Microsoft Dynamics CRM Help & Training
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If you're reading this page in response to a recent update email, be sure to choose the tab for the correct feature list. If your update announcement includes the words “Update 1”, the info on the first tab applies. Choose the second tab below if you received a 2015 update, but it does not mention Update 1. The feature list on the first tab below is for updates coming in this year.

New in CRM Online 2015 Update 1 New in 2015 Updating from an earlier version?  

Get around and find the info you need, fast!

With the new navigation bar, it's easier and faster to find the information you need. When you choose the Main Menu from the nav bar, you can access your work areas, records, or other items with less scrolling and fewer clicks than before.

 Take a short video tour (less than one minute) of the new navigation

Use the Recently Viewed Items button on the new nav bar to get back to your most recently viewed and pinned items. With this global tool, you can access recently viewed records, views, and even dashboards. Pin the items you use all the time to move them to the top of the list.

If you're working in a complex form with lots of fields, the new form navigation drop-down list makes it easy to get to just the data you need. Choose the drop-down list next to the form title, and then select the section of the form you want to go to.

Add a logo or change the color scheme using themes

Create a uniform look and feel across all your applications with themes. For example, add a company logo or change default colors for entities or links. Preview your custom theme, and then publish it for the whole team when you're ready. No code required!

 Watch a short video (2:45) about themes

More information: Change the color scheme or add a logo to match your organization's brand

Track Exchange email activities automatically with folder tracking

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 provides a new and intuitive way to track incoming Exchange email activities. You can set up a tracking folder—use any Exchange folder in your Inbox—and then drag an incoming email message to that folder to track it. You can associate a tracked folder with a specific record, such as an account or opportunity, so whenever you move a message to that folder, it's automatically linked to that specific record.

Tracked folders work with Exchange Inbox rules, which makes it even easier to manage and track incoming email. For example, you could set up an Exchange Inbox rule that automatically routes email from a Contoso contact to a tracked Contoso folder, linked to a specific opportunity. Tracked folders work on any device that supports Exchange, so you can track email directly from virtually any device.

To use tracked folders, your organization must use server-side synchronization as your email synchronization method. Tracked folders must also be enabled by a system administrator.

 Watch a short video (2:37) about folder-level tracking

More information:

Track incoming email wherever you are with the new CRM App for Outlook

Microsoft Dynamics CRM already includes a full-featured CRM add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook called Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook. Now you have the choice of using Dynamics CRM for Outlook or the new Dynamics CRM App for Outlook Preview to track incoming email.

Dynamics CRM App for Outlook is a light-weight Office app that you can use together with the desktop version of Outlook Web App (included in Office 365) or Outlook 2013 to:

  • Track incoming email and set a regarding record.

  • Determine whether a record is already tracked and view the regarding record.

  • Preview information about CRM contacts or leads.

  • Create new contact or lead records if the person on the From line isn't already included in the CRM database.

  • View information about last and next activities, as well as other related records.

  • Open CRM forms directly if you need more detailed information.

Dynamics CRM App for Outlook is offered as a Preview feature and must be enabled by a system administrator. For more information about setting up and using Dynamics CRM App for Outlook, see the  CRM App for Outlook User's Guide.

Do quick analysis with Excel Online, right from CRM Online

Millions of people use Microsoft Office Excel to analyze corporate data and create reports. Now you can use Microsoft Excel Online to do quick analysis, right from CRM Online. For example, if you're a sales manager, you might want to analyze the opportunities your team owns and review Key Points of Interest (KPIs) to see how you can assist your team members. If you're a sales rep, you can open your opportunities in Excel and do what-if analysis for different incentive scenarios.

 Watch a short video (2:45) about doing a “What if” analysis with Excel Online


You must have an Office 365 subscription to edit Excel documents in Excel Online.

More information: Analyze your CRM data in Excel Online

Export to Excel completely redesigned

We've redesigned exporting to Excel from the bottom up to provide for a much smoother experience. With a single click in the web client or in Dynamics CRM for Outlook, you can export your data as an Excel document, which can be opened anywhere, including the desktop version of Excel (2007 and later), Excel Online, and other Excel clients. When you export, all formatting is preserved, so you can do your calculations in Excel, and then reimport the data to CRM. You can export up to 100,000 records at a time (previous limit was 10,000).

