Change name format on existing contacts

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The name format was changed by my colleague from first name last name to last name first name, as she didn't realise it would change the settings for the whole company. I know how to change the format back to first name last name, however what I can't work out is if there is a simple way of converting those contacts that are currently last name first name  back WITHOUT making direct SQL changes. ie is there a simple way such as using a workflow that I could use? many thanks

Verified Answer
  • Victoria,

    I am almost 100% sure that without going into SQL you will not be able to fix this from within the CRM interface. Unless I am missing something from your post, the issue is not that in the CRM form the first/last names are swapped but they are swapped in the Full Name field.

    I believe what you will need to do is to NOT make a direct SQL change but use the SDK to update the FullName field.

    Jerry, Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP
    CRM Innovation
    Need a solution for CRM to help you manage Events or Email Marketing?
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    If this post answers your question, please click "Mark As Answer" on the post and "Mark as Helpful"

    Jerry, Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP
    CRM Innovation - Consulting and Solutions
    Need a solution for CRM to help you manage your Internet Lead Capture or Events or Email Marketing?
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  • I was intrigued by Jerry's claim that a workflow would not work, so I tested it. I went into a test org where we had it set to first name last name and changed it to last name, first name. Then, I set up a workflow that wrote the first name value back to the first name field. Ran this on a contact and it updated their full name to be last name, first name. So a workflow will work for you.

  • Sure, relatively simple. Navigate to Settings>Processes>New. Give it a name and set it to run on the Person entity. Then when you get into the actual workflow, set it to run on demand. Add a step to update the person record. Click set properties, click in the first name field in the left pane. In the right pane, under look for, choose person then in the lower box choose first name. Click Add, then ok, you should see a yellow highlighted text appear in the first name field on the left pane. Save and Close, then activate your workflow.

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  • I'm pretty sure you can use a workflow to write the first name back into the first name field and this will update the full name. We actually wanted to make the switch to last name, first name after having a number of contacts and users already in there. I used a tool called Inaport to do something similar. It used the web services to write the first name back in and this updated the full name field.

  • Victoria,

    I am almost 100% sure that without going into SQL you will not be able to fix this from within the CRM interface. Unless I am missing something from your post, the issue is not that in the CRM form the first/last names are swapped but they are swapped in the Full Name field.

    I believe what you will need to do is to NOT make a direct SQL change but use the SDK to update the FullName field.

    Jerry, Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP
    CRM Innovation
    Need a solution for CRM to help you manage Events or Email Marketing?
    Follow me on Twitter

    If this post answers your question, please click "Mark As Answer" on the post and "Mark as Helpful"

    Jerry, Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP
    CRM Innovation - Consulting and Solutions
    Need a solution for CRM to help you manage your Internet Lead Capture or Events or Email Marketing?
    Follow me on Twitter

  • I was intrigued by Jerry's claim that a workflow would not work, so I tested it. I went into a test org where we had it set to first name last name and changed it to last name, first name. Then, I set up a workflow that wrote the first name value back to the first name field. Ran this on a contact and it updated their full name to be last name, first name. So a workflow will work for you.

  • Also, I'm not saying that the first name value needs to come from another field, just dynamically map the first name field to the first name field and it works.

  • I stand corrected.

    Jerry

    Jerry, Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP
    CRM Innovation - Consulting and Solutions
    Need a solution for CRM to help you manage your Internet Lead Capture or Events or Email Marketing?
    Follow me on Twitter

  • Thanks Justin, being new to CRM can you tell me how you setup the workflow?

  • Sure, relatively simple. Navigate to Settings>Processes>New. Give it a name and set it to run on the Person entity. Then when you get into the actual workflow, set it to run on demand. Add a step to update the person record. Click set properties, click in the first name field in the left pane. In the right pane, under look for, choose person then in the lower box choose first name. Click Add, then ok, you should see a yellow highlighted text appear in the first name field on the left pane. Save and Close, then activate your workflow.

  • Thanks. I tested it and it does work. I couldn't get it to work initially, so in the workflow I did the same for last name as first name.