Import Data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011]

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, data import lets you upload data from various customer relationship management systems and data sources into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You can import data into standard and customized attributes of most business and custom entities. You can also include related data, such as notes and attachments.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes a Web application tool called Import Data Wizard. You use this tool to import data records from one or more comma-separated values (.csv), XML Spreadsheet 2003 (.xml), or text files.

For more information about the Import Data Wizard, see Microsoft Dynamics CRM Help.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web services provide additional capabilities that are not available in the Import Data Wizard:

  • Create data maps that include complex transformation mapping, such as concatenation, split, and replace.

  • Define custom transformation mapping.

  • View source data that is stored inside the temporary parse tables.

  • Access error logs to build custom error reporting tools with improved error logging views.

  • Run data import by using command line scripts.

  • Add LookupMap XML tags in the data map to indicate that the data lookup will be initiated and performed on a source file that is used in the import.

  • Add custom OwnerMetadata XML tags in the data map to match the user records in the source file with the records of the user (system user) in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

  • Use optional validation checks. Validation is not optional in the Import Data Wizard.

To implement data import, you typically do the following:

  • Create a comma-separated values (CSV), XML Spreadsheet 2003 (XMLSS), or text source file.

  • Create a data map or use an existing data map.

  • Associate an import file with a data map.

  • Upload the content from a source file to the associated import file.

  • Parse the import file.

  • Transform the parsed data.

  • Upload the transformed data into the target Microsoft Dynamics CRM server.

You can import data from one source file or several source files. A source file can contain data for one entity type or multiple entity types.

Parsing, transforming, and uploading of data is done by the asynchronous jobs that run in the background.

By default, all custom entities are enabled for import. To determine if a business entity is enabled for import, see the entity metadata topic for a specific entity, such as Account Entity Metadata. If an entity is enabled for import, the entity metadata property IsImportable is set to true. The value of this property can’t be changed for the out-of-the-box business entities.

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