More information: Export Data to Excel

New Power Query connector streamlines connections to CRM Online

With the new Power Query connector, you can connect more easily to CRM Online data from Power Query to do self-service Business Intelligence (BI). After selecting the From Dynamics CRM Online connector in Power Query, just supply a URL feed, and then enter your credentials. Power Query connects and retrieves the list of tables and entities from CRM Online. You can also schedule data refreshes of your dashboard from Power BI for Office 365.

More information: 3 updates to Excel Power Query

Collaborate with team members, even if they don't have access to CRM Online

Office 365 users can use Office 365 Groups to collaborate across Office products. An Office 365 Group is a workspace that team members can use to share files, email messages, conversations, calendars, and Microsoft OneNote notes. Office 365 Groups are a great way to collaborate with team members, even if they don't have access to CRM Online. For example, create an Office 365 Group for your sales team, invite other Office 365 users to join the Group, and then share documents, email, conversations, meeting information, and OneNote notes related to specific opportunities.

Office 365 Groups are offered as a preview feature.

More information:

Take notes in OneNote, directly from CRM Online

Take advantage of all that Microsoft OneNote has to offer, directly from CRM Online. For example, when you're on the go at a customer site, take notes on your Microsoft Surface or other mobile device while you're viewing opportunity details. Capture photos, take voice notes, do free-form drawings and more. Everything is automatically linked with the opportunity record in CRM Online.

 Watch a short video (2:12) about OneNote integration in Dynamics CRM

More information: Set up and use OneNote in CRM

Enjoy the same great mobile experience, whether you're using a phone or tablet

The CRM for phones app now provides the same process-driven experience as CRM for tablets. Nurture your leads and opportunities through the sales process with the new intuitive interface. If you have a Windows Phone, use Cortana voice commands to access your CRM data hands-free. More information: CRM for Phones and Tablets User's Guide

 Watch a short video (5:02) about the new CRM for phones app

The previous version of the CRM for phones app is still available in app stores, but it's now called CRM for phones - Express.

Secure your mobile data with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Good

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Good app works with the Good Technology mobile security platform to protect your CRM data even if you lose or leave your tablet somewhere. For example, if you leave your tablet in a taxi cab and can't get it back right away, your CRM data is protected by Good encryption. If you lose your tablet, your admin can remotely wipe your CRM for Good data from your tablet. More information: Secure your mobile data with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Good

Share the knowledge (base) with Parature

We introduced Parature, from Microsoft, in the 2015 spring wave of releases. Now if you're a customer service agent, you can take advantage of rich Parature knowledge base (KB) capabilities to reduce issue handling time, directly from CRM Online. For example, while you're working on a case record, you can:

  • View system-suggested KB articles

  • Search for relevant KB articles

  • Read the content of KB articles inline, including embedded images or videos

  • Send KB article links to customers

More information: Find Parature knowledge base (KB) articles from within Dynamics CRM

Speed up customer service with default entitlements

Customer service agents use entitlements to verify the type of support a customer is eligible for and to provide the right level of support. Now service managers or admins can set an entitlement as the default entitlement for a customer. When an agent creates a case, the default entitlement is automatically associated with the case, saving time for the agent.

For cases where service organizations do not want entitlement terms to be deducted (a faulty part is installed, for example), service agents can also credit back entitlement terms so the customer isn't charged.

Define rules for creating or updating CRM records from incoming activities

In previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Service Managers could set up rules to automatically create cases from incoming email or social channels. Now sales, marketing, and service teams can use these same rules to automatically create or update one or more records from any single incoming activity, such as an email, social, or custom activity.

More information: Set up rules to automatically create or update records in CRM

Forms load much faster with new form rendering engine

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1, you'll notice that forms are much snappier than in earlier versions. You don't have to do anything to take advantage of faster forms – they're turned on by default. If you have forms that include unsupported customizations, however, and you encounter errors as a result, you may want to temporarily turn off form enhancements while you update your scripts. More information: System Settings dialog box - General tab

Updates are driven by you

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 includes a new opt-in update model that provides flexibility for applying updates, depending on your organization's needs. For simplicity, all updates are managed through a single central portal. For more information, see TechNet: Update policy

 Watch a short video (3:38) on customer-driven updates


If you're an administrator, be sure to check out this page as well: TechNet: What's new for administrators and customizers

Improvements to product selling features help increase sales

Improvements to the product selling experience help sales operations managers and salespeople manage and sell your company's products more effectively:

  • Sales operations managers can easily add products to the system and bundle related products together so that salespeople can increase sales by encouraging customers to buy a group of products instead of single items. For example, you can pair a top-selling product with a less popular one, create groups of products to maximize the benefits for customers when they buy, and offer special discounts on bundled products.

