Why Don’t I See Address Fields on the CRM Import Template?

If you are responsible for importing data into CRM, a convenient way to do so is to use the Download Template for Import option. Clicking on this button will yield an XML file which can be opened in Excel, and will display the fields for your chosen entity. Here you can enter or paste new records into each respective row, placing the specific data into matching columns. However, you may have wondered why the address fields do not appear in the XML document. Today's blog has the answer!

Address Fields

From a technical standpoint, the reason for this omission is that the template only includes fields that write directly to the database. A popular out-of-the-box field to place on out-of-the-box entities is the Composite Address field. On the form, a composite address looks like this:

Address Fields

Upon data entry on the form, a composite address will appear as shown in the image below:

Address Fields

This is great because it keeps the form clean and doesn't take up much space. However, the composite address is actually writing to the address fields in the database. If your forms on a given entity only contain the Composite Address field, without the address fields appearing separately on any of the forms, then they will not be contained within the Import Template. There are two workarounds for this problem. One option is to add the address fields to a form and to hide them. Or, if you have a form that is only accessed by administrators, allow the address fields to take the place of the Composite Address field on that form, which will look something like this:

Address Fields

That's all for the blog today! Did you know that PowerObjects hosts a wide variety of educational webinars, trainings, boot camps, and more, all focused on helping you get the most out of your Dynamics CRM investment. You can view the list of upcoming events here!

Happy CRM'ing!

Bust a Move with Data Migration in CRM 2016

The January update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 has so much to offer! The update introduced cool new features to make a developer's life a lit bit easier. Features include Data Loader, one click document generator, the ability to hide and show sub grids, and many more. In an earlier blog, we showed you how to use the Data Loader feature, but in today's blog, we'll be talking specifically about to access the Data Loader service. So let's dive in!

The Data Loader service is an answer to your data migration scenario hiccups where a user has to rely on third-party solutions or has to write custom code to import/export large volumes of data. Essentially, it's a painless way to handle bulk data loading in to a CRM system.

Bulk data migrations can be imported and exported into CRM systems by using the Data Loader service. The feature enables bulk data to be uploaded to a staging area where you can perform light, data quality functions and then push the data in to your CRM system.

The Data Loader service feature is now supported in Dynamics CRM 2016 and Dynamic CRM 2015 Update 1. Here are a list of some key features:

The Data Loader preview is enabled by default for all CRM administrators. Use the following steps to access the service:

1. First, navigate to this link: https://lcs.dynamics.com/DataLoader/Index

2. Click on Sign In and enter your CRM administrator credentials.

3. Upon login, if you see the screen below, you don't have permissions to access the resource.

Bust a Move with Data Migration in CRM 2016

Please note here that only CRM administrators, who are Global or Service administrators in Azure Active Directory, are allowed to access the Data Loader service.

Once you get all of the required permissions, you will be all set to use the Data Loader service and will be able to see the Data Loader's multiple options displayed as shown in the image below.

Bust a Move with Data Migration in CRM 2016

That's all for the blog today! Check out our video on new features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 to see our five favorite features!

Until next time, readers, happy CRM'ing!

How to Populate Contract Entities with Legacy Data

Microsoft Dynamics CRM requires specific criteria when it comes to importing data to the Contract entity. There are a few restrictions and workflows that are run by CRM to ensure a successful import, and in today's blog, we'll go over them. Let's get started!

The table below illustrates State (statecode) and Status Reason (statuscode) values applicable to the Contract entity:

How to Populate Contract Entities with Legacy Data

Most of the codes are not permitted to be set directly. Additionally, once the record state is changed from the "Draft" status reason it becomes locked and is a read-only record.

Other important fields include "expireson" and "cancelon". Once the Current Date becomes greater than the Expiration Date, CRM automatically flips the status to "Expired" and it becomes a read only record with "cancelon" required when the status is Canceled (4). Keeping these parameters in mind, loading legacy data is possible in the example below:

foreach (var contract in contractResults.Entities)
{Guid newContractId = Guid.Empty;
int stateCodeValue = -1;
var targetContractRef = new EntityReference("contract");

var customer = ((EntityReference)(contract["customerid"]));

var billingCustomer = ((EntityReference)(contract["billingcustomerid"]));

var contractExpiresOn = (DateTime)contract["expireson"];

var contractStartsOn = (DateTime)contract["activeon"];

bool deactivateCustomerFl = true;

bool deactivateBillingCustomerFl = true;

deactivateCustomerFl = ActivateCustomer(helper, customer);
deactivateBillingCustomerFl = ActivateCustomer(helper, billingCustomer);
var targetContractEntity = new Entity(targetEntityName);

var targetStatusEntity = new Entity(targetEntityName);

