) and Vtiger CRM. 

To know more about the Microsoft Exchange + Vtiger CRM features and benefits, click here.  

To check the pricing of the Exchange Connector, click here.

You must understand Powershell and Exchange Server administration before you install Exchange connectors.


What is an Exchange connector?

Here are some terminologies that you must understand before installing the Exchange connector:

  • Exchange Server

    Exchange Server is a collaborative application developed by Microsoft. It is an information management system that helps you manage emails, share calendars, contact lists, etc. Exchange is typically installed on your servers or accessed from a hosted exchange provider.
  • Users

    You will need to create users in the Exchange server and map them to users in Vtiger CRM.
    You can create users in Exchange Server by clicking on Start > Active Directory Users and Computers.
  • Mailbox

    You can configure mailboxes for your Exchange users. This eliminates the burden of installing Outlook on every user’s machine. While creating mailboxes, you can select the users to whom the mailboxes will be assigned.
    You can create and designate mailboxes to Exchange users by clicking on Start > Exchange Management Console > Recipient Configuration > Mailbox.
  • Powershell

    Powershell is an object-oriented programming language and interactive command-line shell for MS Windows. It was designed to automate system tasks, such as batch processing, and create system management tools for commonly implemented processes. It can integrate with the .NET environment and also be embedded within other applications.
  • Outlook

    Even if the Exchange is installed on your servers, users cannot access it directly. Outlook acts as an interface to view and manage data that is stored in Microsoft Exchange.


Why Exchange Connector?

Exchange Connector has a lot of benefits over the Vtiger Outlook plugin. Having With Exchange installed on your servers, you need not install Outlook on individual client machines. 

With the drag and drop feature, you can select and drag records in the desired folders. It also supports duplicate checks to eliminate redundant data. You can install Exchange Connector on your server to stay connected and updated.

Benefits of Exchange connector over Vtiger Outlook plugin

  • Easy administration - The user doesn’t have to install anything. The connector has to be installed only once on the Exchange server, while the outlook plugin has to be installed on each user’s desktop.
  • Drag and drop feature - To put an email to CRM, a user must drag it to a folder in Outlook.

Note: The folders in Outlook show up automatically after the Connector is installed successfully on the Exchange server.


Feature Availability

Sales Starter

Sales Professional

Sales Enterprise

One Professional

One Enterprise

Feature Availability

Exchange Connector

 

Exchange Connector is also available in the Help Desk Starter and Help Desk Professional editions.


Installation 

To ensure the smooth working of the Exchange connector on your system, you must install two different components:

  • the Vtiger component that must be installed in Vtiger CRM
  • the Exchange component that must be installed on the Exchange server


Prerequisites

Before installing Exchange Connector, verify that the following software prerequisites are satisfied:

  • Exchange Server 2010, 2013, or 2016
  • Power Shell 2.0
  • Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0 extended
  • Cloud version and Vtiger CRM (above 5.4.0)
  • Exchange clients Vtiger supports, including Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook Web Access, Outlook for Mac, etc.


Installing Vtiger component

The installation process is different for Vtiger CRM cloud users and Vtiger CRM open-source users. Read on...

For Vtiger CRM cloud users

Vtiger CRM cloud users must contact the Vtiger support team to get the Vtiger component installed. This can be completed within 24 hours upon request. 

After installing the Vtiger component, a new extension called Exchange Connector is installed in your account.

Follow these steps to install the extension:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the User Menu on the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Go to Extensions. 
  5. Click Extensions Store.
  6. Search for Exchange Connector.
  7. Click Install to install the extension.
  8. Click Launch to open the module.

For Vtiger CRM open-source users

Open-source users need to follow these steps to install the Vtiger component:

  1. Download the Vtiger component file (version 6.4.0) in zip format.
  2. Extract the zip file to the root folder of the Vtiger source.
  3. Run ExchangeConnectorSetup.php from your browser. For instance, if you open Vtiger on the browser with the URL, you need to run

After this, a new module called Exchange connector is installed in your CRM account. You can locate it in Settings > Integration.


Installing Exchange server component

Vtiger CRM cloud users and open-source users must install an IIS application, which acts as a middleware between Vtiger CRM and Exchange server. Click to download the Exchange server for 2010 and 2013.

To install this application, you must have the following privileges:

  1. Administrator credentials that have permissions to Read/Write access on the IIS server.
  2. Impersonation role for the administrator. This can be done by running the following command on Exchange Management Shell: New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Name:”ROLENAME” -Role:ApplicationImpersonation -User:”USER_NAME”
    For instance, New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Name:exchange_connector -Role:ApplicationImpersonation -User:Administrator

Note: This version of the connector assumes that the default HTTP port is 80 and HTTPS port is 443. 

