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Run Data Import

[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011]

Data import runs directly on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server. To run data import, set up asynchronous jobs to run in the background that do the following, in this order:

  • Parse source data that is contained in the import file.

  • Transform parsed data by using the data map.

  • Upload transformed data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

You must let each job complete successfully before you can submit a new message request for the next asynchronous job.

All Microsoft Dynamics CRM users who have appropriate permissions can run data import.

In This Topic

Parse Source Data

Parsing source data includes parsing of all import files associated with a particular import (data import).

Parsed data is stored in the temporary parse tables that are created for every imported file. The name of the parse table is stored in the ImportFile.ParsedTableName attribute. The source file column headings are specified in the ImportFile.HeaderRow attribute. If the source file does not include a first row that contains the column headings, this attribute specifies the system-generated default column headings.

Save parsed data in the parse table by using the ParseImportRequest message. Retrieve data from the parse table by using the GetDistinctValuesImportFileRequest message and the RetrieveParsedDataImportFileRequest message.

The following table lists the messages that you can use to parse the import files and retrieve the parsed data from the parse tables.

 

Message Description

ParseImportRequest

Submits an asynchronous job that parses all import files associated with the specified import (data import). Pass the ID of the associated import (data import) in the ImportId property of this request. The ID of the asynchronous job that runs in the background and performs parsing of data is returned in the AsyncOperationId property of the message response.

GetDistinctValuesImportFileRequest

Returns distinct values for a column in the source file that contains list values. Pass the ID of the associated import file in the ImportFileId property of this request. The distinct values are returned in an array of strings, in the Values property of the message response. Use this message only after you have created a parse table by using the ParseImportRequest message.

ImportantImportant
Do not use this message after you use the ImportRecordsImportRequest message. You cannot access the parse table after the import job submitted by the ImportRecordsImportRequest message has finished running.

RetrieveParsedDataImportFileRequest

Retrieves the data from the parse table. Pass the ID of the associated import file in the ImportFileId property of this request. The parsed data is returned in a two-dimensional array of strings in the Values property of the message response. The data is returned with the same column order as the column order in the source file. Use this message only after you have created a parse table by using the ParseImportRequest message.

ImportantImportant
Do not use this message after you use the ImportRecordsImportRequest message. You cannot access the parse table after the import job submitted by the ImportRecordsMessage message has finished running.

Transform Parsed Data

During transformation, you change parsed data by applying all available data mappings and transformations that are associated with a particular import (data import) to the data.

Use the TransformImportRequest message to submit an asynchronous job to transform the parsed data. Pass a unique identifier of the associated import (data import) in the Import.ImportId attribute of the request. A unique identifier of the asynchronous job that runs in the background and performs the transformation is returned in the AsyncOperationId property of the message response.

Upload Transformed Data to the Target Server

After you successfully complete the transformation, the data is ready to be uploaded into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server.

Use the ImportRecordsImportRequest message to submit an asynchronous job to upload the transformed data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The unique identifier of the associated import (data import) must be specified in the ImportId property of the request. A unique identifier of the asynchronous job that runs in the background and uploads the data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM is returned in the AsyncOperationId property of the message response. All import files that are associated with the specified import (data import) are imported.

Each import job has a unique sequence number that it stores in the ImportSequenceNumber attribute of records it creates. The Organization.CurrentImportSequenceNumber attribute contains a unique sequence number of the last import job that ran in the system. You can use these unique sequence numbers to track records that belong to one import job.

Log Failures

A failure to import a record can occur during parsing, transformation, or uploading of data. The failure reasons and other detailed information about the records that failed to import are captured in the import log (ImportLog) entity.

To find out how many records failed to import, retrieve the ImportFile.FailureCount attribute of the record. To verify how many records had partial failures during import, retrieve the ImportData.HasError attribute. If the HasError attribute is true, a partial failure occurred, if it is false, the record imported successfully.

Import Auditing Data

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM entities have four default attributes that are used to track the date and time when a record was created and last modified, and the person who created and modified it.

The createdon attribute specifies the date and time that the record was created. To import data in the createdon attribute, map the source column that contains this data to the overriddencreatedon attribute. During import, the record’s createdon attribute is updated with the value that was mapped to the overriddencreatedon attribute and the overriddencreatedon attribute is set to the date and time that the data was imported. If no source value is mapped to the overriddencreatedon attribute, the createdon attribute is set to the date and time that the data was imported and the overriddencreatedon attribute is not set to any value.

noteNote
To override the value in the createdon attribute during import, you need the prvOverrideCreatedOnCreatedBy privilege. Note that the privilege name implies that you can also override the createdby attribute during import. However, this capability is not currently supported.

You cannot import data into the modifiedon, createdby, and modifiedby attributes. If you have to store data related to who created and modified the data and when the data was modified, you can create custom attributes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and map the source columns to the new custom attributes.

See Also

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
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