// Populate targetContractEntity with date from a source record

CopyFields(ref targetContractEntity, contract);
// Set state and status to draft

targetContractEntity["statecode"] = new OptionSetValue(0);
targetContractEntity["statuscode"] = new OptionSetValue(1);
targetContractEntity["billingstarton"] = contractStartsOn;
targetContractEntity["billingendon"] = contractExpiresOn;
// Set Expire Date to the Future Date

targetContractEntity["expireson"] = DateTime.Parse("01/01/2099");
// Remove cancelon if it exists

if (targetContractEntity.Contains("cancelon")) targetContractEntity.Attributes.Remove("cancelon");

// Create a contract record

var createContractReq = new CreateRequest { Target = targetContractEntity };

contractResponse = (OrganizationResponse)helper.TargetOgrService.Execute(createContractReq);
newContractId = (Guid)contractResponse.Results.FirstOrDefault().Value;
// Create realted records

CreateTasks(newContractId);
CreateEmails(newContractId);
CreateLetters(newContractId);
//

// Insert other related records......

//

// Make sure that contract detail "activeon", "expireson" are within the range and fit into the contract

// template

CreateContractDetail(newContractId);
// Set contract to invoiced, to lock it up

var targetContractUpdateEntity = new Entity("contract");

targetContractUpdateEntity["contractid"] = newContractId;
OrganizationResponse contractUpdateResponse;
var updateRequest = new UpdateRequest();

updateRequest = new UpdateRequest { Target = targetContractUpdateEntity };
contractUpdateResponse = (OrganizationResponse)helper.TargetOgrService.Execute(updateRequest);
// Set actual expires on unless the contract is Canceled

// if the field is updated and the value is in the past contract will be

// set to expired and it won't be possibe to calcel it

if (((OptionSetValue)contract["statecode"]).Value != 4)

{
targetContractUpdateEntity["expireson"] = contractExpiresOn;
}
targetContractUpdateEntity["statecode"] = new OptionSetValue(1);
targetContractUpdateEntity["statuscode"] = new OptionSetValue(2);
// Contract will be set to "Invoiced" state.

// if "Expireson" is in the past CRM will expire the contract

// else if "Activeon" is in the future it will remain invoiced

// else it will be set to "Active"

updateRequest = new UpdateRequest { Target = targetContractUpdateEntity };
contractUpdateResponse = (OrganizationResponse)helper.TargetOgrService.Execute(updateRequest);
// Next handle canceled contracts

if (((OptionSetValue)contract["statecode"]).Value == 4) // Canceled

{
CancelContractRequest cancelReq = new CancelContractRequest();
cancelReq.ContractId = contractId;
cancelReq.CancelDate = (DateTime)contract["cancelon"];
cancelReq.Status = new OptionSetValue(-1);
CancelContractResponse resp = (CancelContractResponse)helper.TargetOgrService.Execute(cancelReq);
}
//Deactivate customer if it was inactive prior to load

if (deactivateCustomerFl) DeactivateCustomer(helper, customer);

if (deactivateBillingCustomerFl) DeactivateCustomer(helper, billingCustomer);

}

Note: The same logic and sequence of steps can be used with either the Scribe or KingswaySoft adapter. That's all for the blog today! You can get tips and tricks for working with Dynamics CRM delivered directly to your inbox by subscribing to our blog!

Happy CRM'ing!

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

For many years, a Microsoft Excel export and import redesign has been one of top change requests from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Community. The previous version of the feature did not allow you to import large sets of data, extract more than 10,000 records without risky database hacks, and wasn't always user friendly. In today's blog, we will highlight ten key MS Excel Import and Export redesign features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1.

Note: Currently, these features are only available in MS CRM Online 2015 Update 1, but we are expecting it to be released for on-premises installations soon.

1. Redesigned Export Options

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 introduced a new design for the CRM Data Export feature. Now, instead of just one Export to Excel button, users will see several Export options, including the default option, Export CRM View in Excel.

The full list of data export options available with Update 1 includes:

The first three options provide the ability to import the exported file back, making the process of CRM data modifications even more streamlined. Now users can export data in one click, modify the data, and import exactly the same file back. No file conversions required!

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

*Source: Microsoft Release Notes

2. Once Click Export Feature

In addition to the advanced Export to Excel options, Microsoft now offers the ability to export data to MS Excel Online directly from a CRM View. Users can click on the Export to Excel button and the downloaded file becomes available on your desktop. No more popup windows asking you to select the file format! Again, this option is only available for CRM Online.

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

3. .xlsx Import File

The default CRM data export and data import format is now .xlsx. The exported file is automatically converted to an Excel table which can be open and modified by any software supporting Excel files. This is a fantastic enhancement that will save time for CRM users working with data on a daily basis!