 

Follow these steps to install the Exchange server component:

  1. Contact the Vtiger support team to get the Vtiger Exchange server component file in zip format.
  2. Extract the zip file. 
  3. Double-click the setup.exe file.
  4. Click Next in the Vtiger Exchange Connector Setup dialog box.
  5. Click Browse.
  6. Select the path where the Exchange connector will be installed. 
  7. Click Next.
  8. Read the license agreement.
  9. Click the ​checkbox to accept the license. 
  10. Click Next.
  11. Click Browse.
  12. Select the installation path.
  13. Click Next.
  14. Enter the License Key provided to you.
  15. Click Next.
  16. Provide your Vtiger CRM URL, Username, and Access Key. You can get Username and Access Key from your My Preferences page.
  17. Click Next
  18. Provide your Active Directory information. 
  19. Click Next.
  20. Click Finish.

The Exchange component is successfully installed.


Scheduling Vtiger Cron

To fetch the information from Vtiger CRM to Exchange, we have provided an executable file called vtigerCron.exe. This executable file should be executed very often to synchronize data between Vtiger and Exchange. To achieve this, you’ll need to create a task in Windows Task Scheduler.

Follow these steps to set up cron:

  1. Click Start
  2. Go to Administrative Tools
  3. Select Task Scheduler.
  4. Right-click on the Task Scheduler page.
  5. Select Create New Task.
  6. In the General tab, provide a label and description of your task in the Name and Description fields.
  7. Click the Triggers tab to schedule a new trigger.
  8. Click New.
  9. The recommended values are Daily, Repeat task every 10-15 minutes, and Indefinitely.
  10. Click on the Actions tab to create a new action.
  11. Click New.
  12. Click Browse to find a path for the VtigerCron.exe file on your computer. You must browse through Exchange Component installation files > VtigerCron folder > VtigerCron.exe.

Once done, the task is displayed along with a list of other tasks.

 

Note:

  • Please ensure that the user running the scheduled task 
    • is the same as installing the connector (i.e., has an impersonation role).
    • has full (read/write) access to the ‘Vtiger Exchange Plugin’ folder.
  • Records created before the Exchange Connector installation will not be synced. You will need to update the records in Vtiger CRM to sync the earlier records.


Mapping Users

After successfully installing Exchange Connector, your Exchange Server users will be available for mapping. By mapping users between Exchange Server and Vtiger CRM, your data is synced on both ends automatically. 

 

Note: You must have administrator privileges in the CRM to map users.

 

Follow these steps to map users:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the User Menu on the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Go to Extensions. 
  5. Click Extensions Store.
  6. Click on Exchange Connector.
  7. Click the +Add User Mapping button to initiate mapping.
  8. Click the drop-down to select the users. 
  9. Click the Add button.

Syncing Data

Vtiger CRM gives you the ability to sync your contacts, calendar events, and tasks and supports attaching emails to Leads, Contacts, and Organizations. 

After successfully installing the Exchange Connector, different folders are created on your Exchange email client, for example, Outlook web app - Outlook. These folders are responsible for managing the synchronization process.

Attaching Emails

You are used to managing all your Contacts, Leads, and Organizations in Vtiger CRM. You also organize emails on your Exchange email client. These are not two different platforms anymore. Exchange Connector brings together the best of two worlds. 

All you have to do is select an email from your Outlook web app and drag it to these folders: VContacts, VLeads, or VAccounts. The Exchange Connector will now search for records in Vtiger CRM based on email ID and attach that email if a record is found. If a record is not found, a new record is created in Vtiger CRM, and an email is attached to it. Attaching emails support only one-way sync.

Syncing Contacts

Contacts that are created, updated, deleted in the VContacts folder will be automatically updated in Vtiger CRM. On the other hand, the operations you perform on contact records assigned to you in Vtiger CRM are also updated in VContacts folder. VContacts support two-way sync. 

Changes done on your Exchange client are updated instantly. However, the changes done in Vtiger CRM might take some time to affect your Exchange client — it depends on cron frequency set by your administrator. 

Syncing Events

Events like Call, Meeting, or any other custom event type other than Tasks in Vtiger CRM will be created under VEvents folder. Events that are scheduled, modified, and deleted are automatically updated in Vtiger CRM and vice-versa. Events supports two-way sync.

Syncing Tasks

All tasks that are scheduled, modified, and deleted are automatically updated in Vtiger CRM and vice-versa.


Fixing Errors

Having issues with the Exchange Connector? All you have to do is run the Monitor.exe file shipped along with the Exchange Connector package. 

Here is the path to locating the Monitor.exe file:

  1. Go to the path where Exchange Connector is installed. 
  2. Click on Monitor folder and locate Monitor.exe file.
  3. Execute the Monitor.exe file. 

As a result, a log file in text format is generated. 

You must forward the file to support@vtiger.com. This will help us in figuring out what went wrong. 

Here is the path to locate the log file:

  1. Go to the path where Exchange Connector is installed.
  2. Click the Vtiger Exchange Plugin.
  3. Go to Logs.
  4. Click the log.txt file.
  5. Click the checkbox beside Enable Logging.


Monitoring Folders

The folders - VContacts, VLeads, VAccounts, VEvents, VTask are responsible for the synchronization process. If any of these folders stop responding, that means Exchange Server has lost their track. You must subscribe the folders again to start tracking changes. To achieve this, you must enable the Monitor Folders checkbox. You will find this option after running the Monitor.exe file.

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Exchange Connector Integration Office 365 Integration Using Office 365 with Vtiger CRM
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