Importing and Updating Records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

When it comes to importing and updating records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there are two distinct functions: importing records using the import wizard and updating existing records by exporting to Excel. But what if you have a list of records that are not exported from CRM, and you want them to update CRM data? In this blog, we will discuss just how you might do that with a fancy workaround.

Using built-in functionality in CRM, this solution involves creating an entity and workflow combination. You will import your spreadsheet into the custom entity and then use a workflow to automatically apply your updates to the correct records. Once the tool is built, you can reuse it to quickly update your data.

Before getting into the details, this method works best if:

An Example of Updating Records

To demonstrate, we'll create a tool to update the address on accounts from a spreadsheet below containing new address information.

Updating Records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Step 1: Create a new entity. Add fields for each column of the spreadsheet with a look-up to the entity you are updating.

In this example, we will call the entity "Account Update" and place fields for Street 1, Street 2, City, State, and Zip, as well as a lookup to the account. Importing and Updating Records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Step 2: Create a new workflow that triggers "on create" of your new entity.

In this case, the data will move from Account Update to Account. The completed workflow looks like this:

Importing and Updating Records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

And to "View Properties" on the only step:

Importing and Updating Records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Step 3: Perform the update

Now that we have created the tool, all we need to do is import our spreadsheet into the Account Update entity, and watch the update go. Two important reminders when doing the import:

1. When performing the actual update, make sure you map the data to your new entity, which in this case is the Account Update entity.

Importing and Updating Records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

2. When mapping your fields, make sure you're setting the look-up on your update entity to use that unique field on the record you're updating. In this case, I'm setting the account lookup on the Account Update entity to use the Account Number as the key.

Importing and Updating Records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Expanding your solution

Once you have built your basic solution, you can include more complex logic depending on your specific challenges.

There you have it—some things to think about when updating records in your CRM.

Happy CRM'ing!

CRM 2011 Outlook Client Error: Exporting a Report Hangs

When encountering any CRM 2011 Outlook Client error, you can begin your troubleshooting using the CRM 2011 Outlook Client Troubleshooting Wizard, but in this blog post we'll cover a specific issue. After installing Security Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2699988), CRM 2011 reports will no longer export from CRM Outlook Client. There is no error message, and when you click export to any type nothing happens.

The issue with CRM Outlook Client exporting reports after installing the security update is a known issue and the fix may be included in Update Rollup 12.

Until the permanent fix is released you can use one the available workarounds:

  1. Have the client use the Web Version to export reports.
  2. Remove the Security Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2699988)--NOT recommended!
  3. The recommended change would be to make the registry change below. Here are the steps to do so:

1. Open the registry (regedit)

2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMAINFeatureControlFEATURE_MIME_HANDLING

3. Change the DWORD entry for OUTLOOK.EXE from 1 to 0

4. Restart Outlook

CRM 2011 Outlook client error

As always, make sure to back up your registry prior to making this change. Refer to this Microsoft article titled Back up the registry.

If you're looking for some additional information regarding CRM end-user configuration, check out CRM 2011 Tools and Settings for End Users That Increase Efficiency.

Happy CRM'ing!