Having recently installed Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 I found that when I wanted to send an email to a contact in the system it failed with the error message “Invalid Visibility”.
This error occurs because the code that sends the email does not complete successfully, and in my case because of anti-spam restrictions enabled on the Exchange Server that was being used as the SMTP gateway. The Exchange Server is the organisations only SMTP server, and the corporate firewall allows SMTP inbound and outbound only from this machine. Therefore this Exchange Server has a series of global message filters enabled which where activated on the SMTP virtual server on this machine. One of these anti-spam settings was to reject any mail on the SMTP virtual server that was from the domain name of the company and not authenticated. This stops lots of spam from outside the network that poses as if it where from inside the network, but as the CRM SMTP session was not authenticated, it too fell into this category.
So when CRM tried to send email, it received behind the scenes a 550 error – Sender Denied and so it generated the Invalid Visibility message.
Therefore, in this case, the fix was to authenticate the session, but alternatives exist such as providing a dedicated SMTP virtual server for the CRM application and additional routes outbound through the firewall for SMTP.
In addition to the above, the same error can be caused by other SMTP failures, so if you are getting the same error then open a command prompt on the CRM server and enter the following commands, waiting for an error and then using this to diagnose the reason why CRM 3.0 will not send emails for you (if anonymous email is allowed).
TELNET smtp_server_name 25
MAIL FROM: email_address@yourdomain
RCPT TO: recipient@externaldomain
SUBJECT: CRM Test
blank line needed here
Some text to act as the body of the message
Always finish the email with a full-stop on a line on its own