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Microsoft Dynamic CRM 2011 : Bulk Data Importing (part 1) - Using the Import Data Wizard

5/27/2013 7:38:03 PM
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1. Using the Import Data Wizard

Most data import tools allow users to import simple values into text fields. For more complex data importing—importing into drop-down lists and lookup fields, for example—you usually need to enlist IT resources to write code to map the data. These tasks usually have to go through a prioritization and scheduling process. By the time the data is finally imported, either the need has been met manually or the data is out of date.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Import Data Wizard solves most of these challenges. Although the wizard requires the import file to be mapped to the related Microsoft Dynamics CRM attributes, you can accomplish this without enlisting a software development resource. The process of mapping data might sound intimidating; fortunately, the Import Data Wizard does most of the work for you!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM uses data maps as the basis for translating how a source field converts into a related destination field. Consider the following example: suppose you have a file of contacts you would like to import into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Within your source file, there is a field called First, which contains the first name of a contact. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the related field is named First Name. In order to import the data in the source file, you need to map the First field in the source file to the First Name field in the destination (Microsoft Dynamics CRM).

The Import Data Wizard is a simple and intuitive interface that navigates you through the import process. In just a few steps, you can import your records into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Most entities are available for data import. By default, the following record types are available for import.






Article Template

Business Unit


Campaign Activity

Campaign Response


Case Resolution





Contract Line

Contract Template


Customer Relationship


Discount List

Document Location





Goal Metric


Invoice Product



Marketing List



Opportunity Close

Opportunity Product

Opportunity Relationship


Order Close

Order Product

Phone Call

Price List



Queue Item

Price List Item


Quote Close

Quote Product

Recurring Appointment

Rollup Query

Sales Attachment

Sales Literature

Security Role


Service Activity

Sharepoint Site









Custom entities are also available for data import. It is unlikely that the user will know which entities are custom and which are native, so be sure to check the list of record types available in the Import Data Wizard. Contact your system administrator if you would like a list of custom entities.

The Import Data Wizard requires you to input the following information:

  • The name and path of the data file to be imported

  • Delimiter settings

  • Data mappings

  • The target record type

  • The duplicate detection setting

  • The name of the record owner

In this exercise, you will use the Import Data Wizard to import data.

  1. In the Workplace area, click Imports, and then click the Import Data button on the Imports tab of the ribbon.

    The Import Data Wizard appears.

  2. Click Browse, and then locate the ContactImport1.csv file.

    image with no caption
  3. Click Next to select the file as the data source for your import.


    A delimiter is a character or series of characters that indicates a boundary in certain files. In comma-separated files, each value is separated by a comma, which is specified in the Field Delimiter field in the Import Data Wizard. The following line shows a record that has a Data Delimiter value of Quotation Mark (“) and a Field Delimiter value of Comma ( , ).


    Depending on the input file, you might need to change the delimiter options.

  4. On the Review File Upload Summary page, click Next to select the data map for your import.

  5. In the System Data Maps list, select Default (Automatic Mapping).

    image with no caption


    Microsoft Dynamics CRM comes with several data maps for common import scenarios. For more complex data imports, you can import multiple files in a single import by using a .zip file.

  6. Click Next to proceed to the next step of the Import Data Wizard.

  7. On the Map Record Types page, in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Record Types field, select Contact, and then click Next.

  8. On the Map Fields page, in the Source Fields column, select Last in the Required Fields list.

    This will map the Last column of the source file to the required Last Name field in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

  9. Map the additional fields to match those in the following table:

    Source Fields

    CRM Fields


    Address 1: City




    First Name


    Address 1: State/Province


    Address 1: Street 1

    Type of Address

    Address 1: Address Type (Option Set)

    Work Num

    Business Phone


    Address 1: ZIP/Postal Code

    image with no caption


    When you map the Address1: Address Type field, a dialog box appears so that you can map the picklist values. In this example, the fields map directly, so you can click OK.

    image with no caption
  10. Click Next to move to the next page. Then, on the Review Mapping Summary page, click Next.

  11. On the Review Settings and Import Data page, select Yes in the Allow Duplicates area.


    Troubleshooting The duplicate detection option will be presented only if duplicate detection is turned on for data imports.

  12. In the Select Owner for Imported Records area, leave the default selection. In the Data Map Name area, enter Contact Import Example.

    image with no caption
  13. Click Submit.

    The data will now be imported, and the Contact Import Example data map will be created for future use.


    Data imports are processed in the background; therefore, your data might not be available immediately. Allow a few minutes for your data to be imported.

  14. Click Finish to exit the Import Data Wizard.

    The Imports grid appears with a new record called ContactImport1.csv {Contact}, indicating that the import has been submitted to the system for processing. The status of the import will update automatically as the import is processed behind the scenes.

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