  • Sales operations managers can provide tailored pricelists based on a salesperson's territory, or on the customer segment they're assigned to.

  • Sales operations managers or customizers can localize the product catalog for different regions with localization tools. Export and import field translations, and localize product attributes and metadata to make product details available to salespeople in their preferred language.

  • Salespeople can visualize all the products and product bundles your company sells by viewing products in hierarchical charts (similar to org charts). When pulling together an order, you can see all the products that are available to sell, and how they're related in a visual way. When you can see all product possibilities in one view, you're less likely to miss a potential sales opportunity.

  • Salespeople can see suggestions for cross-selling and up-selling, and get recommendations for accessories or substitutes.

Cortana support lets you speak CRM commands on Windows 8.1 phones

Now you can speak your commands to CRM if you are using Cortana on a Windows 8.1 phone. For a list of the CRM commands you can use with Cortana, see Cortana voice commands for Microsoft Dynamics CRM for phones.

Improvements to quick find make it easier to find customer records on the web app

Improved search capabilities provide a quick way for users to search across multiple record types on the web app. Now, by entering keywords in the search box on the nav bar, you can quickly find and navigate to a record from anywhere in the web app.

In previous versions, quick find across multiple record types was available only on the CRM for tablets app.

The search box supports using an asterisk (*) as a wildcard character.

To only see matches for a certain type of record, on the search results page, you can select the name of the record type from the drop-down list. Choose the tile for a search result to open it.

To do more sophisticated searches, choose the new Advanced Find button, which is now on the nav bar.

Microsoft Social Engagement is now available for on-premises systems

With this release, you can access Microsoft Social Engagement from within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, whether your organization uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or CRM 2015 (on-premises).

New way to view accounts, products, and users helps you see how info is related

With this release, users can see how info is related or grouped by viewing accounts, products, or users in hierarchical charts. You can choose a block of info to get more details and navigate to the info you're interested in.

For example, from the hierarchical view for accounts, you can:

  • See how an account is doing in overall revenue

  • Drill into tiles for sub-accounts to see where the deals are coming from

  • Find out who is working on an account and enlist help from others by sending email or sharing the account with other salespeople

  • View important details about each account, such as credit limit and latest activity posts for the account

From the hierarchical view for products, you can see all the products available to sell, and how they're related in bundles or families. Salespeople can avoid missing a potential sale, because they can see all related products in one view.

From the hierarchical view for users, you can find out who another team member's boss is, or who else is on their team, without switching to another app.

Hierarchical views are also available on mobile.

  • To see hierarchies that show the relationships between records, on the list of accounts, products, or users, choose the hierarchies button. You can also choose the View Hierarchy command when you're viewing the screen for an individual account, product, or user.

The CRM Basics guide helps users learn common tasks even if their system is customized

In friendly, bite-sized servings that are never any longer than a single page, the new CRM Basics helps new users learn how to get around the system using tiles, enter customer data, search for records, keep track of interactions with customers by adding notes and tasks, stay on top of their progress with dashboards – and more. The CRM Basics includes sections targeted at sales and service, so new users also get the run-down on the basics tailored for their role.

Because the guide covers common tasks that apply to anyone who uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it's relevant even if the system has been customized.

The CRM Basics is a great resource for training new users. You'll find an editable version in the Training & Adoption Kit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM that you can customize to create your own training materials.

You'll see the CRM Basics whenever you access help from any system that's not connected to the internet. Or, download the eBook: CRM basics for sales pros and service reps (applies to 2015).

Improvements to Quick Create let you add a contact within an opportunity

Now, when a salesperson adds a new sales opportunity to the system by using the Create command on the nav bar, the salesperson can also create a new contact at the same time. In previous releases, the salesperson needed to create the contact before using the Quick Create command to add an opportunity.

