Now that we’ve finally got the rewritten Outlook plugin, I decided to write a bit about our implementation of it. I hope its of use to others, and if not - well - at least I had a bit of fun. I’ll update this post as I get more familiar with the plugin.
I was a little surprised and overwhelmed by the installation instructions. For some reason I thought we’d still be getting a plugin installed by the user. I did however realize instantly how great a solution this is in the long run.
Installation was a bliss, except that I run into a few problems with the table row size. Changing InnoDB settings helped overcome this problem though. I had some problems validating the licence (the success message was not shown), and for some reason I had to enter all settings twice. The instructions were quite vague on where to get tenant and client id’s and client secrets; had I not been familiar with Azure and app registrations already I probably couldn’t have completed the configuration.
Downloading and installing manifest was easy. What I noticed and consider a bit hard for larger organizations is that only admin can create OAUTH secrets - and whether you should use one or separate tokens for users. For us it’s no problem, but I can see it becoming one in larger deployments.
Another problem I noticed was that as we use SAML to authenticate against Azure AD, the plugin was unable to accept the SSO credentials and claimed the password was wrong. I’m not sure whether this was because of SAML itself or the fact we enforce 2FA, but I couldn’t use SSO password for this. However as the “traditional” SuiteCRM password is saved and functioning even if SAML is activated, I was able to temporarily disable SAML for the user, set the password, reactivate SAML and still login using the password stored bu SuiteCRM. A little fidgety solution, but it works for now.
I fired up Outlook and was pleasantly surprised on what the app looked like on desktop version of Outlook. I couldn’t get it to work on web version though, but I think that’s because of my heavily containerized and cross-site-requests-killing browser.
I had difficulties getting user logged in. I soon realized that I hadn’t added the user in CRM’s Outlook plugin settings. I think this was missing from the instructions. Once I added the user, the problem vanished. At this stage, though, I noticed archiving the email against multiple records wasn’t really functioning. We would need to archive both according against a contact and against one or multiple tasks, projects and/or matters (a custom module) that aren’t all visible on one search. When I did a new search to add new records, the old records were lost even if they were from different modules. I look forward to the ability to pick multiple related records as with the old plugin (or better instructions on how to do it with current version). I think the record search UI is too simplified right now, but I’m sure we’ll see it improved and packed with new features over time.
Logging in today, the validation was lost. I had to re-enter the licence key to revalidate. I’ve done it twice today, so obviously something is wrong. I suspect it might be something in my end, so I didn’t yet file a bug report.
Overall even if the plugin still has a few things to correct and many features to add, I’m awed by the hard work @salesagility obviously has put in this plugin. I salute you!
I’m eager to see where we’ll go from here. The Graph API enables us to do amazing things, and I sincerely hope the source code will soon be released. In time, this could well be what SuiteCRM needed to become one of the major players in the field of CRM software!