October Release: Dynamics Integration Changes

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Some of you may have seen the release notes have some new improvements for our integration with Microsoft Dynamics. In fact, there's actually more than are listed! So what do they mean for your integration?

  • Setup Validation Tool: This primarily will impact people who are setting up their integration for the first time. Some of you may remember these really ugly red script errors that would pop up over the dialog boxes when you had an error with your password or something else during the setup process. They were a little hard to read and kind of confusing. This new tool will go through and check some of the major mistakes we see made in the initial sync process and give you advice on what to do. I'm not going to spend too much more time typing about that because our Docs team actually already wrote up instructions on using it here.
  • Sync to Dynamics Flow Step Now in Real Time: Some may know that the Sync to Dynamics flow step actually just queues a lead to sync along with any other changes that have been made. Our Salesforce sync flow step actually runs in real time, so it jumps the new lead to the front of the line, essentially. If you have a lot of updates happening in your Dynamics instance today, you can find that brand new leads aren't making it over as quickly as you might like. This change should help you get those new leads over to CRM more quickly.
  • Add New Fields to Custom Entities: Right now, if you have a custom entity synced from Dynamics over to Marketo, you can't add new fields into the sync for that custom entity without disabling the sync. Unfortunately, disabling the sync requires you to remove every reference to the custom entity, which is not really very practical if you're actually using it (which in theory is why you synced it). So now, you will be able to add new fields to the entity without having to disable the sync and take all the references out from live or archived campaigns.
  • Performance Enhancements: There are a number of enhancements targeted at improving the sync performance. Not all of them are particularly interesting to blog about, but two worth mentioning are the use of a batch update API and the release of an asynchronous version of the plugin. Who doesn't like faster sync performance?
  • Create Contact Flow Action: This is coming out as a beta feature first, but now, instead of creating leads in CRM, you have the option to create contacts instead. I believe you'll then have to manage the account creation/association directly in CRM, but this is a huge product enhancement for the many Dynamics customers that are not using leads at all. This is "either or" situation, where you have to decide if your instance syncs only contacts or syncs only leads and once you select this option, you can't go back.

I'm super excited to see such a big batch of Dynamics changes in this release, and even more so because there's a bunch more to follow in the 2016 releases as well.