Tip #845: Store Dynamics 365 file attachments in Azure Blob storage

Update 9/5/2017–This solution is not supported and does not provide migration of existing attachments. See Tip 971 for additional recommendations on moving CRM attachments to Azure.

Apparently our friends at Microsoft Research have heard Neil Benson’s eloquent explanation of storage costs in Tip #553, as they have released a solution called Attachment Management in AppSource. This solution moves note and email attachments to Azure blob storage, where storage costs are cheaper than Dynamics 365 storage.

The solution includes a plugin called AzureAttachments which handles creation of the attachment in Azure when a note or email attachment is added to Dynamics 365, deletion of the file in Dynamics after the file has been created in Azure blob storage, deletion of the attachment from Azure blob storage if the corresponding note or activity are deleted from Dynamics 365, and retrieval of the attachments when the attachment is requested in Dynamics 365.

Deploying the solution requires an Azure storage account and registration of plugin steps, so be sure that you have the necessary licenses and access to the plugin registration tool.

So now that this solution is available, is there still a place for third party attachment extractor tools? The answer is yes–if you want to store attachments someplace else than Azure Blob storage (such as SharePoint), or if you have many existing attachments that you wish to move to a different location (not just new attachments going forward). Also, keep in mind that this is the first release of this solution, so there may be some rough edges.

But it is great to have a standard Microsoft option that leverages Azure Blob storage, and the solution has some nice functionality, such as an optional web resource to allow users to upload multiple attachments simultaneously.

For more information, see the Attachment Management user guide.

21 thoughts on “Tip #845: Store Dynamics 365 file attachments in Azure Blob storage

  1. Andre Margono says:

    Just a caveat from the AppSource listing: Microsoft Labs does not offer an ongoing customer support for this solution.

  2. In documentation it says it’s only working for D365 online. This kind of solution could works on-premise as well.

    Is someone tested it on an on-premise installation?

  3. Ross Guthrie says:

    Does anyone know if it will relocate existing attachments or will it only move files from the day it was installed?

    • Deepak Mehta says:

      The document tells that it is event driven. They have plugins on various events that do all the stuff. There is no service that will do the movement of files for existing attachments etc.
      So, it will start from the day it is installed and configured properly.

    • benex sumawang says:

      Yes! Aside from moving all attachments after installing the attachment management, there is also an option to move old attachments. Time-out is an issue though for large files.

  4. Katina Hester says:

    Have noticed that if you delete the attachment from a note without deleting the note, the corresponding attachment does not get deleted in Azure with this solution. Even if you delete the note later the attachment will remain. Could lead to unused artifacts left over in your blob storage.

    • Sumit Chavan says:

      This is really interesting scenario. As I don’t have any experience into it, would love to hear more on this. 🙂

  5. Alex Nosiara says:

    Have installed in D365 online, it does save a copy to Azure storage, (as long as you give users read access rights to the entity it creates). However is does NOT replace file in CRM. SO the CRM storage does not reduce. IF you delete the file from Azure Storage there is no effect in CRM. Attachment still exists and works! This occurs even for users with Sys Admin role.

    • Stéphane S says:


      I also noticed that the space is not released in CRM. Also, noticed that some files are note copied in Blob. So stays in CRM.

      This tool useless, has it is right now.

  6. Nav says:


    Is Azure blob storage with Dynamics CRM is secured? And does this have version control?

  7. Andres Correa says:

    Azure BLOB has any option or method to bulk upload files and asociate to a CRM records?

  8. Dawid says:

    Hi ppl,

    I know this is mentioned in #971, but since I’m a bit passionate about this, let me mention it in the comments.

    If you are looking to store attachments outside CRM db (say Azure Blob/File storage or even local [v5 branch]), and you know a little bit about plugins, use this one : https://github.com/DawidPotgieter/Dynamics-CRM-Binary-Storage-Options

    It includes a migration tool that will migrate email/note attachments both ways, local (CRM Server side) encryption, local compression and it works really well, haven’t had any issues sofar and we have over 100Gbs of these.


  9. T Jason Mayo says:

    Be warned the latest version of the Attachment Manager interferes with the DocuSign managed solution from retrieving files from Notes for signatures.

    • Joel Lindstrom says:

      Thanks Jason, also be aware that in an upcoming release azure blob will be a standard feature for attachments

      • Dawid says:

        Hi Joel,

        I’m very interested to know where you get this information? I have heard the rumor before, but can’t find it on any roadmaps.

        Would you mind posting a link or something? Would be a great feature addition.


  10. Sam says:

    I have written custom logic to move Email attachments to Blob storage.

    It worked well for all kinds of attachments, but in case of received email containing inline images in mail, Dynamics store them in Attachment entity.

    As it is consuming dynamics storage space, I am moving that inline image to Blob storage and deleting the attachment record.

    As a result of this, the reference to inline image getting deleted and it shows the image error icon in Dynamics email content.
    This is bad with respect to user experience.

    Did any one face issue like this

    • Phu says:

      I had the same issue with inline images. The inline images are stored in the same place with other attachments, with filename in this format “image00?.???”.

      The RetrieveMultiple plugin get triggered 3 times for email that has inline images. One of the retrieval return the same set of data as those do not have inline images, one retrieval got the body in the columnsets, but not filename. Therefore, our previous implementation could not retrieve the file content from Azure Blob without filename.

      I have to change the code to get the filename from CRM if it is not returned with attachment body. It is working perfectly for us now.

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