New Outlook Configuration Wizard makes it easy to set up and configure CRM for Outlook

With the new OutlookConfiguration Wizard, which has been completely redesigned for 2015, configuring Dynamics CRM for Outlook is as easy as copy and paste. The new Configuration Wizard also makes it easy to add and manage additional CRM organizations. If you're an administrator, you'll appreciate new security features like multi-factor authentication. More information: TechNet: What's new for administrators and customizers in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and CRM Online

Synchronize more types of information between CRM and Outlook

Teams that use Dynamics CRM for Outlook as their centralized information hub can synchronize more types of information now, including:

  • Additional contacts and tasks fields

  • Assigned tasks

  • Appointment attachments

Users can easily view the fields that are synchronized, which provides confidence about where the data comes from and how it's shared. If you're an administrator, you can configure field synchronization direction to control exactly how data is synchronized. More information: TechNet: What's new for administrators and customizers in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and CRM Online

Business processes now allow you to “branch” to different steps based on rules and conditions

Now, business processes let you take a different “branch” (and handle a customer differently), based on things like the person's budget, the type of products the person buys, when the person plans to buy your products, or other conditions. For example, let's say that in the process of qualifying a lead you learn that the person plans to buy next quarter, which means that you'll need to pull together a sales proposal and get the right approvals. The business process you're following guides you through the right steps to handle this prospect, with no guesswork.

For a step-by-step guide to changing a business process to match the way your organization does things, check out the eBook: Customize a business process. This eBook is intended for administrators or managers.

Create custom Help (training) designed just for your users

If you customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM extensively, you may want to replace the default Help content with Help and training designed just for the people who use your system. You can replace Help (by redirecting to a URL) for the whole organization or just for lists and forms for specific record types (entities). The page you redirect to can be any valid URL you can paste into a browser: a page on a SharePoint site or a webpage on the Internet; even your team Wiki page, Intranet site, Word document or PDF file. For more information, see TechNet: What's new for administrators and customizers in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and CRM Online.

Updating from an earlier on-premises version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM? If so, there are many more exciting new features for you to take advantage of now, including a brand new user interface.

Find out more about differences between the new tiled interface and older versions that use a ribbon: eBook: What's changed in CRM 2013?

Navigate easily with the redesigned user interface

The new user interface makes doing common tasks quicker and easier:

  • No more Navigation Pane. To move around in the web application, you'll use the nav bar at the top of the page. The nav bar includes “breadcrumbs” that remind you about where you're working in the system. More information: eBook: Start working in CRM

  • It's easier to enter data. Look for the Create command in the nav bar at the top of the page. Just choose the command, and then enter data in a few fields to get new information into the system. More information: Quick create--Enter new contacts (or other data)--fast!

    You can add products quickly to opportunities, quotes, and orders — and update details like price, quantity, and discounts right on the screen where you're working. Plus, you can look up and add key stakeholders and see at a glance who is involved and what their role is. More information: Create or edit an opportunity

  • Click or tap to contact someone. Stay in touch with your customers by selecting a phone number to make calls via Lync or Skype. Choose an email address to send an email. In addition, you can see addresses on Bing Maps. More information: Place calls with Skype or Lync


    Lync has been rebranded as Skype for Business. Currently, you'll still see references to “Lync” in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but CRM will work with Skype for Business.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is ideal for touch-enabled monitors as well as for monitors that require a mouse.

The Training & Adoption kit gives you a jump start on creating training materials for users

To help you get your organization up and running, there's a Training & Adoption Kit with eBooks, help, and videos that you can customize to match your system and style.

More information: Training & Adoption Kit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Deliver great service everywhere

The many new customer service features help you build customer loyalty and retain customers for life. These new features can help you:

  • Respond quickly to service issues, whether they come in from phone calls, email, or social media.

  • Tie entitlements to service level agreements (SLAs) to provide quality service until a case is resolved.

  • See all entitlements for a customer at a glance, and assign entitlements to customers and products automatically.

  • Use case timers to track key performance indicators (KPIs) for service level agreements (SLAs) to ensure customer commitments are met.

  • Monitor social media conversations to identify and resolve emerging issues before they escalate.

  • Define case relationships to stay on top of details for all related cases and work more efficiently.

Take a look at these two new eBooks to learn more: eBook: Meet your service goals with SLAs and entitlements and eBook: What's new in CRM customer service?


The new customer service features are included with product updates, so if you don't see them in your system, updates may not have been applied yet. Check with your system administrator.

Set up and manage service features in the new Service Management area

In the new Service Management area, a customer service manager can configure all service-related features from a single location. To check out this new area: Go to Settings > Service Management. (How do I get there?)

Some new ways to manage customer service through the Service Management area include:

  • Define case relationships so that parent and child cases automatically inherit settings when closed.

  • Use routing rules so that cases are automatically assigned to agents or queues.

  • Specify the level of support and types of entitlements for multiple channels.

  • Define and track service KPIs through SLAs.

  • Define support hours and associate schedules with service level agreements.


