Several customers have been asking for more information about the level of compatibility between CRM 3.0 and Exchange 2007. Because of some known limitations, some of which require careful planning, this topic deserves some clarifications.
The “V3C” compatibility version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 is required for proper interoperability with Exchange 2007.
This version can be used to distribute forward rules to Exchange 2007 mailboxes (in addition to Exchange 2000 and 2003 mailboxes).
This version, however, cannot be used to run the e-mail router service on an Exchange 2007 server.
In other terms, when planning an upgrade to Exchange 2007, leaving behind an Exchange 2000 or 2003 server to run the e-mail router service is a requirement. User mailboxes, on the other hand, can safely be upgraded to Exchange 2007, and can be made to receive rules using the CRM 3.0 “V3C” rule deployment wizard.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 was released in December 2005. At time of release, a 32 bit solution was the preferred choice for the vast majority of customers. CRM 3.0 was therefore designed to support 32 bit platforms. Exchange 2007 however was released in the first quarter of 2007 as a 64 bit solution, following recent gains in momentum around 64 bit architectures.
On an Exchange 2007 server, the CDOEX library (used by the e-mail router to process forwarded e-mails) is available in 64 bit mode only. Given the fact that a 32 bit process cannot load a 64 bit library, it became impossible for the e-mail router to connect to Exchange 2007 using this library. This is why it is necessary to run the CRM 3.0 e-mail router on an Exchange 2000 or 2003 server.
Re-writing the e-mail router to use the HTTP-DAV protocol instead of using CDOEX could have solved the problem. However, we felt this change would have been too destabilizing and would have required extensive testing. We therefore decided to postpone this re-write until the next version of CRM.
The next major version of Dynamics CRM (codename ‘Titan’) is scheduled to ship later this calendar year. With this release, the development team added support for the HTTP-DAV protocol in addition to native 64 bit support (for high scalability). This will make it possible for the new e-mail router to work against Exchange 2007 (whether running in 32 bit or 64 bit mode). Even better, the new e-mail router will be able to connect remotely to Exchange, eliminating the requirement to install it directly on an Exchange server.
Please expect other e-mail integration improvements as well in the next version, so keep posted!