CRM 2011 – Templates for Data Import can speed up your importing

There is a great simple piece of functionality in CRM 2011, it’s called Templates for Data Import.

You can find this in Settings -> Data Management -> Templates for Data Import

What this does is create an xml file with all the fields on any entity form, which makes importing into the entity easy.

The other neat thing about the functionality is the XML file has a schema built in, so if you have a drop down it shows a drop down with the available values.

This is useful for making sure you use the correct column names when importing and then when you create a data map it will automatically match the columns.

One word of warning, which had my scratching my head a bit today.

The Template xml file only includes the field shown on the form.  So I had added a new field but hadn’t yet placed it on the form, so the field was excluded from the xml file.

The order the columns appear on the form is the order the columns appear in the XML file, which is good once you have understood this but before that it seemed a very strange way to order the columns.


CRM 2011 – How to easily delete incorrectly imported entities

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I found this great feature in CRM 2011.

I had to import some contacts into an organisation, I created my import file which involved a bit of excel manipulation and concatenating some columns together.

When I imported the file, the customer then decided (well I asked them actually) the concatenated column should use different fields.  To fix this I had two options.

  1.  Export the contacts and tick the enrich button.  Change the values in excel and then reimport.
  2. Delete the imported contacts and reimport changing the concatenated column in excel before importing.

I chose the second option because it involved only importing and not exporting/importing and I wanted to write a blog about it.

To delete the records of an imported file you go to WORKPLACE/IMPORTS

Then tick the import file with the records you want to remove.

Go to the large Delete button in the top right corner

You will then see there are three choices and you want to choose the second choice

All Records Imported to This Entity During This Import