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I thought the news about alternate keys would solve the missing link I've been searching for since I've started working in 4.0 ...
I'm doing a plain csv export from my ERP accounts and would like to import them into CRM ... works fine using native import function. But next month I want to insert/update a new csv file (using Account Number as key). But even after I've been setting up alternate key on Account Number, it still does not update the existing records in CRM.
Have I missed something - can it really be true that CRM natively still does not support insert/update on imports??? (or can a free tool I'm not aware of help me?)
I know how to use Scribe, using export to excel and update that file, using Powerobjects old trick with an extra entity ... but I just thought that alternate keys was the new black in town I've been waiting for for years?!?
Anyone got ideas for this "update existing records on import - natively"?
you are correct, import wont update records using alternate key. it can only be used programmatically to update records.
The alternate key is an awesome feature in CRM, and it should solve the issues with integration to identify and update the records if they already exist.
Alternate keys address 2 issues:
1. Validate/ Restrict duplicate records based on whatever combination we provide.
2. Upsert data automatically based on the alternate key.
#1 is always ensured by CRM, but #2 is not. Which means Upsert works with custom code but not by default.
Alternate keys do not work with Excel/ CSV imports. It will validate and not allow to create the duplicate records based on the alternate key definition, but it does not automatically update the record if it already exist.
I have also worked with Scribe, and the scribe platform (and Scribe Online) today does not support alternate keys. They have to upgrade their CRM connector to have Upsert operations using alternate key which is not present today.
Your only option today is to write a custom code which will read from Excel/ csv and do upsert operations.
Upsert operations Reference link: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn932135.aspx
I know this was not exactly what you were looking for, but I guess I answered your question.
Kindly Mark This as Answer if you feel the same.
You can't update records natively with the help of alternate keys. But I'm 90% sure that one can do it using Scribe. I remember doing so for lot of packages in previous projects. Unfortunately I don't have an environment to provide the steps here :(, It should be some thing like combination of mappings & steps would help out in achieving this.
Thanks Somesh and Srikanth,
I just still wonder why you cant do a manually simple insert/update using the built in import tool, and when I read about the alternate keys I just thought that this was solved.
My blog on this might help you. It also explains how we can update existing data using alternate key.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my request ... unfortanetely this does not solve ... I need a way to insert/update in one go so you can export a source table and then just easily import the file taking into consideration an update on existing records.
Also you do not have to define an alternate key for using the methos you have described - this way of choosing the lookup key has always been an option many versions back.
You are right. Even I realised it later when I suggested an answer. I also got an idea to achieve this using alternate key. You will have to do below things but I feel this will save time as compared to other options we have.
1. Have your separate Excel sheet ready with updated data and alternate key column.
2. Create an advance find view of an entity of which you want to update the data, ensure you include alternate key column in the view.
3. Export the data. Open exported Excel.
4. Use VLOOKUP formula of Excel and populate required columns by matching Alternate key. Save the file and import it.
Hope this helps.
This is probably not much use for those in the trail above, but might be for people finding this post, but ... this does now work.
The import option now has:
This allows update of records with the alternate key.
See Power CAT YouTube
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