I’ve had a few clients already asking about this behavior. You successfully install CRM for Outlook, whether in online only or offline mode. Everything works smooth, but when you try to configure the connection, it fails with the following message:
“There is a problem communicating with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server. The server might be unavailable. Try again later. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator.”
You might be thinking first to go look at the logs. They are in:
Here you will see either an LDAP error, or missing credentials, etc. You could start researching all those messages, and most of the recommendations you will find online, including the MS KB article will tell you that this behavior is related to having Windows Live Essentials 2011 installed, and that you should do a repair on it, and/or try to re-install the Outlook client. After doing that a few times, with no luck, you might start to pull your hair.
What actually worked in my case, after 2 days of unsuccessfully trying all the suggestions, is a little bit of LOGIC. Oh yeah, that…
So, if it all comes back to authentication, and almost every other time I get the missing credentials message, where are these credentials stored then? Answer: in the Credential store. How do you get to it? Click on Start, in the Run area type “Credential” (no quotes), and the first suggestion coming back is Credential Manager. Open it.
Once opened, it will look something like this:
In the Generic Credentials section you will most likely find a few items starting with Microsoft_CRM_xxxxxxxx. Expand each and every one of these, and make sure that the credentials stored are indeed the correct values. In my case it was relatively easy to spot the issue, as the username field was blank.
Once the proper credentials are updated, all I had to do was to re-run the configuration, drop in the proper URL in place, test the connection, and voila, all working again like a charm.