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The Data Import Wizard has been greatly improved for CRM 2011, taking on some of the functionality of the Data Migration Manager from CRM 4.0 and adding a few cool new features! Accessing the Data Import Wizard is done through the new Ribbon bar across the top of the screen.

crm2011

When you first click the Import Data button, you will be prompted to begin a new Data Import OR Download a template from Microsoft. Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides a data import template for each record type that can be imported into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This template is in an XML Spreadsheet 2003 format and has an .xml extension.

The columns in the template correspond to the various fields for a particular record type in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft Dynamics CRM uses the data validation feature of Excel in each column to control the type of data or the values that you enter into a cell. It also shows what columns are mandatory and require data for the record to be imported into Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

For example, if you download the data import template for Accounts and you do not add data to the Account Name column, the template will show an error message when you move your cursor out of the cell because the Account Name field is needed to import records into the Accounts record type.

Nice!

The next few steps are similar to the Current CRM 4.0 Import Wizard. Select your file, select your delimiters…

The next addition to the CRM 2011 Data Import Wizard comes when it’s time to choose your data map. Similar to the CRM 4.0 Data Migration Manager, there are a few built in Data Maps available to assist with quicker imports.

After selecting the Data Map, it’s time to select which record type you would like to Import the data to… This takes us to the next new addition to the 2011 Data Import Wizard, allowing users to create a new record type on the fly! No more creating the new Entity, creating the attributes THEN coming into the import section to run the import. This can now be done right from the 2011 Data Import Wizard!

The field mapping interface has been significantly cleaned up, even more so than the CRM 4.0 Data Migration Manager. The Required fields are prominently displayed at the top of the mapping screen to separate them from the standard fields. All fields are handled by drop downs, and if Automatic Mapping was selected, the 2011 Data Import Wizard will select any fields that it is able to match. You will also note that you can create new fields in CRM if the field does not currently exist!

After the Mapping is complete, choosing next a few times finishes the import process…

Another one of the enhancements coming your way in CRM 2011!!

Happy CRM’ing From PowerObjects your Microsoft Dynamics CRM experts

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JoeCRM

Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.