The easiest way to import data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is to place the data in a format the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Import Wizard can “understand”. Fortunately, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 gives us the ability to export templates that we can use to import data from any system into Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Before starting to prepare your data, Make sure all users have been created as Microsoft Dynamics CRM Users and have a Security Role assigned that allows ownership of the records to be imported.
1. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, navigate to “Settings -> Data management -> Templates for Data Import
2. Select the entity (Record Type) you would like to import and click on the “Download” button:
3. On your Third-Party/Custom CRM Solution, export the information into xls, xml or csv files that can be used to populate the templates downloaded on the step above. In case XLS or XML files were exported, save a csv files with Microsoft Excel.
4. Once you have the csv files you will be importing, you will need to remove special characters embedded in those files that Microsoft Dynamics CRM “doesn’t like”. I use a free tool called Notepad++ (http://notepad-plus-plus.org/) in combination with a Notepad++ Plugin called TextFX. This plugin can be installed via the Plug in manager “Plugins -> Plugin Manager -> Show Plugin Manager”:
Once you have Notepad++ with TextFX installed follow these steps to process each of your csv files:
5. Save your “clean” csv files.
6. Gather all csv files containing the records to be imported into Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and zip them into one single zip file which will be used for the import.
TIP: To improve your chances for a successful import into Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, copy the information from the files exported from your previous CRM solution and paste the information into the respective columns downloaded on step number 1. This will make mapping automatic on the steps detailed on the next section.
1. Navigate to Workplace -> Imports and click on the Import Data button; this will launch the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Import Data Wizard.
2. Upload your zip file, if you find any errors during the upload process, you likely missed a step of the preparation or data cleanup process detailed above.
3. Select the Default (Automatic Mapping) System Data Map:
4. Map the csv files you are importing to the respective Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 entities.
5. Complete the mapping of the exported entities’ fields to the respective Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 fields.
TIP: When mapping a lookup field, use the “ID” value instead of Name as much as possible.
6. Once all fields are mapped correctly click next and review the summary.
7. As the last step, make sure you save your Data Import Map, if you find any issues you will be able to just tweak your existing data map instead of having to re-map all the fields again:
TIP: If any of your entities fails upon import, navigate to Workplace -> Imports, select your Import Job, Click on the “Delete” drop down button on the ribbon and select “All Records Imported to This Entity During This Import”:
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