Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Improve Outlook BCM Business Contact Manager Performance - Three Outlook BCM Performance Tips

Many complaints about BCM is that it is a performance hog, it's slow, unresponsive, it freezes Outlook... blah blah blah. Well let's try to improve it a bit shall we.

First, if you aren't using the email linking feature then shut it off. I believe it's off by default but if you still go into Business Contact Manager -> Manage E-Mail Auto Linking, there are two tabs one for Emails and one for Folders. Click the "Clear All" button on both tabs and click ok.

Second, if you are in a shared database environment, each machine with BCM installed is hitting your SQL server every second. This creates a lot of traffice and a lot of performance problems. You most likely don't need to get your BCM data updated every second. This update is called a Polling Interval. This Polling Interval was supposedly set higher if you installed the service pack for BCM, however this probably isn't the case. So you need to manually set it higher. To do this open up Registry Editor on each client machine. The path to the key is HKCU -> Software -> Microsoft -> Business Solutions eCRM. Create a DWORD key in that folder called PollingInterval. Modify it's value and set the Decimal value to 180000 which is 180000ms or 3 minutes. Each minute is 60000ms so the Decimal value for one minute would be 60000. This way the client machine will only hit the SQL server every 3 minutes way down from every second.

Third, set the SQL memory for the client machines. By default each client machine will have SQL Server 2005 Express installed on it, this installs with Outlook BCM. By default the maximum amount of memory that SQL Server 2005 Express can use is 2147483647MB, that's huge and unnecessary for BCM. Download and install the SQL Management tools ( on each client machine. Connect to the local SQL Express server and right click on the server within the management studio and choose Properties. Within the pane that comes up, click the Memory link and set the Max Amount of memory to 256MB. That's plenty for BCM. Click OK and it's done.

These 3 performance tips will help with the BCM performance.

Send me a comment if you need additional help.


Gabor Kenderesi said...

Hello, I cannot set the memory needs to smaller value, and I cannot do anything with SQL Management tools, because I get an error message. I cannot login with SQL server authentication and I only can log in with Windows authentication mode.
I have local administrator rights with my windows login.

Do You have any suggestions for it?
Thank You:

Marton Czirok
ACER Travelmate 6293
Vista Business 32 bit Eng
Office 2007 SB Eng trial

Brad said...

What is the error you are receiving when using SQL Management Tools?

Anonymous said...

I am new at this blogging so I hope you get this. I added the Dword to the registry and it really helped the response between some screens. The saving of any changed records takes forever, and I wondered if you had any advise for that. The database has about 55,000 records and we are using email linking and task assignments.

Brad said...

Sorry I don't have an answer for that question. We have about 1200 records so I'm sure our performance is a lot better than having 55,000 records. Did the changing get worse when you updated the DWORD? Maybe that affects the saving.

You might try posting a question to the BCM Microsoft newsgroup.

Lee Rosner said...

The three suggestions in the 9/17/2008 memo to improve Outlook 2007 BCM performance significantly improved the software performance for our office.

I used MS SQL Express Management Studio and set the max memory to 256K on all of our client machines.

What max memory setting should I use on the network server, where the actual Outlook BCM SQL Database resides?

Brad said...

I am not a SQL DBA but merely a .NET Developer who was kind of pushed into being responsible for BCM. I think the max memory setting depends on a number of variables including SQL Database Server cpu performance, how many databases are on the server and how much memory is available. But it's best to check with your SQL DBA if you have one. The max memory on our SQL server running the BCM centralized database is unlimited and has not been set, so whatever the default setting is, is what you should probably use. I know this doesn't help much, sorry I just don't have that much experience with SQL memory usage guidelines.

Jorge said...

Question: If I use the SQL Management Tool to lower the max memory usage and then uninstall it, will the setting be save or will it go back to the default memory usage setting?

Brad said...

If you uninstall SQL then reinstall SQL you will need to update the memory usage.

If you uninstall BCM without uninstalling SQL you won't need to update the SQL memory usage, it will stay at whichever value you set it to previously.

BCM is basically two products SQL and BCM. SQL has it's own settings and uninstalling BCM won't affect the SQL memory settings unless you uninstall SQL.

Hope this helps.

JimP said...

Is it possible for MSSMLBIZ (when its memory allocation is set to the maximum) have any affect on BCM generating reminders?

Today, Outlook took an extraordinary long time to load whereafter up popped over 300 reminders. (I'm deducing these reminders are coming from BCM at least from the viewpoint of other users in other forums.)

So is there a correlation between sqlserver.exe using a lot of memory, Outlook taking a long time to load and all these reminders appearing?

If not, has anyone else experienced a huge amount of reminders for no apparent reason?

Brad said...

There probably is a correlation between those three items. We are experiencing this "reminder" problem at least once a month. There are options out there to try to stop it but none have been successful for us. When the "reminders" happen to me, I do notice that Outlook takes a long time to load, however other times Outlook is running fine and this randomly happens. I haven't been able to watch SQL during this occurrence and I can't reproduce it, it happens very randomly. My suspicion is that this happens when Outlook losses a connection to SQL for a second but I can't confirm that.

If you find a solution that works for you please let me know how you solved it.

JimP said...

What options are available to try and stop these reminders from occurring?
I also notice for today a list of Tasks in Outlook Calendar, the same list of Tasks that were listed on the same day all those reminders appeared.
I'm not too familiar with Tasks in Outlook but can say for certain I didn't add them.
My MSSMLBIZ is located on my own pc (if this is a factor in accessibility)and am quite certain I'm the only one in our company using BCM.

Brad said...

Try doing a google search on your problem, lots of results will show up. I don't have specifics around any of them since I disregarded them as useless. Sorry.

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Dan said...

I continue to have Outlook 2007 with BCM crash saying it cannot complete the last action or actions. After a few times it crashes Outlook altogether. When I restart it says that there is a problem with BCM add on, do you want to disable it. I have 5 other machines on the network that do not have issues. This is the only machine that runs Quick Books Pro 2007 and hosts the company file.

Any ideas?

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