Microsoft CRM Customization – programming email activity attachment


by Boris Makushkin



Microsoft CRM is now on the scene and it is increasing its market share, due to Microsoft Business Solutions muscles and marketing strategy.  It is tightly integrated with other Microsoft Business Solutions products such as Microsoft Great Plains, Solomon, Navision.  Being relatively inexpensive in comparison to competitors, like Siebel, Oracle - Microsoft CRM opens you the door for worldwide operations automation.  In this small article we would like to give you, software developer, some hints on Microsoft CRM customization.

Today's topic is Activity of email type programming - you usually deal with these customizations when you improve Microsoft Exchange CRM connector.  How do you create email attachment - this is the main discussion topic.  We’ll use C#.Net.


In Exchange handler/event sink you create Activity of email type in MS CRM and one of the tasks is transfer the attachment(s) from the body of the incoming email to the attachment(s) in the Activity.  You can realize it through direct access to Microsoft CRM DB.  Let’s see C# code:

  1. First we are getting access to the letter via ExOLEDB:


CDO.Message      iMessage = new CDO.MessageClass();

CDO.IBodyPart iPrt;


iMessage.DataSource.Open(bstrURLItem, null, ADODB.ConnectModeEnum.adModeRead,


ADODB.RecordCreateOptionsEnum.adFailIfNotExists, ADODB.RecordOpenOptionsEnum.adOpenSource, "", "");


  1. Next – we come through the attachment list, get their names and save their bodies into temporary catalogue:


   for(int i = 1; i <= aNum; i++) {

          string fName = iMessage.Attachments[i].FileName;

          string eName = fName.Substring(fName.Length-3, 3).ToUpper();


          log.Debug("Attachment: " + fName);


          iPrt = iMessage.Attachments[i];

          string attName = Path.GetTempPath() + fName;



          attachments.Add(Guid.NewGuid(), attName);


          iPrt = null;



  1. Then we cycle through the cache, containing attachments info and add them to the Activity created:


   if (attachments != null) {

          ICollection keys = attachments.Keys;

          int attCounter = 0;


          foreach (Guid o in keys) {

                 string attName = (string)(attachments[o]);


crmConnector.AddAttachmentToActivity(emailId, attName, (new FileInfo(attName)).Length, attCounter);







  1. Here is the method of adding attachment to Activity:


public Guid AddAttachmentToActivity(Guid emailId, string filename, long filesize, int attachmentNumber) {

          try    {

                 log.Debug("Prepare for Mail Activity Attachment Creating");


                 // BizUser proxy object

                 Microsoft.Crm.Platform.Proxy.BizUser bizUser = new Microsoft.Crm.Platform.Proxy.BizUser();


                 ICredentials credentials = new NetworkCredential(sysUserId, sysPassword, sysDomain);


                 bizUser.Url = crmDir + "BizUser.srf";

                 bizUser.Credentials = credentials;

                 Microsoft.Crm.Platform.Proxy.CUserAuth userAuth = bizUser.WhoAmI();


                 // CRMActivityAttachment proxy object

                 Microsoft.Crm.Platform.Proxy.CRMActivityAttachment activityAttachment = new Microsoft.Crm.Platform.Proxy.CRMActivityAttachment();

                 activityAttachment.Credentials = credentials;

                 activityAttachment.Url = crmDir + "CRMActivityAttachment.srf";


                 // Set up the XML string for the activity attachment

                 string strXml = "<activitymimeattachment>";

                 strXml += "<subject>Activity 1</subject>";

                 strXml += "<attachmentnumber>" + attachmentNumber + "</attachmentnumber>";

                 strXml += "<activityid>" + emailId.ToString("B") + "</activityid>";

                 strXml += "</activitymimeattachment>";


                 // Create the activity attachment

                 Guid attachmentId = new Guid(activityAttachment.Create(userAuth, strXml));

                 log.Debug("Create Attachemnt ID: " + attachmentId.ToString("B"));


                 UploadFileToDB(attachmentId, filename, filesize);


                 return attachmentId;


          catch (System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapException e)  {

                 log.Debug("ErrorMessage: " + e.Message + " " + e.Detail.OuterXml + " Source: " + e.Source);


          catch (Exception e) {

                 log.Debug(e.Message + "\r\n" + e.StackTrace);



          return new Guid();




  1. Main problem, however is attachment body adding to MS CRM database.  Main requirement is – attachment must be encoded as BASE64 stream and its length must be specified correctly together with Nine Type and file name of the file it will be knows as an attachment in activity.  Lets look at the C# code:


   public void UploadFileToDB(Guid attachmentId, string filename, long filesize) {

          string contentType = "application/octet-stream";


          try {

                 Hashtable mimes = LoadMimeDB(Environment.SystemDirectory + "/Albaspectrum/ContentType.txt");


                 if (mimes != null) {

                        string tmpContentType = GetMimeType(mimes, filename);


                        if (tmpContentType != null && !tmpContentType.Equals(""))

                               contentType = tmpContentType;



                 byte[] memoryData = new byte[filesize];


                 FileStream fs = new FileStream(filename, FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read);

                 BinaryReader reader = new BinaryReader(fs);


                 reader.Read(memoryData, 0, (int)filesize);





                 OleDbCommand command = conn.CreateCommand();


                 command.CommandText = "UPDATE ActivityMimeAttachment SET FileSize = (?), MimeType = (?), FileName = (?), Body = (?) WHERE ActivityMimeAttachmentId = (?)";


                 command.Parameters.Add(new OleDbParameter("FileSize", filesize));

                 command.Parameters.Add(new OleDbParameter("MimeType", contentType));

                 command.Parameters.Add(new OleDbParameter("FileName", new FileInfo(filename).Name));

                 command.Parameters.Add(new OleDbParameter("Body", Convert.ToBase64String(memoryData, 0, (int)filesize)));

                 command.Parameters.Add(new OleDbParameter("ActivityMimeAttachmentId", attachmentId));


                 log.Debug("Prepare to upload attachemnt " + attachmentId.ToString("B") + " in ActivityMimeAttachment");




                 memoryData = null;


          catch (Exception e) {

                 log.Debug(e.Message + "\r\n" + e.StackTrace);




  1. File ContectType.txt is matching list of the files extensions and their mime-type in the following format:


asc       application/pgp-encrypted Armored Encrypted file (PGP)

asd       application/astound Autosave file (Word for Windows)

asm       PC ASM File

asn       application/astound




Happy customizing, implementing and modifying! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-866-528-0577!


Boris Makushkin is Lead Software Developer in Alba Spectrum Technologies – USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, based in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Moscow and Europe and internationally (, he is Microsoft CRM SDK, C#, VB.Net, SQL, Oracle, Unix developer.

Alba Spectrum Technologies