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A Better Way to Control User Synchronization Settings In Microsoft Dynamics CRM

In 2011, I wrote a post describing how user synchronization filters could be managed using the filter templates added in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. this post was well received, but something felt missing about it. Because while the filter templates enabled administrators to set filters, and security roles allowed administrators to prevent users from modifying their synchronization filters, there was no easy interface for managing user synchronization filters or modifying the synchronization filter templates. Some users went the unsupported route and updated via SQL, but there has never been a really easy to use tool to update and manage the filter templates in a supported way.

Fast forward to 2014. My colleague Scott Sewell and I were discussing this with fellow MVP Tanguy Touzard, and he took our suggestions and added a fantastic tool to his free Toolbox for Dynamics CRM. This tool works in a fully supported manner, and supports both CRM On Premise and CRM Online.

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Using the Sync Filter Manager, you can update or create new System Synchronization Filters and Filter Templates from system views, reset users to the default rules, or apply additional filters to selected users.

To update one of the default filter templates:

Go to the system view tab (if a view with the desired filter does not yet exist, create it first). Select the view that you want to make the default filter for an entity.

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Click “update” and select “Synchronization Filter Template from selected view.”

You will then be prompted to select the template that you wish to update.

Keep in mind that synchronization filters are applied to users the first time they synchronize with CRM.

To reset a user to the default templates

Go to the Users tab

Search for a specific user, or click the search button to display all users in your organization.

Select the user that you wish to reset to the default filter template. Click the “reset to the default Local Data Rules” button.

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Other functions you can do with Sync Filter Manager

You can also change the default templates, rename templates and change the description, deactivate/deleted a specific user’s filters, and more.

Keep in mind that you can only have one default template per entity—you can have multiple templates, but just the default for each entity is what the users will receive as their filters when they synchronize with Microsoft Dynamics CRM the first time.

If multiple filters per entity are necessary, my recommended approach is to make a filter that applies to all users the default template, then set up additional templates for the other filters. When users are added, they will receive the default filters, then you just apply the appropriate additional filters to those users as needed.

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