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

Additional Enhancements:

These changes will definitely improve the Excel export experience!

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

4. Enhanced Data Re-import

One of the most exciting changes in the redesigned CRM Data Export and Data Import is the ability to export CRM data in Excel format and re-import it back. Now, every export file brings the GUIDs associated with CRM records, and users can bulk edit and re-import the data back if required. Previously, CRM could only import data that was marked for data reimport. CRM is now intelligent enough to recognize the GUIDs of exported records and match them automatically when data is re-imported back to CRM.

5. Composite Fields

Another exciting feature is the ability to export composite fields in one column. Previously, CRM exported each field associated with a composite field in a separate column. Now, Full Name is exported as one column including First Name and Last Name. Address 1 is exported as one column as well. Please see details below*.

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

*Source: Microsoft Release Notes

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

6. Warning Dialogs are Fixed

In previous versions of CRM, CRM data export files were downloaded either in xls or xml format. When users opened the file in MS Excel, a warning message popped up every time. For example:

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

Now, with Update 1, these dialogs are completely removed and no longer appear on the screen! Depending on personal settings, users may still see the protected view messages, but this can be easily configured in individual MS Excel settings.

7. Immersive Excel Online: Ad hoc Analysis in MS Excel Online

Integrated MS Excel Online now supports the ad hoc analysis within CRM. Users can select a view to export data from and MS Excel Online will open the selected dataset right in a CRM window. No pop-up or local file copies!

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

In this view, users can create formulas and perform ad hoc and what-if analysis right from Excel Online within CRM. For example, you can summarize the total amount of open or won opportunities and quickly run what-if analysis by applying Excel formulas without leaving CRM.

Notes:

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

8. Immersive Excel Online: Bulk Updates in MS Excel Online

In the same view as above (Select a Viewà
Export in Excel Online), users can modify the presented data and save their changes directly to CRM in one click. The changes are processed based on the following rules:

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

Note: The bulk update feature is only available for System and Personal Views. Advanced Find, Quick Search, and Filtering Views do not support the feature.

9. CRM Export Limit has been Increased to 100000

Users and administrators used to only be able to export 10,000 records. This limit was controlled by an internal CRM setting that System Administrators and Customizers could not adjust within CRM. Any modifications to the number of records that users could export from CRM required a direct database update.

With CRM Online 2015 Update 1, users can now export up to 100,000 records with just one click! This increased limit will prevent users from having to update the database directly, which is never a great option. No additional customization is required!

Note: The exported file cannot exceed 32MB in size.

10. CRM Data Import File Limit has been Increased to 32 MB

Originally, the file size could not exceed 8MB if not zipped and 32MB for zipped files. Now, the limitation is gone, and you can upload up to 32 MB! No more hurdles of splitting a data import file into several XML or CSV files!

BONUS CONTENT: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 - Data Export Formats

In previous CRM versions, data exported from CRM was formatted as Text Columns regardless of the CRM field type (Text, Whole Number, Currency, Date, etc.). If a field had a leading zero, it would disappear in the exported file, which resulted in invalid exported values. For example, Account, Contact, and Order Numbers would have a completely different unique value once exported to Excel. This made the ability to import data back into CRM complex and cumbersome.

With the newly redesigned Export to Excel function, CRM exports data preserving all formatting. When data is exported from CRM, the Excel tab name will correspond to the selected CRM View and Column Width scales from the View Definition for a consistent display.

The key enhancement with data mapping rules in Export to Excel functionality is that now CRM retains the data format for the exported data. CRM will export data according to the configurations of CRM Views and metadata and will honor different data formats. The table below describes the new mapping rules for exporting data in Excel*.

10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1

*Source: Microsoft Release Notes

These 10 features of the redesigned data export and data import dialogs have improved the overall data management experience in MS CRM. These exciting integrations with MS Excel Online provides a seamless experience for end users! You can learn more about the updates for CRM 2015 by visiting our website.

Happy CRM'ing!

Data Import Privileges

The Import tool within Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a great way to move data in and out of CRM. This tool is available for all users, provided they have the correct privileges assigned. These data import privileges are what we will be talking about today!

One way you can utilize the Import tool is to download Data Maps by navigating to Settings > Data Maps. The Data Maps will contain all of the fields for selected entities, allowing you to create new records in bulk.

You can also run a specific Advanced Find on any entity, export the results to Excel, and if you flag Make available for reimporting, you can update records quickly and easily.

To learn more about the Import tool within Dynamics CRM, check out The CRM Book Chapter - Import Wizard.

