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In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, the out of the box import tools have been greatly improved. We recently worked with a client to import their Accounts and Contacts from a spreadsheet. Best practice is to import your Accounts first, then import your Contacts. The reason behind this is to allow the import process to associate the Contact to the Account. But while reviewing the data the client noticed that the primary contact field was not populated on the Account form. Since the contacts don’t exist yet, there was no way to populate this field while importing the Accounts. Below is a simple way to work around this issue for setting the primary contact field.


First create a new field in the contact entity, in my case I called it Primary Contact and set the field attribute to Two Options. You do not need to add this field to form, it simply needs to be available to update during the import.

After the field is created, create a new workflow that will use this new field to trigger the workflow. Make sure the workflow is set to be triggered when a “record is created”.

The first step is to add a check condition to make sure the primary contact field equals “Yes”

CRM 2011 - setting the primary contact field

If that value equal yes, then the workflow will update the Parent Customer field in the Account entity. You can do this by selecting the contact has the Primary Contact field.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog

The last step is to add a new column to your contact data spreadsheet. You can call this column “Primary Contact” and then you will need to set a value for each row.

Now when contacts are imported, the workflow will trigger and update the primary contact on the Account entity.

If you liked this, check out setting the primary contact field part 2!

Happy CRM’ing!

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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.