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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Data Import – Setting Primary Contact Field #2


Microsoft Dynamics CRM Data Import – Setting Primary Contact Field #2

This is the second installment of a two part series on setting primary contact field in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You may want to read the first installment before continuing on.

Another option to resolve this issue importing accounts and contacts is a new feature in CRM 2011. The Data Import has the ability to import Accounts and Contacts at the same time. We will walk through the steps of how to accomplish this task in CRM2011.

Step1: Create two .CSV files, one for your Accounts and one for your Contacts.

If possible have a unique id for each record in your spreadsheet. This will allow you to use this value to build the relationship between the Accounts and Contacts. The reason behind this is if you have any duplicate contacts or accounts within your spreadsheet the import will fail on these records.

You may also choose to download a template from the Data import. This will help you with mapping process.

Accounts Example:

Contact Example:

Step 2: Once you are ready to give your files a try, add them to a zip file.

Step 3: In CRM 2011, start the Data Import and browse to your zip file that you created above. Select Next and Next after you have reviewed the settings.

Step 4: Select the Default (Automatic Mapping) from the System Data Maps

Step 5: Now we get to select what entities we are going to import into. Select the Account and Contact entities from the drop downs.

Step 6: You now get the ability to map your fields. Start with your Accounts until you get a green check mark next to the Account label.

Step 7: When you get to the Primary Contact field, select the lookup icon. Here you can change the look up field. In this example will use the Contact name.

This is where you could use the unique id. This would allow you to map the contact to the correct account if you have duplicate records.

Step 8: Complete the same steps for the contacts. Once again you could change the lookup field but we will leave this as the Account name.

Note if you do want to use a unique id, you would need to map the unique field to the parent customer. Then select the id field from the account entity that you populated in the above step.

Step 9: The summary screen appears select Next and the Submit to start the import process.

Step 10: You can review the import process by browsing to the Workplace, then Imports.

From there you can look at what did import successfully, the partial failures and the failures may have occurred.

Here is an example error message that you could receive if you have duplicated accounts.

Hope this helps. Remember, you can always call in a dedicated Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner if you find your import too complex to do on your own.

Happy CRM'ing!

By Maria Valley

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5 comments on “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Data Import – Setting Primary Contact Field #2”

  1. Hello JoeCRM
    This is a very useful blog. Congratulations.
    I'm setting a new Dynamics CRM for a client. They need to import large numbers of contacts. Many of these contacts belong to an account, but don't are primary contact. Each account can have 5, 10 or 15 contacts.
    Can we import the contacts and to associate each one to your account directly? Or first import all contacts and then the relationship?

    Than you for your response.

    1. Upsss!!! now, I understand the structure and the system for import contacts...
      The standar import works exactly as we need...
      Sorry for the question, which was totally unnecesary...
      It's clear that your post is the perfect way to assign a primary contact to an account with multiple contacts.

      Thanks again for the post and I apologize for my comment.


  2. Ok, your approach works, but if you're in other scenary where you have associated in one account the fields Parent Account and Primary Contact and one contact with parent customer field. How can I import account with primary contact and parent account And contact with parent account? If I use only one column “primary contact” or “parent account” in Account, the import is successful but when I use both the import doesn’t work.

  3. Thanks for writing this example. Unfortunately i don't understand where the "parent customer" lookup is. I guess i am missing something simple. I have an acocunt csv files that is based off the template that you download. i added the account id column. the contact csv ads the account id and the primary contact yes / no column. But the mapping is very limiting and does 't have the values you use in your example. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated

  4. The scenario doesn't make sense - when would this have a practical business application. I've asked this question often. How do you load Accounts and Contacts in a business scenario where your Contacts work with many Accounts. Say you sell to distributors. Best solution I came up with was a join entity. My secondary challenge was how do I identify the "Primary Contact" for an Account. I assume I have to create a role and can't leverage the Primary Contact. Primary contact lookups to children by default.

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