To begin, follow the steps below:

1. Navigate to Settings > Administration.

Data Import Privileges

2. Select Security Roles.

Data Import Privileges

3. Select the user whom you wish to edit the Security Role and navigate to the Core Records tab.

Data Import Privileges

4. Verify privileges for:

Note: Start with the User Level and increase as required to gain the desired functionality.

*Data Import, Data Map and Import Source File require at least user level Delete privileges for desired functionality.

As you can see, the Import tool in Dynamics CRM is a powerful way to move data in and out of your CRM system. We hope you found our blog helpful! Follow these links for more information on Import Templates and updating records with the import tool.

Thanks for stopping by our blog today! And as always, happy CRM'ing!

 

 

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

Using Advanced Find to filter and find the right audience when you're creating Marketing Lists in Dynamics CRM works great if the data you need exists in your CRM system (contacts, leads, accounts, etc.). But, sometimes the segmentation data you need isn't in CRM, it exists in another system. Well, you don't have to wait until these other systems are integrated with CRM to use CRM's marketing features. Simply using the import feature does the trick!

Today's blog will focus on how to create marketing lists with external data sources. So let's get started!

This process works best if you have a unique ID (UID) for the external data that you also maintain in CRM. The UID allows you to simply query your other system for the desired marketing list records based on the matching UID's from CRM. Other possible unique IDs such as email address, phone number, full name, and street address 1 are also valuable.

Using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM out of the box Import Wizard, you can find the contacts in CRM that match the unique ID in the external data source. And since the Import Wizard is used to create records in CRM, you can import notes regarding the contact as well.

Let's take a look at an example.

The list below represents a list in Excel (.csv) that was exported from another system.

UID Title
1002356 New Mailer
1002357 New Mailer
1002358 New Mailer
1002359 New Mailer
1002360 New Mailer
1002361 New Mailer
1002362 New Mailer
1002363 New Mailer

1. Using the Import Data Wizard, find your .csv file.

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

 

2. Next, select Default (Automatic Mapping) from the list of options.

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

3. Then select Note under the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Record Types field.

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

4. Next, you will need to map the UID column to the Regarding (lookup) field on the Note record.

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

5. Select which entity you want to market to (Contact, Account, or Lead).

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

6. After selecting the entity you want to market to, click on the Looking Glass icon next to the entity.

From here you can select which field on a record will be used to find the records you need. You can select any field and it does not need to be configured as a quick find field. You can also select multiple fields if the column has different UIDs per record.

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

7. After the import, you can easily create a marketing list and use Advanced Find to add the desired contacts.

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

A simple Advanced Find allows you to locate the records related to the Note that was imported.

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

Another option for finding records from an external list in CRM is to add a semi colon after the UID and paste a single text string into the record's lookup field in Advanced Find. For this option, the field that is being searched does need to be configured as a quick find field.

In order to get the data into a single string, you will need to

1. Copy the data with semi-colons from Excel

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

2. Then Paste it into Microsoft Word using the Keep Text Only option to remove the Excel source formatting.

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

3. Then use the Replace feature in Word to remove the paragraph formatting that remains.

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

4. Resulting test string can be pasted into the CRM Look up field!

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

Creating Marketing Lists from External Data Sources

After pasting the data into the lookup field it will find the records that match the UIDs. This approach works well for finding records 250 or less. How long it takes will depend on how many records you are looking for.

Marketing lists are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to utilizing CRM's marketing features for your business. Whether you're managing your brand, running lead nurturing campaigns for demand generation or tapping into advanced digital marketing strategies, PowerObjects Marketing Solutions can help you take your organization to the next level of marketing!

Thanks for stopping by our blog today! Happy CRM'ing!

Exporting Data to Re-import: The Invalid Column Headings Issue

Often you'll need to export data from CRM, make changes, and then re-import the data using CRM's out-of-box capabilities. In doing this, you might receive the message "The data has invalid column headings, so you will not be able to re-import it" pop up. What is this message and how do I successfully export my data?

Exporting Data to Re-import: The Invalid Column Headings Issue

The issue actually has to do with duplicate display names. Since the export writes the display name as the column name, you cannot have duplicates because CRM doesn't know how to match up the columns again when it re-imports the data.

In the scenario below, there is an issue with a duplicate status fields; the out-of-box status and a custom status field with the same name.

Exporting Data to Re-import: The Invalid Column Headings Issue

Hopefully this will help you get past this error message and successfully export your data for re-importing. Interested in taking your CRM experience to the next level? Consider attending this year’s PowerUp in Minneapolis, MN, November 10-11 with an optional hands-on day November 12! Hosted by PowerObjects, this can’t-miss CRM event features over 60 breakout sessions and includes tracks for all experience levels. Register today!

Happy CRM'ing!