The new customer service features are included with product updates, so if you don't see them in your system, updates may not have been applied yet. Check with your system administrator.

Gain insights from social networks like Facebook and Twitter with Microsoft Social Engagement

Microsoft Social Engagement is a powerful new analytics service that enables your organization to monitor social media channels like Twitter and Facebook. Use Social Engagement to track products, brands, competitors, and campaigns globally, and in real time, to gain a true understanding of your customers and your business across the social web.

With Social Engagement, you can scour the web to see what people are saying about your company and products. You can track sentiment across channels, identify top influencers, stay on top of the latest information and trends, get competitive insights, and more.

  • See how the total volume of posts is trending over time.Social Engagement captures the information you need in easy-to-read charts.

    You can track information in 19 languages across Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and videos.

  • Get a true understanding of sentiment. At a glance, see how people perceive your product, service, or brand. To figure out which posts are positive, negative, or neutral, Social Engagement analyzes keywords and phrases in the native languages, which means it also picks up on cultural cues.

  • Follow spikes in positive or negative sentiment. Use the information gleaned from Social Engagement to seize an opportunity or to proactively work to change the social conversation in your favor.

  • Track how your marketing or service campaign is doing. After rolling out a campaign, listen for reactions on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and in videos to see what's working and what isn't. Then make adjustments to your campaign based on the social conversation.

  • Gain social insights. Analyze social media conversations about your competitors, customers, and prospects.

New CRM apps for Windows Phone, iPhone, and Android

With the new smartphone apps, you can now access important customer information from your phone.

Download the app from Windows Marketplace, Apple Store, or Google Play, or check with your CRM admin (if that's someone other than you) for instructions for your organization.

Key features:

  • See your CRM data quickly displayed and optimized for a mobile screen.

  • Add and modify contacts, tasks, and notes as well as other relevant sales data.

  • View activity feeds and see addresses on Bing Maps. Windows Phone only.

  • Get back to recently viewed records even when you're not connected. Windows Phone only.

  • All this with no additional license fees.

New CRM apps for Windows 8 mobile devices or your iPad

Microsoft Dynamics CRM for tablets helps you stay connected and productive wherever you are. Use your Windows 8 device or iPad to stay up to date with your customer info—even when you're on the go. Arrive prepared for every appointment, and update your notes, tasks, contacts, accounts, and leads while the details are still fresh in your mind.

Download the app from Windows Marketplace or the Apple Store, or check with your CRM admin (if that's someone other than you) for instructions for your organization.

Works with:

  • Windows 8 (including Microsoft Surface Pro or Surface RT)

  • iPad (4th Gen)

  • iPad (3rd Gen)

Key features:

  • Access your activities, accounts, contacts, leads, and opportunities from an easy-to-use dashboard.

  • Quickly enter customer data with only a few taps.

  • Use charts to track progress on key performance indicators.

  • Use Skype to communicate with your contacts.

  • Access your personalized views of lists to see the data that's most important to you.

  • Pin tiles to the app dashboard to get to the info you need quickly.

  • All this with no additional license fees.

New business processes help you follow best practices for common scenarios

Check out the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace for several business process solutions that help organizations like yours follow best practices for common scenarios. These solutions help you save time by giving you a great starting point for creating business processes that match the way you do business. More information: Business process templates for CRM

The system also comes with several business processes already installed. You can use them as-is or edit them as needed. More information: Add ready-to-use business processes

For a short, easy-to-read intro to business processes, check out the eBook: Business processes. This eBook is designed to help users get up and running quickly.

For a step-by-step guide to changing a business process to match the way your organization does things, check out the eBook: Customize a business process. This eBook is intended for administrators or managers.

Announcing Social Insights powered by InsideView

With Social Insights, powered by InsideView, your Microsoft Dynamics CRM account information goes from static to dynamic with constant updates to three essential types of information – data, insights, and connections. InsideView applies proprietary triangulation and validation techniques across 30,000+ sources and millions of company and people profiles to deliver relevant, accurate company and contact information that helps sellers find more leads, win more deals, and retain and grow customer accounts.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM brings Social Insights to you with every Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional license at no additional charge (U.S. only).

Learn more about Social Insights

New Power Query connector streamlines connections to CRM Online

With the new Power Query connector, you can connect more easily to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online data from Power Query. After selecting the From Dynamics CRM Online connector in Power Query, just add a URL feed, and then enter your credentials. Power Query connects and retrieves the list of tables and entitles from CRM. It's as easy as that.

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