Goodbye Mail Merge: Microsoft Improves Document Automation in Dynamics CRM 2016 with Word Templates

March 1 2016

With the introduction of Dynamics CRM 2016 upgrade, Microsoft has finally replaced the painful start-of-the-millennium creation that is the Word Mail Merge process. While the new Word templates capability has made document creation easier, it is still not easy enough for your average sales professional to build on their own.

About Dave Carr

David Carr has been developing visionary software solutions since 1978, spending the last 18 years implementing customized CRM solutions for his clients. Dave joined Trovare Business Solutions following a successful ten year run as the President and Founder of an Oregon-based Microsoft Dynamics CRM VAR and ISV consulting company, and a 2-year stint at a national VAR.

He specializes in translating client's unique requirements into easy to use CRM solutions with a low long-term cost of ownership. Dave "thinks CRM", quickly translating your requirements into CRM custom entities, fields, workflow and dialog processes.  He utilizes lookups and custom entities to make maintenance under user control, not hidden away in code.

Dave has decades of CRM experience in a wide variety of industries including:

  • Health Care.  Implementations in the Contracting Department for one major Northwest carrier; Provider Contracting for another Northwest carrier; a field sales automation project for a medical device manufacturing firm in Washington; a sales and service implementation for a global medical software company.
  • Financial Services.  Dave has worked with multiple RIA (Registered Investment Advisory) firms, as well as an RIA clearinghouse servicing over 60 RIA's.
  • Manufacturing.  Implemented across sales and service departments for a major interactive display manufacturer.
  • Customer Service.  Dave implemented CRM for a professional sports team; a CPA firm; and an online store.
  • High Tech.  Dave implemented CRM for a sophisticated simulation technology company; a fabrication software firm; a timber technologies firm; a leader in network security; a telecom provider; a manufacturer of exercise equipment; and a manufacturer of RFID tags.

If you'd like to discover your companies Dynamics CRM needs analysis or are a company who is needing help with their current install, contact Trovare Business Solutions, and we'll schedule a (free) 60-minute Executive Briefing.

More about Dave Carr


jamesnovak's picture

Hey Dave, Nice post. A few issues that I ran into when writing my post on the Word templates: How can you update an existing template once published? I looked into both the OOTB and User word templates and I did not see a way to update the document. The system just creates a new record with the same name. Do you know if this this only available through an SDK call? (I see Update available: Have you found any decent documentation on the Word functionality on which this is built? I can't seem to find anything that talks about how Word in more detail! This article references the capability back in Office 2010: Have you seen anything else? I think that could help in really taking advantage of the capabilities. Any ideas on automation? After I wrote my post, I found out that you can execute a Word template from a workflow, but I can't find any documentation on it. I heard it mentioned and then found a twitter post on it, but that was it! Once assigned, it just attaches the result to a new Note on the record. Do you know of any other methods for automating the process? thanks! Jim Novak's picture

Jim, Way to go to the next level! This article was already long enough already... But yes, I also could find no way to edit an existing template. Rather than importing the same name, I used v1, v2, and put that into my template as well, so I was sure which template produced which result. I have also not found any additional technical details re: how Word does this behind the scenes.. My thought it, we shouldn't have to know them! I found the following post describing the new Workflow action: Perform Action. With this capability, yes you can send a new Word 2016 email template through workflow. This sounds like a good solution for an internal communication use case, or perhaps an auto-reply after a sale. For mass mailing, I would still want to use a spam-free solution like Click D. Thanks for the reply, hope this helps. Dave

joelperl's picture

Hi, I was very existed about this update, but unfortunately it still doesn't allow me to use it as I need to send invoices to my customers showing only the most recent charges and this will not let me choose a view of which records to show in my document, any idea for this?